or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Nominate the best posts on the forum and (maybe) win a prize - ongoing Front Page contest
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Nominate the best posts on the forum and (maybe) win a prize - ongoing Front Page contest - Page 16

post #226 of 228
Dunno if we're still doing this, but this is a tremendous post (for a number of reasons)...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post

Leiter is a fool whose foolishness is made worse by the fact that he is a pompous ass.
It is absurd to compare a navy shirt+navy suit to navy trousers+navy socks. Once you made that comparison, I knew you were in dog-with-a-bone mode and would just endlessly double down. I will tell you up front that I am not going to respond to, and probably won’t even read, your flip dismissal of what I will say below.
But in case others are interested … it is hard, in matters of aesthetics, to disentangle things that look good according to some inherent principle and things that look good owing to tradition, because our brains and eyes have been accustomed to certain patterns. There are some who deny the former principle even exists, but I think there is evidence that it does. For instance the “golden rectangle” and the imperfect but general consensus regarding ranking the great artists. Mill famously said “poetry is as good a pushpin” (a game like Tiddlywinks) and for anyone who believes that, the discussion is over. It’s all relative, you have nothing left to learn, wear absolutely whatever you want. (Allan Bloom expressed the same thought with the comparison of Raphael—the artist not the tailor—and a pre-school finger-painter.)
With clothing it is even harder because clothes are so wrapped in convention. I would not go so far as to say that no inherent aesthetic principles apply—I would in fact be the first to dispute that—but I would say that it’s very hard to find the line where convention ends and intrinsic-ness begins in determining what looks good.
So, sticking with convention for the moment, in the canon of western dress shirts have always been light and jackets mostly dark, and nearly always darker than shirts. A dark shirt (we’re talking about coats and ties here, not shirts for clubbing) has always been considered both in bad taste and the mark of the lower, and even criminal, classes. The minds of people interested in dress are conditioned to that, which is one reason why all of us who care and know anything immediately look askance when we see it.
Convention on the other hand has long upheld the combination of same tone socks and trousers. No one gags when he sees it (well, no one but one). It’s been part of our expectation set for decades. It may be boring, but boring is not the same as incorrect or ugly and it is the opposite of jarring.
As to inherent reasons, here are a few. A reason that shirts are light is because skin tends to be light. I apologize in advance to dark folk to whom this does not apply, but because of convention, you would still look bad in a dark shirt. The focal point of any outfit is the shirt collar, jacket collar and tie knot, which are just below the face. The shirt collar is the only one that is visually adjacent to skin. It effects as it were a transition from clothing to skin, brightening and drawing positive attention to the face. It also breaks up the expanse of dark cloth in the chest below the face, providing visual interest where it is most useful to the person’s appearance.
None of the above is true in the case of socks. Moreover, a light sock with a dark pant and shoe is jarring and unwelcome to the eye. It just pops in a bad way and draws the eye downward. Some other color, but also dark, does not share this problem. But the crux of the issue is that a sock the same color as the pant leg introduces nothing negative beyond, potentially, a missed opportunity. However, to declare it categorically wrong is by extension to declare all missed opportunities categorically wrong, which is absurd. Following that principle to its conclusion then every garment must be tonally different if not from every other, at least to the one adjacent to it. And then we would have to ask, if all missed opportunities are a sign of the ill dressed, then why are solids even allowed at all? So all must be in perpetual riot for a man to be well dressed.
Finally, I quite often see simple combinations that look better than more complex ones—including incredibly simple ones, such as a navy suit, a white shirt, black shoes, dark socks of whatever color (including blue), a dark solid tie (blue or black) and a white hank. One either finds this stylish or one does not. That is a matter of personal preference. Whether or not it is correct is not. Whether or not it is jarring to most people based on their cultural expectations also is not.
post #227 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by bourbonbasted View Post

Dunno if we're still doing this, but this is a tremendous post (for a number of reasons)...
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post

