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Need a little help with choosing replacement buttons for a blazer.

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by The Silverfox, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    I


    Whilst the British doe still tend to avoid wearing the ties/insignia of regiments with which they were not associated, many if not all Americans have no such compunction and wear anything they fancy. However marvel at double standards because Americans would never wear the ties or other insignia of the Marines or any other American unit if they had not served in them.

    Similarly tartans, the Scottish will always wear the tartan of their clan and no other (as will generally other Britons) but Americans wear whichever they fancy rather than following even a loose connection and being restricted in their choice.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    Funny thing is, I wouldn't even wear the one or two striped ties that I'm entitled to, because the fact of just wearing one at all carries all sorts of class connotations that it's easier just to avoid. I don't hold it against those that choose to though.



    There are certain "open" tartans that anyone is officially allowed to wear (should they not have their own), like Blackwatch. I have also read on the internet (so it must be true) that Glen check was invented so that English gentleman who had no clan affiliation could have something suitable to wear when visiting Scotland for shooting, fishing and the like.
     
  3. The Silverfox

    The Silverfox Senior member

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    I don't think that people who see me with this blazer will really think all that much about it, nor do I know if I'd care if they did.

    Where I am we don't tend to have club ties or anything like that, so I don't think anyone would think about even a striped tie as something signifying anything.
    However, I am about as paranoid as an Englishman about this kind of thing, so I never wear ties or braces connected to anything I'm not part of, and would never dream of wearing buttons connected to a school/regiment/club I'm not affiliated with in general.

    That being said though, my reluctance to wear these things has to do with respecting the club's right to have their own thing and not wishing to look like an imposter. With regards to the East India Company, they don't exist any more, nor have they existed for over 150 years, so there are no east india company men who's toes I'd be stepping on, nor is there any chance of anyone believing I'm trying to impersonate an East India Company man. So to me it seems that East India Company must be as "open" as glencheck or apparently the Blackwatch (which I did not know was open to anyone to wear, is that just tartans or is it everything connected?). To me it's just a funny curiosity to have buttons related to EIC, and of course it may express my love of trade and commerce as well...

    Does that sound like a sensible justification, or would you still consider it a little peculiar?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  4. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    Sorry I assumed you were american - I think it was jack nicholson that did it.

    Well I think I would go for plainer ones myself (only in part because of the paranoia). But as you say the east india company is long gone and I think it's perfectly reasonable to get them just because you like the look of them. There remains the risk that the odd person mistakenly assumes you're wearing something you're not entitled to, but hey it's pretty small. All just my opinion of course, I'm no expert.

    Maybe there is an untapped market for ornate-but-obviously-unaffiliated blazer buttons here? I feel a trip to dragon's den coming on.

    I went to a wedding in scotland where the groom (a scot) asked all his friends (including me, even though I'm pretty thoroughly english) to wear kilts so that he wasn't the only one. The business of renting the gear is how I learnt about open tartans. Maybe it was invented by the kilt rental industry to boost revenue. I did end up buying a blackwatch tie because i thought it looked good, which is no different from the EIC buttons I suppose.
     
  5. Lord Mulberry

    Lord Mulberry Senior member

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    Personally I wouldn't look at the blazer in isolation, I'd look at what you are going to pair it with and the overall cut of the garment. I once wore a navy blazer with white buttons to match the white chinos I wore, maybe with a pale blue shirt and desert boots or oxblood shoes and I'd often stuff a blue pocket square with white polka dots in the pocket. I realise this might not be everyone's cup of tea but it suited me.
     
  6. The Silverfox

    The Silverfox Senior member

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    No worries, I've been accused of worse things than being american.

    Regarding insignias, how would they know I'm not entitled to it though? My fear has been running into someone who was entitled to wear something I'm wearing whereas I myself am not, and an embarrassing conversation ensuing where I have to explain that I'm wearing his university buttons/tie/whatever despite not having been there myself simply because I thought it was pretty. With this though, I wouldn't run into anyone who was entitled to wear it, and presumably I'd never encounter anyone who knew what it was unless they asked me. And if they did ask me, I'd simply say that the EIC is long gone but I thought it was fun to wear them because of the history of it etc.

    Honestly though, at this point I'm starting to second guess myself on silver in the first place. I feel I probably like silver better, but on the other hand this is my first blazer, so I'm thinking maybe I should just go for the most classic option.

