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Sartorial style and mainstream trends

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
By the way my full question for the poll is: "How did you develop your current sartorial preferences, and how will the current trend of "dressy" clothing going mainstream affect them?" In the light of various threads started by BrianSD, retronotmetro, et al. about the increasing ubiquity of recent high end sartorial trends into the mainstream, I thought I'd start a poll to gauge how such developments came off in the minds of individuals here. For example, Brian posted about the overexposure of Diesel jeans, Lacoste polos, and bold striped shirts in casual/going out wardrobes. I get the impression that for most of the younger members here, all of the above items are staples in some way or another. For those guys who pretty much only dress in a sartorial manner (e.g. older suit and tie-wearing professionals), I guess you could make a similar analogy using long, wide-spread collars and French cuffs, again two initially high-style details that are being pushed into the mainstream. Another example could be seen in all the threads of posters displaying their bespoke/made-to-measure suits on the forum. The vast majority have details like double vents, a ticket pocket, a contrasting lining in a bold color/pattern, working sleeve buttons, etc... many of which seem to be showing up in new Banana Republic and Hilfiger releases (as retronotmetro mentioned). The forum here seems to have its own collective trend for suit preferences, and it seems that trend is slowly hitting the malls. I'm not trying to say that everyone here has the exact same stylistic tastes mentioned above or that the fashion interests of everyone here are merely trend-fuelled. But, at least in my case, I do have to admit sheepishly that some of my stylistic quirks came from hopping on a bandwagon (even if it was originally just people "in the know"). Yet, I really do like bold colors and patterns, and all the fussy little suit and shirt details that stand out. Time will tell if I still keep my tastes if everyone else is wearing the same thing, or if time passes and the trends indicate that it's out; I'd like to think those scenarios would not influence my preferences. (I picked choice #3, by the way) My question isn't just for those who like to wear striped shirts and jackets with ticket pockets; it's for anyone who likes to turn to various sartorial features and themes to stand out from the masses, so to speak, be it in a casual or formal setting (i.e. pretty much everyone here). It's pretty vague, as are the choies I listed, and I'm mainly operating out of the current trends as a specific example, but I think you guys see what I'm looking for.
post #2 of 46
My style ( and my casual style is nearly a uniform) has been similar for many years, and might be described as thrift store meets Army surplus meets Italian designers. Most of my wardrobe consists of military or western style shirt or shirt jacket, in stretch poplin, heavy cotton twill, or moleskin, and fitted hoodies (usually zipped), jeans with a thick belt with some type of interesting detail (not necessarily just a big buckle, though I like those too) (either new or genuinely distressed) and sneakers (though occasionally I'll wear a pair of desert or Chelsea boots.) In the cooler months, I'll wear some sort of fitted jacket, often military inspired, as well. I'll look at trends (I look at the collections each season, often far ahead of retail time,) and if something really catches my eye, I'll keep a lookout for it or something similar, especially during sales. And sometimes I'll buy something I won't wear regularly just for the sake of having it (some Schonberger and silk Etro shirts come immediately to mind.) My tastes in jeans and sneakers do change somewhat, usually when I become bored with a particular style. I am proud to say that I don't own anything Lacoste, and Polos, any rainbow colored striped shirts (although I like Paul Smith, it's not really me), and suits or jackets with hacking and/or ticket pockets - and I emphatically prefer the relaxed (but still fitted) Milanese profile to the Neapolitan, Roman, or English. So in general, no, I am not a trend follower, though I have nothing against them. I do have a vintage track jacket, which I rather like, so I will incorporate stuff.
post #3 of 46
Quote:
I guess you could make a similar analogy using long, wide-spread collars and French cuffs, again two initially high-style details that are being pushed into the mainstream.
BTW, French Cuff shirts with long spread collars available at GUESS? stores. I imagine they're about $40. You know when something you love hits GUESS?, it's a bummer
post #4 of 46
Lesson learned - to thyself be true. Growing up in Canada, I had the same influences that Dean and Dan Caten had stylewise. It came as no surprise to me when they came out with what is essentially an urbanized and vamped up (and heavily price inflated) version of stuff my friends and I had been wearing for ages - unbuttoned camp and military shirts, printed t-shirts, jeans and military pants with sneakers or casual leather boots (desert or slip ones, in my case). I've worn a toned down version of DSquared's F/W collections for pretty close to a decade now.
post #5 of 46
yeah, kinda like when your favorite unknown band hits it big and now everyone knows them. and then they start sucking. so, the last REM album worth spending my money on, was 'fables of the reconstruction'. anything later is just too top-40 for me. however that doesn't detract from the experience of listening to swan swan hummingbird or begin the begin. know what i'm saying? /andrew - actually looks more like a 'shiny happy people', but doesn't feel like one.
