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MoneyWellSpent's Southern Trad Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Caustic Man, Jun 13, 2016.

  1. smittycl

    smittycl Well-Known Member

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    I'm not sure the flashy stuff at modern football games counts as Southern Trad. Too ostentatious. Bright colors can be worn tastefully but some of these guys are quite garish. That said, the ladies are fantastic. They always are.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  2. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Well-Known Member

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    @Count de Monet , excellent examples. I'm not sure about these other schools but at my school the football stadium was a short distance away from campus so our cohorts certainly would walk there and stay dressed as such during the after game festivities! I believe your general point is correct, however. Most of the game day dress is definitely not everyday attire! As @smittycl points out game day dress is far too ostentatious to be a regularly occurring theme in Southern Trad. However, although it is not regularly occurring, I believe it to be an integral part of Southern Trad. It's all about appropriateness in time and place. Consider it like Nantucket reds worn while boating. It's just something you do.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
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  3. yeknal

    yeknal Well-Known Member

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    Personally I prefer to "tone it down" for game day attire and just stick with team colors and get the details right. I have a strong aversion to logos in general (especially company logos) which carries over to keeping my school logo off my shirts and trousers. I also stick with penny loafers, tassel loafers, PTB's and short wings and well away from boat shoes (bean boots for the same reason but that's a different story). I understand if people disagree that's just my personal spin.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Well-Known Member

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    I don't think anyone will disagree with your personal preferences. It's personal, after all. I do think it bears mentioning that the loud game day dress is not for every southerner. Just like not everyone dresses to the so called 9s for Derby. It is common enough to be one of the characteristics of southern sartorial culture, I'd say. However, we must be careful not to assume that everyone, or even the majority, dress that way. There are non-Trad football fans all over the country of course. I would say that it is also quite common to see the "athlesure" craze being represented in the south as it is all over the country.
     
  5. yeknal

    yeknal Well-Known Member

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    I think my preferences are in part due to my teams loud colors (orange/purple) which are eye catching enough IMO. I do tend to save the logos for the accessories so I dont have a complete aversion to them. My spin may not fit into the southern trad definition but I definitely take inspiration from it.
     
  6. leisurewear

    leisurewear Well-Known Member

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    Nothing too trad about my outfit today but I did want to post a picture of my bit loafers, most comfortable shoes I own. AE Pisa. They're a little noisy when I walk but I don't necessarily dislike that. CT dobby check shirt and navy Jcrew chinos.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Well-Known Member

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    Ok, so is Southern Trad just about color? Is it just pastels and team pride? Today I'd like to explore the more tame side of Southern Trad as well as address certain details of culture that define the style. When someone uses the term "Southern Gentleman" what comes to mind?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Alright, Colonel Sanders was actually born in Indiana but he spent most of his life in Kentucky. Samuel Clemens is legit, as we all know. Anyway, I'd imagine that scenes of an elderly man in a white suit, rocking slowly on the porch of his Georgian mansion, fanning himself with a straw hat and sipping mint juleps isn't far off from what most people think of. But, as with northern trad culture, a whole way of life and thinking went along with being a southern gentleman. Codes of chivalry and honor dictated behavior and determined dress. UVA's short biography of Col. John Mosby and the Southern Code of Honor provides an interesting look into this world of manners and dress that still affects the adherents of Southern Trad to this day. Most interesting for our purposes is the section on "Appearance". The author claims that Mosby at first had the appearance of a "slouching scout" but that after he attained a command (mastery and command being a southern virtue) he suddenly...

    "...took on a new air, donning a feather in his cap and two pistols held at his sides. "Mosby himself looked as elegant as the plumed General. ... The uniform he wore was immaculate from polished boots to the plume like Stuart's in his hat""

    Southern gentility, even in the antebellum period, showed a preference for being smartly dressed, polished, and well ordered. Just as echoes of the code of honor remain in southern society today, so to does the bias toward immaculate dress. Tom Wolfe is an excellent example of this (note the non-standard sleeve cuff of the jacket in the first photo)...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Truman Capote too embodies a carefully cultivated style with obvious personal flares (particularly his silk scarf)...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Notably absent is the northern penchant for carefully creating an image of nonchalance and indifference to clothing. These men spent time crafting their image and they didn't care who knew it.

    Of course, this isn't necessarily true of all southerners. William Faulkner presented a very northern style, often being photographed in heavy tweed jackets despite living most of his life in Mississippi.

    [​IMG]

    Nevertheless, this is somewhat of an oddity to my mind and certainly not an image that many would associate with "southernness".

    Being well ordered and immaculate in dress also left room for flares of individuality I will call "feathering". As John Mosby demonstrates, immaculate dress leaves open the possibility of feathering ones cap and polishing ones boots to a high shine. In modern terms that might be expressed as eye catching cuff-links, highly embellished shoes, etc. Ties too are excellent subject for embellishment in the south. This does not necessarily have to mean the shiny pink paisley ties so common at Derby parties. It can mean a tie with a slightly non-standard color (usually brighter than normal) or a non-standard, but still not garish, pattern such as on the navy tie worn by Tom Wolfe. Not garish, simply non-standard. All these things would be conspicuously out of place on a Northern Trad gentleman whose relaxed and slouchy appearance would give the impression of extreme casualness and negate any opportunity for embellishment.