Leiter is a fool whose foolishness is made worse by the fact that he is a pompous ass.
It is absurd to compare a navy shirt+navy suit to navy trousers+navy socks. Once you made that comparison, I knew you were in dog-with-a-bone mode and would just endlessly double down. I will tell you up front that I am not going to respond to, and probably won’t even read, your flip dismissal of what I will say below.
But in case others are interested … it is hard, in matters of aesthetics, to disentangle things that look good according to some inherent principle and things that look good owing to tradition, because our brains and eyes have been accustomed to certain patterns. There are some who deny the former principle even exists, but I think there is evidence that it does. For instance the “golden rectangle” and the imperfect but general consensus regarding ranking the great artists. Mill famously said “poetry is as good a pushpin” (a game like Tiddlywinks) and for anyone who believes that, the discussion is over. It’s all relative, you have nothing left to learn, wear absolutely whatever you want. (Allan Bloom expressed the same thought with the comparison of Raphael—the artist not the tailor—and a pre-school finger-painter.)
With clothing it is even harder because clothes are so wrapped in convention. I would not go so far as to say that no inherent aesthetic principles apply—I would in fact be the first to dispute that—but I would say that it’s very hard to find the line where convention ends and intrinsic-ness begins in determining what looks good.
So, sticking with convention for the moment, in the canon of western dress shirts have always been light and jackets mostly dark, and nearly always darker than shirts. A dark shirt (we’re talking about coats and ties here, not shirts for clubbing) has always been considered both in bad taste and the mark of the lower, and even criminal, classes. The minds of people interested in dress are conditioned to that, which is one reason why all of us who care and know anything immediately look askance when we see it.
Convention on the other hand has long upheld the combination of same tone socks and trousers. No one gags when he sees it (well, no one but one). It’s been part of our expectation set for decades. It may be boring, but boring is not the same as incorrect or ugly and it is the opposite of jarring.
As to inherent reasons, here are a few. A reason that shirts are light is because skin tends to be light. I apologize in advance to dark folk to whom this does not apply, but because of convention, you would still look bad in a dark shirt. The focal point of any outfit is the shirt collar, jacket collar and tie knot, which are just below the face. The shirt collar is the only one that is visually adjacent to skin. It effects as it were a transition from clothing to skin, brightening and drawing positive attention to the face. It also breaks up the expanse of dark cloth in the chest below the face, providing visual interest where it is most useful to the person’s appearance.
None of the above is true in the case of socks. Moreover, a light sock with a dark pant and shoe is jarring and unwelcome to the eye. It just pops in a bad way and draws the eye downward. Some other color, but also dark, does not share this problem. But the crux of the issue is that a sock the same color as the pant leg introduces nothing negative beyond, potentially, a missed opportunity. However, to declare it categorically wrong is by extension to declare all missed opportunities categorically wrong, which is absurd. Following that principle to its conclusion then every garment must be tonally different if not from every other, at least to the one adjacent to it. And then we would have to ask, if all missed opportunities are a sign of the ill dressed, then why are solids even allowed at all? So all must be in perpetual riot for a man to be well dressed.
Finally, I quite often see simple combinations that look better than more complex ones—including incredibly simple ones, such as a navy suit, a white shirt, black shoes, dark socks of whatever color (including blue), a dark solid tie (blue or black) and a white hank. One either finds this stylish or one does not. That is a matter of personal preference. Whether or not it is correct is not. Whether or not it is jarring to most people based on their cultural expectations also is not.

I was just coming here to post that myself. It is to be found here, btw.
post #228 of 228
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestLinn View Post


As a father who has spent many a night at a Ronald McDonald House, I say thank you to all of you who have donated!  I donate every time I am at McDonalds and we are big contributors to our local RMcD House.  For those who have never had a child who was sick or needed surgery (mine needed 4 before he was a year old), the RMcD Houses are a God send.  I am happy to share more about our story and the stories of those we have met, but suffice it to say, the RMcD Houses do not serve just the poor, just the rich, just the sickest or ... when you need them, you absolutely  NEED them. Feel good, good people of Style Forum. 
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Nominate the best posts on the forum and (maybe) win a prize - ongoing Front Page contest