• We would like to welcome Pete and Harry as an official Affiliate Vendor. Pete and Harry, co-founded by Erik (EFV) one of our long time members and friends, offers a wide variety of products, clothes, watches and accessories, antique, vintage, “pre-loved” and new - all at unparalleled prices. Please visit their new thread and give them a warm welcome.

  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

Cool vs Stylish

Nobilis Animus

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 25, 2017
Messages
2,442
Reaction score
2,125
Yeah, that's the kind of thing that has me wondering if maybe we romanticize things, through the lens of history, that were really just pretty normal at the time.
He doesn't seem to have a problem with finding fake photos and attributing them to other members on this forum, so I wouldn't be surprised if he can pull more out of his rabbit hat.
 

Salad

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
924
Reaction score
417
Of course, we can't know why someone dresses the way they do unless they tell us but I think Miles and Bill dressed as most people did. Miles could flat out dress. I watched a doc on him and how his significant other in the 70s basically took over as his stylist so maybe that's why he wore what he wore in late 70s/80's.


Bill Evans, 1975ish.

evans702.jpg


Very differnt from this, 1960:

billevanspiano-portraitinjazz-lprecord-492687.jpg

That said, seems like a natural progression especially with the turbulence of the era.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
23,340
Reaction score
58,133
Pop quiz. How many of these are CM?
TBH, I don't know how we define the term anymore on the forum. I would personally consider it CM though.

Of course, we can't know why someone dresses the way they do unless they tell us but I think Miles and Bill dressed as most people did. Miles could flat out dress. I watched a doc on him and how his significant other in the 70s basically took over as his stylist so maybe that's why he wore what he wore in late 70s/80's.


Bill Evans, 1975ish.

View attachment 1668969


Very differnt from this, 1960:

View attachment 1668971

That said, seems like a natural progression especially with the turbulence of the era.
I love that Portrait in Jazz cover so much. I was obsessed with that album for a while (still am) and wore browline glasses as an undergrad just because of that album cover.
 

Salad

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2006
Messages
924
Reaction score
417
Portrait was the first Evans album I bought and I bought it because of the cover. Didn't know much about him but was blown away.
Different personnel but I go back to this performance in Helsinki for the interviews, the interior, the clothing, and of course the music. If you have a half hour and like music, this is fantastic.

 

comrade

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 10, 2005
Messages
7,620
Reaction score
1,219
Hm, I have to think about it. Just shooting from the hip:

When I think of black musicians, artists, and writers before the 1970s, I think of people wearing tailored clothing.

This is the famous photo of the Harlem Renaissance

View attachment 1668940


Nearly all men who attended jazz clubs in the 1920s and 30s dressed like this:

View attachment 1668939View attachment 1668938View attachment 1668937


But in the 1930s or so, zoot suits started to emerge and those were considered "not respectable" forms of dress. Especially by the 1940s, when there were war rations and zoot suit wearers were considered unpatriotic. For example, in 1943, there was the "Zoot Suit Riot." Here are some people at a 1930s jazz club wearing zoot suits (the style would get crazier in the 1940s)


View attachment 1668941


Miles started playing in the 1940s, when it would be natural for black musicians and club-goers to still wear tailored clothing at events. It seems to me that he was just wearing the clothes of his era and social circle.

When we think of his style in the 1960s, I think of him as just continuing that tradition. What else would he have worn? Not the rebel style of Marlon Brando, at least to a jazz club.

