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interesting WSJ article about dressing up(or not) - Page 9

post #121 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by VelvetGreen View Post
The problem is the modern attitude where all that matters is MY comfort, MY pleasure, and sod everybody else. The only pleasure in being well dressed is being so in the presence of other well dressed people.
Part of the "comfort" problem is a self-perpetuating cycle, in which having fewer occasions to dress up in life means that young men are growing up unfamiliar with the feel of dressing up -- which, in turn, makes them feel uncomfortable on those first few occasions when they do dress up. To them, the suit and dress shirt and tie and dress shoes are like foreign objects. These men haven't had the time and repeated exposure necessary to acclimate themselves to how to move, look, and feel in dress clothing. A well-fitting suit and shirt are not intrinsically "uncomfortable" or overly restrictive. It's the unfamiliarity that breeds uncomfortability. The same principle is behind the decline of the tucked-in shirt. Boys grow up these days with their shirts untucked, so to them, tucking in a shirt feels weird. That strangeness of feeling gets coded subconsciously as "tucked in shirt = uncomfortable."
post #122 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaneB View Post
I think the overall point is that sloppiness is indicative of poor character: that's why a man in the early 20th century wouldn't be seen dead in a scruffy t-shirt and some old chinos; there are appearances, there are expectations, and there's pride as evinced in your choice of clothing.

I get the overall point, I just don't care (or completely agree -- throwing character into this is a bit much). And either way, no one has conclusively argued as to why I should. So someone takes no pride in how they dress? Hmm, okay? I do, and its the only metric I bother with in the morning.

Look, we're like those dinosaurs who survived the big hit (let's say ours occurred in the late 1960s and pin it on the Boomers) but we're too stupid to realize we're the walking dead. Unless societal expectations change -- and there is nothing to say they can't, I just don't think they will -- what we consider to be well-dressed may very likely disappear during my lifetime, and I turn 40 next month. After all, 40 years ago wearing a sports coat to class wasn't an alien notion. Forty years from now your grandkids might only find them in your closet and wear them as costume while playing with their Differential Calculus Me Elmo.

I say relax. Wear what you wear. Love what you love. Let the rest of the world do what it does. You can't change it. As someone earlier in this thread pointed out, it is part of a centuries old trend of wardrobes going incrementally casual. Pretending otherwise means you have the same delusion as old King Canute.
post #123 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Carlos View Post
Part of the "comfort" problem is a self-perpetuating cycle, in which having fewer occasions to dress up in life means that young men are growing up unfamiliar with the feel of dressing up -- which, in turn, makes them feel uncomfortable on those first few occasions when they do dress up. To them, the suit and dress shirt and tie and dress shoes are like foreign objects. These men haven't had the time and repeated exposure necessary to acclimate themselves to how to move, look, and feel in dress clothing.

A well-fitting suit and shirt are not intrinsically "uncomfortable" or overly restrictive. It's the unfamiliarity that breeds uncomfortability.

The same principle is behind the decline of the tucked-in shirt. Boys grow up these days with their shirts untucked, so to them, tucking in a shirt feels weird. That strangeness of feeling gets coded subconsciously as "tucked in shirt = uncomfortable."

I'd add to that something a good friend of mine surprised me with.

In fairness to the guy he actually dresses quite well for work but he says he prefers dressing a bit scruffier otherwise.

However, when I was talking to him recently about how much I enjoy wearing smarter clothes he revealed he felt that constant maintenance is the main detractor in the enjoyment of smarter clothing.

Clearly for many the daily ironing, pressing and polishing is too high a price to pay.
post #124 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post
One of the things that is funniest about all this is that wearing a suit, especially a decent, well-fitting one, really does get you better treatment almost everywhere. I can see how this might be particular true for you but it applies across the board.

Of course, you have to couple this with the right attitude. You can't come across as a demanding jerk. But it is amazing to me how with a little bit of humor and assertiveness, you can get people to eat out of your hand when you are well-dressed. The ragged masses don't know what they're missing.

Of course, this may change as the flip-flop and cargo shorts brigade diffuse into positions of power and as casual Friday infests the entire week. But as of now, the effect is still pretty incredible.

