Dressing too well?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Motol12, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    Who knows, there are probably people saying the same thing about me behind my back too and Celery too. In fact, of just about anyone who posts regularly here. But I think, the OP has been open enough to share his experiences with us here. I think responding to the OP with a kick in the teeth and a personal put down is both unhelpful and unfair.
    +1
     


  2. celery

    celery Senior member

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    Well I won't disagree that I was unhelpful, but the OP's post rubbed me the wrong way and I am giving an honest opinion, which I consider fair.

    This is, afterall, a discussion board. But, to better illustrate my point of image > clothes, let's go to familiar ground.

    Popped collars are widely considered "douchebag style" on this forum. And there are many pictures of clubbers who pretty much solidify that feeling. But, if you look at our own WAYWT thread, Phat Guido regularly pops his collar on his casual days. Yet, he doesn't give off the same vibe that the clubbers do.

    So the popped collar is not the culprit. The attitude behind it is. PG smiles and looks genuinely friendly. Clubbers look like they're about to say, "Yo, bro let's do some jagerbombs and hit dem fine azz bitches!"

    Again, we do not know the OP outside of his post, and I did specify that. I'm just proposing a different reason for the juror to see him this way.
     


  3. Soph

    Soph Senior member

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    I've seen Blue Collar guys have absolute fits over someone wearing cufflinks and even a simple sportcoat is a point of contention for some, so this doesn't surprise me in the least. If you're in Michigan or Pittsburgh I can see this really go down against you. It would be like driving a Mercedes to a UAW convention, many of the people are going to hate you and a few might even consider you an enemy and treat you with hostility. An expensive watch might even set these people off. If you're going to do it, just expect some individuals are going to have issues with it and deal or just wear more simplified clothes. Contrasting cuffs, cufflinks, tie bars, even a simple white linen pocket square will just be so foreign for some rural folk that you are going to get some negative feedback.
     


  4. Dewey

    Dewey Senior member

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    Take the juror's advice to heart. For every one person who says something like that, there are ten or twenty more who think the same thing but keep their mouth shut. Also, be encouraged by the fact that the juror told you this -- if he/she thought you were a real jackass, he/she wouldn't bother to tell you this. Obviously the person sensed that you were pretty clueless about the way your appearance was affecting their interpretation of your work.

    Tell us more about the cufflinks. The juror mentioned the cufflinks. A lot of Americans are disgusted by the sight of expensive jewelry on men in the workplace. Were you wearing gems or shiny metal objects on your wrist?

    I'm also curious about hair products. How did you get "slick" -- if your hair is too fussy, that could push even the most routine suit over the top. Were you wearing cologne? A lot of Americans hate cologne on men, esp. on men in suits. Cologne is for the man-child, not for the man in charge.

    I read the list of makers etc. as evidence the OP thinks he was not going over the top. But I say this is one of the dangers of stuff like JAB suits. They are more likely to rub people the wrong way. The jurors don't know that the JAB suit was actually a modest and practical expense on your part. They see the tailoring and get the aggressive vibe. I find it ironic but more expensive suits, esp. in non-flashy fabrics, often look less "pushy" than cheap suits because the tailoring can be softer and better fitted.

    Still, it sounds to me like it was the combination of too many parts and not the fault of any one thing. Pocket square might be OK, but pocket square + french cuffs + cufflinks of a certain style (?) + stuff like contrast collars, JAB linebacker shoulders + whatever made you look "slick" etc. is too much.

    You could probably do fine with the same wardrobe just by scaling back the options. It's enough to do one thing different or interesting; it's too much to make "fussy," well-educated choices at every opportunity. Scale back to the basic 2-button single-breasted solid-color suit, solid barrel cuff shirt, and classic tie and add only one or at most two "extra" options per day, and the look might not go over the top. And sorry to say it, but the pocket square is an extra. It immediately takes the look to the edge of over-the-top for some people.

    Thanks for sharing the story. You're obviously not a douchebag if you come here and share a story like that.

