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Does it ever end? - Page 6

post #76 of 91
The Duke may be an extreme. I'm with NJS on this one - he may or may not have talent, but with the kind of money and tailors at his disposal, it would be hard not to come out of that life well dressed.

In any case, the point remains. Even if we set aside famous dandies (e.g. Count d'Orsay, Evander Berry Wall, Beau Nash, etc) and Old Hollywood icons (e.g. Gary Cooper, Fred Astaire, etc), the fact remains that most people we know who are well dressed love clothes. That includes people on this forum and others, and in the general population. They all have a lot and acquire a lot.

Take our own corner of the internet. For anyone who we can think of who was well dressed in 2007-2010 (most of whom no longer post here), they all had fairly big wardrobes. It's really only you who has been able to do well with a small, highly curated collection. Most people enjoy clothes, buy things for fun, and take pleasure in putting together different looks. Stitchy is right. Many of these people would feel bored if they kept to something as small as what you have, so they experiment with a few things here and there. Slightly different shades, textures, cloth, colors, details, etc.

We should distinguish the precise problem on this board: most people have bad taste. They will continue to have bad taste whether they have large or small wardrobes. The people with good taste will continue to be well dressed whether they have large or small wardrobes. The size of the wardrobe is not the problem. It's the person in the morning choosing what things to wear.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadcammer View Post

I don't think foo's look is anything terribly desirable either.

Whether you think you would look good in Foo's wardrobe or not is a separate issue. Comparing him to what goes on in WAYWT, however, is pretty absurd.
post #77 of 91
Well, yes, taste is the biggest factor of them all. But let's be honest, a lot of that comes down to talent and I'm not sure how much can be learned. It is not a factor you can meaningfully control.

Studied curation is meant to ward off the manifestation of bad taste. For most of us, I still submit that is key.
post #78 of 91
All you're saying, in a way, is "let me at least tell you what to buy, so you don't buy ugly shit." That would solve part of the problem, but you're essentially asking them to wear the same thing more or less every day. Many people have great variation in their lives, and can not wear a brown gun club tweed with grey flannel trousers everywhere they go.

I don't know if taste can be learned either. Though, I've seen a few people make great improvements. Stitches is one, and I felt heartened by NORE"s recent conversion.
post #79 of 91
I think Stitch might be regressing . . .

But yes, your characterization of my advice is more or less accurate. If you cannot wear a brown gun club tweed with grey flannel trousers regularly, then you have no business buying or wearing any of the nonsense typical of WAYWRN. That garbage shouldn't be worn anywhere by anyone.

So, if a person is given to such nonsense, the best approach is to start over with classic staples. I might be one of the sole voices on the forum dictating what those staples are, but don't confuse that for meaning I'm making them up on my own. Focusing on those core items will cut one off from the silly things he would have otherwise accumulated. Moreover, they will put you in league with all those icons you mentioned earlier. Astaire, Cooper, the Duke, etc., would be astonished by a man who attempts to dress well without owning a proper blazer and grey flannel suit. They probably all started in the same place. In fact, half the time I imagine them in my head, they are wearing such staples (which, in no small part, they helped establish).
post #80 of 91

Sure it would be great to focus on good quality staple items as soon as you start building your wardrobe, but what if you're going to dress in coat and tie everyday and you can only afford getting 2-3 quality jackets/suits per year? I'm guessing it is not a good idea to wear the same blazer everyday for 4-6 months. Similarly, it wouldn't be a good idea to go to work well dressed one day, then show up in jeans and t-shirt the next day because you don't have anything else.

 

Unless we're just talking about making tasteful purchases (i.e. a navy blazer rather than a crazy glen plaid odd jacket as a first coat), without worrying much about construction or cloth quality, which depends on the buyer's income level.


Edited by RDiaz - 1/25/13 at 5:56pm
post #81 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

I'm saying that dressing well should be organic to your lifestyle, not something you do. Certainly not something you do for fun. It should not be motivated by a love for clothing. It should not be something you can turn on and off. Attitudinally, that's what separates style from costume. And without the right attitude, you really don't have a chance at all.

