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MC General Chat - Page 73

post #1081 of 3224
I would go with the Havana or the Navy, but since you were inclined towards Havana or Tan, go with the Havana. Beautiful color.
post #1082 of 3224
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

I'm thinking about getting a Glenroyal briefcase, but can't decide on a color. Can I ask for your guys' opinion on which is best?

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)


I'm kind of between Havana (dark brown) and Dark London (luggage tan), but if it's going to be the latter, I feel like I'd rather opt for a tone like this:

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)



I don't actually like this style of briefcase, but purely on the colour issue, the only non-black colour I like for briefcases is the mid-brown shade you've linked in the last photo. My problem with the more orangey London tan is that it looks dreadfully garish when new (and if someone with my tie collection thinks its garish, consider that this takes some doing) and takes many years to darken/patinate enough to look nice. Unless you buy vintage, you have to use the new one day-in, day-out for at least five years before it becomes tolerable. The Havana brown looks fine, but is very meh. Navy? Not for a daily-use briefcase in my opinion (fine if it's your second or third; essentially this avoids the problem of ever having to use a navy briefcase while wearing a navy suit, which really does look daft). Black remains my ideal briefcase colour, but not for this casual style of case. On balance, therefore, my preference would be to either get a normal black briefcase, or a casual one in the brown colour you've linked in your last pic.


Having said all that, I actually really dislike carrying any sort of bag at all and don't do it 99% of the time. Once in a blue moon, I'll carry a portfolio and I dislike even those rare occasions. That portfolio is your preferred shade of brown though, fwiw.

post #1083 of 3224
I hope Derek doesn't mind me posting this link, but I thought this article was outstanding and might provide fodder for discussion ITT:

It kind of encapsulates some things that I've been thinking about over the past couple of months but been unable to express as well as Derek has here.

I think a lot of people get hung up on some detail that's supposed to indicate quality construction without thinking about whether they really care about it, or whether the garment as a whole looks good on them at all. They just want a way, in a vast sea of different garments at different price points, to be able to eliminate and look down their noses at vast swaths of this ocean. Manufacturers understand this and exploit it.
post #1084 of 3224
^^ good repost D, I enjoyed that article as well
post #1085 of 3224
Definitely. I look at a lot of the "indicators" of quality as something similar to wattage in a stereo, or horsepower in a car--it could be an indicator that this thing is good, but not necessarily.

A lot of these indicators change over time as well as people seize on them, they get popular, and then mass manufacturers start introducing them. First it was pick stitching, then working buttonholes. What's next?
post #1086 of 3224
Thread Starter 
FWIW, the first draft of my article painted manufacturers as a bit nefarious in trying to "play the game." For example, I had something about brands using machines to imitate handsewn stitches in order to make consumers think something was higher quality than it is. The basic idea is kind of game theoretical. Consumers find some way to tell quality -> this give an incentive for other manufacturers to copy that trait in order to gain sales -> the detail at some point becomes meaningless since it's on too many garments.

Jeffery corrected me and said this wasn't really the case. For one, most consumers don't really follow these "tell tale signs" like we do. They don't really know what to look for or what they're even looking at when they see it. Most of the stuff put in is in earnest. It might be some aesthetic detail that they think makes the coat look better (e.g. machine made pick stitching), not a way to "trick" consumers. Or it might be put in because it helps a saleseperson easily grab something off the rack without looking at tags. It's not as though they're putting in details just because they think it'll help sell a cheap garment; details are put in for aesthetic or functional purposes.

Realistically, how many people going in to buy a suit or sport coat even know about the pinch test? The things we think are tell-tale signs are probably more about myths in our subculture than they are about things regular consumers use to check the quality of garments. If one thinks there's an incentive for "tricking," the incentive is probably very, very low.

