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MoneyWellSpent's Southern Trad Thread - Page 6

post #76 of 474
I think they are much more versatile than people give them credit for, and go very well with these types of fits.
post #77 of 474
Thread Starter 

Consider this our "safe space" for tassel loafers, et al. :D

post #78 of 474
Thread Starter 

This will be the first installment of "The Style", wherein I attempt to explain Southern Trad and differentiate and compare it to its Northeastern counterpart. Any criticism or correction of my claims is welcome as many of the things herein are personal impressions and lack concrete evidence to back them up. For the sake of clarity Western Trad will be left out since it borrows very heavily from the NE and seems to differentiate itself in particularly nuanced ways. 

 

First of all I would like to offer a definition of what Southern Trad is. As we know, in the Northeast trad/ivy developed mostly among young university students in the early 1900s. That older Northeastern men came to adopt this look later on is something of an oddity. This is certainly true of Southern Trad as well and the look was pioneered by young college aged men at southern universities. In the south, however, the influence of older folks on young people's styles was stronger. The light colored, airy, suits and hats worn by older southern aristocrats would have a strong impact on the styles of younger men, rather than the other way around. 

 

Southern university men would take the traditionally southern aristocratic look and combine it with the Ivy styles that were trickling down from the north. In 1925, while the Ivy league look was still being formed, the aristocratic southern look was already well defined. Light suits with highly contrasting ties and shoes were common in Tennessee when an army of dark suits from the north invaded to cover the now famous Scope Monkey Trial.

 

(Residents of Dayton Tennessee in 1925 during the Scopes Monkey Trial.)

 

The NE look was defined by what Ivy-Style calls a "studied nonchalance". The key was to look good without looking like you cared about looking good. In the south the concept of nonchalance being an essential component was not as strong. Southern men didn't mind looking polished and the idea of accidentally stumbling into style was not something as highly cultivated. As evidence I offer images of the one day of the year when everyone turns Southern Trad. Derby.

 

 

 


Gratuitously matchy items, loud colors, and purposefully showy clothes punctuate not only Derby itself, but Derby parties across the world. While it may be argued that many of these looks are donned by non-southerners in an attempt to "look the part" and thus end up being akin to costume, it cannot be argued that many of the concepts and elements of Derby outfits do adhere to true Southern Trad formulas. 

 

The issue of FU trousers is a sticky one in this context. Because they are utilized by both northern and southern traditionalists it is difficult to define them as truly northern or southern. Nantucket reds are an example of a quintessentially northern FU trouser, for instance. Despite this I do not think it is too controversial to say that southerners make use of FU trousers far more often, and far more gratuitously. It may be the case that southern styles influenced northern styles as much as the other way around. Trousers in the glaring colors of ones school abound in the SEC and southern parts of the ACC. Indeed, gamely clothing in general is brighter and more exuberant (garish?) in the south v. the north. Consider these examples of sports fans from famous Ivy League school Yale and Princeton.

 

 

 


Contrast that with sports fans from Alabama, Georgia, and Ole Miss.

 

 

 

 

While it is true that the fans from these southern universities are younger than many of the Ivy League fans shown above, even Princeton, whose orange and black color scheme offers ample chance to sport bright colors, wears team colors moderately compared to their southern counterparts. 

 

This and other penchants for bright colors are partly explained by weather. Obviously northern climates are quite a bit colder for many parts of the year which has tilted the scale toward heavy English clothes like tweed, flannel, etc. The hotter south, meanwhile, makes heavy use of cottons and other lightweight materials which look crisp and light when dyed into bright colors. Again, this is not to say that northerners don't make use of bright colors, however southerners make use of them all year long and with greater frequency according to my claim.

 

In conclusion, I claim that Southern Trad is a combination of old southern aristocratic styles and the Ivy League styles which spread through the country. While traditionalists from both sides claim to have introduced and popularized seersucker and madras, those cloths, like FU trousers, are utilized far more in the south than the north. The exchange of ideas was not a one way street, either. While the Ivy League look clearly influenced stylish men in the south, it is likely true that southern men exported at least some of the summer looks that typify the stereotypical Hamptons style.