There are more things in heaven and earth, Mafoofan, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
post #82 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

I'm saying that dressing well should be organic to your lifestyle, not something you do. Certainly not something you do for fun. It should not be motivated by a love for clothing. It should not be something you can turn on and off. Attitudinally, that's what separates style from costume. And without the right attitude, you really don't have a chance at all.

I am not sure what you are driving at here. How can "dressing well" be "organic" to a guy's lifestyle? Most active men are going to have lots of occasions when they are not dressing well: If I am mucking out the fishpond, I am sure as hell not going to be dressing well. If it is a blistering hot day and I'm hanging out in the backyard with no one around, I'll probably be wearing a pair of shorts and little else besides--I'll not be wearing my tan tropical-weight suit, spectators and a Panama hat, even though I can rock that look at need. If i am working out, I'll be wearing a T-shirt, shorts and a well-worn pair of sneakers...and when it's cold (horror of horrors!) a hoodie. And, yes, I do love good clothes, and I do think it is fun to dress up well. If all this makes mere a mere "costumer" and not a true "man of style," well, so be it!
post #83 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post

I am not sure what you are driving at here. How can "dressing well" be "organic" to a guy's lifestyle? Most active men are going to have lots of occasions when they are not dressing well: If I am mucking out the fishpond, I am sure as hell not going to be dressing well. If it is a blistering hot day and I'm hanging out in the backyard with no one around, I'll probably be wearing a pair of shorts and little else besides--I'll not be wearing my tan tropical-weight suit, spectators and a Panama hat, even though I can rock that look at need. If i am working out, I'll be wearing a T-shirt, shorts and a well-worn pair of sneakers...and when it's cold (horror of horrors!) a hoodie. And, yes, I do love good clothes, and I do think it is fun to dress up well. If all this makes mere a mere "costumer" and not a true "man of style," well, so be it!

The more you have to "dress up" to wear your good clothes, the worse you're likely to look in them. Take a look at the stuff that gets posted on this forum these days. You can point out all sorts of specific, technical errors, but in the gestalt, the problem is that every outfit looks costume. That's to say, it all looks unnatural to the wearer. As if he is attempting to play a part. Yes, as I discussed earlier, that is no doubt the direct result of material choices as opposed to attitude or motivation. But it is attitude and motivation that lead to those choices.

So when I say dressing well should be organic to one's lifestyle, I'm not suggesting you wear a suit to barbecues and football games. I'm saying that you ought to think of clothes as things you simply wear to do and accomplish what you truly care about in life, not as playthings to have fun with.
post #84 of 91
Foo,

Your tool analogy was a glorious statement. It rung profoundly in my mind. It is true, that most of use do not wear our suits, but let our suits wear us.

While I cannot say I am excluded from this paradox completely, I strive to dress as I like, an expression of who I am. Only then, might the world truly know me...

As for, does it ever end? I suspect it does for some, but not for others...
post #85 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

The more you have to "dress up" to wear your good clothes, the worse you're likely to look in them. Take a look at the stuff that gets posted on this forum these days. You can point out all sorts of specific, technical errors, but in the gestalt, the problem is that every outfit looks costume. That's to say, it all looks unnatural to the wearer. As if he is attempting to play a part. Yes, as I discussed earlier, that is no doubt the direct result of material choices as opposed to attitude or motivation. But it is attitude and motivation that lead to those choices.

So when I say dressing well should be organic to one's lifestyle, I'm not suggesting you wear a suit to barbecues and football games. I'm saying that you ought to think of clothes as things you simply wear to do and accomplish what you truly care about in life, not as playthings to have fun with.

I am not sure why you can't "accomplish what you truly care about in life" while at the same time "having fun with your clothes." Truth be told, the last job I had in which coat and tie was mandatory was in 1977. (It was a crappy job--they mandated that you dress "well," then paid you so little you couldn't possibly!) Since then, I could probably have gotten along just fine with a navy blazer and a tweed sport coat, with the rest of my wardrobe acquired from places like Target. No thanks! I think any man who wishes to look his best should put a fair measure of thought and expenditure into his wardrobe, just as he should maintain a good regimen of diet and exercise. It becomes a point of personal pride.

