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Dressing the "NASCAR dad"

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by StevenRocks, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. StevenRocks

    StevenRocks Senior member

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    I was leafing through the paper and saw an article on the reduction in maximum cooler size allowed at the Martinsville Speedway, which is my local NASCAR track.  While that was neither here nor there in my conciousness, the picture they used of three fans loading their cooler with Bud got me to thinking.

    The three men were decently dressed, but the whole look was something generically 'rural/suburban.'  Each was wearing tucked-in t-shirts, regular to relaxed jeans, and either white cross-trainers or workboots.  A couple of them had wrap-around sunglasses, and one had a bushy mustache.  The hat choices were interesting as well.  While one was hatless, the others had bright colored fan caps that contrasted with the relative sedateness of the rest of their outfits.

    I know a lot of people who dress like this, partly out of lifestyle, partly out of utility, partly out of economy.  It's a common look where I live.  Though I don't dress like this neccesarily, I don't think it's a horrible look, just not mine.  

    I guess my question is:  does anyone else notice this look wher they live, is it fashionable to anyone (or if not, why not) and, if it's not cool, can it be 'fixed' while allowing these people to still be themselves?
     
  2. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    No, the look can't really be fixed. These are not stylish dudes, and I suspect that they don't really want to be.
     
  3. Panzeraxe

    Panzeraxe Senior member

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    I think it can be easily fixed - they should ditch the hats and dress like L.L. Bean models - that way they can stay true to the rural/"outdoorsy" lifestyle while not necessarily look like "NASCAR" dads.

    Panzer
     
  4. familyman

    familyman Senior member

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    This is dressed 'nice' where I live. If you put on a clean t-shirt, tuck it in and wear your 'good jeans' then you're dressed up. You should see what they wear to Wal Mart. In their defence, a lot of these guys (at least where I live) work with their hands for a living. Welders, construction workers, farmers. Their jobs destroy clothes, it would be foolish to think about what you put on in the morning, you don't want any emotional investment in what you destroy. So when they go out to a race they dress up one level from their day to day dress. If you start at the bottom, even when you dress up, you're still near the bottom.
     
  5. StevenRocks

    StevenRocks Senior member

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    Interesting thought.  The 'country gentleman' look would be more appropriate and just as easy to wear, but this demographic doesn't seem to embrace it.

    I'm curious at why it's seemingly okay to wear hats and printed T-shirts that, if covered with subjects other than stock car drivers or large-mouth bass, would be considerd flamboyant.  It would seem like on the surface that these guys would reject something like that.  I'm also curious to why tucking in the t-shirt is considered better than leaving it out.
     
  6. Fashionslave

    Fashionslave Senior member

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    I live in a fairly well known city,and I think the level of dress here is abyssmal.People dress like they're going camping.I see jeans, t-shirts or polo shirts,sweatshirts,greasy windbreakers,quilted vests,those Godawful Northern Face jackets,(the badge of idiots)which make me want to shred them,and all manner of stupid white sneakers,trainers,etc.I'm in high end retail and it's amazing how few stylishly dressed people I come in contact with.If a suit is worn,it's ill fitting sack suit garbage.Yes,most disconcerting.In MHO,I think London is my first choice as the "best dressed city",perhaps followed by NYC here in the states,and perhaps followed by Montreal.Now,I haven't been to every city so I don't mean to start a flame war,and this is according to my travels.
     
  7. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    God bless 'em. It's your classic Red State blue collar look. That's the way the limestone mill and auto plant workers dressed up where I grew up in Southern Indiana and the way all my buddies who stayed behind and embraced that life still dress today. A happier bunch of people I've never met. And they don't give a damn about clothes.

    It about utility, not fashion.
     
  8. NewYorkBuck

    NewYorkBuck Senior member

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    Not a fair question as it pressupposes the answer. I.e., who said there is anything broken that needed to be "fixed"?

    I know many people who dress like this. Many are from my own family as my roots are quite blue collar. Most of these people are among the hardest working and most upstanding that I know. Because they don't have the same hobby that I do (clothes) or chose not to throw money into a 100% depreciating investment (clothes) is not something I hold against them.

    I dress for myself, and I assume others do as well. If they are fine with what they are wearing, then who am I to judge if their wardrobes need "fixing" or not?
     
  9. nightowl6261a

    nightowl6261a Senior member

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    Although the "NASCAR" look is quite revolting looking in its' own, has anyone ever thought that maybe it ain't fixed because it ain' broke. The whole idea maybe to the wearer a similar thought process of that considered by the inner city kids, "all of my friends dress this way, so I will, to better fit in". The average NASCAR fan base is actually quite loyal to his/her racing idol, and quite often is proud to be seen in public displaying there allegiances. The same as a college fan might be in wearing a sweat-shirt on game day. It just happens that the fan base is more blue collar and tends to lead to unfashionable characteristics. The "redneck" look is more prevalent among the NASCAR dad, only because that is where the true blue fan base resides. As the sport is begininning to dramatically change its' fan base, you will IMO see an emergence of better dressed people with a different drawl to their commentary.
     
