Do you ever feel like your the only guy who cares about fashion?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by CharlesAlexander, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    America has always been the land of the philistines, a land based on industry and oppressed by a puritanical taste for the mundane, a non-taste. There are of course exceptions. And things have certainly become worse over the years. We could perhaps place a substantial portion of the blame on the brand name phenomenon: people began to care less and less about the actual fit and quality, not to mention cohesiveness of their ensemble, as they became more and more obsessed with being walking advertisement. We can also blame the mega-producers of shoddy garments who inundate us with crap to the point where it's virtually impossible to find a decent fitting garment if you don't live in a major city, although the internet is helping this situation.

    Great tour d'horizon. As a social scientist manque', I appreciate your insight.
    Sorry to disappoint, but except for a very few major cities, you will probably be dissatisfied.
     
  2. topbroker

    topbroker Senior member

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    I wonder how James Davis and Oak Hall survive? I don't know who the hell they sell to, and I worked in the bond business.

    I often wonder this about high-end men's retailers. I mean, how can there be enough of a clientele to sustain them? I am a natural part of the target audience, but I can't afford to buy at those stores, and wouldn't consider it sensible to do so even if I had the means; like many of us on the boards, I have my own more subtle ways of obtaining the clothing I want.

    So if the pertinent portion of the Venn diagram here is the overlapped area between (a) men with good sartorial taste, (b) men who can afford to buy high-end retail, and (c) men who are willing to buy high-end retail, I don't see how there can be possibly be enough of them, in a smaller city. And stores like that are folding; in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where I lived for several years, the two main quality clothiers, C.W. Gross and The Haberdasher, went out of business in the oughts.
     
  3. topbroker

    topbroker Senior member

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    America has always been the land of the philistines, a land based on industry and oppressed by a puritanical taste for the mundane, a non-taste. There are of course exceptions. And things have certainly become worse over the years. We could perhaps place a substantial portion of the blame on the brand name phenomenon: people began to care less and less about the actual fit and quality, not to mention cohesiveness of their ensemble, as they became more and more obsessed with being walking advertisement. We can also blame the mega-producers of shoddy garments who inundate us with crap to the point where it's virtually impossible to find a decent fitting garment if you don't live in a major city, although the internet is helping this situation.

    Tocqueville was all over this subject two hundred years ago. Democracy in America is still the most pertinent book ever written about this country.
     
  4. bringusingoodale

    bringusingoodale Senior member

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    Lot of generalizing going on here. I live in Los Angeles. ..> East LA..> The part where gentrification is barley starting to happen. So What have I always seen as far as men's style is concerned: baggy jeans and hideously over-sized, over-striped polos on younger males, tight jeans and cowboy boots or sneakers and cruddy looking shirts of all stripes on the older immigrant males. Conclusion: Los Angeles is a sartorial wasteland? Of course not.

    This is why the America land of the philistines comment bugs the hell out of me. Ask a European native of a small town how the typical American looks like and I wonder what response you'll get given the current trends. Will it be the latest rapper? The latest American Idol? The latest CEO to make an appearance before congress?

    Yes, I am an American who still thinks Frenchmen wear striped shirts and berets....
     
  5. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    Tocqueville was all over this subject two hundred years ago. Democracy in America is still the most pertinent book ever written about this country.

    Correction: Democracy in America Vol. I was published in 1835,
    Vil. II 1840. Otherwise you are right on. It's amazing how valid
    his insights still are.
     
  6. flambard

    flambard Senior member

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    Though we may appear 'dressed up' to others they don't realize we are actually quite physically comfortable in our clothes. They can only think about the time they were six years old and someone forced a tight tie around their necks, and those leather shoes were just 'killing' their little six year old feet.

    Also, they don't realize that dressing well does not have to be a huge investment. All my family and friends expect me to dress well, or at least stylishly on a certain level. I never disappoint, though I may sometimes dress quite casually. I attended a dinner event recently without a tie. I felt wack out of place even though none of the other men in attendance wore one either. I should have gone with the usual neckwear and felt much more comfortable! [​IMG]
     
  7. topbroker

    topbroker Senior member

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    Correction: Democracy in America Vol. I was published in 1835,
    Vil. II 1840. Otherwise you are right on. It's amazing how valid
    his insights still are.


    Well, I meant "roughly two hundred years ago." But we are in complete agreement on the merits of the book!
     
  8. topbroker

    topbroker Senior member

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    Though we may appear 'dressed up' to others they don't realize we are actually quite physically comfortable in our clothes. They can only think about the time they were six years old and someone forced a tight tie around their necks, and those leather shoes were just 'killing' there six year old feet.

