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Why do you dress the way you do? - Page 3

post #31 of 108
Originally Posted by NORE View Post

1. When I'm dressed well women don't clutch their purses as I pass and I don't get followed when in stores.
2. I feel better when I know I look good.
3. I like nice things.

Actually, I get follow more in stores since SF. I was being followed by a salesman in NM the other day. He finally came out and said "Nice Tom Ford Jacket. Can I direct you to the latest stuff that just came in..."
post #32 of 108
It is, of course, my life's work to make every random person who sees me walking down the streets of Chicago believe I am one of the 1%, before I surreptitiously slip into my Subaru and drive out to my ex-cornfield not-quite McMansion.
post #33 of 108
I like the idea of tradition. My grandfather, in retrospect, was/is always appropriately dressed. My father on the other hand has a closet full of tweed jackets and such that he bought back when small independent menswear shops still existed in Canada, but he seems to have fallen out of the habit as workplaces have become more casual. I consequently never learned anything about clothes, so I find it amusing that I am in some sense now recapturing this knowledge, just as I am recapitulating other parts of my grandfather's life (advanced professional training in London, etc—my Uncle told me recently of being in London in the 70s, and being dispatched by his father back on the prairies on to Jermyn St. to get a college tie from T.M. Lewin!).

On that note, most of my relatives are in the same ancient profession, one I didn't choose to join. Instead, I somehow ended up in law, and I think part of that had to do with the clothes, at least insofar as they indicated a defined societal role, and offered a symbolic counterweight to the stethoscope & white coat, etc. (This was obviously not the only reason!) We have barristers' robes where I'm from, so this is more obvious. It also helped that one of my colleges made me wear a gown now and then during term.

It should be said though that I am at the same time aware that a lot of "dressing properly" has to do with class, and it does make me uncomfortable how my sartorial choices are sometimes at odds with my political ones—were someone to say I was a "suit" I might think them a little dim, but I would be reminded that I have, in fact, met the kind of person they mean. While I derive some pleasure from cleaving to historical forms that are for the most part irrelevant today (my "professional" excuses notwithstanding) I acknowledge that it's not really the fault of most people that they buy the reasonably priced clothing on offer at the high street, and that I am engaging in a fundamentally conservative enterprise.

Another reason I dress the way I do, only slightly less problematic, is that as someone who has spent so long in school it makes me feel a bit more "adult." Not that I haven't been for a while, but I think I have always been a bit more serious, a bit more reserved than my peers. The clothes match how I feel, compared to how I see others act—and dress. This is more important when you're in university for the better part of a decade.
post #34 of 108
First of all, I dress to enhance my natural physical appealing. Hence my reluctance to embrace certain SF approved trends while I stick to (sort of) old fashioned styles which I consider specially flattering for my particular characteristics.
Moreover, it has a social facet as well; providing integration in specific environments.
post #35 of 108

3 years ago after 25 years of marriage found myself single. The Ex pretty much controlled, or tried to, everything I wore. She had a terrible sense of fashion but I went along with it to keep peace. Now I am free to express myself with what I wear and will for the rest of my life. For most of 20 years putting a Khaki belt and collar devices on my coveralls was getting dressed up for work. But even then I took pride in my uniforms and pressed them myself.


I don’t want to look like the rest of the zombies I work with the same suit, white shirt and black shoes which is identical to a uniform in my eyes. And yet don’t want to stick out too much either. Came here back then lurking and reading to find help and get a clue. Still a work in progress but most days nail it down solid thanks to the likes of you all…


Vanity, yes I like how I look now. It gives me self confidence and I feel much better about myself. I like how others treat me and the respect I get at and outside of work. And then there is the ZZ Top was right answer, women do like a sharp dressed man. A lot.

post #36 of 108
For me it is all about expressing myself, pleasing those who see and know me and living well.
I have learned the hard way that one need not break ones bank account or ego to achieve this.
The best things in life truly are free, or at least on sale.
post #37 of 108
Originally Posted by NORE View Post

1. When I'm dressed well women don't clutch their purses as I pass and I don't get followed when in stores.
2. I feel better when I know I look good.
3. I like nice things.