Quite true. Unfortunately casual Friday is daily in most places, in fact Friday is now full on homeless look.
post #125 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadcammer View Post
well then don a pair of testicles and wear your fedora. Why do you care if it stands out?

Further, by years ago, I hope you mean decades ago, because fedoras have had widespread popularity for at least 30 years (probably more like 50).

quite frankly, when I'm at dinner, I'm enjoying the food and the company, and not examining the clothing other fellows wear.

Sure, I'll see a guy wearing cargo shorts and sneakers at a nice restaurant and shake my head, but it doesn't affect my enjoyment of my evening.

some of you guys take this crap just a little too far.

Some of us, not necessarily me, are more sensitive to what we perceive to be visual pollution, as
represented by cargo shorts in this case.
post #126 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by gorgekko View Post
I get the overall point, I just don't care (or completely agree -- throwing character into this is a bit much). And either way, no one has conclusively argued as to why I should. So someone takes no pride in how they dress? Hmm, okay? I do, and its the only metric I bother with in the morning.

Look, we're like those dinosaurs who survived the big hit (let's say ours occurred in the late 1960s and pin it on the Boomers) but we're too stupid to realize we're the walking dead. Unless societal expectations change -- and there is nothing to say they can't, I just don't think they will -- what we consider to be well-dressed may very likely disappear during my lifetime, and I turn 40 next month. After all, 40 years ago wearing a sports coat to class wasn't an alien notion. Forty years from now your grandkids might only find them in your closet and wear them as costume while playing with their Differential Calculus Me Elmo.

I say relax. Wear what you wear. Love what you love. Let the rest of the world do what it does. You can't change it. As someone earlier in this thread pointed out, it is part of a centuries old trend of wardrobes going incrementally casual. Pretending otherwise means you have the same delusion as old King Canute.

I have no problem with your premise but the Canute reference is something of a pet peeve -- it was Canute's fawning retinue that were the target of the bit by the shore; he did it to demonstrate their folly, not his own. /pedantry
post #127 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by eg1 View Post
I have no problem with your premise but the Canute reference is something of a pet peeve -- it was Canute's fawning retinue that were the target of the bit by the shore; he did it to demonstrate their folly, not his own. /pedantry

I stand corrected sir and thank you for the pedantry.
post #128 of 142
Hello

Interesting thread.

I love lurking here but I do it for ideas for upgrading my wardrobe for my comfort and not for any reasons of "style".
(A pig in a suit will still be a pig, ok, maybe I want to be a better dressed pig just a little).

By upgrading I mean better quality and more comfortable clothes that will last longer.


I will always be grateful to many of you for the ideas/hints/tips and the biggest thing I have learned here is that fit is more important than anything.

Having said that, a clean well fitting pair of chinos with a nice clean polo shirt is NOT worse looking or less "dressed" than someone in a suit to many people (and depends on each situation to me anyway). As an outfit It is just different thats all, heck it may have cost far more than the suit on the next guy and its owner may well have put in more effort to obtain it.

Of course someone in dirty jeans and torn T stained and filthy is not going to be a visual pleasure (mostly) but the same could be said for someone in a stained dirty torn Kiton suit.....it is the stained /torn/dirty thing that is the issue not the garments...just who IS the slob then? Of course it is just so much cheaper to replace a T shrt than a Kiton suit.

A tie serves no purpose these days other than as decoration, not everyone likes all decorations.


There is just many many times the choice of things to wear these days than there was even twenty years ago let alone before that.
post #129 of 142
I'd rather be in "dirty jeans and torn T stained" than "pair of chinos with a nice clean polo shirt"
post #130 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post
One of the things that is funniest about all this is that wearing a suit, especially a decent, well-fitting one, really does get you better treatment almost everywhere. I can see how this might be particular true for you but it applies across the board.

Of course, you have to couple this with the right attitude. You can't come across as a demanding jerk. But it is amazing to me how with a little bit of humor and assertiveness, you can get people to eat out of your hand when you are well-dressed. The ragged masses don't know what they're missing.

Of course, this may change as the flip-flop and cargo shorts brigade diffuse into positions of power and as casual Friday infests the entire week. But as of now, the effect is still pretty incredible.

