1. Welcome to the new Styleforum!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to hang out in the new place. There are more new features that we’ll announce in the near future, but for now we hope you’ll enjoy the new site.

    We are currently fine-tuning the forum for your browsing pleasure, so bear with any lingering dust as we work to make Styleforum even more awesome than it was.

    Oh, and don’t forget to head over to the Styleforum Journal, because we’re giving away two pairs of Carmina shoes to celebrate our move!

    Please address any questions about using the new forum to support@styleforum.net

    Cheers,

    The Styleforum Team

    Dismiss Notice

How much does culture/ethnicity affect the clothes you wear?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Holdfast, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,574
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario
    Quote:
    That is very true. But my idea of culture isn't fundamentally 'ethnic' or 'national' - those norms you refer too are also 'cultural' in a broad sense, or perhaps I should say 'social'. The question is how much we buy into those. You can certainly see social norms at work on this forum (and before anyone jumps on me, that doesn't mean I think they are 'bad').
     
  2. Oleg

    Oleg Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    453
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2009
    Location:
    East Lahndahn, innit
    
    Of course and I understand full well the scope of the concept of 'culture' (being a social science academic and all that :)). But the thread to date has mostly revolved around ethnicity and national culture. Of course, you can dismiss the influence of class, for e.g., but insofar is it has an impact, so much of its influence is about buying into an image or lifestyle, be it a WASPish New Englander or English country gent, rather than as a true reflection of one's roots.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  3. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    16,118
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Location:
    Tombstone
    
    I think there are two issues at hand: One is the widespread demise of tailored clothing in the U.S.; the other is the massive broadening of potential influences and clothing sources. So we have guys with little exposure to tailored clothing, with no real style of their own, suddenly presented with all the world. And that's overwhelming. It's like a kid turned loose in a candy shop. The more successful guys, IMO, tend to build from a base, to diversify gradually, to incorporate new elements into an existing style. I dig both John Steed's waisted, Edwardian dandy stuff and James Bond's stripped-down "Dr. No" gear, but I can't wear both at once. Just can't be done. Partly because they're diametrically opposed and partly because I'm not a fictional secret agent in the 1960s. I can take elements of both those and make them my own, but it's much easier to incorporate disparate elements if you understand fit and proportion already. And to do it successfully it takes a certain analytical approach to clothing: Does this make sense in the context of my personality and where it will be worn? Does it send the message I want to send? See, I love eclectic. I love bohemian. But I love it when it expresses an appreciation and understanding of disparate elements. When it's just a bunch of stuff thrown together in a way that doesn't make sense and doesn't quite fit, it rings hollow, like a college freshman trying to convince you he's deep. You can see through it. It's fine for a guy at Pitti to look like he's at Pitti, but it jars when that sort of flamboyant gear is contrasted against the muddy tones of a workplace bathroom. Parker's exactly on point when he talks about clothing "feeling like you." But what happens when you're not sure who the "you" is? So no, I don't think a guy needs to limit himself to a narrow range of outfitters, but I do think he needs to figure out his style, above and beyond what's hot on the Internet. And with that, I suspect, will typically come a certain narrowing of the wardrobe.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2011
  4. lasbar

    lasbar Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    26,133
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Location:
    FOLKESTONE
    As I have only stopped recently wearing a striped shirt and a beret while riding my bike in between two onions delivery , this thread is particularly interesting to me..
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,574
    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario
    Quote:
    This is exactly what I am struggling with. I've always been convinced there's a kind of 'fantasy' to clothing, but there's got to be some connection to some kind of 'conventional' context and a knowledge of how much you are departing from it and why. In this context, cultural rootlessness can give rise to a desire to be eclectic, but it isn't just since coming here that I've started to realise that just throwing a load of things together, even with a system that makes internal sense to you, doesn't communicate to other people in the same way. Now of course we all have different aesthetic conceptions and the community we may be communicating with in the real world of our daily lives and work is certainly not the same one as on here, but if the stuff one is wearing needs an awful lot of further explanation, it is failing on at least one level from the start.
     