#1 I can sadly see being so very very true.
post #38 of 108
I like for my clothes to be appropriate for the occasion. People should be able to look at me and tell whether I'm at work or play.

I like nice things, and I like to look good in or with them. smile.gif
Edited by JayJay - 1/20/12 at 10:43am
post #39 of 108
I dress the way I do solely for personal comfort. This may seem odd, but if I am wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants around others, I am always very uncomfortable and self-conscious. If I am wearing a tie and sportcoat, I am just much more relaxed and don't even think about what I am wearing. I blame my mother and very tradition father for getting me my first three piece tweed when I eight. I've had a thing for suede elbow patches ever since. I can count the number of times I've worn an un-collared shirt outside on two hands, and I'm going back all the way to infancy here. Are these all things I should be talking to my therapist about?!

Oh, and it's always nice to be pet by the ladies when wearing velvet sport coats smile.gif
post #40 of 108

1. Project an Image - at least one of someone who is interesting, but ideally one of competence, intellect and honor/fair dealing.

I do realise this fails sometimes.



2. Comfort, Practicality and Craftsmanship/Durability - I used to have a hard and fast rule that anything I wore had to be easily replaceable with an identical model. Of course, since most good apparel makers like to cater seasonal collections, I am slowly going insane.

post #41 of 108


Originally Posted by Holdfast View Post

For me:


  • To appear superficially vaguely consistent with the form of dress traditionally associated with my job and (more generally, if inaccurately) lifestyle/habits
  • To use the content of that dress to somewhat subvert the sobriety of the form, deliberately reducing its formality/social meaning a bit
  • The ultimate objective of the above two points is that I hope how I dress reinforces how I prefer to interact with others, rather than conflicting with it.
  • In other ways, I want how I dress to make my life easier, not harder. This effect only operates on the margins of life (obviously other factors have a much bigger difference), but I don't believe it is zero.


A secondary aim is simply to idly amuse myself on a pseudo-intellectual, faux-creative level playing around with colour and pattern (my version of finger-painting, if you like). It's all ridiculous in a way, of course, but so are many enjoyable things.


What about you?

I like this outlook, and particularly the last (non-bullet) point. I like to dress in a way that both references and subverts the traditional style in my field, which as it is now long gone, is almost a radical act albeit a playful one. I enjoy well-made things and I want to support real craft. I also just love looking good.


However I can't justify the expenditure to just go out to buy 'the best', and I don't want the dullness of the 'adequate', so I am increasingly careful about buying quality vintage, from small manufacturers who don't charge 'fashion' prices, and in sales, while saving for bespoke.

post #42 of 108
Originally Posted by JensenH View Post

Professional necessity
Personal gratification
Appreciation for finer things in life
Vanity shog[1].gif

This is the first time in my life I agree with everything you said.
post #43 of 108

I dress in a elegant way because of


a) Aesthetics

b) Vanity

post #44 of 108
Originally Posted by Metlin View Post

I could not have put it better!

Why, thank you sir.
Originally Posted by SpooPoker View Post

This is the first time in my life I agree with everything you said.

How could you have read any of my posts when I am on your ignore list?
post #45 of 108
Originally a few years back I just had the thought, "I had better start dressing a little less casually for work". It snowballed.

I think a lot of people are overtly or subtly referring to a sociological construct known as impression management. This is definitely a conscious factor for me. On one hand I like the way that it leads people to see me and in a more backwards way I like that it nicely covers up the fact that I can be very disorganized and anti-establishment.

The objective of impression management has definitley been evolving into aesthetics as well... For a long time I used to be of the mind that the physical plane was of very little consequence and that the internal world was all-meaningful, while now I am coming to see the two as inseperable. I did/do struggle with the fact that aesthetic beuaty and craftsmanship are so enmeshed with capital ideologies, but I am getting past the point of being hung-up on constructs.

I also used to wrestle with the idea that I was becoming quite vain, but I am starting to see this as one of societies constructs and not necessarily my own... There is quote that says something to the effect of "All is vanity, until we learn to see it as such, and only then we realize that it is not"...

Interesting question.
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