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who actually does this forum cater to?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by samnc, Oct 10, 2012.

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  1. samnc

    samnc Well-Known Member

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    I have made a few posts here, and I am very happy with the suggestions I am getting. Thanks. However, I ran by a few posts where people described themselves as "clothes hobbyists" and I am curious who I am actually taking advise from.

    Of course, I have hobbies too...I can talk to death about photography, and I am passionate about it. If I had the money, I certainly would spend $4,000 on a camera lens where a $1,000 or even $200 lens could do an almost as good as a job in most circumstances. Some might think this is crazy. If I had the disposable money, I would want the best camera lenses out there. I imagine most of you have an extensive collection of high end clothes that problably lasts for a decade since they dont have to be used that much consdiering the quantity and quality of what you have. So, is this for a lack of a better word, a hobby? If it is, I am certainly not slamming or attacking it.

    Also, I am assuming most of you are professional men being bankers, lawyers, businessmen, or other jobs involving formal wear. Are you this passionate about casualware as well? Or, are most people here simply those who want to look good and nothing more? And while we are at it, what kinds of income do we have? it is nice that people are suggesting $300 dress shirts, but if you are making $500,000 a year, a $300 dress shirt is valued differently than me who makes about $80,000 a year.

    If I can indulge in asking you another question--JAB, although maligned often, is running (another) sale for cashmere sweaters for about $55-60 a pop. Obviously, this sale will come back. For the price, is this something to get if you like cashmere sweaters? I know I am not getting a $500 quality cashmere sweater or even something that is truly a MSRP sweater of $300 (the listed price) but for what the price is, is it a good deal? I will be perfectly happy to get 2-3 years of use out of it and then move on if it wears out by then...not looking for a sweater to last a decade.
     
  2. 17 Seconds

    17 Seconds Well-Known Member

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    I think those are valid questions.

    For myself, I have a fascination with clothes and retail that have developed within the past 5 years. At some point, I decided to start caring about how I presented myself, and the more I pulled on the yarn, the more it unraveled. I love the forum because of it's mix of snark, information, and legitimate people who care about the stuff I care about. I don't know that it's a hobby-it alternates between an obsession, a lifestyle, and an annoyance.

    For the cashmere, this is a great post that I might catch flack for, but I'll submit it for your approval nonetheless:

    http://putthison.com/post/269043586/cashmeresweaters
     
  3. Claghorn

    Claghorn Well-Known Member

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    I'm OCD and when I forget to take my medication I compulsively buy ties (or just organize them...by color...maker...age...whatever). My love of clothes is probably built around complementing my ties.

    I'm 26 and make around 65 grand a year, but since I don't pay taxes (exempt), we're probably in the same boat regarding disposable income. Engaged, childless, and I just finished paying off a hefty amount of student debt, and the way I dress is probably both a reflection of my age and being a white person in a non-white country. My sensibilities with regards to dress are probably conservative compared to most people who like clothes, but liberal compared to a lot of people on this forum.

    I live in Asia, and I can get tailored shirts from a good tailor here for the same price as a so-so tailor Stateside; I had this in mind when someone recommended fitted shirts for you and I suggested BB. $300 for a fitted shirt seems steep unless you have a lot of money to spend. When I move back to the US I'll probably just be getting Brooks Brothers.

    I am interested to see the replies you get on this thread.

    On a side note: as long as you mention your budgetary constraints or willingness to spend, even the highest of rollers here will give you sound advice. I think most people here love clothes more than they love the wealth (either true or illusory) that the clothes project.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  4. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Well-Known Member

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    Most 'hobbyists' dislike the term 'hobbyist' of course and want to be seen as something more serious, but yes, really it is a hobby (read: "an obsession, a lifestyle, and an annoyance") - even if it is something that can be integrated into working life. Even the people who wear fine suits to work still don't have to do this. What we all do is over and above what is expected these days in almost all the contexts in which members are working. So yes, it's a hobby, much as I too hate the word.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  5. dapperdoctor

    dapperdoctor Well-Known Member

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    Good questions....good topic. Since I started reading here I've been shopping too much, that's for sure.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Twotone

    Twotone Well-Known Member

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    People with specialized interests often spend a lot of time, money and thought on their "hobbies." I too, am into photography (wish I sold my $8,000 medium format system when I could of). What was once a mostly solitary passion, has now become a form of social discourse thanks to the Internet. Whether it's clothes, cars, cameras or fountain pens, there is a web site dedicated to any and every particular interest (and some I wish I had not seen). I find them all a useful (to a point) way to learn from others, express my thoughts and hopefully, make better choices. Specialist web sites and fora are also a great way to waste time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  7. Roger Everett

    Roger Everett Well-Known Member

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    I personally feel that " sartorial hobbist " sounds a lot better than " an OCD showoff narcissus "
     
  8. Xenon

    Xenon Well-Known Member

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    No way, Don't under estimate the suckworthynessof income taxes. In US 65K tax free is more like 90k and in Canada more like 100K
     
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  9. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member

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    Good question.