This is the truth.

I am often amazed at how rapidly social facilitation increases when I and those around me are "dressed up" (Sometimes as little as tucking a shirt tail in.)

Especially compared to the contrasting experience I encountered in an upscale Atlanta restaurant for lunch. My family had stopped in GA on our way back from the mountain house and we were all dressed slovenly (for a 9 hr. car ride) I went to this restaurant dressed in boat shoes, sports pants, and probably an ugly t-shirt, because it had been highly recommended by a friend. I had never been made so uncomfortable before in my life. Nothing overt was done, but the attitude of the maître d', other diners, and the waiters were apparent. I imagine it would feel very similar to showing up to a funeral in a tank top; no one is going to deny you entry but they will look at you funny and wonder what you're up to.
(The restaurant had no dress code)

The point is that currently dressing well can be of great benefit, and dressing poorly can hinder and hurt. Neither is completely right or wrong, but as evidenced by my Atlanta experience diners who choose to dress too far down will be at a disadvantage.
post #131 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post
Some of us, not necessarily me, are more sensitive to what we perceive to be visual pollution, as
represented by cargo shorts in this case.

understandable, but at what point do you draw the line.

Hell, some ugly people are visual pollution to me, should I tell them to GTFO of my favorite restaurant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Who me? View Post

Having said that, a clean well fitting pair of chinos with a nice clean polo shirt is NOT worse looking or less "dressed" than someone in a suit to many people (and depends on each situation to me anyway).

well, I disagree. Worse looking is entirely up to subjective opinion, "dressed" though I don't think so.

By dressed I think of formality, and a suit is more formal than khakis and a polo shirt.
post #132 of 142
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
I'd rather be in "dirty jeans and torn T stained" than "pair of chinos with a nice clean polo shirt"

this explains a lot.
post #133 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Carlos View Post
Part of the "comfort" problem is a self-perpetuating cycle, in which having fewer occasions to dress up in life means that young men are growing up unfamiliar with the feel of dressing up -- which, in turn, makes them feel uncomfortable on those first few occasions when they do dress up. To them, the suit and dress shirt and tie and dress shoes are like foreign objects. These men haven't had the time and repeated exposure necessary to acclimate themselves to how to move, look, and feel in dress clothing.

A well-fitting suit and shirt are not intrinsically "uncomfortable" or overly restrictive. It's the unfamiliarity that breeds uncomfortability.

The same principle is behind the decline of the tucked-in shirt. Boys grow up these days with their shirts untucked, so to them, tucking in a shirt feels weird. That strangeness of feeling gets coded subconsciously as "tucked in shirt = uncomfortable."

+1 very well said. I was that way myself when I first started wearing suits.
post #134 of 142
What I really hate, and has been touched on a few times already, is that people think looking nice is 1) a chore and 2) really expensive. Not even talking about a $5k suit, just wearing simple clothes that fit well. I am probably the most cheapest and thriftiest person I know and yet look so much better than my peers. And I can do that with non-branded clothes from Wal Mart or clothes from Brooks Brothers. Or deciding flat front pants over baggy pleated Dockers even when the cost is the same. I also hate having to "dress down" just because I don't want to appear conspicuous. Like wearing a blazer to my grad school's convocation. It was tie required, but no mention of a blazer. I got so many "Why you so dressed up for?" comments. I kept the blazer on cuz...ya know..confidence and all that. But it still bothers me.
post #135 of 142
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reevolving View Post
I'd rather be in "dirty jeans and torn T stained" than "pair of chinos with a nice clean polo shirt"



Thats ok, to tell the truth I probably would as well....I just do not have to look at it though.


There is a lot that I do not get about this though.

For example, I have a navy cashmere sport coat and another navy cashmere coat (was actually a long overcoat that I had cut to the same length as a sport coat). The sport coat would be acceptable in many of the places named in the article (even if I would not have been), the other coat would likely not. The differences are buttons on the sleeve of the sport coat and flap pockets plus breast pocket vs slash pockets.

I would rather wear the other coat any day as it is just much nicer cashmere. I have yet to see a valid reason anywhere why a few buttons and pockets make one acceptable and the better one (to me) not.

oh well, back to lurking.
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