Bill Evans, who played with Miles, is one of my favorite musicians. While he didn't wear Ivy Style per se, he dressed in CM

View attachment 1668943

MIles abandoned the look by the 1970s and also changed his music. You can really hear the difference between Birth of Cool and Bitches Brew. While I love his music, I think his style in the 70s was ... not great. It only got worse in the 80s. But there were some good shots:


View attachment 1668944

I think the "default" for many African Americans in the 1920s through 50s was wearing tailored clothing. Maybe that started to chip away by the '60s. By the 70s, tailored clothing started to go on a serious decline, reviving for a bit in the 80s, and then declining again in the 90s. My impression is that Miles was just dressed in the fashion of his time.
The first group photo is definitely NOT a picture of th Harlem Renaissance
By the prevalence of single-breasted suits with narrow lapels I would put
it in the 1960s

 

steveabdn

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
297
Reaction score
182
Yeah, I agree that Katz really hit it on the head there. I couldn't agree more that 'a concern with strict correctness or conformity' is enough to get you immediately disqualified for consideration, full stop, no questions asked. In fact, it would seem safer to say that the direct opposite is a minimum requirement.
I kind of agree with this but you have to give it some more context. What is meant by conformity? In our context then that's likely to be conformity with traditional "rules" of stylish dressing. But if your social group is one that wholesale embraces non-conformity does that make a person that adopts the conformist point of view actually a non-conformist?

Going by what people have said on here about the low level dress that's prevalent in Silicon Valley / IT. Someone that conforms in that environment is not going to conform to what we consider to be being well dressed. So, that person is both a conformist and a non-conformist depending on which lens is being used. Using another example of the 3 gents pictured on the Windrush, they were all conforming with their peer group but because their peer group was non-conformist to the societal norm, they were all perceived as cool. So, they were 3 conforming guys individually viewed as non-conformist and presumably that moves the goal posts from an individual being cool to a style being cool?

I'm thinking about this differently as I'm writing and cool / not cool is far too binary for this. People in that Silicon Valley example can be cool to their peer group while dressing the same. If that's their social circle, what's wrong with being cool to them? You can say exactly the same about the 3 gents in the Windrush picture, they are likely to be cool to their social circle but also happen to have a universal appeal as being cool. So, are they individually cool or just lucky that their social circle styling happens to be?
 

comrade

Distinguished Member
Joined
May 10, 2005
Messages
7,620
Reaction score
1,219
Perhap's a discussion of Sprezzatura would be more productive than" cool with all its'
ethno-sociological connotations.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Apr 10, 2011
Messages
23,340
Reaction score
58,133
The first group photo is definitely NOT a picture of th Harlem Renaissance
By the prevalence of single-breasted suits with narrow lapels I would put
it in the 1960s

Pretty close. Pretty easy to google image search these things.


1958.
Oh whoops, you're right. Don't know why I thought of that as Harlem Renaissance.

Perhap's a discussion of Sprezzatura would be more productive than" cool with all its'
ethno-sociological connotations.
Politely, I think I would rather launch myself into the sun than have another discussion about sprezzatura. I think that discussion has been totally burnt post-2010.
 

steveabdn

Senior Member
Joined
May 20, 2013
Messages
297
Reaction score
182
Ok, here's a genuine question about me personally then.

I believe that cool has to be authentic, that it can't be manufactured.

Can I be cool? I'm uncomfortable with pictures of myself and only after editing a picture can I get to a stage where I feel comfortable with it. By definition, that is now a manufactured image so can I ever consider myself to be cool? No, I can't.

However, in person and in interaction with other people I am much more comfortable and that may allow other people to consider me as cool and lets say for the sake of conversation that some of them do.

Am I cool when I don't consider myself to be but others do? And, if my own opinion matters for nothing in the conversation why should I care if I'm cool or not?
 

am55

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
3,742
Reaction score
3,095
On not aging well:


I disagree. They are well aware of their age and updating their image for the modern world, or at least trying in a coherent way.

Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino brings Harry Callahan into the modern era and contrasts the values that then "made" the actor what he is known for with what we think today (Jump Street sort of does this a bit more in your face). He starts off tough, grumpy, armed, he works on his car, an anachronism of post-war cool that has trouble fitting in. But then shows the timeless values of open mindedness, understanding, empathy, courage, self-sacrifice and through the set of the movie, a certain type of family and community values. This, not the selfish and aggressive "Rebel without a Cause" of 1955, is what many today would see as "cool". He goes out in a blaze not against "commie tanks" in the Korean War but to trigger positive change in a community he has learnt to respect and love despite his differences and original values. Thinking back of his filming history I think we can already see some of these ideas in Heartbreak Ridge (I know, not the most likely candidate!) given context. I haven't seen The Mule so can't comment on the most recent Eastwood and maybe 2008 is too old to be cool. I think in every photo I see of him he looks physically older but mentally just as pugnacious and empathic, refusing to yield, continuing to give.

