MC General Chat - Page 73
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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:
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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.
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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
I'm so nervous
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 ;-)