  6. Gdot

    Gdot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,248
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    

    :D
     
  7. RSS

    RSS Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,042
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Location:
    No.1 Nonsuch Place
    
    Too much of the 'why' behind the idea is often lacking today. It's akin to my local Starbucks that decorates with a 'Mardi Gras' theme for the calendar week in which Mardi Gras occurs ... never mind Ash Wednesday. Of course they haven't a clue what Mardi Gras is all about ... it becomes nothing more than an excuse to have fun. Then there is the store that celebrates the 12 days of Christmas beginning on 14 December. This is what I call 'style without content.'

    Mark Bauerlein's title, The Dumbest Generation, isn't far off base when describing the a vast majority of folks under the age of 30 ... and perhaps a majority in the prior generation ... or two. We've reached the day when ignorance is prized above knowledge.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  8. Gdot

    Gdot Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,248
    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2011
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
  9. tobiasj

    tobiasj Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,509
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    

    I never commented on this great post. I'm Australian too and this is an accurate (and hilarious) picture of clothes and the man here. Nice one OP!

    As an aside, I was back in Wagga Wagga (where I'm from, in the country) at Easter this year and I saw a lot of people out at the pub after a day at the races. I was amazed by how well they were dressed: moleskins; RM Williams chelsea boots; nicely fitting, good quality shirts. None (or much less) of the absolute shit that passes for 'dressed up' fashion here in Melbourne. It was kind of heartening...
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  10. tradeindia25

    tradeindia25 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2012
    An Indian ethnic wear means a traditional indian dress like salwar kameez, punjabi suits, men kurta pyjamas,saree and Sherwani etc For some special events and occasions.The different culture have a different Traditional dresses according to their state and as well their country.

    Being a New Delhi in India, At here, it is very rare to see someone in a simple dress like shirts and paints which is considered a common in every mens wardrobe , It is a common dress not good for young people. Here in delhi young people can change their dressing sense according to the occasions. Young people who wear like T- shirts, jeans these are the common dresses.they have change his taste for showcase their personality.people who can wear the kurta pyjamas and Sherwani here are perceived as rich, some time they are crazy about these dresses.

    Kurta is a very flexible dress that can be worn on formal as well as informal occasions. You can even wear them at work. Most Indian men prefer wearing kurta pajama during the night. Well, it is due to its extreme comfort that it has become a popular choice amongst the other nightwear available. Traditional kurta pyjamas have been increasingly gaining momentum amongst the youngsters, who prefer wearing them in their informal social gatherings, with the basic idea of maintaining a distinctive style of their own Personality.


    Due to its high popularity in the region of Punjab,Haryana and also in their villages.The fashion of kurta pyjamas in India is not new. Since the past many few centuries, men have been wearing this wonderful attire.

    For More about Indian ethnic wear
     
  11. black_umbrella

    black_umbrella Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,160
    Joined:
    May 23, 2010
    Location:
    midsouthcentralus
    ^ this is the most complex spam post I have ever seen.
     
  12. Claghorn

    Claghorn Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    10,003
    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2012
    Location:
    Texas.
    In general
    I think it's interesting that several people have cited family members as influences, as well as ethnicity. It's not something I can relate to (which is probably why I think it's interesting). It seems like the environment of one's upbringing would play a bigger role than either family or ethnicity (and if that environment is determined by ethnicity, we would see that influence). The way in which an individual reacts to their environment would be determined by personality (which would in turn be determined by family, culture, any genetic predispositions towards, well, whatever, etc)

    Me
    I can trace the development of my style fairly clearly

    I am from a mixed race household; my mom is half Mexican half Argentine, and my dad is from Oklahoma and whiter than Larry Bird. Their cultural heritage has played no part in how I dress. The only thing I can think of that I've pulled from them is my mom's practice of using clothing to express a part of her identity. I was also raised Quaker, and perhaps their emphasis on simplicity has influenced me (you'll never see me in a pocket square or in anything to garish).

    I grew up in a very upper class neighborhood in Texas with some very rigid conventions. In middle school, I thought that anybody with any sort of social awareness wore Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren polos, khaki shorts, and Doc Martins (this is the late mid 90s). So naturally I adopted that look. In high school, I began wearing Banana Republic. I still wear a lot of their clothes (polos, trousers, and sweaters mostly). At this point, most of my friends had switched to A&F (which I despise) or became stoners and dressed accordingly.