    Started to eye these babies. And those make perfect sense for me to wear, as I'm a hunter.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Gaahh... present me with too many choices and I'll bee in a mental instution within the week. (I wonder if mental institutions have club buttons for their alumni)
     
  7. The Silverfox

    The Silverfox Senior member

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    I'm thinking I'll be going pretty traditional with it. Occasionally white shirt and jeans, but mostly black shoes, odd trousers (probably often gray and occasionally red etc), pale blue/pink/white or bengal striped shirts and various ties. I tend to favor rather classical colors, going more for sophistication than playfulness.

    The blazer itself is single breasted, and in my opinion of a pretty athletic cut. The color is extremely dark, almost midnight blue.

    Oh, and I always wear french/double cuffs, and for the most part I wear silver/steel cufflinks. My watch is polished steel with a silver face.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  8. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    Yes true, they wouldn't know, I was just being paranoid.

    If those hunting buttons were in the darker finish, I'd buy them and I don't even need them.

    :happy: this is clearly the answer.
     
  9. The Silverfox

    The Silverfox Senior member

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    Apparently, mental institutions do have club buttons, and this is what they look like.
    [​IMG]

    Though apparently you don't attach the buttons onto the blazer, but rather put them on your head to be worn as an accessory with the blazer.


    By the way, how close is this to the white ivory buttons that someone mentioned? I wasn't feeling it before, but this looks rather nice.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2013
  10. Makoto Chan

    Makoto Chan Senior member

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    Again, just go with your gut. Don't agonize too much. You're gonna love what you put on it.
     
  11. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    I don't think it's anything more than simple ignorance of those type of things. In the U.S. we have no such traditions as regimental ties. At least not a widespread tradition that the average person would recognize. I mean, an Army unit patch or the Marines EGA is easily recognizable as a particular organization. But since we have no tradition of stripes relating to regiments, to us it is simply a stripe. Same with tartans I suppose.
     
  12. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    Can you explain this? What class connotations does it hold? I'm curious because I have a few British friends here in Dubai who have accused me of dressing like an upper class Englishman whereas in America it would not at all be remarkable.
     
  13. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    It's not something I've thought about closely before, but I suppose there's just a certain type who wears those ties. Obviously if you're not one and you wear them anyway you're pretending to be something or not, making your social aspiration too clear. Nothing is looked down upon more than trying to better yourself, or get above your station. It is also a type that many people (left-leaning) find a bit obnoxious - I don't hold that view but it's still a consideration. But even if you are that type, you probably don't want to wear them all the time, as that's too much like showing off, which is in itself infra dig. The upper classes should act at all times like they don't give much of a fig about anything, let alone what they're wearing or what others think of what they're wearing. It should all just come naturally. See the Duke of Windsor's protestations that he wasn't actually interested in clothes.

    I guess what it comes down to is that the people who wear them tend to be socially aspirant upper-middle class. They are openly hated by the left; secretly hated by those lower down in the middle class (basically out of envy, but ostensibly because of their too-obvious pandering to the upper classes); and they are probably held in some amusement/ridicule by the actual upper classes (if they are thought of at all), who much prefer their own, or the honest working classes (such as brickies - see Churchill). I don't think most englishmen really mind if an american wears these ties (except GBR obviously), because englishmen hate each other more than they hate americans - you're exempt from the rules basically. I'm sure your British friends are just joshing you. Putting it all in writing like this probably makes it sound much more of a thing than it really is though. I worry I sound like FNB.

    Suggested further reading, not on striped ties specifically, but on English class neuroses -
    Snobs, Julian Fellows
    Hunting the English, AA Gill
    And actually, some of FNB's stuff is spot on.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  14. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    E,TF

    That was an interesting read. It's the nuances like you explained that are often lost on foreigners when they observe certain societies. It certainly sheds light. My friends were indeed having a friendly go at me, but you know what they say, there is an element of truth in a joke.
     
  15. trouble

    trouble Member

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    I agree! However the coat of arms for London seems appropriate, and it is pretty cool.

    You should feel quite confident about your interest in silver-colored buttons. It sounds like they coordinate with your accessories and I hear they're equally appropriate, especially in dulled nickel. FWIW I'm looking in to a nickel-buttoned navy blazer myself, and I look forward to seeing how yours turns out.
     

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