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Who do  you dress for?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by uppercase, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. familyman

    familyman Well-Known Member

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    Feb 18, 2005
    I'm a stay at home dad, but I still dress for my 'work'. When my wife comes home I want to present her with a hot meal, a clean house, two happy kids, and a nice clean well dressed husband. This was particularly hard for the first 6 months with each of the children and its only been since the second was over a year old that I've been getting where I want to be as far as dressing. Of course, the dinner, the clean house and the happy kids were and still are the priorities over my personal appearance.
     
  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member

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    Location:
    Moscow, Idaho
    Sometimes for the occasion (weddings, funerals, meetings with people who give us money), but mostly for myself - I work in my office all day, and except for my buddy who takes most of the pictures I post, no one would know (or possibly even care) If I wore longjohns and a "Naked Bong Hits" tshirt all day. I, on the other hand, would probably get a little chilly.

    My friends generally don't care. The few that do ask me for tips and calrifications, such as "Well, semiformal means black tie, but IO know George and Joanne, and it is unlikely that's what they meant. Better phone them and find out for sure."

    As for my fiancee? She generally asks for my advice, and the amateur personal stylist in me loves it. Plus, she's a jeans and sneakers type of girl too; so I try to keep her in the freshest stuff (for example, she was wearing Rock and Republic long before I saw anyone outside LA and NYC with those jeans, and she wears a Baltazar belt I gave her as a b-day gift.)
     
  3. Carlo

    Carlo Well-Known Member

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    Familyman - that's real work :) More men need to bust that whole stereotype... Having done the single parent thing I respect ya.

    As to my dress it depends but I definately find myself looking for any/all good excuses to wear ties. My tastes have expanded a great deal over the past few years. Back when I was in business attire every day it was conservative bordering on stuffy, now I figure I can get away with wearing whatever I want. I'm not successful enough to be considered eccentric yet but I am slowly crossing over into being 'one of those creative types'.

    All in all I'd say I dress 30% for me, 70% for Jill. Jill has a major fabric fetish and I get hugged more wearing cashmere - easy call.

    ...For those attending in New York I apologize in advance, I promise she is fondling your suit and not harassing you.
     
  4. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    New York City / Buenos Aires
    (imageWIS @ Feb. 22 2005,06:51) I dress for the other voices in my head.
    [​IMG] I'd hate to hear those talking to one another when you're in front of your closet trying to decide what to wear today. MtB
    They never agree on anything. [​IMG] Jon.
     
  5. Fabienne

    Fabienne Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely. I know two men who are stay-at-home dads (they resume other activities when their wife comes home and takes over).
     
  6. charle

    charle Member

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    10
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    Mar 2, 2004
    Hmmm, who do I dress for?

    When outfitting my wardrobe, I often ask "would this article violate a sartorial tenet and how best can my expression be seen within "˜that frame?" After all, dressing is an art is it not? Thus, I dress rules first and self second.
     
  7. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    Jun 15, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco
    I dress for myself, with respect for the time of day, circumstances or occassion.

    My wife doesn't know what it costs but I know she has a general idea. She assumes that any trip I take to New York or London is for a fitting.

    Of course, I do sneak fittings in from time to time.

    Will
     
  8. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    In Hiding
    Heh. I have the same problem. "Dear, I know the ticket says Heathrow, but I'm really going to Minsk. It's just a layover. Honest."
     
  9. LondonCalling

    LondonCalling Member

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    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2004
    Location:
    London and New York
    Myself - I don't think anyone else cares really. At best, my lovely wife is mildly amused by my eccentricities, but for the most part she tries to ignore them (exception; ascots - those she openly dislikes).

    My work colleagues are mostly dressed by their wives - and it shows. I've been working in banking for the majority of my career and I am amazed at how poorly my contemporaries have always dressed (even before business casual). I recall a thread several weeks ago that discussed how New York investment bankers (and Wall Street in general) dressed. In my experience, most dressed far below the standards espoused on this forum. Off the rack $500 suits paired up with a Hermes tie (purchased by girlfriend) and their one and only pair of black AE Park Avenue cap toes (polished once a quarter when they happened to be in the office at the same time the shoe shine guy made his rounds). As our careers progressed, the endless hours of working, traveling and eating calorie laden meals (when most people are experiencing REM) take their toll producing an ever expanding waist line. Thus, the $500 suit is replaced by an off the rack $800 suit. The tie is still Hermes (purchased by woman formerly known as girlfriend - since promoted to wife) and the shoes are the same unpolished (but worn out) pair of Park Avenues.