    The honest answer is probably, "everyone and nobody".

    Discussion forums don't really cater to anyone in particular; the content changes over the years depending on the current composition of the membership and while there are periods of positive feedback leading to peaks of certain interests that spread right across the board, there are also relatively confused periods where a range of different niches co-exist. I would suggest that the current period is one such phase of a large number of different groups co-existing, each within their own niches. A given thread isn't representative of SF as a whole, currently, due to a range of different interests. There are some threads focused on classic men' style, some on modern interpretations of it, some on slightly more fashion-y topics, some on very expensive custom tailoring with experienced "hobbyists" chiming in, some on mass-market lower cost brands, and so on. There are also a lot of more superficial threads, focused on practical advice for a plethora of different day to day settings (viz. "what should I wear for my interview at xyz"). It's up to the individual user as to which phase is actually the more fertile (plausible arguments can be made for both, depending on one's perspective).

    Anyway, as with most things in life, and certainly internet forums, you'll find SF most useful if you root around for a bit, explore a range of different threads, attempt to make a judgement about the people posting in them and find a set of threads that are about things you're interested in. Posting a thread asking for specific advice will get you a very skewed set of answers, as only a small, self-selecting percentage of the board will bother to reply. Learning through osmosis, and judging for yourself whose advice means anything to you, is probably for the best. It's a bit more time-consuming, admittedly. :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  10. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Well-Known Member

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    I think it caters to everyone from the high end bespoke customer to the guy looking for a $500 suit. Sure, it doesn't generally suit those who want to spend $150 at mens warehouse, but there are actual tangible reasons we feel that way.

    I feel like many people, including myself, can get overwhelmed by some of the threads on here talking about $5,000 suits, $400 dress shirts, $1700 shoes, etc. I am generally in awe at how much some people are willing to spend and just how much fucking clothing some people own (and I thought I owned a lot). That said, I've spent more than I normally would on a few pieces that I'd never have found without SF (like HY pants) and was very pleased, but even that has limits.

    I think you'll find your own comfort zone on prices, and so long as its not totally bottom of the barrel (and you specify in your first post your budget), people will have good suggestions for you.
     
  11. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Well-Known Member

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    I have no issues with calling myself a hobbyist. Clothes are something I care about much more than the average person. I don't feel that everyone else "should" care about clothes as much as I do, or that my clothes are instrumental in getting me a better job or otherwise improving my lot in life, nor do I think that I am somehow "saving money" by spending ludicrous sums on high-quality items that, if I care for it with diligence, might last longer than something at 1/10th of the price. Given all that, I think it's fair to describe my interest in clothing as a hobby.

    As long as you recognize that it is a hobby and not a life necessity, and therefore derive legitimate pleasure from your clothes as opposed to stress and anxiety and a need for approval or acceptance, and spend within your means, then it's rewarding and there's no reason to feel guilty about it.

    When people tell you that you "need" to buy $300 shirts or $500 dress shoes or whatever, they are clearly wrong. Feel free to buy these things if you want them and have the money. If you do not buy them, you are not an idiot. You're just either not as rich or not as clothing-obsessed as those who do. But if you are interested and want to spend serious money on clothing, it makes sense to look around, figure out what you like and what's out there, what are the differences between different makers or production techniques, etc., so that you spend your $300 in a way that will increase your happiness as much as possible.

    That said, on cashmere sweaters, the PTO guys know their stuff. Cheap modern cashmere is usually not a very good deal. Feels great in the store, looks like crap after a few wears. More recent post here:

    http://putthison.com/post/33160138133/old-cashmere-is-better-heres-the-honest-truth
     
  12. Holdfast

    Holdfast Well-Known Member

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    I personally think merino wool is a _much_ better option than cashmere at the lower price levels. Feels pretty soft, wears well, and looks nice. No point paying 50% more for cashmere at that price point IMO.
     
    2 people like this.
  13. Naive Jr.

    Naive Jr. Well-Known Member

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    For/to whom this forum caters.


    "Also, I am assuming most of you are professional men being bankers, lawyers, businessmen, or other jobs involving formal wear."

    Definitely WRONG as far as my case is concerned. Many of the posters here are fascinating for their experience and wit. Unfortunately, at least two of my threads forund no written echo - it seems my questions are shared or the answers impossible or too much trouble. But all those posters who were kind enough to respond helped me.


