Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Cantabrigian, May 24, 2013.
i really dont think SB meant that at all. i certainly did not take it that way. i read it more like Tril did. that some people have talent that allows them to intuitively see things other can not when they put combinations together. not that one cant learn to dress better, but that some people are already a big leg up.
as an analogy, i can learn everything i want to about football, ill get good, but ill never throw like peyton manning, or track down passes like jerry rice, or run like barry sanders. that is just the reality.
obviously those guys had to learn and practice as well, but for the work they put in, they got a lot further than i could with the same effort. simply because of talent.
i think the same is for clothing. no matter how much you learn, and you can get damn good doing that, some people will just be better at it. that is life.
There is no way to "intuitively" piece things together in classic menswear without a solid grounding in the rules. The reason a certain scale of plaid is usable in a certain instance has no intrinsic, organic origin that can be sensed. It is the result of custom and practice. Artificially contrived, induced principles. Just like the English language. You cannot intuit it. It must be learned, then applied. If you have talent, you may be able to apply it better than others, but only with strong grounding in its prior synthesized rules and principles.
No offense but... you are the master at mincing words. To me, it's pretty obvious that SB's post was saying that style comes naturally to some while others work hard at it. I don't see a lot to argue with in that. I see you as an aesthete, someone who spends a lot of cycles on understanding why something looks good. And you have obviously succeeded. You almost always look great IMO. But your way of achieving that level of appearance is through a very structured, studied approach. I think some people can achieve a stylish approach more naturally.
But some people may be able to understand why things work without a formal study of rules.
You assume that my mode of dress is achieved exclusively through study. How do you know it does not require a great deal of talent?
But, yes, I understand what SB is saying. And it is wrong. Nobody can dress well "naturally," since as I argued, dressing involves picking and composing elements with culturally synthesized meanings. There is no way to naturally sense them, just as there is no way to naturally sense that "hello" is the English word for greeting people. You have to be taught that it is so.
Anyway, to be entirely frank, most of what I discuss online is the result of backward engineering things that just seemed sensible to me at some point--like color and pattern matching. I didn't just learn rules first, then apply them.
Cantabrigian please feel free to purge any posts that continue to derail this thread... including mine.
Some "rules" are based on organic principles that can be somehow sensed. Like color and pattern matching. This is where talent gives you a huge headstart. I find it incredibly difficult to explain why I've done things a certain way in such contexts because I realize there was no written rule anywhere that I'm following. So, I try to explain why what I do works. The hope is that if we can find principles underlying what we appear to intuit, we can both teach others and refine ourselves.
However, other "rules" are fully synthetic--like the fact that oxfords are more formal than derbies, or that your dinner jacket should be black, etc. Such rules are determinative of how well-dressed we are, yet cannot be intuitively sensed.
I am unhonored - dubiously or otherwise.
T1 and Foo, it seems to me like you're basically in agreement. You're both stating the same things in different words, meaning that neither of you is wrong. Besides, didn't we just have a similar discussion a few pages back?
I'm all for building things up from first principles (heck, I read the first 25 pages of Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy and once cracked open the library's Principia) but I feel like this has been covered pretty extensively.
I think it might be useful (in some small, hobbyist way) or at least mildly interesting to talk about why outfits beyond the obvious work or don't work.
The title, as I mentioned, is advertizing.
I actually meant it exactly as Foo read it, and I intended for it to be in conflict with his thesis. For the traditionally grounded perspective, small-scale patterns in odd jackets can't work because odd jackets historically have not had small-scale patterns. To which I say, "Sometimes, but not always."
If we can agree that a very basic understanding of tailored clothing—wear shoes, pants, shirt, jacket, and tie—is functionally equivalent to complete ignorance of its history, coherence, etc., my assertion is that there are men ignorant of the principles who intuitively make pleasing combinations which flout all of the "rules" which get tossed about here. Not much thought or effort involved. A sartorial savant, if you will.
foo and maybe others - unless it is learned, it is impossible to dress well, because there are so many things that are arbitrary and senseless, and so many made up rules without reason, there is no choice but to fail or to learn. this = good taste in the book of foo.
many others - many things are simply pleasing to the eye, regardless of whether or not they conform to any known or perceived rules. some things just look good. and certainly there is what to learn, but there is more broad room for looking good. this = looking good in the book of not people named foo. in the book of foo, this = bad, sad, wrong....
these schools of thought by definition can not and will not ever come to an agreement. ever.
Those kinds of peopleare quite rare though
Its kind of like the hip hop kids who took up making music and broke almost every rule in the book unbeknownst to them ultimately creating something special
On the other hand, there are the Jazz musicians who took the basic prinicples on classical music, flipped on his head and changed the sound of American Music forever
Separate names with a comma.