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The Constructive Criticism Thread (15 Thumb Minimum)

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

So this was idea was mentioned by @jcmeyer in the WAYWRN Composite Thread.


This is basically a thread to provide constructive criticism on decent to good fits. One of the very justified complaints about the Composite thread is that it was only indirectly educational. It compiled, by and large, very good fits for the purpose of rapid viewing. It was educational in the sense that a reader with decent analytical abilities and a comfortable familiarity with clothing (i.e. he knew what he was looking at, knew what he was looking for, and knew why he was looking for it ) could then learn from what he was seeing. But it definitely wasn't as educational as it could have been. One of the reasons is that, for whatever reason, we didn't discuss the fits too much. Perhaps part of this is the tendency for those keeping the thread active to post 20 fits at a time (it's pretty annoying to post fewer but more often), so there was always a lot to take in.


Anyway, this is a thread that will hopefully encourage more conversation. It will hopefully involve greater discursive participation and be more educational as a result.


The guidelines:


1. Qualifying fits must have at a minimum 15 thumbs: There are a lot of bad fits out there. Bad enough that it should be obvious to most people what needs to be fixed. And if it isn't obvious, a few months looking at what works and what doesn't in the WAYWRN thread of Composite Thread should address that. The 15 thumb minimum ensures that the outfit is good enough that what needs to be addressed isn't painfully obvious, while the effort it takes to find and copy such an outfit ensures that there is actually something there worth talking about and learning from.


2. Don't be an ass: I'm actually not to worried about this. Styleforum has grown to be a kinder place. And in some respect, it has suffered for this (nothing makes for great reading like (ideally) intelligent individuals with (ideally) well-informed opinions being willing to offend strangers on the internet). I think that the kindlier bent that now defines the posting styles of many regular posters also establishes a certain credibility. As in, if they are offering criticism, it isn't because they want to put a person down but because they actually want that person to look better.


Regardless, don't be an ass. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who's outfit is posted here. Though actually, I expect most of us regular posters will get their outfits posted here, so we won't have to imagine. Offer criticism in the same manner you'd like criticism to be offered to you.


3. Try and post multiple outfits at a time: Ideally, a post here shouldn't be in response to a single outfit. I don't want someone to see an outfit, think "that trash got 22 thumbs? I gotta tell the world what's wrong with it" and repost it here. At the same time, I can see someone thinking "Oh, this is a really good example of X; I should write something about this" and not wanting to bother finding another couple outfits just to post this. Use your judgment, I guess.


4. Tag people: if you repost someone's outfit, it's only fair that you tag them.


5. If someone asks you remove their outfit, remove their outfit: Is there any reason to comply with this unreasonable request (and I do think this would be an unreasonable request on their part)? #2


6. Anyone can repost outfits: Moderators, Dubiously Honored, a 10,000 post senior member or a 5 post newbie. As long as they are civil and have something intelligent to offer.

post #2 of 38
Thread Starter 

First batch:


I see two problems with this outfit. One, the collar isn't meant for ties. I don't mean that in the "OCBD shouldn't be worn with ties" sense, though I rarely see an OCBD that looks like it should be worn with ties that doesn't also have a weird "my collar forms a cool bat lair on top of my chest effect." I mean it in the sense that that particular collar (Luxire's B&B collar) just doesn't work for neckties. Not enough "roll" or what not. Makes it look sloppy around the buttoning point and an inch to the left and right along the collar.


The square also doesn't work. I ended up changing it to something olive, but even then, not great. I think something a little cooler would have been better. The red and brown don't work for me though. I don't mind squares that blend into a jacket, as long as there are some colors that don't, but the color that doesn't still exert itself is the wrong one.


I do think it is a good example of brown on brown and cashmere with tweed.




I've mentioned a couple of times that Braddock is one of my favorite posters, if not my favorite. For one thing, he wears a lot of blue jackets and suits. But over the last month or two, he often wears a busy square with a busy tie, and it just doesn't work for me. I'm sure I could do some sort of post hoc analysis of this, but the only thing I can say is that it sort of confounds my eye a bit.




The teal in the square is too cool for the suit in my opinion. Though I'd also like to point out that that is a much better collar than mine. It also doesn't have the batcave effect.

post #3 of 38
Nice. Thanks for getting this going, @Claghorn; it seems like a valuable thread for the vast majority of fits which do fall somewhere on the bulky part of the bell curve. WAYWRN is a great hub for content but it (rightly so) moves too quickly for in-depth discussion. It will be interesting to see how things flow into this thread.

I think #4 in your list is one of the most important points: tagging people. I'm always a bit put off when I see a post like, "he always wears x,y,z like that and it sucks" without just talking to the person, who is clearly in the same room. Beyond that, I think we'd all agree that no one cases if the feedback is all flowers and kittens as long as it's funny and actually comes from a good place.

But enough meta before the meat... good first pics to showcase! I've been noticing the same thing about Braddock's squares - busy to the point of feeling frantic; although that one looks like it might be nice if folded a bit differently to use more cream and less color. Doesn't help to have a lapel chain drawing a line directly to it, which makes the entire pocket ensemble a focal point rather than an accent.

As for your fit, I love the jacket (or suit, right?), and I think that square with it would be fine if the tie shared some of the secondary colors. As it is, a cashmere knit looks like a sweater made into a tie to me, and just saps the life out of the whole thing. You already pointed out that the OCBD lacks roll and is therefor bunk for ties, but just try unbuttoning the top collar button for the hell of it and cinch the tie back up so things spread out a bit. I do that on a my OCBDs (all have the same issue as yours) and it does help.

