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Why do you dress the way you do? - Page 6

post #76 of 108
I dress because I love clothes, it is a specie of art and I want to master it.

I want to understand why clothes are designed and make is this way, how does clothes adopt to every social situation and evolved

I dress in classic business clothing (either 3pcs or DB with PS and braces), to smart causal (blazer plus slim jeans or trouser, with button down shirts), and ultimate causal (leather jacket plus Evisu No.0)
post #77 of 108
About 10-15 years ago, I started to notice how bad my fellow teachers were dressing. Blue jeans, t-shirts, wind-pants, they looked awful. I started by wearing a OCBD shirt and tie every day. The next year, I added a jacket. Because I taught seniors in high school, I tried to look, well, "old school academic." Tweeds, rep ties in the Fall, blazers in the Spring. On the odd occasion, a blue or charcoal suit to class. Now that I have retired, I continue the trend. I have noticed that people treat you with a totally different attitude with your dress.
Unfortunately, this sloppy style of dress is carrying over to services on Sunday. I am shocked at the way people now dress in church and I feel it has carried over to their worship style. It's like " Let's get this church business over so I can do something else."
post #78 of 108
Why I dress the way I do:

1. To serve as a role model for my students and to show respect for them. They often ask why I come to school "in church clothes," and I explain that it's the least I can do considering how much time each day they are expected to pay attention to me.

2. To serve as a role model for my fellow teachers, many of whom -- men, especially -- come to work dressed as if they were on their way to a tailgate party.

3. To remind me to comport myself in a principled, dignified, and chivalrous manner -- in short, to treat others as I wish to be treated.

4. To convince others that I'm smarter, wealthier, and more powerful than I really am. This actually works, by the way. People often defer to me simply because I'm the best-dressed male at the conference table. (Although I suppose my posture and comportment may also help. See item 3.)

5. To compensate for a less-than-handsome face. (Also the main reason I go the gym regularly.)

6. To make Ms. Thread proud to be seen with me, despite said face. (Also the main reason I go the gym regularly.)

7. Because I have come to appreciate beautiful things as I've gotten older.

8. Because I can't afford bespoke.
post #79 of 108
I was blown away by the opening credits of the movie American Gigalo, rest of the movie was meh, but the scenes of Gere in Beverly Hills left quite the impression on me at the time. Before I was just a jock in a Led Zeppelin t shirt.

Professionlly, I dress the part for credibility, but with more attention to detail. Outside of work, it's all self expression, how I see the world and how I see myself. In my experience, unless you are way out there sartorially, the only people who really notice are women and SAs. Former is good, hit or miss on the latter.

Life is theater, just have to have the right costume.
post #80 of 108
Makes me feel comfortable.
post #81 of 108
In tailored clothing I've basically dressed the same way since
I was pre-adolescent. Initially very preppy/Ivy, it's evolved into an Ivy-derived style.
I gave up the sack coat decades ago, but have always worn natural
shoulders and side vents since the 80s, which are more appropriate
for my build. I own no button-down shirts.Most of the time I wear jeans
or chinos with knit shirts, often with cable knit sweaters. I love tweeds,
but the local climate doesn't favor them. Nor do the retailers.
Edited by comrade - 1/21/12 at 8:34pm
post #82 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post

In tailored clothing I've basically dressed the same way since
I was pre-adolescent. Initially very preppy/Ivy, it's evolved into an Ivy-derived style.
I gave up the sack coat decades ago, but have always worn natural
shoulders and side vents since the 80s, which are more appropriate
for my build. Most of the time I wear jeans or chinos with knit shirts,
often with cable knit sweaters. I love tweeds, but the local climate
doesn't favor them. Nor do the retailers.

Now I get teh hate on the CBD thread fistbump.gif
post #83 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Holdfast View Post

Thank you to everyone who has posted so far. I was far from certain this thread would get any responses, let alone the volume it has. I've read every reply and the different stories/motivations are all very interesting, in their own ways. While I'm only actively responding to a few of you below, this is only because they draw out certain themes that resonate with my personal attitude, not because the other replies are any less intriguing.

 

 

There's an Oscar Wilde quote about superficial things being the last refuge of complex people that seems appropriate to mention here. There's also the whole concept of using "creative play" and aesthetics to draw out a wider meaning and understanding. Friedrich Schiller wrote a fair bit about this; you might be interested in a couple of blog posts I wrote about this a while back: one, two.  More broadly, yes, image/impression management is a key part of this, though it carries with it a connotation of deception in the eyes of many people who learn about the concept, which I don't think is inherent to it.

 


 

Another literary ref Holdfast, that says something similar to Wilde.  You may have seen it:

 

 

(about the Greeks)  They knew how to live. What is required for that is to stop courageously at the surface, the fold, the skin, to adore appearance, to believe in forms, tones, words, in the whole Olympus of appearance. Those Greeks were superficial - out of profundity

from the preface for the second edition of 
Nietzsche's Gay Science.

