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Brummell Vs. Classical Style

radicaldog

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I've often thought about the issue raised by the OP. One (sad and relativistic) solution is this: classical style is dead, except perhaps within the narrow boundaries of the professions that still require conservative business dress. So by dressing in a tweed coat, OCBD, knit tie and flannel trousers to go grab a cup of coffee at our local we aren't really violating the classical rule of not drawing attention, because the framework in which that rule made sense is no longer in place -- so the rule cannot be violated. The world of classical style started with Brummel, and probably ended sometime in the 70's. Nowadays we can't violate the 'rules', but we can't follow them either, if you see what I mean.
 

spitfirees20

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I believe many people on this forum have a passion for classical style and clothing, and wear it as a hobby albeit with no regard to their current timeframe. For example, how often do you see young men running around in tweed sport coats? Not often for the majority of places. Therefore, if you're wearing one then yes, you may be well dressed and you may be considered classically dressed, but you will look wildly out of place. I'm assuming the majority of the people here already know that.

Many people have to dress in business attire for work. There's an extremely large difference between what they're doing, doing what they are trying to do correctly, and doing what you think is correct for business dress regardless of timeframe or environment. I think many people come to this forum looking for the second and often find the third.
 

Film Noir Buff

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Originally Posted by radicaldog
I've often thought about the issue raised by the OP. One (sad and relativistic) solution is this: classical style is dead, except perhaps within the narrow boundaries of the professions that still require conservative business dress. So by dressing in a tweed coat, OCBD, knit tie and flannel trousers to go grab a cup of coffee at our local we aren't really violating the classical rule of not drawing attention, because the framework in which that rule made sense is no longer in place -- so the rule cannot be violated. The world of classical style started with Brummel, and probably ended sometime in the 70's. Nowadays we can't violate the 'rules', but we can't follow them either, if you see what I mean.
Wow, that's really radical...dawg.
 

J. Cogburn

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Brummel wasn't making a timeless pronouncement on style to be etched on stone tablets and passed down to future generations; he was reacting against the garishness of the style of his contemporaries by championing a simpler, somewhat minimalistic style. This had the added bonus of creating a fashion terrain where he could compete without needing to invest as much as he would have had the old ornate fashion remained in vogue.
Today, of course, he would be making a BIG mistake. One can find garish clothes and accessories everywhere and at affordable prices to boot. But try finding something that fits really, really well ... as Brummell would have it. You will have to spend a LOT more for that. Today's Brummell would endeavor to level the playing field by going in the exact opposite historical direction.

If we accept Michael Alden's advice and start our sartorial journey by undertaking a thoughtful inventory of exactly who we are and how we want to present ourselves to the world ... and then consider which clothes and sartorial styles will assist in highlighting the former and facilitating the latter ... we will get a lot further down the style road than we will by asking ourselves what might keep John Bull's head from turning. I would link to said advice but can't find it at the moment. Perhaps Michael will provide the enigmatic link. It was the most valuable piece of sartorial advice I have yet been given.

Classical style accomplishes all of those things for me. But they may not for you.
 

spitfirees20

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One forum member has this as their signature, and I believe it sums everything up nicely:

"The well-dressed man is he whose clothes you never notice." -William Somerset Maugham

If you think even 30% of the outfits in WAYWRN would blend in with a crowd of 18-35 year olds in any major city, then I don't even think a discussion could take place.
 

Spudbunny

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I would say "Mr. Bunny" is Cogburn's finest moment - so far - on SF.
 

mkarim

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Originally Posted by onix
One must find a balance.

I first joined SF a year ago and start reading a lot (forum, books and other resources) on dressing for men. And I start wearing clothes that should be considered classy and nice, meaning nice shoes, suit, tie pocket squares...

But then I realized that I look TOO overdressed considering that I am a grad student at a Midwestern technical school (meaning, most people wear jeans, sneakers, hoodies...)

So this year, I fix that by not wearing a suit, or even sport jacket. Shoes, slacks, shirts and a tie underneath a sweater work perfectly fine.


+1000. I went through the same scenario.
 

mkarim

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Originally Posted by J. Cogburn
Leave the white collar work place and it gets worse. Put on a sports coat and tie and go to a party and, well, incur the wrath of the hoi polloi.

No kidding! Same with me.
 

binge

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Originally Posted by J. Cogburn
Leave the white collar work place and it gets worse. Put on a sports coat and tie and go to a party and, well, incur the wrath of the hoi polloi.

Really? You've actually incurred wrath at a party for wearing a sport coat. How long was your hospital stay afterwards? Do tell...
 

mkarim

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Originally Posted by binge
Really? You've actually incurred wrath at a party for wearing a sport coat. How long was your hospital stay afterwards? Do tell...

I have incurred wrath for that. Heck, I have even incurred wrath just for wearing a custom-made shirt and jeans, no sport coat/tie/pocket square! I incurred the wrath for the custom-made shirt (I live in Atlanta)!
 

binge

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Where do you have your jeans custom made?
 

mkarim

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Originally Posted by binge
Where do you have your jeans custom made?

Just the shirt was custom-made. The jeans were regular GAP ones.
 

withstyle

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Originally Posted by cminor
so what did they stole from you?

the effect of the internet on the next generation's use of the english language is really starting to scare me. if I were to go on a more "youthful" forum and type in full, complete english sentences, it would probably have the same effect as if I ran all of my daily errands in a tuxedo.
 

mkarim

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Originally Posted by withstyle
the effect of the internet on the next generation's use of the english language is really starting to scare me. if I were to go on a more "youthful" forum and type in full, complete english sentences, it would probably have the same effect as if I ran all of my daily errands in a tuxedo.

+100000.

It's not only the Internet, but texting as well.
 

binge

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Originally Posted by mkarim
Just the shirt was custom-made. The jeans were regular GAP ones.

I guess I can understand their wrath then.
 

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