    Case in point; yesterday evening I had dinner with a friend of mine. He is the number 1 ranked equity analyst in his sector and region (not disclosed). As we were waiting to be seated I noticed two things about his appearance; his terribly wrinkled suit has missing buttons on each sleeve and his shoes - unpolished Park Avenues - had flattened toe boxes, curled up to point of being classified as elf issue. This is a man whose insight and intelligence I respect greatly. But the simple truth is he just doesn't care about his clothes.

    So does it matter to me that many people consider sartorial dress a 19th century costume that adds nothing of substance?

    No.

    I dress the way I do because I have my own standards - eccentric as some may be.
     
  10. misterbowles

    misterbowles Well-Known Member

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    May 7, 2004
    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    So true. (Except for the marriage part; I am terminally unattached...) However, these are two crosses I am happy to bear for the moment.
     
  11. norcaltransplant

    norcaltransplant Well-Known Member

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    Jan 29, 2003
    Location:
    NYC/Brooklyn
    Great quote. If I showed up in study hall in trackpants or wrinkled khakis, this means A) I'm heading to the gym after studying, B) studying isn't going that hot, or C) I'm suffering from a post-relationship argument.

    On a more comical note, I have been asked twice if I forgot a sportcoat during two different review sessions... in both cases, I was not the owner of the said jacket.
     
  12. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    New York City / Buenos Aires
    (Bradford @ Feb. 22 2005,11:12) Unfortunately, it's a dangerous road because once you've established yourself as the stylish guy at work and in life, you have to constantly dress nicely. If I were to just throw on a pair of ill-fitting pants and an ugly wrinkled shirt, people would assume there was something wrong with me or my marriage... Bradford
    So true. (Except for the marriage part; I am terminally unattached...) However, these are two crosses I am happy to bear for the moment.
    Eh, not really. I dress sporadically, from RLPL cashmere sweaters, RLPL pleated wool pants, and To Boot New York shoes one day to GAP jeans, GAP tee and Puma Speed cats another. That way, no one knows what to expect, but they you know that I can dress well when needed. Jon.
     
  13. linux_pro

    linux_pro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    551
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    Feb 1, 2005
    I have always dressed for myself, and am lucky that both my fiance/girlfriend and my employers appreciate my personal dress code. For work, I dress down - very conservative. Mainly navy or charcoal SB suits, black or brown wingtips, repp tie, white shirt, etc.

    Over the weekends, I alternate between casual (dress shirt under cashmere sweater, slacks, nice shoes) and very dandy (3-piece chalkstripe with colored/black bowler), depending on the situation. I like to dine out, so my dress code will also alternate depending on the venue (Traditional for fine steak houses like Canlis, very dandy for those wonderful ethiopian nights or the southern cuisine, etc).

    I also put on live music shows, and like to attend the shows to see what kind of draw my bands are getting, etc. I go very dandy for this - once again, the 3-piece suits, generally bold chalkstripes with wild ties and wingtips, and a colored bowler. If I could dress however I wanted any day, this is how I would dress. Unfortunately, it is often seen as a little too bold for appropriate business attire. But it's a hit with my friends and at the clubs. I wear this confidently, so that helps too.
     
  14. gorgekko

    gorgekko Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    The Dominion of Canada
    I have to say that I really only dress for myself. Clothes may not be who you are but they reflect who you are. If I changed styles every time someone thought I needed a makeover then it would simply be a reflection of what they wanted me to be. I like my suits and sport coats. If I wanted to dress "fashionably" or "fashion forward", I would do it...but I don't want to.

    I was very interested in a young lady some months ago but she kept telling me I needed to revise my wardrobe. It turned out I was dressing too upscale a bit conservative for her so she opined that it was time I made a change.

    I'm comfortable with who I am. I certainly won't be changed by someone when we haven't even entered 'couple' status.
     
  15. linux_pro

    linux_pro Well-Known Member

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    Feb 1, 2005
    Yikes. I hated that when I was dating. I never tell people how to live their lives, or try to change their styles or philosophies or anything else. The people who are always trying to change other people, they'll never be happy. I once dated a girl who, on the third date, started telling me I needed to attend church more often (I am an atheist). That was the end of that. Dated another girl who said I worked too much. Goodbye. Dated another who kept "correcting" my opinions during political debates with friends. Sayonara. My current girlfriend tries to "correct" me at times, but she's so pretty, goddamit, now I'm stuck. Heh heh heh. But thank god she accepts my personal style and knows how to laugh about life with me.
     