    On the subject of shoes, perhaps no other item in the southern wardrobe is so despised by non-southerners (and indeed some southerners as well) as the tassel, weaved, and bit loafers so common south of the Mason/Dixon line. Southern Tradists are certainly not the only ones to wear these eye catching shoes, and to be sure many southerners choose to eschew them entirely, however their prevalence demonstrates the issue of "feathering" quite well. Northern Tradists have simple minimalist loafers while southerners steer toward adorning their with bits of metal, braided and weaved leather, tassels, and skirts. It is not uncommon to see two or more of these elements on one shoe.
    [​IMG]
    Spectators too are common sights on dressier occasions. Like highly adorned loafers, spectators are not strictly southern. However, when comparing Northern to Southern Tradists today, spectators have achieved an almost costume-like quality in the north whereas they are worn in all seriousness in the south. Originating in England, they were considered by the English to be too flashy for true gentlemen, just perfect for a southern gentleman perhaps.


    [​IMG]

    Conclusion: While Southern Trad does not necessarily have to contain pastel colors and FU trousers it does often contain an element of polish and immaculateness. This polished look leaves ample room for small flares of creativity even when most of the garments are relatively conservative, such as Truman Capote's silk scarf or the details of Tom Wolfe's jacket sleeve. Feathering, almost nonexistent in Northern Trad except in the most subtle ways, is an integral part of dressing in the south. This does not need to mean that these embellishments are always garish. On the contrary, they need only be non-standard and express the wearers individuality and taste.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
    2 people like this.
  8. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Well-Known Member

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    Also, this came today... [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Count de Monet

    Count de Monet Well-Known Member

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    Nice Duckheads. Nice to see the yellow tag again.

    Regarding spectators, many (here) know they are known as "co-respondents" in the UK (or so I'm told). However, I've read the reference has nothing to do with news reporters.

    Used to (largely or completely abolished in the US by the end of the 20th century), the complaining party in a divorce action (the "petitioner") could not only sue his or her spouse for divorce (the "respondent") but could also name as an additional party the "other man/woman" and seek damages from them for breaking up the marriage. This third party was the "co-respondent."

    Presumably, in the UK the sort of man to wear two-toned shoes was deemed to be on the level of the cads breaking up marriages of decent folk and thus no gentleman.[​IMG]

    I don't know if specs suggest a certain aura of disrepute or not but my wife (who's from Texas, not England) refers to them as my pimp shoes and much prefers my white bucks with seersucker.

    [​IMG]

    Other than the specs, this is -relatively speaking - a sort of CBD version of a seersucker day; no pink or yellow shirt, no Madras tie, just a white linen BD (sort of weird looking at the end of a hot day) and a solid navy tie from Mr. Hober. Plain linen square with edges hand rolled by a little ol' lady in Cornwall. Probably southern Cornwall.[​IMG]

    This is about as "conservative" as I can do seersucker. Well, except for my "pimp shoes." I just can't bring myself to wear dark business dress shoes like Trent Lott and those guys in the picture up thread.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
    4 people like this.
  10. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if one could sue a pimp for damages...

    When wearing seersucker I'd tend to side with you. While I like white bucks, I'd prefer a little contrast with something that light and I might go for spectators or a walnut colored shoe. Nothing too dark though (sorry Mitch McConnell). FWIW I think the ones you are wearing are supoib!
     
  11. doomx

    doomx Well-Known Member

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    Tassel loafers are more mainstream than spectators or weaved shoes. They are very popular with NE trad/ivy, and commonly seen throughout Europe. Having said that, someone in the Northeast may raise an eyebrow towards then while they are non issue in the south, and in fact quite common.

    I saw a gentleman in his 60s at an evening function wearing bit loafers, a linen tan with navy windowpane and an orange tie. This is classic southern.
     
  12. doomx

    doomx Well-Known Member

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    On another note, this thread and my eminent departure from the south this coming fall led me to order my first two bow ties last night. I decided to sport them in a proud southern manner while still living down here.
     
  13. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. I have seen tassel loafer in Europe frequently and I actually still have a pair that I purchased from a European store in the Middle East. On the other hand, where else but the U.S. can you buy weaved, skirted, tassel loafers!?

    I know how you feel. I was not born southern, as many know, but I went to a southern university and picked up on much of the style of dress there. I only found myself being self-conscious about wearing Southern Trad clothes after I left. But proudly self-conscious.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2016
  14. doomx

    doomx Well-Known Member

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    Murica!

    I will be posting bow tie photos hopefully next week.
     
  15. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Well-Known Member

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  16. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Well-Known Member

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    Need some assistance from the Trad experts. I'm looking at a pair of topsiders but I can't decide between Sahara and Amaretto. What color would you get? Any thoughts on what would be more versatile in a casual summer context?

    [​IMG]
    ^^^ Amaretto
    [​IMG]
    ^^^ Sahara
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
  17. An Acute Style

    An Acute Style Well-Known Member

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    This is a non question. Amaretto for life. All other color ways bow down.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2016
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  18. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Well-Known Member

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    Well that was certainly emphatic. [​IMG]
     
  19. An Acute Style

    An Acute Style Well-Known Member

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    I wore the amarettos throughout high school, college and grad school. I've been meaning to get another pair for ages. Thanks for reminding me.
     
  20. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Well-Known Member

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    While I've got you, how is the fit? True to size? I usually wear a 9.5 in most loafers.
     

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