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Good Natured Advice Thread (improving a business wardrobe)

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Claghorn, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. Cleav

    Cleav Senior member Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    Mate, looks good FWIW I'm a Cantarelli fan, I like it.

    With regard to your previous post may I suggest you reduce the pattern count? Should you introduce a plain pale blue shirt, solid grenadine, knit or cashmere tie and a PS that perhaps plays on a paisley blue/s/orange/brown theme?

    BTW love NZ, you North or South Island? I spent two years based in Auckland, enjoyed every minute.
     
  2. Isolation

    Isolation Senior member

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    Thanks I just got it made from a cheap tailor in Hong Kong using Dugdale Caldonaire Tweed. Pretty nice stuff with heft.
     
  3. EFV

    EFV Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Wow, that's f****ing horrible! I can understand your aversion. The Swedish branch only seem to use the same name, but have their own suppliers from pretty good Milanese manufacturers. It isn't as good as Hober, but definitely better than budget stuff like Tyrwhitt et c.
     
  4. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    On mobile, so I just want to say that jfrat's attempt is promising. Bit much (four patterns) and switching to a solid tie was definitely the right instinct to follow working from there.

    Also....light gray pants are amazing.

    And I like that second jacket a lot.

    I'd avoid wearing that shirt with anything but solids or maybe a second pattern. I have a similar shirt and find I'm most happy with it when worn thus.

    -----

    Thanks for the shout out Helden. Light blue is tough and I've had to learn how to wear it out of necessity (caused by me getting caught up in the beauty of the color when looking at a swatch).

    ----

    Iso, the fit on the jacket isn't good. The balance is very very off. The lines of the pattern should drop vertically, not converge inward and converge outward.

    I do believe it is possible to wear jeans with a jacket and tie. But in order to bridge the formality gaps, an OCBD and a knit are all but required. Probably forgo the square. And in my mind, jacket and jeans look best when the jacket isn't super form fitting. Dunno why though.
     
  5. mdancel

    mdancel Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for sharing this. I find it super helpful for the stage I'm in which picking up my first 5 ties!

    Would any others care to give their first five for navy and gray suits for CBD?
     
  6. Coxsackie

    Coxsackie Senior member

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    @Isolation , you have again made a coherent case for politely declining the advice proffered by various members re: waist suppression.

    For a lot of folks, it's hard to get past the idea that "guys should look like guys", a maxim which clearly underpins most of the critiques against both your jacket cuts and your hairstyle.

    There might also be a lurking element of homophobia (yes, I know you're not gay) subconsciously driving some of the expressed opinion - although this board is a pretty broad church, with generally high tolerance of non-mainstream sexualities as well as a huge mix of different ethnicities. So if such sentiments are present, they are kept in the background. But they might still be playing a silent role.

    Let's brush all that aside for a moment, and look at another possible reason why your heavily waist-suppressed jackets might be in dubious taste. We know that your spouse favours a gender-neutral social persona, and from that we can assume that you mix frequently with their crowd, are comfortable in that milieu, and quite probably seek a sartorial style which would make a strong and favourable impression there.

    Now, I'm going to make a couple of quick guesses. You are ethnically East Asian, and are blessed with a bodily habitus commonly found in that group: very slim, with a very narrow waist and hips, and relatively broad shoulders. This accident of genetics gives you a great framework for constructing an androgynous dress style, based on masculine design cues - "classic men's" design icons such as jackets, ties, trousers and shoes - with deliberately feminised elements such as your famous suppressed waistlines.

    All sounds completely reasonable so far. But I see two distinct dangers in this approach. Firstly, the basic cuts and lines of the aforementioned CM menswear icons were developed by many talented people over a century or more of effort, informed by the commercial feedback of client enthusiasm. A type of natural selection has occurred as a result, meaning that the current basic jacket shapes and underlying design principles are difficult to improve upon, and easy to upset.

    Secondly, the overly vigorous use of clothing to accentuate one's natural body forms inevitably starts to push against the boundaries of good taste. Here are a couple of extreme examples:

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    OK, so these are both pretty cartoonish, and unlike you, these are people who created their bodies deliberately and make money out of that. But the basic point is that in each of these cases, it would be difficult to conduct normal social discourse with a person dressed like this. It's just really in-your-face "look at my body, my body, my body".

    So the same jacket cuts which may well be admired within your own gender-ambiguous social circle will, at some point, meet a negative reaction from people in the wider world. How far out you have to go to meet that negative reaction will depend on where you set the bar with your clothing. Ultimately this must remain your own decision. But given the degree of negative reaction your waist-suppressed jackets receive on this very open-minded website, it could be argued that the bar is currently set in the wrong place.

    Just some food for thought.
     
  7. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Yes. Very yes. I'll provide my five after getting home and opening a beer.
     
  8. The Noodles

    The Noodles Skid Fu

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    Oh darn it! I would have pointed you straight to my pictures but I deleted them.

    I think all the ties in the first couple pages of this thread have some great tie recommendations.

    Here's a few.
    http://vandafineclothing.com/store/neckties/490-brown-blue-flowers.html

    http://vandafineclothing.com/store/neckties/554-navy-white-dot-shantung-grenadine.html

    http://www.samhober.com/gallery/photos/view/529/grenadine-fina-solid-tie

    http://www.samhober.com/gallery/photos/view/837/midnight-blue-grenadine-fina-silk-tie

    http://www.samhober.com/gallery/pho...idnight-blue-grenadine-fina-stripe-silk-tie-4
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  9. jfrater

    jfrater Senior member

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    Thanks - I will give it a shot tomorrow - much reduced pattern list :) I don't have a huge amount of paisley based stuff but I'll see what I can find.

