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Is the men's suit a vestige of colonialism? - Page 3

post #31 of 67
the op posed a perfectly legitimate question and it's no surprise many a westerner fails to recognize it -- big deal, it's something that was known before.

despite english retaining much of its status, chinese will probably surpass it -- the chinese presence in the emerging markets is too dominant to pass up this opportunity. in theory, hindi could be a contender, but india will stick to english as the lowest common denominator.
post #32 of 67
I don't think that the lounge suit is a vestige of colonialism considering that the lounge suit became the prevalent business dress not before the beginning of the 20th century, a time when the heyday of colonization had already passed. I'd argue that the proliferation of the suit as standard business is rather a product of multiple factors including
- Cultural similarities and close ties between the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Europe
- The education of the large portions of the elite from Latin American, African and Asian countries in North America and Europe
- The economic globalization initially driven by American and European companies,
- The dominance of Western media (especially Hollywood, but also TV shows, magazines, etc.) throughout the world (something which obviously changes now)

Another argument against the suit being forced upon people through colonialism is that it is also the prevalent dress in China and Japan, which were never colonies of Western powers (apart from the cities of Qingdao, Macao, Hong Kong)
post #33 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pantisocrat View Post

I used to spend a ton of money on Western products such as wingtip shoes, accessories, and suiting goods, not realizing that I am supporting western imperialism. I'm going back to traditional menswear, which IMHO is more easy on the Earth. icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

I would like to see photos, or at least a description of this "Traditional Menswear".

Also, where do you live?
post #34 of 67

If we're talking about environmentally friendly clothing, I assure you that wearing pure wool, cotton, linen, silk or leather garments & accessories is far better than viscose or polyester based chemical products.

 

As far as styling goes, yes modern business attire does owe something to clothing design passed down from colonial period uniforms, but it also features touches which were styled from other sources - quite often because the British Empire frequently adapted local solutions for dealing with weather & climate into their uniforms, which then became part of the overall style of dress.

 

Colonialism works both ways, not that either the British Empire or many people nowadays would be willing to admit it.

post #35 of 67

Well put Alex. To me, globalization (economic and cultural) is really the driver for the spread of the western business suit.

 

Even more interesting to me is the future of the suit. Will it continue to be the uniform of politics and business if there are shifts in world power? Will it evolve to meet new cultural or business demands? Is there something inherent in the western suit that men want to wear even if they don't have to? 

 

post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexE View Post

Another argument against the suit being forced upon people through colonialism is that it is also the prevalent dress in China and Japan, which were never colonies of Western powers (apart from the cities of Qingdao, Macao, Hong Kong)

check this (applies both to china and japan):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unequal_treaty
post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by _cameosis_ View Post


check this (applies both to china and japan):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unequal_treaty

True - but there is still a difference between imposing unfair treaties and installing a colonial government
post #38 of 67
The British basically copied or adapted many styles from different nations or civilisations.
For example neckties/bowties/cravates have their roots in Croatia. The dress shirt or the idea behind it existed in the East for ages etc.
Let's not talk about fabrics that originated in countries with warmer climates such as cashmere, silks and even cotton and these were known and used for clothing in the nations where they originated in for centuries before the British could even think of using such.
post #39 of 67
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Edited by Axel Ferguson - 8/7/11 at 12:34pm
post #40 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianBoyz View Post

The British basically copied or adapted many styles from different nations or civilisations.
For example neckties/bowties/cravates have their roots in Croatia. The dress shirt or the idea behind it existed in the East for ages etc.
Let's not talk about fabrics that originated in countries with warmer climates such as cashmere, silks and even cotton and these were known and used for clothing in the nations where they originated in for centuries before the British could even think of using such.

Actually it was croatian mercs fighting in France, so the wide spread of neckties originated there.

Are we slamming the British for the colonies or for setting the standards for international business dress? I don't get the point of this thread. So what?
post #41 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bjorn2 View Post

I don't get the point of this thread. So what?


 

Do you not find the evolution of dress standards fascinating?

post #42 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowtiedlad93 View Post

It is not about colonialism it is about looking professional and showing respect for ones self and his work. You should feel honored to be able to dress in such away for a living, not all men are so fortunate especially with most work places become so casual lately.

And why is it that wearing something besides a suit is considered "unprofessional"? How do you think that standard made its way around the world?
post #43 of 67
American dress is a symbol of freedom and liberty. Talk about oppression, just look at China.
post #44 of 67
revolve.gif
post #45 of 67
I am so wrapping myself in an American flag during my next job interview.
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