  16. gorgekko

    gorgekko Well-Known Member

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    Sep 29, 2004
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    The Dominion of Canada
    If it was women it would be problem enough but I even have family members telling me lighten up. My sister says I dress up too much and my parents used to roll their eyes every time I came home with a package. Odd considering they are from an era where it was normal for a man to wear a sport coat or suit every day. Heck, my father was reportedly a clotheshorse himself back in the day. Best dressed man in the Balkans from what he tells me [​IMG] Hard to believe he advised me to go more casual then a humble sport coat.
     
  17. Giona Granata

    Giona Granata Well-Known Member

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    Oct 6, 2004
    Location:
    Milano
    For myself. And for other - elegant - men.
     
  18. Heron

    Heron Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    65
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    Nov 30, 2004
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Very interesting reading the posts in this thread.

    I must say that I became quite discouraged by the way I was dressing and what it was doing to my self-image which was the reason for seeking out a forum of this nature as well as the Ask Andy site.

    There was nothing quite so depressing as looking down at oneself and being dismayed to see wrinkled, horrible clothes hanging there.

    Was is a mid-life thing - perhaps. I did laser on the eyes, dramatically changed the hair style (and colour BTW), lost 30 lbs. and after a frantic time reading all the wonderful advice here and shopping like crazy on eBay for the past 3 months plus buying from a few forum members TODAY (literally) is the first day of the rest of my life from a sartorial perspective (heck I didn't even know that word 4 months ago). Today I shall finally venture forth in my Canali jacket, Zanella cashmere pants, Zegna shirt, RLPL tie and AE shoes (just wish I had a pocket square but I'll work up to that one) - all but the tie are new, acquired as a result of the opinions and advice expressed here on the Style Forum. Could some of the pieces be nicer, sure they could, but if that weren't the case what the heck would I do tomorrow?

    I can now state that I am dressing for myself.

    Thanks Style Forum and all those that contribute/participate.
     
  19. uppercase

    uppercase Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    119
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    Oct 6, 2004
    Wow, so many dressing for themselves. Really?

    It will take a brave man now to wear an ascot; you don't want to be perceived as an anachronism, do you?

    And after all, your self-selected peer group here in SF, has given the thumbs down to ascots.

    So even though you are damn handsome and dashing in your ascot, and Cary has nothing on you, it stays in your bureau drawer. RIP.

    You're not really going to wear it, are you, without the imprimatur of your circle? And that walking stick you were thinking about? Forget it.

    And wouldn't it be smarter, for the sake of preservation of the species, to don your most attractive plummage in terms of what the opposite sex finds attractive rather than what you think, you poor misguided fop. Wouldn't you give up your fedora for love? Put it back on once your married.

    That is to say, until you're happily and safely married forever to a girl who probably comes from the same socio-economic, religious, ethnic, educational background as you. Maybe she's just like you. Grand. Put the fedora back on, settle comfortably into a secure relationship and slowly reveal who you really are. Then maybe you can step out a little, sartorially. A little. Because who cares what anyone thinks. I'm not in the market. But now....don't spend too much and jeez, how can you spend more on clothes than a woman. @#$% And please enough with that pouchette business. Grow up. You're a married man. You're not Fred Astaire, for God's sake. Dancing in the rain. It would take a brave man to insist on dressing for himself if SHE doesn't approve. Me thinks.

    And for God's sake, man, throw out those Gucci G things, and Chanel C things, and whatever else you once thought would bring you love, acceptance, and salvation. How nouveau and arriviste. And don't tell anybody you ever had them. What were you thinking. NOBODY buys into those brands here. Here, we have our own brands, our own values, our own heritage, thank you very much. Here, our tribe dispenses views on the gentlemanly arts, when to wear brown shoes with navy trousers, when we can and cannot wear black suits, linen in the summer, tweed in the Autumn....

    All good advice it is, dosed out with comradely good humor, great bonhomie, hail fellow well met, hrumph...hrumph... to be sure, but can you still really say "I dress for myself"?

    I for one, ofcourse, can.

    And by the way, how do you like my suit?
     
  20. joseanes

    joseanes Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    141
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Location:
    Marlborough, MA, USA
    I like this comment. If people keep separate accounts (or at least separate play/personal money accounts), the wife will never have any issue regarding husband's clothing spending habits.

    I am a strong believer that joint accounts (exclusively) is a fast way of killing a marriage.
     

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