 

post #84 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post

If anything, it's underemphasis.
No, there will not be overt judgements like, "that man is wearing a black tie with his tailcoat, he must be a servant". That's pretty much gone- there are drastically fewer explicit norms built around specific articles of clothing. But dressing nicely still does subconsciously send messages, and that matters.
It's 2 AM, deserted city street. A black guy in a three sizes too large hoodie, sideways ballcap, sagged jeans and sunglasses is approaching you. What are you thinking?
It's 2 AM, deserted city street. A black guy wearing a light gray suit, loosened tie, raincoat, and holding a briefcase, is approaching you. What are you thinking?
Clothes matter.

Now if I saw a black guy, or a white guy for that matter, I would be rather surprised. How he dressed, I don't think would make much difference.
post #85 of 108
This is a great thread, it's fascinating to read the responses.

I started dressing better a few years ago. I started noticing other men who just looked put together, and realized that I wasn't one of them. They stood out, they looked effortless, and the looked a lot better than I did. It all started with a desire to just do something basic, dressing myself, better than I had been. In retrospect, it was a similar to when I decided I needed to start learning to cook, manage my finances with more forethought, and generally just be a better man.

I currently dress more formally than my job requires, and a big part of the process has been learning just how much to do that so that it looks comfortable and put together and not like a costume. This means suits for meetings with clients, but generally with a little more character the accompanying pieces than CBD would generally present. It means well fitting wool trousers and sport coats for "in office" days, occasionally with a knit tie. It means jeans and chinos on the weekend, but always paying attention to fit, color and texture. And of course better made shoes.

I dress to be taken more seriously at work, to be seen as more attractive in general, and to enjoy the feel of well made clothing that fits well and is appropriate to whatever activity I'm going to be taking part in.

When I started dressing better I got more positive attention from everyone; at work, on the street, anywhere I went. I'm not too shallow to admit that it was a big ego boost when I realized that I was getting chatted up by ladies more often. That was all the positive encouragement I needed to keep going.

It all started as something of an experiment, and now it's just something that I love.
post #86 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by NORE View Post

Now I get teh hate on the CBD thread fistbump.gif

Hmm.... I think you got the wrong guy. Most of my invective is directed at Non-Sartorialist
style, particularly stubbled Euro-trash wearing tiny suits and scarfs..
post #87 of 108
For me this thread epitomizes the reason that I spend so much time on SF: to learn from the collective wisdom of a distinctive set of experts (yes, compared to society at large I think you would all agree that you would qualify as experts) and to use that learning to better myself.

When I dress well (SF standards) I feel good. And when I feel good, I am more motivated to perform well to support that outward appearance- occupationally, socially and emotionally.
It's an ego boost, is it not? On any given day, my preference is to feel good as opposed to feeling inconsequential. In an increasingly complex world where so many things are out of my control, my attire is one thing that is totally under my control and I would be cheating myself I did not exercise that control to the fullest.

Thanks Holdfast, for the thread; and SF members for the continuous inspiration!
post #88 of 108
Great thread. Very interesting and insightful, not to mention thought provoking.

The epiphany for me was when I found myself out of work, for the first time in 15 years, at the end of 2010. Given the trials and tribulations of the economy, I figured I had to do something to make myself attractive to potential employers ... and that something was buying a new suit. This eventually turned into buying 6 suits (4 thrifted) ... and changing over almost every shirt and tie in my wardrobe ... and 3 pairs of shoes ... and 7 sweaters ... and on it goes.

I have always had a desire to dress better, for a number of reasons. I grew up in the Ghetto, and from a young age I just wanted to escape. I see dressing well as being a way to separate myself from my formative years. I have also been fortunate to have several sartorial role models during my career, all of whom were either managers or employers. Whilst I didn't emulate them at the time I was working for them, I do keep their style in the back of my mind when I'm choosing clothes. For instance, one particular former boss almost always wore a pocket square, and always looked well put together. This gentleman was also incredibly successful in his field, and he did it whilst being a complete gentleman and never screwing anyone over. He was a class act. He'd still be classy even if he didn't dress so well, but it just clicked with the rest of the package.

Image building is a huge factor for me; not just external, but my own self-image as well. When I wear an ensemble I am especially pleased with, I feel invincible. Not only does it project positively to the outside world, I actually admire the dude staring back at me in the mirror. When going into meetings, it arms me with an air of credibility even before I open my mouth to say anything.

It is also very true that women notice a well dressed man. Even men notice.

tl;dr: Image, image, image and tail.
post #89 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by tone76 View Post

tl;dr: Image, image, image and tail.

Your understanding of SF is complete.
post #90 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by comrade View Post

Hmm.... I think you got the wrong guy. Most of my invective is directed at Non-Sartorialist
style, particularly stubbled Euro-trash wearing tiny suits and scarfs..

I have and you have my apology, sir.
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