    Also, they don't realize that dressing well does not have to be a huge investment. All my family and friends expect me to dress well, or at least stylishly on a certain level. I never disappoint, though I may sometimes dress quite casually. I attended a dinner event recently without a tie. I felt wack out of place even though none of the other men in attendance wore one either. I should have gone with the usual neckwear and felt much more comfortable! [​IMG]


    This is quite true. I often get asked, "Aren't you uncomfortable?" Not at all. Business wear is like a second skin to me. But I have to work a little at feeling comfortable in very casual clothes.
     
  9. amplifiedheat

    amplifiedheat Senior member

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    Conclusion: Los Angeles is a wasteland

    Fixed.
     
  10. VictorC

    VictorC Senior member

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    I dont want to look too try hard.
     
  11. Reevolving

    Reevolving Senior member

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    Just b/c someone looks "bad", doesn't mean they don't care.
    In fact, today's men care a LOT about how they look.

    The guy spending $150 on some Ed Hardy "artwork" shirt gives a huge shit about his outfit
    Or some striped oxford that hangs down to his thighs like an apron... He spent a lof of time in front of the mirror.
    Some guys have 10 pairs of square toed shoes. He gives a serious shit about his outfit.
    Ill-fitting suit? He thinks he looks great...
    The guy who spends $300 on some NFL jersey has spent a serious chunk of cash to look stylish.

    There's a difference b/w not caring and having bad taste.
    And taste is arbitrary. Those same guys think you look like shit wearing that bowtie and bright green pants....
     
  12. westinghouse

    westinghouse Senior member

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    Just b/c someone looks "bad", doesn't mean they don't care.
    In fact, today's men care a LOT about how they look.

    The guy spending $150 on some Ed Hardy "artwork" shirt gives a huge shit about his outfit
    Or some striped oxford that hangs down to his thighs like an apron... He spent a lof of time in front of the mirror.
    Some guys have 10 pairs of square toed shoes. He gives a serious shit about his outfit.
    Ill-fitting suit? He thinks he looks great...
    The guy who spends $300 on some NFL jersey has spent a serious chunk of cash to look stylish.

    There's a difference b/w not caring and having bad taste.
    And taste is arbitrary. Those same guys think you look like shit wearing that bowtie and bright green pants....


    I like the way you think.
     
  13. Brogued

    Brogued Senior member

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    Just b/c someone looks "bad", doesn't mean they don't care.
    In fact, today's men care a LOT about how they look.

    The guy spending $150 on some Ed Hardy "artwork" shirt gives a huge shit about his outfit
    Or some striped oxford that hangs down to his thighs like an apron... He spent a lof of time in front of the mirror.
    Some guys have 10 pairs of square toed shoes. He gives a serious shit about his outfit.
    Ill-fitting suit? He thinks he looks great...
    The guy who spends $300 on some NFL jersey has spent a serious chunk of cash to look stylish.

    There's a difference b/w not caring and having bad taste.
    And taste is arbitrary. Those same guys think you look like shit wearing that bowtie and bright green pants....



    Well said.
     
  14. CharlesAlexander

    CharlesAlexander Senior member

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    So many great responses, I wish I chimed in earlier.

    I hear what your saying about "taste", I think you do make a good point. The thing is; fashion isn't difficult. If guys truly cared about how they looked, they'd come to the styleforum. Seriously, there are tons of resources out there nowadays. Just giving up and buying something that does not look good on you, but paying a lot of money for it, doesn't constitute "trying" in my book. I just can't buy that the guy who is wearing a suit 3 sizes too big and sneakers cares about his appearance. Ill admit maybe I am being some what snobbish on the subject, but personally my life and my business is fashion. I think its very important.

    Also, as far as the guy who mentioned that those guys are focusing on "more important" things like getting laid, I don't agree with that. I actually think its the other way around. I think the older you start to get to get the more you start to focus on the more important things in life. I am 29 years old and married, I not only want to look good for myself and my business, I also want to show people that respect the place or event that I am at. I don't understand how you can belong to a style forum and not think style is important.

    Plus, looking good helps you get laid as well. [​IMG]

    I also need to start going to these SF meet ups.
     
  15. NukeMeSlowly

    NukeMeSlowly Senior member

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    I live in Houston which must surely be worse than Memphis. At th airport several months ago I remember seeing a fella about early thirties in light blue seersucker suit, repo tie, burgundy loafers and Panama hat and while thats not exactly my personal style he stuck out like a glowing beacon in the wasteland of cargo shorts, khakis and track pants of IAH. We gave each other that all too familiar tacit nod of recognition aa if we were fellow Freemasons or ex CIA spooks. Yes that what it has come to folks. We are a secret underground society oblivious to the jersey-clad masses.


    LOL. Brilliant analogy.
    I think we should establish some sort of coded hand gesture or other signal to truly confirm the Igent identification during these encounters.
    How about each person pointing to one of his wrists to indicate the 1/2 inch of visible shirt cuff?
     

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