Originally Posted by topos
I don't get what the big deal is with "busting" the "iGent myth". I always thought the "rules", whatever they are, serve as an outline for a coherent means to build a wardrobe full of versatile pieces. So what if, for instance, there's some evidence that men did wear tuxedos with notched lapels? Whether or not that's "correct" isn't the point - the point seems to be that one should understand the difference between what the notched and peak lapels are supposed to convey and then decide for themselves what is most appropriate. But maybe it's more fun to suppose there are many god-given sets of "rules" and then have the various adherents wage a holy war upon one another. Or maybe I'm missing the point entirely here.
Yeah, this... I have never felt pushed around or belittled by any supposed rules that I learned on the internet.
Originally Posted by mafoofan
If you want to be purely empirical about things, then of course, you will find there are no rules. You will always find counter-examples and changes in practice. However, if you are taking a purely empirical approach to interpreting classic men's dress, you are taking the wrong approach. You should be normative, in addition to empirical. Observe what has been done, try to understand why it was done, and then figure out what should
be done. That's where rules come from.
Originally Posted by Big Texas
Anything that can be tried has been tried at some point, and as such, we could cherrypick historical examples in support of, or in opposition to, just about any "rule." If we really want to go that route, the intellectually honest exercise is to try to do enough research to discern the legitimate trends from the one-offs. (For example: a single Apparel Arts illustration, or a single ancient Brooks ad, is just that: a single datum. It signifies nothing other than that a certain clothing style existed at that point in time; it says nothing about whether the style was commonly accepted.)
At any rate, many of the SF luminaries have been pretty candid about the fact that their "rules" are just as often drawn from personal preferences as from supposed traditions. Nobody's claiming to have received the rules on stone tablets. As with anything, however, a game of telephone gets played out over the years and across the various menswear blogs and forums. And so we end up with a confusing conflation of personal taste and appeals to (ostensible) historical precedent. That's not to say that there are no rules, or that certain traditions can't be legitimately ascertained. I'm just saying that we shouldn't carry on about the rules like armchair constitutional lawyers. (Or, if we insist on doing so, then we should be prepared to dig deeper and analyze more carefully than plucking singular examples from Google image search and citing them as broad examples).
Yes, I did find that clipping some pictures out of the ol' menswear archives was a strange way to prove a point.
I enjoy the lawyerly conversations on this forum about "rules," perhaps because I recognize that it's just
a conversation and that all the participants lead actual lives in which they make actual decisions about how to dress well within their communities, and to a certain degree they're all right. The conversation is still good and the rules, even when disputed, are still important.