    Out of my circle of friends in college (split evenly between homosexuals, hippies, and frats), I was the only one who dressed as I did (again, mostly BR); so at this point, I think my fashion identity had coalesced enough to be at least directly independent of my peers (I can't rule out some contrarianism).

    My junior year, my sort of girlfriend bought me my first tie. Light blue Thomas Pink. I still own it, though it's frayed beyond wear. I still have an obsession with the brand (which is why so many ties of mine still come from them). I then started working part time at Kay Jewelers, so I had to get suits. Men's Wearhouse. Ties, shirts, and suits, all from them (I don't think anything remains of that set of clothes).

    I moved to Korea after graduation. I worked in a logistics company here and had to dress very conservatively. I also couldn't "out dress" my 팀장님, the guy directly above me, as that would be considered very improper (not the case for all Korean companies). I'd upgraded from Men's Wearhouse suits by then and had expanded my collection of ties, which grew in spurts depending on my mood and the pickings on eBay.

    Wearing a dull suit everyday, riding on a 7am train with hundreds of Koreans with identical hair and eye color and fairly identical suits for a year, really took its toll on me. This, along with an underlying collectivism taken to a bit of an extreme.

    I quit and so I don't have to wear a suit everyday anymore. I'm not sure I could bring myself to work in such a conservative environment again. This is probably why I love cardigans so much; I can wear my beloved ties without wearing a jacket (I've shipped most of my suits back to the US, but kept a few and some odd jackets).

    In addition, the expatriate community here is by an large sloppily dressed (and live sloppy lifestyles). As ashamed as I am to say it, part of the reason that I always bother to dress well (a tailored dress shirt (untucked), nice jeans, and decent shoes at a minimum) is so that I am not lumped in with them. I think I'd be concerned with what I wear anyway...I always have been...but perhaps I am more so because of my fellow expats.

    Koreans by an large are either very unfashionable, very A&F, or very fashion forward. There are very few Koreans who build around more the more traditional Western look HF expounded in his first post. I'm happily friends with a few that do. They know what looks good (again, by a certain set of standards) and are comfortable enough to deviate from that to incorporate their own personalities into their wardrobe.

    Style Forum
    I'm pretty new here, so my opinion could either be very worthwhile (not indoctrinated) or worthless (not familiar enough with SF). I've also never been an active member of a forum before (again, could be a good thing or a bad thing).

    As far as I can tell, there are very few members that are regular, long time posters and who have also lost their ability to dress independently from the SF approved look. Some come in with a certain idea of what they want to look like and SF helps them achieve it. Others join (as I did) in hopes of finding new inspiration. Some join with a fairly ossified sense of their own style. But looking through the WAYWRN regulars over the last couple months, I don't get the sense that any (off the top of my head: spoo, Laplan and Lappelan, Diaz, upr, NYR, holdfast, Hal, sugarbutch, and Flying Monkey) have become SF dogmatists in what they choose to wear (though maybe so in the advice they give). It's the more transient posters that seem to mold so complicitly to SF standards.

    That being said, there are some threads that I'm less familiar with, such as Manton's what's in good taste thread.

    It just occurred to me that there is probably a bit of a sampling bias...posters, even regular ones (though perhaps not HF[​IMG]), are more likely to post pictures on days they are sporting an SF approved look, giving SF a greater sense of conformity than what would accurately reflect its posters' wardrobes.
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  13. TheBlackBruceWayne

    TheBlackBruceWayne Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    227
    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2010
    

    THIS. The "church culture", menswear taking backseat to streetwea for young black men, unless in a university setting ala Howard with guys peacocking in loud bow ties and loafers. As stated in a recent thread I don't even wear my bow ties anymore in fear of being lumped into this category. Before I joined SF I considered my dad to be well dressed.he grew up in the 50_70's area in nyc, so exposure helped him out, but of course styles changed racially around the 70's.

    I often find myself having a sort of self defeating dialogue when complimented by people on my attire and wonder if they think I'm "one of those black men who likes to dress up, in the vein of what you stated earlier".

    I felt that much less when I lived in nyc, but in Virginia feel it much more in a place where a muted grenadine and mid grey suit would be considered peacocking, trying too hard,overdressed,etc.

    Also feel that there is no representation of black men in menswear unless you count Ozwald B who I respect but is too loud for my taste.If there are others forgive my ignorance.
     

Share This Page

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by