 

In my next post I will delve deeper into particular issues of style apart from colors and fabrics. I will address pleated v. non pleated chinos, the baggy v. slim cut, and shoe preferences.

post #79 of 474
Being a southern gentleman from Tennessee I have 5 pair of tassle loafers. My choice for today.....

post #80 of 474
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caustic Man View Post
 

...

Thanks for bringing up the issue of school colors. While traditionalists all over the country indulge in wearing school colors there is, in my mind, a qualitative difference in the way southerners do it. Especially on game day. Indeed, game day is the day when nearly anyone can become southern trad for a day in the south. It goes beyond wearing a striped tie in the teams colors, or wearing a hat with the team logo on it. You will see head to toe representations of school colors no matter how outlandish, especially at football games. When I say this I don't mean to compare it to people wearing team t-shirts or the like. I'm talking about chinos, button down shirts, blazers, and even shoes all decked with team colors or logos. 

 

While your reference was obviously in the context of discussing male dress, I thought this photo makes the same point. :D    Note: every outfit, while different, is 100% confined to UGa's colors.  Fans of SEC football know that, though this isn't how 100% - or even most - fans dress for games, this is still VERY common.

 

 

On the guy's side, while "school color polo over khaki pants/shorts" isn't particularly unusual, much less Southern Trad, if you flip the combo to :"white OCBD over school color pants," you're moving in that direction.  Add school logo emblems to the pants and I think you are there.

 

A more sedate variation on a theme:

 

 

 

 

Boat shoes are a popular alternative to loafers with such pants, especially in September when wearing your shorts versions of such things:

 

 

 

 

Farther in that direction are these three tools Ole Miss fans at the Grove.  I'm not sure Ole Miss fans, at least the ones dressed like the two on the right, actually ever walk over to the game.

 

 

 

Finally, why wear solid pants when you can pay tribute to your school's end zones:

 

 

Of course, put on a simple blazer and you can get away with a lot:

 

post #81 of 474
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Count de Monet View Post
 

 

While your reference was obviously in the context of discussing male dress, I thought this photo makes the same point. :D    Note: every outfit, while different, is 100% confined to UGa's colors.  Fans of SEC football know that, though this isn't how 100% - or even most - fans dress for games, this is still VERY common.

 

 

On the guy's side, while "school color polo over khaki pants/shorts" isn't particularly unusual, much less Southern Trad, if you flip the combo to :"white OCBD over school color pants," you're moving in that direction.  Add school logo emblems to the pants and I think you are there.

 

A more sedate variation on a theme:

 

 

 

 

Boat shoes are a popular alternative to loafers with such pants, especially in September when wearing your shorts versions of such things:

 

 

 

 

Farther in that direction are these three tools Ole Miss fans at the Grove.  I'm not sure Ole Miss fans, at least the ones dressed like the two on the right, actually ever walk over to the game.

 

 

 

Finally, why wear solid pants when you can pay tribute to your school's end zones:

 

 

Of course, put on a simple blazer and you can get away with a lot:

 

 

I'm not sure the flashy stuff at modern football games counts as Southern Trad. Too ostentatious. Bright colors can be worn tastefully but some of these guys are quite garish. That said, the ladies are fantastic. They always are.

post #82 of 474
Thread Starter 

@Count de Monet, excellent examples. I'm not sure about these other schools but at my school the football stadium was a short distance away from campus so our cohorts certainly would walk there and stay dressed as such during the after game festivities! I believe your general point is correct, however. Most of the game day dress is definitely not everyday attire! As @smittycl points out game day dress is far too ostentatious to be a regularly occurring theme in Southern Trad. However, although it is not regularly occurring, I believe it to be an integral part of Southern Trad. It's all about appropriateness in time and place. Consider it like Nantucket reds worn while boating. It's just something you do.