  10. Bradford

    Bradford Senior member

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    The look you describe is appropriate for the situation they were in.

    If I were to attend a NASCAR race, I would no doubt wear approximately the same outfit.

    To me, style is about being dressed appropriately for the situation - not wearing brand names or bespoke clothing when it is not appropriate - and it would not be appropriate to wear such clothing to the track.
     
  11. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    Bradford raises a good point. What should they wear to a NASCAR race?
     
  12. Stu

    Stu Senior member

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    I was thinking tan linen suit, brown and white spectators, pale blue linen shirt, perhaps a pocket square by Hermes.
    I mean, isn't Nascar the new polo?
     
  13. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    (AlanC @ April 05 2005,10:29) Bradford raises a good point. What should they wear to a NASCAR race?
    I was thinking tan linen suit, brown and white spectators, pale blue linen shirt, perhaps a pocket square by Hermes. I mean, isn't Nascar the new polo?
    NASCAR is the new chariot races.
     
  14. StevenRocks

    StevenRocks Senior member

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    I get the feeling that some of the posters are looking at my assessment and thinking I'm looking down on the race fans.  If I'm wrong, then I apologize.  But it couldn't be father from the truth.

    I understand the dynamics of why the look exists and I'm not opposed to it on those grounds, being from rather blue-collar "redneck-esque" roots myself.  Far be it for me to put down the professions and lives of my neighbors, because I don't have an alternate state of concisousness for them.  Also, I wouldn't propose a wholesale change in race day attire either, because it works for that situation.

    I just wonder why semingly no-one in that situation ever breaks out of the box and tries something a little more fashionable that actually looks decent.  It's not just race day, this is every day.  It seemes like the only fashion risks taken are the really tacky ones, and since I've never been able to get a good answer out of anyone who dresses like this, I thought I'd ask here.
     
  15. Bradford

    Bradford Senior member

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    OK - I understand your comment now.

    To be honest, and not to be insulting to NASCAR fans, my guess would be that most of the people who dress like this do so because they do actually think it looks good on them.

    I find it hard to believe that anyone chooses to put on an outfit that they feel looks bad on them - unless its a required job uniform or something.

    As for the NASCAR Dads, aren't they basically wearing the same outfits that the drivers are often shown wearing in Wrangler and beer ads. That would explain the jeans and t-shirts. The hats are an obvious way to show loyalty to a driver and it seems to me that I've seen Earnhardt Jr., Dale Jarret, Robbie Gordon and other drivers wearing wrap around sunglasses in a lot of pictures (in fact I think that Gordon has, or used to have, an endorsement deal with RayBan.)

    I suppose you can ask why they don't take a fashion risk, but if you already think you look good (and the women at the track or in your town agree) then where's the incentive to do so.

    It's quite possible that these same men would look at a picture of how some of the people on the forum dress and have a similar reaction, i.e. what the heck are they all dressed up for.

    Bradford
     
  16. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    I think that same question could be posed to any of the 98% of American men that dress poorly.

    dan
     
  17. StevenRocks

    StevenRocks Senior member

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    I guess you're right, Bradford.  They apparently do think that the look works for them.  And I guess they are dressing like their favorite drivers, too.  I remember when Kyle Petty sported a perm and a bushy mustache in the '80s, a lot of dudes went and did the same.  I'm sure that a lot of Ray-Bans and Wranglers were sold after Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt, Jr endorsed tham.

    Unfortunately, this NASCAR dad look only looks good on the young, fit and decently groomed, basically the same people who would have looked as well in another style of dress.  On those that aren't at least two of the things above, it's a horrible look.  If you've ever seen a Saturday night at a Wal-Mart or a Golden Corral restaurant, you'll see evidence that not everyone who wears this look needs it on.

    One could also make the argument that the look itself can be acomplished for not a lot of money.  A person could put together a NASCAR dad outfit for about $55.00 at your local discount store.

    T-shirt $4.97
    jeans $9.97
    wraparound shades $9.97
    sneakers/workboots $19.97
    driver hat $9.97

    You know, I do wonder what they'd say about the typical SF member?
     
  18. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    style of dress is culturally reinforced. if you live in a culture, or sub-culture, that dresses a certain way to the exclusion of other styles, such that the knowledge of other styles is not promulgated, then you will tend to dress like the others you see every day. it takes a lot of effort to think outside of the box especially if there is no motivation to have experiences beyond your familiar world.

    to most people in that situation, anything involving a cultural affectation that is from the 'beyond', is considered anywhere from frivolous to life-threatening.

    also interesting to note is that some (sub)cultures foster and encourage insularity, while others promote openness and experimentation.

    /andrew
     
  19. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

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    picture from last hallowe'en: (creepy, eh. i thought the cub scout cap was a nice touch.) [​IMG]
     
  20. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    All subcultures foster some norm or standard.  Some just call their norms and standards "openness" and "experimentation."

    dan
     

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