    The good news is that you get to do some more thinking about clothes.
     


  5. c3cubed

    c3cubed Senior member

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    As always, I believe there is more to this story than what was originally said.

    Why not just say, "French blue shirt, charcoal suit and black tie with blue dots. (and of course he was wearing black shoes on this day)"
    There is an inherent level of pretentiousness here that I feel was the true culprit of the juror's feelings. And perhaps the juror just associated the entire "vibe" he was getting from the OP with the clothing.


    As others have mentioned, it would be the total 'Look' - the name-dropping of labels would mean absolutely nothing to the jury if they were indeed blue collar. None would care a whit for whatever, nor would they recognize anything beyond a label that spoke H & M or Sears, if that is what he was subscribing to.

    What surprises me more however, is the name dropping of the labels in the detailed line by line report on this board, which strike me as rather middle of the road brand names. Nothing that would seem overly custom or bespoke, to create the appearance of lordly eccentricity or dandified excess.

    Therefore, maybe he wasn't overdressed and intimidating. [Perhaps pictures would have helped us understand better.]

    All in all, based on the OP's summation, I would be just as confused if I were wearing such labels and a juror took issue with my clothes.
     


  6. temporaryachilles

    temporaryachilles Active Member

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    I'm an attorney who has participated in several trials in West Virginia before 'retiring' back into a corporate practice. I don't think I'll be very popular for the following comments, but here goes. Most of the people who participate on this forum are freaks. Ordinary men do not pay nearly as much attention to fashion or style, and they see men who do as snobbish or elitist.

    If you have to make a good impression with ordinary guys, observe how they dress and then try to match it without looking too obvious. If you see them at church, I bet you'll see lots of Dockers and J.C. Penney suits. The words Kiton, John Lobb, and Zegna mean nothing to them. Ordinary guys don't have the money or inclination to buy this stuff. They also resent having the fact that they are relatively unsophisticated shoved down their throat, and that is exactly what happens when attorneys parade in front of captive juries with a super 180s sheen reflecting the light and linen squares poking out of chest pockets. They don't appreciate our hobby, and trial is not the place to indulge.

    I once worked with a litigator who had an interesting approach to his wardrobe. Outside of the courtroom, he wore nice, well-tailored suits with quality shirts and ties -- clothes commensurate with his position in society. At trial, he wore an inexpensive, ill-fitting suit in order to be perceived as an ordinary guy who was forced to dress up for court. It worked well for him.
     


  7. tlmusic

    tlmusic Senior member

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    Nothing that would seem overly custom or bespoke, to create the appearance of lordly eccentricity or dandified excess.

    Of the custom and bespoke clothes I've encountered, most of my favorites were items that the average person wouldn't even notice. Look at magazines that profile the powerful CEOs of the world. I have trained myself to notice if their black oxfords are bespoke, or their navy two button suit is hand made. The average person, however, usually cannot tell if otherwise conservative clothes are bespoke. Often, that is the intention. A powerful man wants to look good and have perfectily fitting clothes, but the cost and quality are his little secrets.
     


  8. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    It's sad to know that in this day one has to bow to slob convention, and the opinions of a few rather ill-informed, possibly rather stupid, individuals.
     


  9. Dewey

    Dewey Senior member

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    It's sad to know that in this day one has to bow to slob convention, and the opinions of a few rather ill-informed, possibly rather stupid, individuals.

    Let's not be sad.

    Not everyone needs to care what these people think.
     


  10. c3cubed

    c3cubed Senior member

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    I'm an attorney who has participated in several trials in West Virginia before 'retiring' back into a corporate practice. I don't think I'll be very popular for the following comments, but here goes. Most of the people who participate on this forum are freaks. Ordinary men do not pay nearly as much attention to fashion or style, and they see men who do as snobbish or elitist.