The whole area of "costuming" is really rather murky. I am inclined to think any man who aspires to casual elegance is probably going to be, to some extent, a "costumer" by contemporary standards. Conservative business dress is recognized by most people, but to most people "casual" means T-shirts with wolves on them and such.
post #86 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

I don't know if taste can be learned either. Though, I've seen a few people make great improvements. Stitches is one, and I felt heartened by NORE"s recent conversion.

thanks! cheers.gif

i think good taste can absolutely be learned, and it requires a number of things imo.

humility. i have none, but if you want to learn, i think you have to be willing to take it on the nose when people who know what they are talking about tell you you are doing everything wrong. and be able look back at your self and say, wow, that DID look like crap. how can i make me suck less, and then how can i make me look good.

the acceptance that you may have to get rid of literally everything you own. no joke, from shoes, to socks, to pants, to shirts, to ties, to SCs, to suits, i do not think i currently wear even 1 thing that i owned before 18 months ago. if you insist on holding on to to old pieces that are crap, for whatever reason, you are mentally not there, and are holding yourself back.

patience. you may have to fail a great number of times and dust yourself off, before you get there. if you think its an overnight thing that can be accomplished by buying certain items, you are also likely mistaken. it takes time to figure out how to get the right stuff and how to put that stuff together.

not hard and fast guidelines, but i think there is some truth in there.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

I think Stitch might be regressing . . .

maybe that was a joke, irdk, but anyways, i disagree. i think you may not have liked a few of my most recent fits, but i think i am headed squarely in the right direction. (excellent example of my lack of humility)
post #87 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

A guy with a solid-fitting navy blazer and grey flannel suit, plus time spent developing good taste, is eons ahead of the WAYWRN norm.

I can tell you right now that the prescribed "solid-fitting navy blazer" would look terrible on me. And it would look terrible on a lot of people. Prescription won't work.

I would need to have my own details on it to look good and feel comfortable. It would need to be some type of heavily textured weave. It would need to be 1 or 2 button, none of this 3-roll-2. It would have slightly roped, british shoulders, none of this soft shouldered stuff. No metal buttons ever. And I would be wearing it with cream linen tuxedo pants and a loose grey v-neck tshirt.

Sounds ridiculous to you, but the point is that you can give everyone the same instructions and it's never going to be complete enough for each individual. There's the obvious body-type allowances etc, but more importantly, people occupy so many social niches and have such differing personalities that things like formality scale and "too much"-ness must be adjusted at an individual level.

As much as you might like to think that people looked better in more conservative times when they had to wear navy or charcoal suits to work everyday, I'd bet that the majority still did not look good, even though they had very clear instructions on how to dress.

In other words, "teach a man to fish".

A lot of people in WAYWRN look bad not because they haven't been told what to buy, but because they have bad taste.
Edited by hendrix - 1/27/13 at 12:07am
post #88 of 91
my sandals have leather soles stitched on.

None of this gemmed crap either.
post #89 of 91
Quote:
Originally Posted by archetypal_yuppie View Post

One of the traps is that you can always move further down the line from basics to esoteric items.

Step 1 - shirts, shoes, pants, suits

Step 2 - linen pants in more interesting colors, variety of sport coats, belts

Step 3 - scarfs, wool/cashmere shirts and knitwear, overcoats, slippers

Step 4 - money clips/wallets, tie clips, ridiculous materials, smoking jacket

Step 5 - Lifestyle stuff like fancy knives, cashmere throws

Even if you feel like you've "completed" a beautiful collection at Step X, there's always stuff in Step X+1 that can suck you in.

 

Somehow I got my hand forged kurouchi chefs knife/gyuto and Chinese cleaver before my bespoke jacket orders...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dieworkwear View Post

All you're saying, in a way, is "let me at least tell you what to buy, so you don't buy ugly shit." That would solve part of the problem, but you're essentially asking them to wear the same thing more or less every day. Many people have great variation in their lives, and can not wear a brown gun club tweed with grey flannel trousers everywhere they go.

I don't know if taste can be learned either. Though, I've seen a few people make great improvements. Stitches is one, and I felt heartened by NORE"s recent conversion.

 

Taste is acquired, not learned.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by hendrix View Post

my sandals have leather soles stitched on.

None of this gemmed crap either.

 

Awesome handwork!  Reminded me of how Italian workshops still hand construct shoes because they lack the scale to afford expensive machinery!

post #90 of 91
Hand built Ferraris are the way to go!
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