post #83 of 474
Personally I prefer to "tone it down" for game day attire and just stick with team colors and get the details right. I have a strong aversion to logos in general (especially company logos) which carries over to keeping my school logo off my shirts and trousers. I also stick with penny loafers, tassel loafers, PTB's and short wings and well away from boat shoes (bean boots for the same reason but that's a different story). I understand if people disagree that's just my personal spin.
post #84 of 474
Thread Starter 

I don't think anyone will disagree with your personal preferences. It's personal, after all. I do think it bears mentioning that the loud game day dress is not for every southerner. Just like not everyone dresses to the so called 9s for Derby. It is common enough to be one of the characteristics of southern sartorial culture, I'd say. However, we must be careful not to assume that everyone, or even the majority, dress that way. There are non-Trad football fans all over the country of course. I would say that it is also quite common to see the "athlesure" craze being represented in the south as it is all over the country.

post #85 of 474
I think my preferences are in part due to my teams loud colors (orange/purple) which are eye catching enough IMO. I do tend to save the logos for the accessories so I dont have a complete aversion to them. My spin may not fit into the southern trad definition but I definitely take inspiration from it.
post #86 of 474

Nothing too trad about my outfit today but I did want to post a picture of my bit loafers, most comfortable shoes I own.  AE Pisa.  They're a little noisy when I walk but I don't necessarily dislike that.  CT dobby check shirt and navy Jcrew chinos.

 

  

post #87 of 474
Thread Starter 

Ok, so is Southern Trad just about color? Is it just pastels and team pride? Today I'd like to explore the more tame side of Southern Trad as well as address certain details of culture that define the style. When someone uses the term "Southern Gentleman" what comes to mind?

 

Handmade Software, Inc. Image Alchemy v1.12

 

 

Alright, Colonel Sanders was actually born in Indiana but he spent most of his life in Kentucky. Samuel Clemens is legit, as we all know. Anyway, I'd imagine that scenes of an elderly man in a white suit, rocking slowly on the porch of his Georgian mansion, fanning himself with a straw hat and sipping mint juleps isn't far off from what most people think of. But, as with northern trad culture, a whole way of life and thinking went along with being a southern gentleman. Codes of chivalry and honor dictated behavior and determined dress. UVA's short biography of Col. John Mosby and the Southern Code of Honor provides an interesting look into this world of manners and dress that still affects the adherents of Southern Trad to this day. Most interesting for our purposes is the section on "Appearance". The author claims that Mosby at first had the appearance of a "slouching scout" but that after he attained a command (mastery and command being a southern virtue) he suddenly...

 

"...took on a new air, donning a feather in his cap and two pistols held at his sides. "Mosby himself looked as elegant as the plumed General. ... The uniform he wore was immaculate from polished boots to the plume like Stuart's in his hat""

 

Southern gentility, even in the antebellum period, showed a preference for being smartly dressed, polished, and well ordered. Just as echoes of the code of honor remain in southern society today, so to does the bias toward immaculate dress. Tom Wolfe is an excellent example of this (note the non-standard sleeve cuff of the jacket in the first photo)...

 

 

 

Truman Capote too embodies a carefully cultivated style with obvious personal flares (particularly his silk scarf)...

 

 


Notably absent is the northern penchant for carefully creating an image of nonchalance and indifference to clothing. These men spent time crafting their image and they didn't care who knew it. 

 

Of course, this isn't necessarily true of all southerners. William Faulkner presented a very northern style, often being photographed in heavy tweed jackets despite living most of his life in Mississippi.

 


Nevertheless, this is somewhat of an oddity to my mind and certainly not an image that many would associate with "southernness". 

