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good taste in clothes but

Lord Foppington

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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?
 

colin

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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.
 

VMan

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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.
 

cuffthis

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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?
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.
 

Manton

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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.
 

Styleman

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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.
 

Alexander Kabbaz

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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?
 

oldskool

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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.
 

The_Foxx

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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.
 

kabert

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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.
 

linux_pro

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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.
 

jerrysfriend

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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.
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."
 

imageWIS

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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.
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.
 

Manton

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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."
George IV.
 

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