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Renounced MC/CBD in favor of toned down "sharp casual" ? - Page 2

post #16 of 56
Thread Starter 
I'm glad to see some serious responses, as I think this is a very fundamental topic.
There are a few key items that are key in this transition away from the "CBD/office drone" look towards a casual JCrew look, for lack of a better term.

First is a casual sport jacket. A slim tailored tweed jacket works. So is a textured solid jacket. Or even a cotton jacket.
This is the centerpiece of a "smart casual" look. They go with almost anything: Jeans, cords, dress pants, khakis.

Jeans may be a leap for those of us who haven't worn them in years.
The corduroy pants are also a big step in rolling it back, while staying stylish, tailored, and distinctive.

The sweater or cardigan with corduroys combo works well for an alternative to a jacket and tie, when they aren't required.
Even sweater with dress pants is a step back from jacket and pants.

In all cases, it is the shoes that really anchor the ensemble, and keep you one step beyond the JCrew look.
A nice pair of wingtips or boots counterbalance the dressed down tone of the rest of the outfit.

Please post photos of combinations you feel hit the spirit of this conversation.
Cords, textured/casual jackets, sweaters, casual shoes.
post #17 of 56

I never really left your theory. Sharp casual is just more comfortable & appealing.

post #18 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by thinman View Post


Although a tweed jacket, OCBDs, and jeans are fine for casual wear, if you want to diversify your wardrobe, I'd suggest looking for more casual equivalents of the items on manton's list. Then you can combine your items in ways exactly analogous to the "fits" you see on SF and be virtually guaranteed to have a put-together look. If you stick to equivalents of the basics on manton's list, you can develop a nice compact, yet versatile wardrobe. For example, I have a jacket made from a blue barleycorn fabric and a shawl collar navy blue cardigan that I wear in winter as casual "blazer equivalents". I wear them, for example, with charcoal gray flannel trousers, mid-gray corduroy, or tan corduroy trousers that I own. In summer, an air-force blue, half-lined jacket made of a wool/linen/silk blend is my blazer-equivalent and I own a pair of tan wool trousers with a twill weave that are slightly dressier than chinos (which would also work for you), as well as a pair of tan and a pair of gray linen trousers. I would suggest you start slowly, by upgrading your shoes. I really like monkstraps, but they're not for everyone. You might like chelsea boots or chukka boots and, depending on details, all of these are appropriate with anything from jeans to the navy blazer/gray flannels look. A pair of brown wingtips would be similarly versatile. Lastly, and most importantly, find a good alterations tailor and make sure everything fits.


Thanks for this. Sorry I didn't see it sooner. I reached some of the same conclusions on my own -- particularly about blue tweed, which I realized I would get a lot of wear out of.

 

As for fit, I have too many clothes that I really should alter, but alterations cost money and starting in January, my gym membership won't.

post #19 of 56

Thanks a lot Reevolving for starting this thread! I think it has a potential to evolve into a nice "meta-discussion" of what (a certain subset of) MC casual should be.

 

Being a grad student, and in a technical field to boot, dressing in full MC mode (suit&tie) would make me look like from a different planet. In my case, a sports jacket works, if it is clear that you wear it as outerwear, against the cold or just to have pockets for stuff. Most of my shoes are suede and shell, as I think that they are great casual alternatives to calf, and make it possible to wear certain styles (plain cap-toe etc.) more casually.

 

I think these pictures capture the essence of this well:

 

700

 

700

 

700

 

My attempt (although the SC could be better):

 

700

post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by YRR92 View Post

As for fit, I have too many clothes that I really should alter, but alterations cost money and starting in January, my gym membership won't.

Sounds familiar. Repeat customer, by any chance? mwink[1].gif
post #21 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivar View Post

It does stand for "Conservative Business Dress":
http://www.styleforum.net/t/33066/conservative-business-dress
"Business Casual" seems to lack a common acronym, so it's understandable why folks would mix up the two.