(Also, many thanks to everyone for helping me choose a color for my briefcase. It's appreciated).
post #1087 of 3224
Fair point. I wasn't implying so much that these things were done by manufacturers to trick consumers, but more that these are things that once were indicators of quality, which no longer can be relied upon as such. Really, any single indicator must be taken in the context of the rest of the garment. Taking a Banana Republic jacket and hand stitching the buttonholes does not make it high quality--it makes it have nice buttonholes, that's it.
post #1088 of 3224
I dunno, on some things, like for instance the Super wools, as Manton's piece indicated, the (Italian) wool industry found something they could latch a number onto and then made it a competition. You could get a Super 120s suit and look down on all the plebs getting 100s, while aspiring to one day get 180s.

I'm not claiming that the Italian innovations in that regard were intended to make an inferior product more desirable. But certainly now that it's a thing, it's a marketable thing.

All this is natural and inevitable. I don't mean to vilify manufacturers. I'm just saying as consumers, as Derek said in his article, getting fixated on some doodad or detail as the harbinger of a great garment is misguided and ultimately unfulfilling.
post #1089 of 3224
Also - later imitations tend to exaggerate to emphasize the signal to the customer. This has been true from the evolution of the drape cut to the zoot suit all the way to the exaggerated pick stitching mentioned earlier.

With the zoot suits it eventually became a thing unto itself, a marker of social identity. But I imagine it started out as there being a passion among enthusiasts for extended shoulders, which spread out to non-enthusiasts looking for wide shoulders, and thought that they had found what they were looking for in zoot suits.

That said, some of these details with little to no actual value I get fixated on too - e.g., channeled soles and fiddleback waists on shoes. But at least I know that I'm valuing it for the detail itself, not really for its signaling value.
post #1090 of 3224
Thread Starter 
Yes, but in each of the examples you pointed to - Super Wools and the exaggerated drape cut - those were actual things, not just signals. The issue here seems to be whether or not there is a "tell tale sign" that indicate a garment's quality. A certain stitch, a garment tag showing a country of origin, a super wools number, a type of buttonhole construction, whatever. If one actually valued really, really fine wools, that is one thing. But if one assume that really, really fine wools is a mark of overall quality, that seems to be something else.

I think of it this way: if I were to go and purchase a car, the sales associate would probably run down all the features, and I figure out what's important to me. I wouldn't think that X feature was a tell tale sign over overall quality, however. Just as I can imagine it's fair to care about Super Wools, handsewn buttonholes, hand padding, etc. as features. But if one were to think these were single tell-tale signs for quality, that seems like misguided thinking.

The examples you gave seem to be more related to features than anything else.
post #1091 of 3224
Absolutely, agreed on all counts. Like I said in my shoe examples, it's not necessarily a mistake to care about any given detail. I think we're saying the same thing just with different emphasis.

A more subtle point is that the qualities easiest to quantify or recognize are the most likely to be overvalued. E.g. Super count, functional buttonholes vs. balance of the cut or vitality of the lapels..
post #1092 of 3224

didn't denim go though this phase with the whole "selvedge: thing?

post #1093 of 3224
It is so hard IMO shopping for wool trousers on a budget. I looked around Lands End, JosABank, and Uniqlo, which changes their stock with the season so frequently you pretty miss your chance to stock up.

I ended up searching on Yoox since I have pretty good luck. Ended up picking up 3 pairs of wool trousers @ 39 - 79,99
Being that I knew nothing of the designers other than the fact that they are all 100% [virgin] wool and look to have a decent cut (going to tailor most likely anyways) I searched Google.

Poul Richard

I'm so nervous
post #1094 of 3224
Thread Starter 
Nice to see you on this side of the board, toasty.

FME, affordable wool trousers are mostly non-existent, esp after Mabitex dried up. Is Howard Yount's stuff out of the question for you?
post #1095 of 3224
I looked there as well. Everything seemed picked through under the sale section peepwall[1].gif

I have a tailor as well as specifications pretty dialed in at this point. Quality aside (I doubt these trousers from Yoox will fall apart seeing how my trousers from Uniqlo have held up well), I'll probably experiment a little more before splurging on nicer fabrics. As is, I can go year round in wool trousers.
Just picking up some fillers at this point and get them fixed afterwards.

And I think someone needs to change the title ;-)
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