 

Being well ordered and immaculate in dress also left room for flares of individuality I will call "feathering". As John Mosby demonstrates, immaculate dress leaves open the possibility of feathering ones cap and polishing ones boots to a high shine. In modern terms that might be expressed as eye catching cuff-links, highly embellished shoes, etc. Ties too are excellent subject for embellishment in the south. This does not necessarily have to mean the shiny pink paisley ties so common at Derby parties. It can mean a tie with a slightly non-standard color (usually brighter than normal) or a non-standard, but still not garish, pattern such as on the navy tie worn by Tom Wolfe. Not garish, simply non-standard. All these things would be conspicuously out of place on a Northern Trad gentleman whose relaxed and slouchy appearance would give the impression of extreme casualness and negate any opportunity for embellishment. 

 

On the subject of shoes, perhaps no other item in the southern wardrobe is so despised by non-southerners (and indeed some southerners as well) as the tassel, weaved, and bit loafers so common south of the Mason/Dixon line. Southern Tradists are certainly not the only ones to wear these eye catching shoes, and to be sure many southerners choose to eschew them entirely, however their prevalence demonstrates the issue of "feathering" quite well. Northern Tradists have simple minimalist loafers while southerners steer toward adorning their with bits of metal, braided and weaved leather, tassels, and skirts. It is not uncommon to see two or more of these elements on one shoe.

Spectators too are common sights on dressier occasions. Like highly adorned loafers, spectators are not strictly southern. However, when comparing Northern to Southern Tradists today, spectators have achieved an almost costume-like quality in the north whereas they are worn in all seriousness in the south. Originating in England, they were considered by the English to be too flashy for true gentlemen, just perfect for a southern gentleman perhaps.

 

 

 

Conclusion: While Southern Trad does not necessarily have to contain pastel colors and FU trousers it does often contain an element of polish and immaculateness. This polished look leaves ample room for small flares of creativity even when most of the garments are relatively conservative, such as Truman Capote's silk scarf or the details of Tom Wolfe's jacket sleeve. Feathering, almost nonexistent in Northern Trad except in the most subtle ways, is an integral part of dressing in the south. This does not need to mean that these embellishments are always garish. On the contrary, they need only be non-standard and express the wearers individuality and taste. 


Edited by Caustic Man - 6/16/16 at 12:56pm
post #88 of 474
Thread Starter 

Also, this came today... :slayer:

 

post #89 of 474
Nice Duckheads. Nice to see the yellow tag again.

Regarding spectators, many (here) know they are known as "co-respondents" in the UK (or so I'm told). However, I've read the reference has nothing to do with news reporters.

Used to (largely or completely abolished in the US by the end of the 20th century), the complaining party in a divorce action (the "petitioner") could not only sue his or her spouse for divorce (the "respondent") but could also name as an additional party the "other man/woman" and seek damages from them for breaking up the marriage. This third party was the "co-respondent."

Presumably, in the UK the sort of man to wear two-toned shoes was deemed to be on the level of the cads breaking up marriages of decent folk and thus no gentleman.😎

I don't know if specs suggest a certain aura of disrepute or not but my wife (who's from Texas, not England) refers to them as my pimp shoes and much prefers my white bucks with seersucker.



Other than the specs, this is -relatively speaking - a sort of CBD version of a seersucker day; no pink or yellow shirt, no Madras tie, just a white linen BD (sort of weird looking at the end of a hot day) and a solid navy tie from Mr. Hober. Plain linen square with edges hand rolled by a little ol' lady in Cornwall. Probably southern Cornwall.😊

This is about as "conservative" as I can do seersucker. Well, except for my "pimp shoes." I just can't bring myself to wear dark business dress shoes like Trent Lott and those guys in the picture up thread.


Edited by Count de Monet - 6/16/16 at 4:21pm
post #90 of 474
Thread Starter 

I wonder if one could sue a pimp for damages... 

 

When wearing seersucker I'd tend to side with you. While I like white bucks, I'd prefer a little contrast with something that light and I might go for spectators or a walnut colored shoe. Nothing too dark though (sorry Mitch McConnell). FWIW I think the ones you are wearing are supoib!

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