Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by TweedyProf, Oct 4, 2014.
A thread for discussion of Classic Menswear theory and principles
Let me start with Gerry Nelson (@Gerry Nelson ) who has posted some beautiful fits and photos (he's a professional photographer)
The fit on the top illustrates a really nice use of scale and pattern combination. Three patterns are probably as much as most should attempt, here stripes, dots and checks. The choice of a silk cream square (I think) is just right...keeps the outfit from being too busy. The shoes are fantastic, and perfect for this fit but the big question is: are those purple flannels?
If I had to pick at a few nits, the stripes on the shirt and on the overcheck are too close in scale and color and the pants might be too close in contrast but we'd have to see a full fit pic.
Some variations that might be nice
A brown textured tie (wool, grenadine) might accentuate the coat and indeed, I might try a deep rust (e.g. a donegal tweed). On the shirt, fine pencil stripes, either brown, silver or some shade of blue, perhaps intermediate between check and tie. Or, one could try a small checked shirt in brown or navy.
Squares: if the tie were solid, I think a slightly busier square would work. A brighter orange/rust might be interesting; deep navy paisley with appropriate tones or a brown.
will be interested
have to say
it may be
OK, I will bite; I hope it's ok for members other than those nominated to post commentary - if not I am happy to delete this post. Gerry's fit above is interesting in that it is characteristic of a look that seems popular both on Tumblr and WAYWRN, but which the "old guard" would, I think, regard with disdain. Those of you who were around for Vox's "coherent combinations" treatise can probably guess the reason why. To the eye of someone accustomed to seeing in this tradition, the tie is discordant. That is a business tie. Or a city tie. Whatever you want to call it. This outfit of Gerry's has the opposite "problem":
That said, these distinctions are disappearing as the number of people who understand them dwindles. That's not necessarily a bad thing. As I said, these sorts of juxtapositions are ascendant in #menswear. I am not enough of an aesthetic absolutist to claim that one tradition has a monopoly on taste, and that the view from within that tradition is the only one with the right perspective. Clothes change their meaning over time just as words do. Today when I say the word "awful," English speakers have an immediate and intuitive sense of what I mean. But not too long ago, this word had a meaning close to the opposite of its current one. The same is true for "egregious." We need not necessarily mourn the death of one meaning and the rise of another, but I think it's at least worth noticing for those who have an interest in dress.
This is going to be sacrilegious, but I think Vox's buttoning point could be lower, he could use a little more room in the chest (bowing lapels on both suits), and finally, his sleeves could be tapered slightly more. A slightly higher shirt collar wouldn't look bad either. Colours and combinations are impeccable, although one could say that a white shirt and grey grenadine are too formal for a BlazerSuitTM.
I meant to add you, D. Sorry for not and thanks for this post!
I suspect the bowing in the lapel is due to the square, it seems mostly on that side, and probably just the way his arm is posed and due to the static nature of posing. The only issue with these, for me, is that they are classic and the choices are impeccable. Sort of CBD 101 or CBD 101H ('H" for honors). Many experienced posters would be TA-ing that class (ok, the academic metaphor is perhaps too tired).
I guess I would have thought that Gerry's dotted tie would be more casual, for the spacing and size of the dots. Cf. a microdot tie.
I hope Gerry doesn't mind two of his fits being posted. Of course, it's just him and Vox at this point...
you're just salivating at the thought of fresh livers.
On Gerry's second pic, if I remember correctly, it was for a Loud Tie Friday Challenge. Paisley's I find very difficult to wear, and my inclination is to have one that is more muted and worn with a DB where the energy of the pattern is reduced visually.
I agree with Unbel about the importance of principles first (I can't help it, I'm an academic, like him). Still, principles are stated in terms of concepts, and concepts are often vague and indeed, can change their meaning over time too. On the dotted tie as business tie, I suspect Unbel would agree that a large dotted shantung is more casual than a micro-dotted tie.
to identify the extremes. I took Gerry's to be more towards the latter. Where should one draw the line? Is a man with 15 hairs on his head bald ?
^ To me it is the texture of the shantung that makes it obviously casual vs. the space between and size of the dots.
Also, @edmorel , you are more than welcome to post.
I was thinking of this thread as a parallel to the 20thumbs thread, with practical goals of the Good Taste thread, discussion oriented but with the constructive and friendly mood of the Noodle's thread.
I make no presumptions about level of expertise beyond the fact that people have learned the basics, have tried to implement them, and are thoughtful about clothes.
My example does conflate texture with dots.
I don't want to claim to speak for history, but I consider any dotted, or really any neat unless the scale is really large, a business tie. The shantung dots is more casual, but it's still a tie for suits, especially in that stark color way. Wear that with a linen suit or a PoW fresco or something. I have knit ties with dots that aren't white that I wear with odd jackets (such as in the example below), but that's the only circumstance I can think of.
I also don't particularly like paisley ties. But if I were forced to wear the one in Gerry's pic, I would probably try it with something like this (but with a different square):
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