Originally Posted by chogall
Originally Posted by LA Guy TTO generally looks good because he seems comfortable in his clothes
, seems to enjoy wearing them, *and* can put together an interesting outfit. I think that the last is teachable. The first two are learnable, but not teachable.
I wholeheartedly disagree. TTO's look is anchored around him looking uncomfortable in his cloth disregarding how well they fit or how good the color combination they are. Inorganic.
I like TTO's photos a lot, partly because they're rooted in a certain British character (the same archetype appears in a lot of Ealing comedies, often as the straight man from the Ministry manfully trying to cope with the chaos created by the lead characters around him). I do agree that his photos do not frequently project physical comfort; instead they project a certain physical tension between clothes and man. The tension in this case is actually positive/synergistic to the interest of the overall visual effect, because they create the effect of a man with a distinct & consistent personal style: "This is how he dresses, even when the world is falling apart".
(This consistency, in turn, probably means he is actually psychologically comfortable in his clothes despite the visual tensions).
I think this disconnect between inner comfort and outer tension is probably a key part of pulling off the kinds of look being discussed in the thread. It stems from knowing that the outfit you're putting together is complex/difficult-to-balance, and making the choice to do it anyway.
Also, most of these dressers actually stick to a fairly narrow aesthetic; it just happens to be one more complex and unusual than most wear. When they transition from one style to another, it's usually a big/complete change, made consciously. (It is also why I find TTO's casual outfits less successful, because they break the illusion of consistency).
The external measures of success are much, much easier to define in retrospect than to assemble for oneself. In the case of TTO's case, it is the very narrow colour palette, the powerful use of contrast between a strong upper-central core versus a weaker outer frame, and the use of differently-scaled patterns to create balance between them (substituting a single solid anywhere would not work as well), with the very strongest item at the center, near the face.