    My natal horoscope has a Venus influence and three planets in Scorpio. Venus for beauty, Scorpio for stoff (stuff). Etcetera.


    PS: I devoted more attention to this forum after I was banned from Ask Andy About Clothes. I was not at all aware that my criticism on that website would lead to banishment, and my protests to the powers-that-be got the replies stop badgering, seek psychological help and get lost. The website Cutter and Tailor is very sophisticated and I have never experienced any mobbing there. Here one has to be careful if one says something anything sincere a businessman considers dangerous for his business, but in general my experience here is very positive and I am grateful I can participate. Tomorrow I shall receive my belt made for me by Charlie Trevor, whose craftmanship I heard about at this website.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
  14. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Well-Known Member

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    This forvm, like many others, exists to convert a poster from curious, to obsessed, to jaded, to elitist; the ultimate step involving a permanent departure.

    Per your cashmere question:

    In reality most all cashmere these days, expensive or not, isn't worth the money. The companies producing a good to great product generally charge an arm and a leg for it (think Hermes). By definition, "luxury" level cashmere is a sweater made of fibers of a minimum of 38mm in length (the longer the fiber, the better) and above 15 microns in thickness. Finding makers who have sweaters to this standard that aren't at least partially synthetically made is very difficult and obviously involves a ton of research. And once you do find a company that has these levels of quality, make sure you bring your mortgage. As a rule of thumb, Italian-spun fibers are softer and smoother, while Scottish-spun fibers are tougher-wearing and more substantial. Either way, the best cashmere is sourced from Mongolia and Northern China. It's the spinning and washing of the fibers that differentiates the hand and durability of a sweater, all other things equal.

    All that said, you'd be better suited to look into lambswool or merino for cheap sweaters. While there are obviously large differences between high and low end, a cheap cashmere sweater is far more likely to stretch, pill and become oily to the touch than a merino or lambswool.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  15. mcbrown

    mcbrown Well-Known Member

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    OP, StyleForum isn't so different from any "interest" forum, like photograph, cars, etc. I'm sure you frequent photography fora, in which case you know that they are frequented by workaday professionals (e.g. wedding photographers), artists, hobbyists with large budgets, hobbyists with small budgets, equipment collectors, travelers, students, average people just trying to find a good P&S, Photoshop enthusiasts, people with fairly obscure photographic obsessions (pinhole cameras, tiny cameras, etc.), and people who just like talking to other people in their demographic even if not about photography.

    So it is with SF, as I have learned. The forum has tailors/cobblers, retailers, bespoke enthusiasts, thrifting enthusiasts, jeans enthusiasts, shoe enthusiasts, recent graduates building a wardrobe, men over 30 who suddenly realize they want to dress better, people with fairly obscure sartorial obsessions, and people who just like talking to other people in their demographic even if not about clothes.

    Me? I'm a professional in his mid-30's who discovered SF by accident when looking for new shoes for my wedding, and suddenly realized that I had never really thought about dressing myself. Now I do spend some time thinking about it.
     
  16. samnc

    samnc Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input re: marino wool. I was assuming that if I was going to pay that much for a wool sweater, I might as well get a cashmere instead.

    About the hobby issue---I also like traveling. Perhaps if I have a strong desire to get custom made clothes one of these days, I should be trecking off to Vietnam and bringing back a whole bunch of custom-fit clothes...and I am not saying this tounge in cheek. Obviously, it would require alot of research, but perhaps a slew of custom made clothes here in the USA costs the same as a trip to Vietnam and getting all custom suits, jackets, and sports coats over there, with a fun trip to boot! :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. acridsheep

    acridsheep Well-Known Member

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    Grazing on the carcasses of less senior members
    Marino Wool:

    [​IMG]
     
    4 people like this.
  18. acridsheep

    acridsheep Well-Known Member

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    Grazing on the carcasses of less senior members
    Marino nylon:

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. VinnyMac

    VinnyMac Well-Known Member

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    How about creating cliff notes OP. I'm sure that your monologue is interesting, but that's just too much.

    To answer the question from your title, I don't think that the site caters to a specific group of guys. I think that some of the long-time members have unrealistic ideas about their grandness and say rude things because of it. The guys who are VERY serious about clothes can also be hit or miss, but you can find information that appeals to just about any guy, teenage and beyond.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
  20. mcbrown

    mcbrown Well-Known Member

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    I think this sums up SF pretty well - newbs hazing newer newbs for their newb-ness, while dismissing the value of the existing commentariat and dispensing bad advice. :slapfight:

    Just kidding, you know I love you Vinny.

    Just kidding, I don't even know you Vinny.
     
    1 person likes this.

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