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Deliberately non-fashionable

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Rocker, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. Rocker

    Rocker Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I understand the difference between fashion and style, but do any of you find yourself doing things that are DELIBERATELY not fashionable or non-trendy?

    For instance - when I wear 3 piece suits or vests, I very frequently wear my inherited pocket watches, with the watch chain and fob across my stomach. I've never seen anyone wear a pocket watch on the streets of Atlanta (or anywhere, for that matter) and I must say, I enjoy the anachronism and the fact that it's "outdated" - and no one else seems to do it - it's an "anti-fashion" statement. I revel in its unfashionableness.

    Similarly, I never wear any jeans other than Levis 501s or 505s - They were the first, and the original, and I don't care what fashion dictates as the correct cut, color, brand, or acid treatment. I will wear bright new blue or faded Levis straight cut only and consider any other brand, and the people who wear them, with suspicion (though, I do believe the whole State of Nebraska wears Wranglers) and as slaves to fashion.

    I've even taken to wearing a blue seersucker suit and white bucks in the summer - and, though, I live in Atlanta - it still takes courage (I'm 36 - not THAT old) and, personally, I've never seen anyone else down here wear one (I'm told, one will see them worn by old men in some of the smaller county courthouses). But, again, I like that it's so decidedly un-fashionable (maybe un-stylish, too) - and people DO look at you.

    And, just generally, I find myself bucking the trend - committing small acts of sartorial rebellion as a kind of thumb in the eye of the masses. I never "do" casual Fridays. I've even donned a coat and tie to go to a movie. I wear a suit to church (unlike 90% of the congregation). It may sound quixotic or silly, but sometimes dressing well is now an act of social rebellion. I find myself standing athwart the flood of casualness, slovenliness, and trendiness and screaming "Stop." - to paraphrase Bill Buckley.

    How about any of you? What do you wear as an anti-fashion statement or to "buck the trend"?
     
  2. johnapril

    johnapril Senior member

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    I work at a midwestern drug company where most employees dress like they just stepped back into to the khakis they stepped out of the night before, put on a logo shirt, poured coffee on their hair, and combed it back slick.

    I split my time between suits (sans tie) and dress slacks with some sort of sportcoat or leather.  Sheeeat, people always think I've got an interview or something.
     
  3. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    fashion is very different from style. If you are a 36 year old with a real job, you probrably shouldn't care what is fashionable anyway.

    I don't know if I would go with anything too off the wall- see the thread I started a few weeks ago concerning quirky stuff- but wearing seersucker or a 3 peice suit is fine, I wear 3 piece suits (including double breasted) for 9 months of the year.
     
  4. sirgarnetwolseley

    sirgarnetwolseley Senior member

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    These days, I think just dressing well is an act of rebellion. I'm trying to walk a fine line between elegance and anachronism. I've taken to 3-piece suits in heavy cloths (16 oz flannel in the closet, 13 oz birdseye on its way) and simple, elegant shoes (C&J Aintrees, Weymouths). The overall effect I'm trying to achieve is something vaguely reminiscent of an interwar dandy but not costumy.

    I think accessories are very helpful for achieving this. Elegant gloves or a full-length umbrella are particularly useful for setting you apart from the fashion-driven hoi palloi. I'm in the market for a fine brown trilby and am considering growing a pencil mustache. The facial hair might be too much though and drive me over the line into costume. I'm growing it out right now and we'll see what it looks like after the weekend.
     
  5. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    An admirable sentiment from a very admirable man.  I concur with the church attire.  I don't think there are any other men at church within 20 years of my age that wear suits.

    dan
     
  6. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    Are you my clone or vice-versa?
    I live in Atlanta and I often wear a 3 piece suit or a vest, with my inherited pocket watch and a gold chain. I also wear a blue seersucker suit and white bucks (or black/white specs) in the summer.
    I am a lot older than you, but I am also so DELIBERATELY not fashionable or non-trendy, that I do not currently own any jeans (but I admit I owned a pair in college). I also never "do" casual Fridays and even [rarely] don a coat and tie to go to a movie.
    In fact, you are invited to join Comolli and me sometime for our "Fashion Friday" lunch, which requires formal attire and often includes a sidetrip to Brooks or Bennie's. Harry aka tdial, who has posted about the custom suit he had made at Mario Bosco on Piedmont Road, wants to join us sometime soon. I also invited (Atlantan) JrLeague, who posts about AmTrad on Ask Andy, but I have not heard back from him.
     
