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How much does culture/ethnicity affect the clothes you wear? - Page 4

post #46 of 92
I don't see how ethnicity plays into this, however culture definitely does.

I view SF as a middle ground for all types of people who buy and appreciate a certain type/brand of clothing aesthetic. My ethnicity doesn't play into anything SF-related because what I wear (and like to wear) have always been within the SF norm. Many people have significantly changed their look/wardrobe after coming unto SF, as this is a culture in its own right. Personally, other than learning about certain brands that I hadn't heard about, I haven't changed much in the way I look or dress.

However, I work in a corporate environment. We have a pretty standard dress code which has created a common ground for all to follow, thus eliminating most cultural and ethnic influences.
post #47 of 92
Thread Starter 


I'm loving some of these replies, especially the personal stories from Dig, Spoo, Rob, Gdot and Sazerac amongst others posted since I last commented in the thread. I don't have all that much more to add myself right now, but the overall picture the thread is building up is fascinating. Some of the replies must have taken some time to compose, too, so a big thank you for taking that time!

post #48 of 92
Hmmm. I always thought i liked tweed because it looked good and kept me warm. But maybe it's really because of my Irish ethnicity.
post #49 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

I forget, is the punishment for this crime being beaten to death with a telephone or a leg of lamb? Hmmmm................ sly.gif
I do the same. I say if it's above 80 degrees white bucks and seersucker are good. After all, what does labor day mean anywhere in the world other than the US anyway?
There have been many a cold summer eveing in the Bay Area when I wear tweed. This has ruined my ability to use the old Southern saying, "It'll be a cold day in July." I now must use the more empahtic "Not a snowball's chance in hell."
post #50 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasbar View Post

My sartorial style is a mix of English/Italian and French styles...
I mix all three together through my suits and shirts...
For shoes ,French or English only.

While the majority of my wardrobe is very English, I do mix in a bit of Italian and French. I was introduced to both by an aunt (via marriage) who was born in Milan. She came from a family known for industrial design and played an important role in helping me develop a sense of style. She introduced me to OTR and MTM Neapolitan tailoring (which tends English in flavor) ... as well as Arnys (which doesn't ... tend English that is), Mettez (for all my socks), Crimson & more.

Like you ... no Italian shoes ... only English and French.
post #51 of 92

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post #52 of 92
Australian dress is very casual. Oddly enough, despite the fact Australians are proud of being casual and egalitarian, they are some of the most slavish brand whores on the planet. Formal dress is often seen as a chore. It's not unusual for a male in Australia to happily drop $200+ on a hoodie, but baulk at spending half that for a suit. facepalm.gif

There are three broad categories:

- Bogan: usually a blue collar worker (although there are some white collar workers), their choice of casual clothes depends on which label is 'in' this year. Hurley and True Religion are the current labels du jour, having supplanted Ed Hardy and Superdry sometime last year. May own a black polyester suit he bought from somewhere like Lowes for $49.95. They'll also spend $300 on sneakers but $19.95 on a pair of dress shoes from Big W or Payless Shoes.

- Wanker: usually a white collar worker, their choice of casual clothes begins and ends at PRL. They think that PRL is the only line RL does. May own several suits, usually department store brands like Studio Italia, or maybe Hugo Boss if they're a high income earner. They also have an unhealthy obsession with cufflinks. If you go into a bogan neighbourhood in wanker garb, you'll probably get a cold reception at best, a punch in the face at worst.

- Farmer: Well, this could sum up anyone from the country. They dress head to toe in RM Williams. Agriculture is big business in Australia and, despite its lumpy cashflow, pays rather well. Hence, people from the country tend to stick with RMW as it's purpose built for the Australian outback but it's not cheap. Less well-heeled country folk tend to wear Rivers stuff. They don't trust anyone in a suit.

People like the few Australians that frequent SF are in the minority. I used to run with the bogan herd when I grew up; not by choice, rather as an act of self-preservation. When I got a little older, I started hanging around wankers and admired how well presented I thought they were. Since drinking deep from the SF fountain, I can't handle the idea of dressing like a wanker anymore. The cufflinks and pointy loafers are giving way to button cuffs and captoe oxfords.
post #53 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by tone76 View Post

Australian dress is very casual. Oddly enough, despite the fact Australians are proud of being casual and egalitarian, they are some of the most slavish brand whores on the planet.

Can't be as bad as Mainland China, can it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by tone76 View Post

Formal dress is often seen as a chore. It's not unusual for a male in Australia to happily drop $200+ on a hoodie, but baulk at spending half that for a suit. facepalm.gif

I think that's what they do over there in SW&D.
post #54 of 92

There are some great stories and views here. I'll just tell some of my story and hope it adds to the mix.

 

My cultural background is in many ways quintessentially upper-middle class English (military family, private boarding school, Oxbridge etc.). Yet it's not quite as simple as that. My father's family are all from immigrant roots of one kind or another (a mix of Eastern European Jews, Irish, Americans, and probably a few others). My mother's family are all Highland Scots, with a dash of French huguenot and Welsh. And I've made this even more complicated by living in several other countries over the years including the USA and Japan, by marrying a Japanese woman and eventually moving to Canada.

