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good taste in clothes but

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Lord Foppington, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. Lord Foppington

    Lord Foppington Active Member

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    This topic intrigues me. Very rarely do you find someone who has (or at least has pretenses to) good taste in clothes and also good taste (or pretenses) to a lot else.

    Some very sharp dresser could have ugly, generic, badly designed furniture in his apartment, or ugly generic flatware or tableware, or bad art, and not care much about it. Or here's one: sharp, expensively dressed person reading crap fiction on an airplane.

    I can hear people say, "well, I like to look good, but when I read I just want to escape, relax, etc."

    But I can also hear someone say, "well, I only spend my time reading things that are profound and important, but I wear these spongy plastic-looking rubber-soled shoes because they're comfortable, and clothes are trivial."

    There's also the phenomenon of academics who care intensely about beautiful poetry but whose clothes look like they come from Walgreens. Even worse: ever seen how the typical professor of aesthetic philosophy dresses? Good God.

    There are exceptions, of course. But it seems to me that most people concentrate on exerting their taste in just one or two areas and let the rest go to hell. Or am I wrong?
     
  2. colin

    colin Member

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    I don't know if I see too many people who dress well-not trendy but genuinely fashionable- and don't have nice apartments and things and appreciate the arts and whatnot. The other way around is very common however, where people are into fine foods, books and film yet wear fleece pullovers and hikers everywhere, i guess clothing is seen as a vanity rather than taste and those who are are well-read don't care for such things.
     
  3. VMan

    VMan Senior member

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    This is all from my point-of-view, so feel free to agree/disagree.

    I consider myself a VERY visual/artistic/creative person. I love anything that is aesthetically-pleasing, visually beautiful, or inspiring. I believe that dressing well is something that goes along with this. Many members of the forum, myself included, are interested in and have good taste regarding architecture, music, design, furniture, food and alcohol, automobiles, film, watches, and entertainment.

    To me, all of these things go hand-in-hand.
     
  4. cuffthis

    cuffthis Senior member

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    IMHO, you are wrong.

    Some people are very narrowly focused and only concentrate on one or two things.

    But then there are people like me who are passionate about (almost) everything they do. In my opinion, if it's worth doing, its worth doing your best. The world is fiilled with mediocrity. Find something you love and excel at it.

    I have always been interested in clothes and take pride in what I wear and how I wear it. But I am not one dimensional. I also am passionate about my collection of vintage cufflinks, wine, interior design and, believe it or not, reggae music.

    In 10 years, I accumulated one of the largest collections of antique cufflinks. I went from no clue about interior design to having my home, which I decorated, featured in a magazine. I went from knowledge of beer only to being able to read any wine list, know (and sampled) most of the wines listed, and to understand what wine will compliment what course. I went from thinking Bob Marley was the only reggae singer to having hundred's of reggae cd's and knowing more than most of my Jamaican friends.

    I don't think you will get many people who will agree with you on a board like this. Many of the frequent posters are very passionate about clothing. But, like me, they are passionate about most other things in their life.
     
  5. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    My apartment looks pretty good, but my wife is at least as responsible for that as I am.  More so, to be fair.

    But, as I noted on the khaki thread, my casual look is pretty bad.  So in that sense maybe I qualify.
     
  6. Styleman

    Styleman Senior member

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    What exactly is classed as stylish fiction or as you put it 'crap fiction'. That really bewilders me; I mean I don't think a reader of Dauphine Du Maurier is any more/less stylish than a reader of Dan Brown; whereas it is obvious that a person dressed in a Brioni with Berlutis or a person in Dior Homme and a Cartier watch is more stylish than a fleece wearing, industrial action shoe with khakis lad.
     
  7. Alexander Kabbaz

    Alexander Kabbaz Senior member

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    But I take it you selected your wife, no?
     
  8. oldskool

    oldskool Senior member

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    I for one qualify. I have very little interest in my physical surroundings at home, have a minute attention space limited to Tom Clancy at best - but spend an large amount of time and money on business attire for my job. [​IMG]
     
  9. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    My apartment looks pretty good, but my wife is least as responsible for that as I am. More so, to be fair.
    But I take it you selected your wife, no?
    Of course the counter argument is that she selected you [​IMG] Jon.
     
  10. The_Foxx

    The_Foxx Senior member

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    I think I suffer from a problem similar to what Manton described-- I'd like to think I can knot ties and wear suits or sportcoats with the best of them, but my casual attire needed a lot of work. I have gotten better recently, tho-- unfortunately, I have to admit it was probably due to my wife watching 'what not to wear' and 'queer eye,' otherwise I'd have no clue about jeans manufactureres/ who Varvatos is/ etc.

    My latest accomplishments are Burberry and RLPL short sleeve polo shirts, and a pair of seven jeans.
     
  11. kabert

    kabert Senior member

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    Wearing nice clothes and good taste don't always go hand in hand, of course. Money can buy very expensive clothes -- it doesn't always bring with it good taste or "class." In addition, some people who don't have alot of money will stretch their finances to have nice clothes in order to, e.g., fit in at work, attract the ladies, appear successful, etc. Such a person may have a closet full of Brioni or Oxxford suits (bought used on EBay.?), and look pretty good and "classy" wearing them, but he may otherwise be a shallow, tacky dolt.
     