  7. HeyYouItsMike

    HeyYouItsMike Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes being extremely unfashionable actually makes you fashionable. When I was in college, I dressed exactly like the hipsters you see today, only I did it as a joke. I was constantly complimented by people on how cool my clothes were by fashion designers and foxy girls. I had tons of goofy t-shirts ($1 jobs from the Salvation Army, not $75 ones from Barney's), funky vintage jeans, plenty of odd-colored puma sneakers, funny hats, and all kinds of random crap. It used to rock to go to the Salvation Army with $20 and come out with 4 outfits. I was a pioneer.
     
  8. Giona Granata

    Giona Granata Senior member

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    Rocker,

    I completely subscribe what you say. I'm 35.

    In the '70 it was social rebellion to dress like Punks. Today in many places it is social rebellion to dress jacket and tie.

    I never wear jeans, only when I have to do some hand work in my house or in the country; of course Levi's. I wear my tie also at home, on sundays and saturdays. I always wear a hat when outside, a real hat not a piece of fabric on the head.

    In many companies here, casual friday has become casual everyday.
     
  9. johnw86

    johnw86 Senior member

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    I finally gave up my seersucker--I hadn't worn it for several summers. In my workplace, I stand out just by wearing a nice suit and tie--occasionally I go over the edge and wear a bow tie. [​IMG]
     
  10. Rocker

    Rocker Well-Known Member

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    Jerrysfriend,

    I'd welcome the opportunity to have lunch sometime.  Though, I'm not in the custom suit league, so don't stare too closely at my lapels.
     
  11. Rocker

    Rocker Well-Known Member

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    Maybe it started in college. I had a history professor who, eventhough the University had repealed the coat and tie requirement in the '70s, still required that men wear ties in his class. The professor always brought into class a plastic bag which contained hideous ployester ties in extraordinary widths, which he called his "haberdashery," so a student could grab one if he forgot his own. A great eccentric.
     
  12. Leo Jay

    Leo Jay Senior member

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    I generally don't do anything deliberately to rebel, but I do like the idea of wearing things I like, without concern for the disdain of self-annointed style mavens. Â My frequent transgressions include pleated chinos, unvented sportcoats (sans pocket square) and tasseled 'kiltie' loafers. Â Sometimes even worn together. It's interesting to hear about people out-dressing the others at church -- walking into my old church was like walking into a partner's meeting for Wall Street firm. Â Then again, that was New York, so.... Â The last few years I was there, I often 'rebelled' by wearing a nice sportcoat, tie and dress slacks.
     
  13. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    Whenever I feel like being deliberately non-fashionable, I wear a bow tie.

    They are so classic yet draw a lot of attention, especially on a 40 year old accountant.
     
  14. ROT

    ROT Senior member

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    Cheers to one and all. Let's hear it for the sartorially conspicuous; somebody has to set the height of the bar.

    I favor wearing a pocket watch with the chain threaded through the buttonhole of my lapel and the watch in the breast pocket. Special occaisions only. Spectators in the summer, hats frequently, scarves, gloves, umbrellas. Bring 'em on... .
     
  15. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    I have seen pocketwatches worn this way once or twice. Do you where this custom originates? Is it English?
    About pocketwatches, it is my understanding that, originally, all men wore pocketwatches. I have heard that the first wrist watch was created by a Mr. Cartier, for a French airplane or balloon pilot, who needed a way to check the time without taking his hands off the controls. Is this so?
     
  16. aarghh

    aarghh Senior member

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    That is partially correct - the wristwatch was invented earlier by Patek Philippe, but was used principally by women. Louis Cartier adapted the design with a leather strap and buckle for Alberto Santos-Dumont, a Brazilian balloonist and heavier-than-air flight pioneer. Santos-Dumont, so the story goes, wanted to keep both his hands on the controls while checking time. This association was responsible for the popularization of the wristwatch among men.

    That is also why there is a recurring theme of Santos in Cartier products.
     
  17. Rocker

    Rocker Well-Known Member

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    1) If I understand the question correctly, wearing a pocket watch in the breast pocket with an attachment to the lapel buttonhole is a practical solution to wearing a pocket watch when you're not wearing a vest so, it seems more common on double breated suits.

    2) The mass movement, as I understand it, to wearing wristwatches instead of carrying pocket watches was WWI. It was easier/more practical to keep a timpiece on one's wrist rather than fumbling around through trench coats, tunics, Sam Brown belts, etc. and trying to find one's pocket watch.
     
  18. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    I have read that three things; the fork, the cigarette, and the wristwatch were all thought to be effeminate at first to the average rugged American frontiersman. They preferred eating with their knife alone, the cigar, and the pocketwatch. After the introduction of each, it took over a decade for each to be commonly accepted.
     
  19. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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  20. T4phage

    T4phage Senior member

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    Originally posted by Rocker:
    No, I never would do something to deliberately call attention to myself. The huge problem that I see would be that one would be treading a fine line between affectation and oddity. And that would be worsened if one does not have the correct attitude/bearing.
     

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