    If you have to make a good impression with ordinary guys, observe how they dress and then try to match it without looking too obvious. If you see them at church, I bet you'll see lots of Dockers and J.C. Penney suits. The words Kiton, John Lobb, and Zegna mean nothing to them. They also resent having the fact that they are relatively unsophisticated shoved down their throat, and that is exactly what happens when attorneys parade in front of captive juries with a super 180s sheen reflecting the light and linen squares poking out of chest pockets.

    I once worked with a litigator who had an interesting approach to his wardrobe. Outside of the courtroom, he wore nice, well-tailored suits with quality shirts and ties -- clothes commensurate with his position in society. At trial, he wore an inexpensive, ill-fitting suit in order to be perceived as an ordinary guy who was forced to dress up for court. It worked well for him.


    Absolutely bang on, and likely the best approach for normal courtroom activity. I would imagine there is some sort of an art in pre-determining and accessing the type of jury one may have in advance, or not? Often, a good judge will take leniency with legal councel that may appear the underdog.
     


  11. tlmusic

    tlmusic Senior member

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    T Were you wearing cologne? A lot of Americans hate cologne on men, esp. on men in suits. Cologne is for the man-child, not for the man in charge.
    I have to admit I'm not a fan of guys in suits wearing tons of cologne. If their girlfriend can smell it when she kisses him, that's fine. If I can smell it from the other side of the room, it's not so cool. Once, I bought a tie from Sak's. The salesman was slick--he had tons of hair product and heavy, heavy cologne. When I got home I pulled the tie out of the bag, and it reeked heavily of the saleman's perfume. ...and that was just from him touching the tie to put it in the bag! I mean, it smelled strong. This annoyed me (after paying full retail for the darned thing) so I took it back. A different salesman was there, and even he agreed that the tie smelled heavily of perfume. He let me exchange it for an 'unscented' one.[​IMG]
     


  12. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Interesting comments on cologne. I think the stereotype of that sort of thing is a sleazy used car salesman or some kind of lounge lizard, drenched in cologne.

    The latter, however, is probably something more in tune with the ethos of style than the former, I think.

    Of course, most male colognes are unappealing--usually something like Aqua de Gio or Cool Water.
     


  13. Dewey

    Dewey Senior member

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    Most of the people who participate on this forum are freaks.

    Oh yeah? Well, guess what. Your momma has a wooden leg--with a kick stand.

    Seriously, I think the cheap-fitting suit is a stupid idea. You suggest that a lawyer can look less manipulative by being more manipulative? This is the most cynical advice to date. I'd say you have a lower opinion of that "ordinary man" than the guy who wears french cuffs in his presence. People will see right through this.

    Better to wear good-fitting single-breasted solid-color suits in modest fabrics. The maker is not relevant; there's nothing about an expensive suit that means it's going to look foppish or over-the-top. I would look at something Samuelsohn, BB Golden Fleece sounds right, maybe BB 1818, and no less for sure. Then be careful with the accessories.
     


  14. c3cubed

    c3cubed Senior member

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    Of the custom and bespoke clothes I've encountered, most of my favorites were items that the average person wouldn't even notice. Look at magazines that profile the powerful CEOs of the world. I have trained myself to notice if their black oxfords are bespoke, or their navy two button suit is hand made. The average person, however, usually cannot tell if otherwise conservative clothes are bespoke. Often, that is the intention. A powerful man wants to look good and have perfectily fitting clothes, but the cost and quality are his little secrets.


    Maybe the juror got upset then, because the lawyer unbuttoned his jacket cuffs one too many and found it offensive to see they really, really work?

    The real fun of bespoke is that you can have lots of interior pockets to put everything away and not affect the hang, notwithstanding fancy silk linings and a hand padded interior that will never be destroyed by wear or cleaning. Very little is machine made.
    But I've seen some poorly made overpriced examples too, on powerful CEO's and they've given it a bad name.
     


  15. Dewey

    Dewey Senior member

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    I think I like cologne if/when I don't notice it. When it's noticeable, it's a big put-off. And I do run into men who wear a lot of it & seem to have no idea that they go off like a flea bomb when they enter a room. So I wondered if that might be part of the story here
     


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