...deeper point is that you are not getting anything of *value* from the increased cost of production.
perhaps in the strictest utilitarian sense, yes...however, in questions of style, not only are very few people concerned primarily with stripping away anything non-utilitarian, but the definition of the word itself becomes slippery and (dare i say it) subjective. one man's utility is another man's folly. the gusset, for example: maybe for some it is a symbol. symbols can be seen as having utility - it engenders a confidence in the quality of the shirt, perhaps. or maybe it gives some meaning to the wearer, as a type of secret. (much like wearing boxers of some wild color or pattern.) of course carrying this logic to an extreme gives us the fashion victim who proudly displays gucci logos on every conceivable surface of his clothes and accessories. (i saw such a clown just yesterday, sad to see.) i think there is an acceptable, even appropriate, level of non-utilitarian 'ornament' if you will, in being well-dressed. the key in terms of classic gentlemen's style could be the intersection of confident self-expression with restrained understatement. (or 'understated restraint'?
) personally i enjoy seeing some 'useless' details that describe some vestigial function or simply create a more aesthetic appearance (ties, anyone? jacket sleeve buttons...button-down collars...etc. the list is long.) /andrew