  12. linux_pro

    linux_pro Senior member

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    I'd have to agree with that last post. However, a lot of the folks I know who dress well and are concerned with that, are also very well-read and have pretty refined tastes outside of fashion. I am only recently becoming more concerned with fashion, but have loved great cuisine, literature, art (mostly film), and so on for most of my life. Of course, humans are humans, so I think overgeneralizations rarely work in any instance. Also, many of the very wealthy that I have met have very horrid taste in art, and just buy stuff that they recognize the name of an artist, or which goes with the general color scheme of the room they are placing it in. That is also an over-generalization. A very wealthy man I worked with in So Cal spent much of his time at various art functions and collected some amazing works by local and unknown or fringe artists. Really, it's just a matter of taste. I love to read about history, especially Roman history, some people might or might not consider that somehow "cultured." I think it mostly depends on their personal tastes and perceptions.
     
  13. jerrysfriend

    jerrysfriend Senior member

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    There probably is something basically sick about us clothes-horses.
    There was the famous epitath concerning Beau Brummel's one-time friend, King George (the ?): "Never was there a man who knew so much about clothes and so little about everything else."
     
  14. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Cultured is relative yes, but the pursuit of antiquated pastimes does bring one closer to appearing / being "˜cultured'. Horology, Ancient History, Haberdashery, etc...are all pursuits which one cultured, at least when it comes to those particular pursuits.

    At the end I think that one is cultured when one can delve into different subjects with different people and still be able to learn more, yet keeping a balance with what one knows to be correct. Alas, academic might be a better word than cultured for the above-mentioned definition. Perhaps if you combine that with an ability to display erudition in public, one than can be called cultured.

    Jon.
     
  15. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    George IV.
     
  16. Lord Foppington

    Lord Foppington Active Member

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    Well, this is interesting. I'm sure there are people here with highly developed tastes in most everything. I'm not sure I for one fit that category. I don't know much about wine, for instance. And I have an aggressively low-brow approach to some things too, like music, and various other pop-culture things, and liquor. That's a species of pretentiousness in itself, I suppose.

    I'd say highly visually oriented people (like those here) tend to care about how things look across a broad spectrum--cars, art, clothes, interior design, architecture, gardens. Maybe they are better at using taste to approach non-visual beauty too.

    But with people devoted to other "aesthetic" areas--literature, "serious" music (many composers I've met dress like Frankenstein), perhaps it's more hit and miss. Sometimes their concentration on their chosen area of devotion leads them to neglect other things. All exceptions happily admitted, of course.
     
  17. ROI

    ROI Well-Known Member

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    So far, we've been talking about whether people who are sensitive to style in clothing are also sensitive to style in other areas such as art or home decoration. I'd like to twist the question a little. The term "lifestyle" has been stretched so thin it has lost all precision. A couple decades ago, however, "lifestyle" referred to a specific strategy in marketing. A good example of the strategy is Ralph Lauren extending his reach from apparel to home decor. This was more than a brand extension (Tylenol, Tylenol PM, Arthritis Tylenol, etc.), "lifestyle" marketing proceded from the idea that people who bought a particular style of clothing would also buy a corresponding style of towels, carpeting, and paint. If a person bought into the Ralph Lauren's English country house fantasy in his wardrobe, he would also, given the chance, embrace English country house style in other areas of his life.

    The question, then, is: Is your taste in clothing consistent with your preferences in other aspects of your life?
     
  18. gregory

    gregory Senior member

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    I don't actually get to live the lifestyle I want. Given the choice, I'd either dress more formally than I would do every day (suit) or more casually (polo-collar shirt + shorts). I don't really like the in-between (shirt+slacks, which is what I wear to the office). My home decor is also Ikea-swedish, except that it is much more minimalist. I live in a modern high-rise building. Given the choice, I would have my private and secluded estate close by the beach with a large front lawn. It would have a decor very similar to Ritz-Carlton, with museum-quality furniture bought from auction houses. I like Chinese decorative objects, but not Chinese paintings.
     
  19. benchan

    benchan Senior member

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    For stuff like electronics products/phone/Hi-Fi/TV and cars, I would not put too many emphasis on aesthetics. E.g. I love the boxy Lancer Evo just as much as other much more expensive and tasteful looking cars.
     
  20. Lord Foppington

    Lord Foppington Active Member

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    I like traditional Anglo-American clothes. I have a special interest in eighteenth-century British literature, music, art, and decorative arts--with a wider interest in British literature in general.

    But then I collect mid-20th-century Scandinavian (Danish and Finnish, mostly) design, furniture, art glass etc. (like everybody else is doing these days, it seems).

    So my tastes are pretty incoherent. Are there Danish modern blazers?

    On the form/function question in regard to audio, I'd like to get my hands on an old Bang & Olufsen Beomaster, though I think true audiophiles would turn their noses up at that.
     

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