Ian McKellen systematically and courageously has pursued LBGT rights before it was "cool" - arguably, when it was a little dangerous - and returned to the theatre in the last decade instead of continuing to line his pockets as he might well have done. His pub in Limehouse is the only "cool" place in a series of anonymous corporate chains and cheap, cramped, fast-built "temporary banker housing" (until you can make it to Chelsea or whatever takes its place these days). I think this picture is picked and not representative of the man who is usually more casual, but still a fairly "cool" look that both acknowledges his age and retains a true independence of mind and strength of character. In many ways McKellen represents to me a certain warmth and generosity and humanism that you can find in the heart of the Brits if you dig (and that is very welcome in, hmm, current times). I think his style reflects that, but I don't know much about style.
 

Phileas Fogg

Distinguished Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2020
Messages
3,858
Reaction score
3,488
I disagree. They are well aware of their age and updating their image for the modern world, or at least trying in a coherent way.

Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino brings Harry Callahan into the modern era and contrasts the values that then "made" the actor what he is known for with what we think today (Jump Street sort of does this a bit more in your face). He starts off tough, grumpy, armed, he works on his car, an anachronism of post-war cool that has trouble fitting in. But then shows the timeless values of open mindedness, understanding, empathy, courage, self-sacrifice and through the set of the movie, a certain type of family and community values. This, not the selfish and aggressive "Rebel without a Cause" of 1955, is what many today would see as "cool". He goes out in a blaze not against "commie tanks" in the Korean War but to trigger positive change in a community he has learnt to respect and love despite his differences and original values. Thinking back of his filming history I think we can already see some of these ideas in Heartbreak Ridge (I know, not the most likely candidate!) given context. I haven't seen The Mule so can't comment on the most recent Eastwood and maybe 2008 is too old to be cool. I think in every photo I see of him he looks physically older but mentally just as pugnacious and empathic, refusing to yield, continuing to give.

Ian McKellen systematically and courageously has pursued LBGT rights before it was "cool" - arguably, when it was a little dangerous - and returned to the theatre in the last decade instead of continuing to line his pockets as he might well have done. His pub in Limehouse is the only "cool" place in a series of anonymous corporate chains and cheap, cramped, fast-built "temporary banker housing" (until you can make it to Chelsea or whatever takes its place these days). I think this picture is picked and not representative of the man who is usually more casual, but still a fairly "cool" look that both acknowledges his age and retains a true independence of mind and strength of character. In many ways McKellen represents to me a certain warmth and generosity and humanism that you can find in the heart of the Brits if you dig (and that is very welcome in, hmm, current times). I think his style reflects that, but I don't know much about style.
sorry, I should have been more clear.

I meant to post those examples as men who have aged and aged quite well.

you are correct, they are not trying to hide their age. That’s what’s so admirable and so appealing about them. They appear completely comfortable and that is at least an element of both style and cool.
 

am55

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2014
Messages
3,742
Reaction score
3,095
Asian cool of a similar generation, since discussed upthread:

1631693404243.png

I must admit I half hoped, in recent years, for his speech to be more than metaphorical:
“And even from my sickbed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel that something is going wrong, I will get up.”

And yes, I, fully foreign and sweating bullets in the tropical heat, paid my respects, teared up a bit, and left a written word of goodbye in front of the Istana. I wish we had even 10% of such a man at home, alas they only make them once a generation.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How often do you get a haircut?

  • Every 2 weeks

  • Every 3 weeks

  • Once a month

  • Every 6 weeks or longer


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
464,280
Messages
10,028,243
Members
209,449
Latest member
victorhatkeineangst
Top