This is an elephant in the room in many of the discussions about style, clothes or the appropriate attire for any given role/occasion.
I suggest we at least try to look the elephant in the face and talk about the effect of culture on the clothes we wear. How does your culture/ethnicity/background and your life objectives affect your clothing choices?
I'm going to spoiler-code my thoughts, because nothing puts people off replying to a thread than lots of words! Besides, I'm interested in what you think.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Let's start from a certainty and extrapolate from there. Different cultures have different value systems. Different value systems are reflected in different social roles, and different markers of those roles. Different markers may express themselves through different clothes, styles, colours and combinations. When different cultures meet each other, they either polarise further, or hybridise. Usually both, depending on the precise individuals involved and their social circumstances and objectives.
How does this impact StyleForum, and its discussions about clothes?
The Men's Clothing forum is largely devoted to tailored men's clothing, primarily within a Western European tradition originating around the early 19th century, the exact time period depending on how one defines these things. Certainly, the core idea of being well-dressed by wearing a dark, well-cut, tailored suit originates around that time period. The essence of this concept is that elegance is the primary aim of clothing; to be well-dressed is to impress through subtle mastery of detail and cut. This of course then leads to the inevitable conclusion that those with good taste will express these concepts best, and those with poor taste will adopt a more vulgar approach. As societies generally work to reinforce the standards of their elites, good taste as expressed by the elite becomes that society's cultural expression of good taste, and as the elite tend to be wealthier than the rest, objects displaying the markers of good taste tend to be expensive to acquire (e.g. bespoke suits).
However, elegance is not a universal aim of dress, and so other cultures will not view the elegantly-dressed man as being the ultimate expression of being well-dressed. Some cultures value what is sometimes called "peacocking", where flamboyance is a priority; some value a homogeneity of inferior dress in order to express a collectivist attitude to society. Some hardly wear clothes at all.
StyleForum has never-ending circular discussions about whether someone is well-dressed or not. It is rarer that we acknowledge that being well-dressed is a function of culture as much as it an interaction between an item of clothing and a person's physique.
Given that a majority of readers here live in largely capitalist and vaguely democratic countries, the traditional archetype of being well-dressed is the the cultural legacy of Western European 19th century elegance of cut, where if colour is to be used, it should be subtly and harmoniously deployed. To use a cliche, the stealth wealth approach to dress. This demarcation reinforces traditional social structures and segregations, and if one dresses to conform to this pattern and is willing to invest the necessary time and money, it is usually thought (irrespective of the odds in reality, sometimes) that one's chances of joining that traditional elite will improve. This mindset underpins several SF recurring discussions, from the "what should I wear for my job interview/wedding" to "SF should focus on traditional menswear/style and not fashion".
But SF contains more readers than those wishing to join that traditional elite (or those trying to figure out how best to act that role at least within their working lives). We have people from other subcultures, and with other life objectives. The feature common to SF readers is not an interest in Western European tailored clothing, but an interest in clothes generally. It is therefore not surprising that there is an undercurrent of tension between posters with different objectives from their interest in clothes. We see this manifested most commonly in the regular cyclical complaints about slipping dress standards in WAYWRN (or slipping standards of SF discussion in general).
Discussion on an internet board doesn't follow the same patterns as discussion in real life. In real life we tend to be more socio-culturally segregated. We tend to meet and interact with those who at least partly share our value system. Traditional elites generally retain their positions within their spheres of influence; habitual outsiders tend to retain their (sometimes highly-prized, even by the traditional elite) maverick status. On an internet board, it is merely frequency and volume of posts that determines the prevailing board culture at any given time.
A big part of the tension and argument on SF is therefore driven by differing cultural archetypes in my opinion. But what is important to me is not whether someone is well-dressed by an objective checklist, but whether they are well-dressed for their purpose. As we lack a lot of data about this (because we present only a slice of ourselves on SF and miss the most important part, which is how a person talks and behaves), it's extremely difficult to make such judgements so we fall back on superficial criteria: "great/flattering cut", "harmonious colours", "perfect fit around the shoulders".
It's a bit of joke, really, when you think about it. But that doesn't mean it can't be fun.
So I guess what I'm saying for the TL;DR crowd: enjoy SF for what it is, not what you'd like it to be, because surely otherwise coming here must be more like hard work or a chore than amusing relaxation.