Fresco Suit Battle: "Tobacco" Brown vs. "Wheat" Tan

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by jrd617, Feb 11, 2014.

Which color fresco do you prefer for a suit?

  1. Brown

    32 vote(s)
    54.2%
  2. Tan

    27 vote(s)
    45.8%
  1. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    Nice post, @emptym . Just on this, it was already long past the heyday of brown suits by then. However, we keep saying on SF that we aren't interested in fashion but in style. This seems to me one of those times when it becomes clear that this is not exactly true and that a lot of the 'style' advice that gets given here is actually fashion advice, albeit fashion on a rather longer cycle than GQ's short attention span. We've got a set of basic style values that were basically set down between the late 1920s and early 1960s, but on these foundations, there is actually quite a lot of more superficial stuff that goes on, and the recent (last 20+ years) Anglo-American rejection of browns (and let's not forget the colours on either side of brown - the rusts and reds on one side, and the greens on the other) as a colour for wool suiting is just one such area. Personally, and I know this is apparently not a popular view here, I hope that this is coming to an end in favour of a rediscovery of a fuller range of colour possibilities (without disappearing off into the overly loud and unsubtle realm of primary colours). As far as I am concerned, brown wool has never been unstylish, it just became unfashionable (and has some admittedly unfortunate associations).
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014


  2. Coburn

    Coburn Senior member

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    Indeed the occasions for suits continues to narrow in the USA. But, this forum is a push back against that trend.

    In essence, the topic of this thread (as so many others) is how to wear that classic clothing style on occasions where most (such as yourself) have given up and surrendered.

    Ironically, because classic clothing is worn is less frequently today, those that want to dress this way need to adhere more closely to ‘rules’.

    The ‘rules’ are guidelines that integrate style, texture and color in harmony. That harmony is what allows one to wear classic clothing in more casual settings without appearing ‘overdressed’
     


  3. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I'm really liking moss as a color. I don't really have the pants for it, but there is something wonderfully earthy about it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014


  4. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    Jrd, ya, it's interesting that you mention J Crew. Their catalogue is what first comes to mind when I think of khaki suit. And J Crew usually places it in the context of a summer wedding. Seems pretty popular for wedding parties (I've been to three weddings w/ them), and I know one at least was inspired by the J Crew catalogue. They ended up renting tan suits though…

    Fwiw, I voted for tan. There's an old, pre-Armoury pic of Yfyf at wedding in a tan suit. Looked good. I also recall an Eastern European member posting shots of himself in a tan fresco suit. He once wore the jacket w/ jeans and it worked imho.

    But I still think you'll rarely use it and will wish you'd spent your money on something else.

    FlyingMonkey. Thanks a bunch. Ya, no style is timeless, really. I agree that even the 80's (I should have said 30 yrs ago, not 40) were past the suit's prime. But we've traveled a long way since then too, and I would think that Reagan's habits of dress would have been formed largely by earlier times.

    Coburn, I wouldn't say its "the" essence or topic of this thread, but it is "a" topic of the thread. And I certainly haven't given up. I wear a coat and tie every day whereas only about 20% of my colleagues do. I wish more did, but I also wouldn't say my primary goal in dressing is to revive old standards. I also can't see how following classic rules would make one seem less overdressed in a casual setting.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014


  5. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    Absolutely, and incidentally, it was no accident that I posted a picture of Jimmy Stewart after Ronnie - because he was formed as an actor in the generation that came after Stewart and Cagney and co., and certainly thought of himself as in their mould, although the late lamented Gil Scott-Heron's 'B-Movie' rather punctured that illusion...
     


  6. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

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    So much of this debate is about context; as I and others have pointed out in the UK this would not be an unusual choice. In academia brown suits, tweed suits and fun socks are almost part of the welcome pack when you get tenure.

    I imagine that Mafoofan, in New York has a much more corporate lens on his world-view camera where propriety makes a bigger difference. Likewise I'm sure that Tokyo, Seoul and the other cultures enforce a paradigm that colours their contributors opinions.

    I for one can't see the problem with fresco in brown. Cloth weave and weight is primarily aimed at the experience of wearing it, and the colours you chose are stylistic choices. I cannot think why one wouldn't want a summer suit in wool? Even from my conservative training I've made crazier garments.
     


  7. emptym

    emptym Moderator Moderator

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    ^I have nothing against that. I'm not sure that anyone has argued categorically against brown or tan suits, including Foo. It's just that the conditions for which they would be appropriate are narrow. When I taught in DC, I had three tan suits, all of which I wore pretty frequently (tropical wool for summer, plain weave "year rounder," and herringbone tweed for the winter). In the context of that school it was appropriate as almost all profs wore coat and tie -- half suits, half sport coats.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014


  8. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Black. The color is black. Suits and shoes. Black.

    I was once told by my team manager that I should wear white shirts instead of light blue. He said that light blue stood out too much and that I already stood out enough. [​IMG]

    There would be no way a brown suit would have gone a day without raising many eyebrows.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014


  9. Stugotes

    Stugotes Senior member

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    I watched Ieri, oggi, domani (1963) a few weeks ago and Mastroianni's tan suit in the last segement really caught my eye. If you have access to the movie, I recommend checking it out for inspiration.

    [​IMG]
     


  10. gdl203

    gdl203 Affiliate Vendor Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

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    I know that's off topic but I'd personally stick with blue and grey for fresco (including stripes if wanted). I like that shade of brown much better in linen, and I like that tan better in cotton or cotton/linen


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014


  11. David Reeves

    David Reeves Affiliate Vendor Affiliate Vendor

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    I agree, nicest suit I have seen on NYI
     


  12. cbbuff

    cbbuff Senior member

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    Agreed. What ever happened to NYI?
     


  13. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    Amen.
     


  14. Monkeyface

    Monkeyface Senior member

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    This is a little off topic, but it might help the brown wool/linen discussion. Here are a brown wool pinstripe suit and a brown linen DB suit I own. The brown pinstripe is not that versatile, but luckily I bought it for next to nothing. I much prefer brown linen, so I'd go for a brown or tan linen suit, and save the fresco for the more conventional blues/greys.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2014


  15. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    I think you have to decide between the balance of form and function. For example, I prefer my navy blue suits in tropical worsted rather than fresco because I like the more formal look of worsted. I have another blue mohair which is a gorgeous shade of blue, richer IMO than the fresco equivalent. I believe these two suits wear hotter than the equivalent fresco, but I am willing to put up with it for the look.

    The brown fresco is easier to maintain than linen. I don't mind if the brown linen might look a bit better.
     


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