    I am in Wellington (North Island) - typical summer so far - lots of wind and mostly overcast :)
     
  10. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    I was about to take this comment seriously, and then you dropped this stinking deuce...



    I could be getting a little overzealous here, but a brand is never a justification. Every brand makes pieces that are no good. Just a knee-jerk reaction to your phrasing. Sorry if that's not what you were getting up.

    And thats coming from one of the biggest brand whores on this board (me).


    Mostly because I dont like them. Please don't take this the wrong way, but it does not surprise me at all that you would be a fan of cream shirts. Don't worry, you're in good company. They're just not for me.
     
  11. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Bearded Prick Dubiously Honored

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    Cox, thanks for taking the time to post that. That is very much the perspective from which I've been trying to offer critiques to iso. The aesthetic that iso seems to be pursuing requires the threading of the needle, using conservative tropes in a slightly transgressive way. I think I can imagine what he's going for, but there's a high degree of difficulty and even with perfect execution, I expect a large portion of the audience here won't dig it.
     
  12. Isolation

    Isolation Senior member

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    re: Clags

    Oh wow, I hadn't even thought of that. This is my first jacket with a bold pattern and I completely did not think about that, and you're right, I think, the way the lines are affected by the jacket's shape adds a lot to the busy-ness that I found problem with.

    re: Cox

    Homosexuality and sexuality is such a weird thing to talk about because perception is so different people to people, culture to culture. I identify as queer/bisexual, but depending on who you ask, I'd be straight or gay instead, since I'm technically married to a person who is trans (pre-op), it's really weird. Sexual orientation aside, queerness in gender expression is a big part of who I am, and, though less so than my partner, I do experience gender dysphoria. I am not comfortable being thought of as masculine and a man man, and it has a lot to do with perception of gender in my experience and social upbringing, which has all kinds of misogynistic expectations built on men. The biological vs cultivated aspect of body/gender dysphoria is complicated and probably boring to people it doesn't involve, but I'm just trying to highlight that it's a thing, for me, and for some people.. It's a physical sensation, and one that people who do not experience will find it difficult to understand, so I don't often try to explain it. I guess it'll be like a very masculine guy being forced to seriously (ie. not as a joke in some party) cross dress or wear feminine clothes that do not express who they are. Of course there are men who don't get bothered by it and can take it all in good fun as well, so this analogy doesn't work for everyone.

    I don't think people here have been homophobic, it's just that obviously my goals in expression is non mainstream (and foreign to many here), so not only do I have to navigate the many different things a neophyte has to learn, I also have to do it while further tailoring that advice to my different perspective, and sometimes I end up taking advice that don't jive with me, or sometimes I stubbornly refuse to listen when I should give it a try. I imagine it's a bit like women trying to adapt menswear to their use. Ultimately there are cultural, social, and biological differences that means they have to alter the advice for themselves.

    I should add that people in this thread have been very helpful to me despite that, and I don't want my stubbornness to be seen as disregard for their help.

    I've mentioned before that I'm a poker player/self employed, so at least in that way, I fortunately have great freedom on the work front to wear what I like, and honestly the people I interact with either don't mind or appreciate an alternate sense of fashion, or don't care about clothes and dress so sloppily that I've never had it come up before except maybe once with that electric blue jacket I have, but then only because it was very bright, which was expected. I imagine if I had a social circle that's linked with a work enviroment, especially a conservative one I would have picked a very different way of presenting myself, but I count myself quite fortunate that I can essentially do whatever I like.

    If you consider the way I dress outlandish you should see my friends. More than half of them have tattoos, piercings, and bright dyed hair, no joke. The people I'm around probably dress very very very differently than the social circles of most SFers. If it helps my case, I do try to emulate and learn the SF way and being able to dress relatively CBD when the situation is appropriate. It's just that so little of my life consists of a CBD enviroment it's a small part of what I'm learning about dressing better. And of course I want to do that while tiptoeing the lines for what jives with my sense of self/aesthetics. I know people hate that modern really skinny everything trendy italian/whatever look which I seem to be emulating, but it just so happens to be the trend that I can kind of blend into while doing what I want. I obviously don't have what I like nailed down, but I feel like I'm making progress finding that out, so as far as I'm concerned it's alright, considering I've only gotten into dressing in more than t-shirts and hoodies for less than 2 years.


    ANNnnnyway, I feel like when it comes down to it, I'm young, I'll figure out what I want eventually. Live and learn. =]
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015
  13. mdancel

    mdancel Well-Known Member

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    Also, if some of you are willing could you share some specific examples of what would be your first 1 or 2 pocket squares to go with the ties after the white linen?
     
  14. AJL

    AJL Senior member

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    I tried a cream/ecru shirt in the recent past, and I couldn't do much of anything with it. Granted my wardrobe is rather limited, and one must take into account the particular shade of off-white, but I have just found light blues and clean white to be so much more versatile and pleasing, that it hardly seems worth the effort.
     
  15. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I just want to say that it's wonderful Iso can be married to his partner. Progress, folks.

    Noodles, those are nice ties, but some really shouldn't be in first five CBD.

    Eggshell (as opposed to ecru) would be useful in a wardrobe with a lot of brown jackets.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2015

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