Can something be too perfect?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by odoreater, Jun 7, 2006.

  1. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    I was thinking about this, do you ever see a guy whose clothes fit so perfectly and are arranged so well and everything is so perfectly in place that it just doesn't look good, like maybe it looks sort of too contrived?

    When I dress, I try to look good , but I try to do it in a non-chalant sort of way. Like for example, it doesn't really bother me if my shirt gets wrinkled during the day, or if I'm showing a little too much or a little too little cuff under my jacket sleeve, or if my tie is slightly crooked. I mean, there are obvious things that you don't want to go wrong (the worst, IMO, is when someone's tie is showing under their collar), but it seems like if you are wearing your clothes and you are pretty casual about it, shit is going to happen. Your shirt is going to get wrinkled, your tie is going to move, and this doesn't really bother me. Why should it?

    Whenever I see someone that is dressed so perfectly that it seems like they went through great effort to get everything just perfect I think to myself "this guy is trying way too hard." Anybody else?
     
  2. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

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  3. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    The Italians have a term for this, which I can't recall how to spell.
     
  4. nemuu

    nemuu Senior member

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    My grandfather always said that the true elegance was to be found in irregularities and "faults".
     
  5. Lucky Strike

    Lucky Strike Senior member

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    The Italians have a term for this, which I can't recall how to spell.
    Sprezzatura
    . http://wso.williams.edu/~espence/sprezzmeaning.html
     
  6. Get Smart

    Get Smart Don't Crink

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    Unless it's a photo shoot and the guy is posed/just standing, I don't think there's ever perfection in someone's outfit that had to drive, walk somewhere, sat, etc.

    But I do have a problem with terms like "trying to hard", since anyone who cares about their dress is "trying hard", whether it's making sure they show shirt under their jacket, the way shoes are shined, and all the details that make a person "well dressed" is a result of "trying"
     
  7. coachvu

    coachvu Senior member

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    I completely agree. You never want to look like you are trying too hard. Nothing worse than looking like you spend an hour dressing every morning.
     
  8. j

    j (stands for Jerk) Admin

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    Unless it's a photo shoot and the guy is posed/just standing, I don't think there's ever perfection in someone's outfit that had to drive, walk somewhere, sat, etc.

    But I do have a problem with terms like "trying to hard", since anyone who cares about their dress is "trying hard", whether it's making sure they show shirt under their jacket, the way shoes are shined, and all the details that make a person "well dressed" is a result of "trying"

    It's a matter of looking like you tried vs. looking as if it came naturally to you. You can try all you want, but what you are trying for is to make it look like you don't have to try.. [​IMG]
     
  9. Get Smart

    Get Smart Don't Crink

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    It's a matter of looking like you tried vs. looking as if it came naturally to you. You can try all you want, but what you are trying for is to make it look like you don't have to try.. [​IMG]

    right. good clarification [​IMG]

    I thought the FNB thread was an interesting read as well. Esp the bit about "clothes just a hobby like sports memorabilia and youre simply collecting them and placing them on your mantle" because I certainly get the sense that is the case quite often with folks.
     
  10. Tomasso

    Tomasso Senior member

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    A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them. - Hardy Amies
     
  11. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    A man should look as if he had bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care, and then forgotten all about them. - Hardy Amies

    Excellent. This is exactly what I'm talking about.

    Also, Lucky's description of "sprezzatura" was very interesting.

    Sometimes I'll see a guy who keeps tugging at his shirt's cuffs to make sure that they are showing below the jacket sleeves or keeps tugging at his jacket collar to make sure that it is in the right place and it just makes him look fidgety and uncomfortable in his suit.
     
  12. old dover trad

    old dover trad Well-Known Member

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    I think it's good not to be so perfect. That's really a part of Trad. People aren't perfect so why should they try to dress that way? A frayed collar and wrinkles in the khakis never hurt anyone. Stylish and comfortable is Trad nirvana and it doesn't take more than one lifetime to reach it although hand me downs are a part of the lifestyle.
     
  13. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

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    I think it's good not to be so perfect. That's really a part of Trad. People aren't perfect so why should they try to dress that way? A frayed collar and wrinkles in the khakis never hurt anyone. Stylish and comfortable is Trad nirvana and it doesn't take more than one lifetime to reach it although hand me downs are a part of the lifestyle.

    Yeah, I try to apply the trad attitude to non-trad clothing.
     
  14. thinman

    thinman Senior member

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    Luciano Barbera on sprezzatura:

    "A man must face the world with sprezzatura. It literally means detachment, but a better way to think of it is quiet confidence or low-key style. The most forceful statement is understatement. It is the philosophy behind everything I do." --from the company's website:

    http://www.lucianobarbera.it/EN/stile_sprezzatura.asp
     
  15. Full Canvas

    Full Canvas Senior member

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    The Italians have a term for this, which I can't recall how to spell.

    Sprezzatura.

    http://wso.williams.edu/~espence/sprezzmeaning.html


    Sprezzatura always sounds so very much like the concept of Shibumi. The understated elegance and effortless perfection of a subtle kind are expressed in both.
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

    From most first year Psychology texts discussing the four levels of competence-
    "The one who achieves Unconscious Competence is:
    The individual has had so much practice with a skill that it becomes 'second nature' and can be performed easily (often without concentrating too deeply)."

    __________________________________
     

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