'iGent Myths Busted!'

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by VRaivio, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    Really? Thinking of most of the classic odd jacket/odd trouser combos, most have lighter pants than jacket. The only exception I can think of is an ivory dinner jacket worn with trousers from a dinner suit at night.
     
  2. Lovelace

    Lovelace Senior member

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    This thread seems perfect.

    Time for a gambit?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  3. Baron

    Baron Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Because CM is no longer the default mode of dress in America, people often look back to the past and take examples of commonly worn items/combinations and mistakenly use those examples to exemplify proper convention in classic men's clothing. What they forget is that, even when all men wore suits, most still lacked elegance, panache, grace, etc. Just because you find that "most men wore..." two generations ago, that isn't any basis for deciding what looks good. Styleforum isn't meant to be a mid-century business dress RPG. Then as now, most men were rubes.
     
  4. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    My point is more foundational.

    You don't have follow your idea that "we should contemplate them to determine how they should be applied (if at all)" very far to see that it becomes doing what you like. Even a semi-systematic form of what you like is, at it's base, a collection of personal preferences. And those preferences are hard to argue.

    Manton grounds his conception (again, Mike, correct me if I'm wrong) in some mix of history and a universal-ish conception of what is aesthetically pleasing.

    Rules flow much more easily from Manton's foundation than from yours.

    Someone so inclined (and they are legion) can always say to Manton - I don't think that, therefore it's not universal LOL!!!1!. Whereas it's harder to tell you that you don't actually like something.
     
  5. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I was thinking not of the is/ought distinction but of the nature/convention distinction.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  6. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    History is up for interpretation. Sator's supposed counter-examples fail, not because they are factually false, but because he misconstrues the normative rules he's attempting to disprove as factual statements of universality. He mistakenly thinks his singular examples are significant. In truth, history is a narrative. Our motivations and values determine what we deem significant in our narration. Any historian's historical account will be colored by his perspective--as well as his fallibility. Hence, you are not removing any subjectivity by "grounding" anything in history. Ultimately, you must construe the value and meaning of things, just as I do in my process--which, I might add, includes historical consideration.

    As for being guided by a "universal" conception of aesthetics: I really don't see why you think I diverge on this. That conception must ultimately yield "rules" to be applicable. I go on and on about how to pattern match and harmonize textures and colors, don't I? What do you think that's guided by, if not a belief in what is objectively good looking?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  7. bertie

    bertie Senior member

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    We can try.
     
  8. bboysdontcryy

    bboysdontcryy Senior member

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    I actually thought that conventions are more akin to habits, practices, and customs;, they are regulatory (that is, the social mores regulate) but are not strictly enforced (or written in law).

    Though, over time, they might gain so much traction that they become 'enforceable rules' -- or to make it more relevant, rules that are 'universally' frowned upon when flouted.

    Whilst, rules, on the other hand, are maxims, or for example, have been derived from long standing traditions, customs etc. They are (emphasis here) strictly enforced by errr. the fashion police (substitute for courts) and are 'universally' frowned upon when flouted.

    So in the former, it's not strictly enforced, and in the latter, it's a maxim and has gained near 'universal' acceptance that is 'enforced'.


    *Of course this is informed by a socio-legal perspective, and it's arguable that since there aren't any fashion police to speak of, hence, there's no 'strict enforcement'. In the world of style, social mores are all that there is to regulate behaviour. So, I think, with conventions, social mores do regulate when conventions are broken, whilst when rules are flouted, regulation is more intense. It is a question of degree.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  9. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    My take on this is that learning the rules is more important for social reasons than aesthetic ones. Many of these rules can guide you towards aesthetically pleasing choices, but as far as purely aesthetic goals go, it's more important simply that you like the way that you look than that you have adhered to the many rules of dress. On this count alone, it's much better to like the way you look while breaking some rules than the other way around. But the "rules" tell you what's appropriate for various social settings, what will make you blend in, and what will make you stand out, what will make people say, "nice [insert odd accoutrement here]", what will make people you to refer to you as, "the guy with the [insert conspicuous rule-breaking item here]". In some settings, depending on who you are, this may be fine. In some settings, it may be downright rude. Knowing the "rules" of dress in menswear is no different from knowing good manners. Deviating from proper decorum depending on your position in different social settings is just as much a part of good taste as knowing what are appropriate deviations from standard rules of dress. For example, if you're the guy wearing the tan suit in this picture:
    then you damn well better be the dude sitting at the desk rather than one of the dudes standing behind it.
     
  10. Lovelace

    Lovelace Senior member

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    That was no faux-pas Reagan knew exactly what he was doing there.

    He wanted to stand out.

    Being an ex-actor he would have been well aware of the power of clothes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    And it worked, didn't? Whatever you think of his politics, he was a master at playing the game.
     
  12. Lovelace

    Lovelace Senior member

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    Yes, It was a very clever move.
     
  13. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    You seem to take as more nearly universal those things which you happen to feel most strongly about. The white shirt - white pocket square discussion springs to mind.

    Whereas things which are most nearly universal are most nearly universal.

    The larger point is that you seem to think that your preferences are grounded in something firmer than what they actually are. That has the benefit of leading to people getting butthurt when you call them idiots for disagreeing with you. But it has the downside of a lack of self awareness - though that's probably just an aesthetic fault in your theory of aesthetics.

    The norms we can and do try to develop lack normativity in most cases. There are some fairly irrefutable statements you can make about how the wide world will perceive things. But beyond that, we are concerned with categorising details in a world in which there is little reward for excelling and nothing to be lost by transgressing.

    At best, things can be formatted as conditionals - if you care about how things were done historically, here is what history has to say. If you want to be tasteful, here is the opinion of people generally considered (or that you personally consider) tasteful.

    I think those conditionals are worth fleshing out. But I also think its better to recognise them for exactly what they are. M
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2013
  14. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    What are you considering classic combos? I don't usually think in such terms. In terms of sportcoats, tweed comes in all colors, from light to dark. Camel hair is traditionally, well, camel. For my medium brown coats, sometimes I opt for lighter trou, sometimes for darker. I like flexibility.

    I can tell you I get great use out of my dark brown cords.
     
  15. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    Navy blazer, mid-grey trou. Navy blazer, cream/buff trou or chinos. Morning dress. The stroller. I'm certainly not doubting that you look smashing in your dark brown cords. I have some myself that I wear on weekends. I'm referring just to the standard odd jacket/trouser outfits that have been worn consistently for decades. I'm open to suggestions for other combinations as being classic. Is a camel hair odd jacket really a classic? To me it looks like a fabric for overcoats. I usually see it as an odd jacket only in Jack Victor ads. Am I crazy?
     

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