Cheers, looking forward to contributing and learning from this one!
post #4 of 38

Edit:   Nevermind.   I misunderstood the qualifying condition for being reposted here.   It's at least 15 thumbs, but no upper limit on thumbs, correct?





post #5 of 38
I was thinking about that too, AC, but even a 50+ thumb fit might have something worth discussing or certainly it could be used to help explain a point - or maybe it still wasn't as good as the 60+ fit that the same poster threw together the week before. Often those fits ended up in @TweedyProf's grad lounge, which has gone a bit quiet lately without his presence.

So even though I was the one that initially suggested the 15-25 range/cap, I think Clags might have been right not to impose an upper limit, at least to start. 15+ means it has enough merit to be used for discussion purposes. Beyond that, it would be interesting to see where this goes. The 25+ thread, to me at least, is really just a readers' digest of WAYWRN's best.
post #6 of 38
Thread Starter 

No upper limit. No outfit is so divine that it cannot be improved upon (actually, not true, but thumb count is a terrible measure for divinity, just a good way to weed out mediocrity...and even then, it fails more than occasionally)

post #7 of 38

For what it's worth I like the square in your fit, @Claghorn -- it warms up the brown in the jacket just a bit and highlights the distinction between the mottled brown of the jacket and the deeper brown of the tie.  That said, I think a wool/silk square with a deep green base would have been my first choice.  

post #8 of 38

Clags' brown: I disagree about the hank. It's the right amount of differentiation for a low-contrast outfit. The collar is, indeed, terrible with a tie. Clags, you could probably fix/ameliorate that by moving the button a bit to give more tie space.

Braddock 1: I like the hank here. Ideal? Maybe not, but it suggests a pleasing idiosyncracy.

Braddock 2: Agreed. A cream silk hank would look great here.

clarinetplayer: You may be right about the teal, but more than anything, the fold is too blocky. A gdl-style foldy-puff would be much better for this hank.
post #9 of 38
Thread Starter 

Something to consider, as long as I don't get the cave effect. When these wear out in 5-10 years or so, I'll probably look to Kamakura. Their collars look nice with ties.

post #10 of 38
You're looking good Clag. nod[1].gif
post #11 of 38
Thread Starter 

So it turns out that this is the second time I've started this thread! Even with the exact same title (minus the 15 thumb minimum). Anyway, I did a batch for the composite thread, and I figured I'd include some fits as I went along.




@Dennis Walter


I am not going to harp on DW's penchant for doing sick and perverted thing with neckties and double breasted jackets. And I actually like the denim shirt with a necktie in a number of contexts. It isn't something I'd do, largely because I'm not sure I have the wardrobe for it, but I've mentioned before admiring @EFV's use of them. However, in this case, I think its use in a three piece suit is simply too incongruent:



I also don't think the square goes particularly well with the warmth of the checks in the suit.




Butchy, your chest pocket is on fire. There are a few instances of this sort of look working for me, the bright and discordant square against a slightly more somber backdrop, but I think this is too somber. @timotune did it well, if I recall. I'll look for a good example later.




Jacket may be too tight (though it's just a picture, so who can say but you?), but what kills this is the square. The rest of your outfit says orange leaves on the ground while your square is screaming like a drunken lush about botanical gardens. Love the jacket, tie, and pants though




As an outfit, I like everything here (though I'm sure there are some who will object to brown bluchers with suit). But again, something about the pants.

- Could be the angle of the camera that consistently distorts your legs

- Do you have short legs relative to your torso? If so, I don't know how a tailor goes about creating an illusion of longer legs, but I am sure someone on here does. I also don't know if it should bother you enough to, well, bother.

- Are your feet large for the size of your legs? Regardless, a less tapered leg opening might be called for.

Edited by Claghorn - 12/5/15 at 8:29am
post #12 of 38

Re: Isolation


A broader and more heavily canvassed jacket seems necessary, though the obvious fix is to bulk up the upper body.

post #13 of 38
Thread Starter 

Unless he doesn't want a bulkier upper body o_O. He already has a pretty big drop, if I recall.

post #14 of 38

Iso's fit pics suffer generally from poor photography. It can be very difficult to get good fit shots indoors, especially if you're doing it yourself with a tripod-mounted camera and a remote trigger.


I basically don't bother with fit shots any more unless I can employ wifey's services. (When in Sydney I borrow one of our office staff.) Outdoors is always best. Fast, 50mm fixed lens. Camera held at midriff to chest height.


The Sydney people think it's hilarious. "Oh, another Coxsackie photoshoot! Let's go! Hey, how many thumbs did the last one get?"


Pedestrians give us odd looks. Me? No fucks given.

post #15 of 38
Originally Posted by Coxsackie View Post

Iso's fit pics suffer generally from poor photography. It can be very difficult to get good fit shots indoors, especially if you're doing it yourself with a tripod-mounted camera and a remote trigger.


I basically don't bother with fit shots any more unless I can employ wifey's services. (When in Sydney I borrow one of our office staff.) Outdoors is always best. Fast, 50mm fixed lens. Camera held at midriff to chest height.


The Sydney people think it's hilarious. "Oh, another Coxsackie photoshoot! Let's go! Hey, how many thumbs did the last one get?"


Pedestrians give us odd looks. Me? No fucks given.


Having my wife taking eiffel tower pictures on our balcony while civil engineering is going on a few meters aside is quite fun too!

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