 

What does this mean for my understanding of style? One, I grew up with miltary English upper-middle class norms of how to dress drilled into to me: highly polished cap-toes and brogues, tweed sports coats, particular shirt patterns and cuts in the English tradition, charcoal chalk-stripe suits etc. etc. Not necessarily 'stylish', but class-appropriate and 'acceptable' in their context. And no jeans. Definitely no jeans. When you grow up with this stuff, and you finally get out of the cultural environment, there seem to be two basic options: accept it or reject it. I rejected it completely. I became a long-haired hippy protestor. I wore dungarees, the cheapest stuff from thrift stores, no shoes. In other words, 'anti-style'.  But during this time, as a result of the combination of an interest in history, in the 'waste not, want not' aspect of environmentalism and my thrifting activity, I became increasingly fascinated by the history of clothing, by vintage, by dandyism, by mods, and fashion as self-expression, rebellion etc. So I changed. At first I was entirely indiscriminate and threw anything together that seemed to have some 'quality' that I liked. I knew nothing, but I'm someone that doesn't really have much of a sense of embarassment so my general process has always been 'try it and see'. Now, I'm a fair bit older, I still have that experimental urge but I've tried to think about what was the best of what I grew up with, in other words, my cultural 'basics' of style - that is a bigger point BTW, despite the emergence of a Euro-American set of clothing norms, I still think there are different cultural understandings of style basics. Howewer, I'm also reconsidering how to think about my deeper cultural roots, and how and whether it's possible to reflect all or any of these in clothes. And, I've been quite seriously affected by the commitment and attention to detail, that the Japanese show in street fashion, not that I am ever going to be street fashionable - it's the attitude I like. Last point, I don't have the kind of disposable income some here do to spend on 'essential' sartorial items, let alone more frivolous things. I still have to rely on sales, second or third tier brands, gifts, second-hand, thrifting and vintage. But then perhaps what someone else here called 'mix-and-match' really is my authentic culture...

 

Finally, when you're in the cultural position I'm in, you can't take yourself too seriously.  So, if style is about that perfect balance of attention to rules and details and personal self-expression, in other words about communication, I am interested in how one can establish gently humorous cultural reference points in clothing, things that might make people smile without either being either so obscure or so blatant that they just come across as failed camp, ugly mistakes or again, anti-style. God knows, the worst kind of humour is the kind that only amuses yourself and as far as my (never again) attempts here have gone, well, I can't even spell 'humor' properly, can I? (Anyway, on that particular subject, I started a thread in SW&D to ask, with apologies to Frank Zappa, whether humour belongs in fashion...).


Edited by FlyingMonkey - 9/30/11 at 7:04am
post #55 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

Rather than try some academic crapola...
Nice story ... but it would have been much better without the comment quoted. In no way did it add to what you have to say.
post #56 of 92

Quote:

Originally Posted by RSS View Post

Nice story ... but it would have been much better without the comment quoted. In no way did it add to what you have to say.


Apologies, this is an example of the kind of misunderstanding of humour I am talking about and I didn't even realise. I am an academic. I have been accused here of talking too much like a lecturer. I was being self-depreciatory. I will remove to prevent further misunderstanding.

post #57 of 92
Are the British really that "anti-jeans"? Men and women?
post #58 of 92
with me, I come from a back ground of what is, essentially, pretty trad stock - my father's family has been in the states for a long long time, including tracing one ansestor the the mayflower, and that whole bit. my father and his brother's went to prep school and a very prepie libral arts college. on the other hand, I grew up in Israel, and from the age of 15 my dad wasn't in my life. so when I got out of the army I hadn't worn a tie since my bar mitzva, and didn't really know any men who wore ties to work.

so, at that time, I had to sort of "reconstruct" how I wanted to dress, and the aim was to look elegant but not too noticable, and to fit in in a lot of countries that I was traveling to. so it was sort of a blended "pan-european" type of look. something that would look pretty much natural in any big city in Europe, the Middle East or Asia, but would also make me look of high enough status to justify my position, dispite my very young age. that was what I was trying to achieve.
post #59 of 92

Quote:

Originally Posted by Achilles_ View Post

Are the British really that "anti-jeans"? Men and women?


It's changed these days, and changed a lot - even my father, long retired, now wears jeans and my mother always has. But, growing up in the context I did, jeans were definitely seen as a sign of being both working class and American, and therefore vulgar (that was the cultural perception, not mine), and I guess, with my dad trying to hide hide his working class and immigrant roots by being as stereotypically English upper-middle class as possible, he took a pretty extreme line at times.

 

post #60 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingMonkey View Post

Quote:

It's changed these days, and changed a lot - even my father, long retired, now wears jeans and my mother always has. But, growing up in the context I did, jeans were definitely seen as a sign of being both working class and American, and therefore vulgar (that was the cultural perception, not mine), and I guess, with my dad trying to hide hide his working class and immigrant roots by being as stereotypically English upper-middle class as possible, he took a pretty extreme line at times.

 


The old boys are still wearing jackets and ties when they go out...

It is lovely...

My generation is so casual it is embarassing..

No eleganc or flair...
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