post #6 of 46
Thread Starter 
When I first got into clothes after my first year in college, I was thoroughly clueless and had no real sources except the watered down info on various fashion trends provided by Maxim and their ilk. I dabbled around for a year or so not knowing anything but brand names, but slowly I managed to pick and choose my own look from the trends (and in the process wasted a fair chunk of money on crap that didn't suit me at all). Eventually I decided I liked a dressy suit and tie look and that I much prefered bright colors and patterns to boring earth tones or minimalist black and white. Of course, a college kid can't wear a suit and tie everyday, so I settled by putting a colorful dress shirt (sleeves rolled up) with jeans and colored sneakers. Green and purple/lavender are my favorite colors, so they'll almost always make some appearance in any outfit I wear. I don't own any Lacoste polos (just an old yellow button down that's served me well); I own one pair of dark distressed Diesel jeans; and I keep a 3 color maximum rule on my patterned shirts to avoid ending up with some ridiculous blue/brown/orange/gold/purple diagonal stripe design (I am pushing it pretty close with a shirt I just ordered from Jantzen- basically a ripoff of a candy-striped Paul Smith I saw, down to a request for a contrasting pattern on the inside fold of the cuffs). Since they're dress shirts, I also make a rule that any shirt I get could be worn with a suit and tie. I do admit to some fashion victimy tendencies: I like contrast stitching, double button collars, etc., though I only noticed those on mass market shirts after I placed my early Jantzen orders. I also like some of Diesel's shoes, but that's more because they're really cheap and come in a lot of different color schemes. Semiformal dress is my ideal, since I can mix and match with bright ties and pocket squares, but that doesn't happen as often as I'd like. So I guess I owe some credit to trends for at least providing me assurance that my thoughts on color and patterns were viable, although it is to depressing to walk into a J Crew or Banana and see manequins wearing bold-patterned shirts with French cuffs and gussets. I think the most shocking thing I saw lately was going to TJ Maxx and seeing a clearance rack full of Kenneth Cole shirts with turnback cuffs (I never thought I'd see that OTR). I guess I'm thankful that my school is too firmly entrenched in preppy styles to follow the latest trends, so I don't have to worry about seeing every other guy wearing a striped French cuff shirt too.
post #7 of 46
Quote:
jeans with a thick belt with some type of interesting detail (not necessarily just a big buckle, though I like those too)
thought you might get a kick out of this: littlearth belt
post #8 of 46
That is pretty funny. I've seen loads of seat belts used as belts - clever. But I've never seen the beer caps thing. I wouldn't pay $40, though, since I could get a real seat belt and get my friends to donate beer caps, or at least to throw them at me, for a lot less. Good for a goof.
post #9 of 46
Random thoughts: Just because something you like becomes a trend, doesn't mean you should ditch it. I find that the mainstream stuff is usually little more than a caricature of an authentic style. Stick with the real deal and you'll be ok.   Most men that are trying to distinguish themselves by the way they dress, do so by wearing something that is blaringly different, in an attempt to stand out. Thing is, the clothes they pick are usually in poor taste, and poorly combined, so that they look both ridiculous and mediocre at the same time. Best to focus on more subtle details - proper fit for your build, construction quality, fabric. Get those things right, and you WILL stand out, but in a way that is less easily identified. People will be more apt to think that you are exceptional, rather than your clothes.   On the other hand, there is absolutely nothing wrong with paying attention to current trends - often they can point you in the direction of clothing that will be authentically stylish for you. Just be careful in your selections - buying things that really do look good on you.
post #10 of 46
Along the same lines of what LA Guy said in the 'British Suits at BR' thread: Handmade clothing has become the new Armani in the last few years. There are a LOT of guys buying Kiton suits because that's the thing to do, though they have no idea what they are really buying. Trend or no, I kind of hope it lasts, as it has greatly increased the demand for, and therefore the availability of clothing of superior quality and design.
post #11 of 46
plus, when they tire of their 'fashion', there will be a glut of great thrift-store apparel. one hopes, anyway.
post #12 of 46
Kiton along with Borrelli and several others have taken a factory approach to well constructed garments that have replaced the ones that were made in the past by a generation of now retired custom tailors. Not much different from the large tailoring chains in Britain before WWII. We get a flashier, more aggressive approach to fashion, driven by marketing budgets. And I don't knock it. Many of those retired tailors had questionable taste. I'm very happy with the Kiton jacket in a closet that's otherwise Saville Row.
post #13 of 46
Harris, Well said. Classic
post #14 of 46
Quote:
There are a LOT of guys buying Kiton suits because that's the thing to do, though they have no idea what they are really buying.
THIS is why I'm saying that fake Kiton/Brioni will soon be a growth industry on eBay.  
post #15 of 46
Well, when I say a lot, it's relative. There aren't all that many guys with a spare 6 g's to spend on a suit, just because it's the thing to do. If and when the fake Kiton's and Brioni's show up on ebay, I'll be the first to sound the alarm. I don't think it will happen though
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