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Blunder: Knitwear with formal suits

Will C.

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In my opinion, it's fundamentally wrong. I hate to seem like a doctrinaire, but I just haven't ever seen it look good.

A sleeveless pullover with a sportcoat or a tweed suit is fine. That's the way it was originally meant to be worn, when the vogue for knitwear started in the 20s. It might even look OK with a windowpane-check flannel suit.

But with a solid, or striped, business-like suit? Sartorial mullet.
 

Will

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The Duke of Windsor wore knitwear with a plain worsted suit many times when he was Prince of Wales (I use him as an example not because he was unique but because I have photos).

There are those that still think he knew what he was doing.
 

Archivist

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Originally Posted by Will C.
In my opinion, it's fundamentally wrong. I hate to seem like a doctrinaire, but I just haven't ever seen it look good.

A sleeveless pullover with a sportcoat or a tweed suit is fine. That's the way it was originally meant to be worn, when the vogue for knitwear started in the 20s. It might even look OK with a windowpane-check flannel suit.

But with a solid, or striped, business-like suit? Sartorial mullet.


Cool story, bro.
 

Will C.

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Originally Posted by Will
The Duke of Windsor wore knitwear with a plain worsted suit many times when he was Prince of Wales (I use him as an example not because he was unique but because I have photos). There are those that still think he knew what he was doing.
That Nazi-sympathizing milksop? His style was usually quite good, but after one accepts the fact that he was only a fallible mortal, it then follows that he may have made a few blunders and even spearheaded a few trends that are less than fortunate... I like much of what he wore but don't admire all of his sartorial choices any more than I like his taste in politics and in women.
Originally Posted by Archivist
Cool story, bro.
Cool riposte (kinda).
 

blahman

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I see nothing wrong with a thin cardigan under a suit though. It's like a knit waistcoat.
 

cptjeff

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Originally Posted by Will C.
In my opinion, it's fundamentally wrong. I hate to seem like a doctrinaire, but I just haven't ever seen it look good.
Good for you. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. Now justify it or GTFO. Tell us what's wrong with another layer that can be fine or course, patterned or plain, offering texture, color, and framing to the wearer's taste. Please try to justify what's categorically wrong with sweaters. Can't justify it? Then give your opinions a rest until they've either changed or you can put some reasoning behind them.
 

WhateverYouLike

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My knee jerk reaction was that the OP is completely wrong and went to look for pictures of this look well-executed. Sadly, I couldn't find any - the ones that look good are with casual jackets. Perhaps someone else has some examples.
 

Will C.

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Originally Posted by cptjeff
Good for you. Opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. Now justify it or GTFO. Tell us what's wrong with another layer that can be fine or course, patterned or plain, offering texture, color, and framing to the wearer's taste. Please try to justify what's categorically wrong with sweaters.


Can't justify it? Then give your opinions a rest until they've either changed or you can put some reasoning behind them.


Such rage - such bile!
I'd be happy to chat about it civilly with you, just do calm down first. I'd hate to get any of that salivary foam on my nice new Drake's cardigan.
 

Will C.

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My knee jerk reaction was that the OP is completely wrong and went to look for pictures of this look well-executed. Sadly, I couldn't find any - the ones that look good are with casual jackets. Perhaps someone else has some examples.
I admit that I'd be interested to see the ones of the DoW mentioned by Will... I don't expect to be convinced but they probably look better than the way it's done 99% of the time today.
 

presence

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WISH I HAD A PICTURE. lOVE TO WEAR FAIR ISLE SWEATERS WITH HERRING BONE AND TWEED. ORDINARY RIDING JACKETS ARE PERFECT.
 

blahman

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Originally Posted by WhateverYouLike
My knee jerk reaction was that the OP is completely wrong and went to look for pictures of this look well-executed. Sadly, I couldn't find any - the ones that look good are with casual jackets. Perhaps someone else has some examples.

I was looking, but then I got a little distracted...
yeah...
 

cptjeff

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Originally Posted by Will C.
Such rage - such bile!
I'd be happy to chat about it civilly with you, just do calm down first. I'd hate to get any of that salivary foam on my nice new Drake's cardigan.


Yeah, self important people who seem to think that their completely unjustified opinions should be treated as the word of god tend to piss me off. No matter what the subject matter.

You offer nothing but a bald assertion, and then have the boldness to start trying to discredit the points of others. Perhaps my tone was more confrontational then it needed to be, but you have yet to say anything that would make me feel all that sorry for you.

So, again, justify your opinion. If not justified, then your opinion is worthless.
 

Master-Classter

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more often then not I see this with sportscoats... but it's not unheard/unseen to have cardigans, sweaters, vests, and other knits with suits. some examples from SF's own, and keep in mind there were many SC's I could have posted that would have looked fine if they had been suits:
and one interesting one... note the tie is above the sweater:
 

Will C.

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I try to avoid interacting with emotionally distraught people when it can be avoided, so I'll just pretend that I'm only addressing the forum at large since cptjeff's heart-rate still hasn't returned to normal levels yet.

The clue to my point of view is in that 'sartorial mullet' metaphor that I used. Brown brogued derbies are often regarded as just such a mullet; so would the wearing of an informal cravat (ascot) with a worsted city suit. There are ways to dress down the more formal outfits, and other ways that just look naff. I'm sure I would at least get a consensus that knitwear is by its nature casual. There are limits to the ways that casual and formal can be mixed.

To put it another way: don't mix items of different formality levels by more than one degree. Isn't that reasonable? It would be fair to say that a tweed jacket and loafers are more formal than a pair of jeans by one degree; but the jeans are at least two degrees removed from a pair of oxfords; hence, the jeans look ok with the tweed and loafers, but look stupid with the oxfords. I would gauge that knitwear is somewhere in between the formality of jeans and that of tweed (say, by half a degree)...

I just haven't seen the knitwear/city suit combo look elegant yet.

EDIT: the examples posted above confirm my thesis, to me at least...

I'm still eager to see the Duke of Windsor pictures mentioned by Will, though.
 

Metlin

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I remember seeing a picture of one of the Kennedy's rocking that look. It used to be in the Google Life Photo Archive, but no luck.
 

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