Funny, I could have sworn it meant "Central Business District" (Actually, I still think it does. Ot there...), which also would have made sense - what to wear in that environment.
post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivar View Post


Sounds familiar. Repeat customer, by any chance? mwink[1].gif


laugh.gif Nope, I've never tried to get in shape. I've decided I'm tired of being built like Jack Skellington -- 5'11", 130 lbs, but my school schedule is too busy this semester to go to the gym. I'm gonna pick it up next semester.

post #23 of 56
Thread Starter 
Here is another example of what I'm talking about:

post #24 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caustic Man View Post

The OP is describing something a lot of men go through, I think. Not just in this forum, but in life in general, when they start to learn about dressing well and start wanting to do so. I have a theory about this, and also about why men dressed so much better (on average) in decades and centuries past. It's all about fathers. In my grand father's generation fathers would teach their sons about appropriate dress just like they would teach them about cars, girls, or baseball. Nothing over the top, but a young man knew that his light tan sport coat was not supposed to be worn in the fall and his brown tweed was. These days those simple rules are no longer taught so young men go into the world not knowing what "grown up" attire looks like. They see people wearing suits so they wear suits, discover blazers, then sport coats, and eventually realize that black suit =/= tuxedo. Anyway, I'm probably completely wrong but that's my theory.

THIS - I guess I'm near the end of a dying breed. But my father (and mother) taught me a great deal about the importance of personal appearance in life. And specifically the basic means of appropriate attire for every situation.

Both of them swore by the old rules of how to size someone up - A quick glance of a person's shoes and fingernails tells you a great deal about a person. I know it's an old timey perception, but to this very day I do still automatically check out shoes and fingernails when introduced to someone.
post #25 of 56

Interesting topic.  I was never taught a damn thing about fashion and I'm probably overdressing now, especially since I started reading some stuff on here.  All of the sudden, about 6 months ago or so, I stepped up my dress a lot.  People are always asking me why I'm all dressed up.  I also spend a lot of money this year.  I'm feeling a little of the Pee Wee Herman syndrome, although I'm pretty sure I don't look like him.  I'll just keep trying to learn I guess, as I still have a f-ing clue.  I do have better shoes and clothes though. 

post #26 of 56

there's always WAYWRN MC Casual edition.

post #27 of 56
Fantastic post Reevolving and I think you nailed it although I never made the transition to the Pee Wee Herman stage. I work in a pretty formal environment (bank) so CBD is pretty important. SF has helped immeasurably in this area and in particular Spoo's posts which provide an amazing foundation from which to learn. The objective is not to emulate and become mini-spoo (let's face it that's no easy task) but to take the learnings and apply them within the boundaries of my own style. Speaking of boundaries this is where SF has had played another part in redefining them in my world outside of the CBD environment. I used to spend so much time in jeans and tshirts because I didn't really know what else to wear that when I had a relaxed wedding or a nice dinner to go to with my wife, I found myself without suitable attire. As you point out NOBD does this smart casual look so very very well. He is definitely one of my favourite posters and I try to apply the same learnings from him as I do from Spoo.

I am still in the early stages of building a suitable smart casual wardrobe but have been excited to add a few casual pants (Donegal tweed, flannel, houndstooth) and I purchased my first textured jacket the other day. I find Epaulet and Frans Boone great for both inspiration and purchases. I certainly haven't renounced CBD but I have certainly been able to appreciate the awesomeness of smart casual done well.
post #28 of 56

....no clue what all of those abbreviations or "smart casual" means.

post #29 of 56

I'm not certain sure why, but people stopped asking me why I'm so dressed up, and my theory is that it has to do with me becoming better at dressing well and then carrying it off like I don't give a damn. I think the questions come up when the look is ugly, which is usual for beginners, and is also carried from a position of weakness. Weakness meaning everything is too perfect or amateur in look or you're too stiff and uncomfortable in your clothes like you're wearing a costume, and so on. People wouldn't dare to ask a hoodlum or biker gang member why he dresses the way he does, so why should the members here get harassed so much for their clothes? Carry yourself with strength and their doubts will stop. They will even start to compliment you and ask where you got your gear, and then even start to outright copy you, which has happened to me on occasion.

post #30 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdot View Post

THIS - I guess I'm near the end of a dying breed. But my father (and mother) taught me a great deal about the importance of personal appearance in life. And specifically the basic means of appropriate attire for every situation.

Both of them swore by the old rules of how to size someone up - A quick glance of a person's shoes and fingernails tells you a great deal about a person. I know it's an old timey perception, but to this very day I do still automatically check out shoes and fingernails when introduced to someone.

What you perceive as a societal loss of knowledge simply reflects the massive growth of the middle class and increased prosperity. Most people who wear Western suits to work today come from families that two generations ago wouldn't have done so, either because they were manual laborers or because they weren't in this country (or Western Europe) in the first place. We didn't "lose" anything.
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