No effs given... correctly

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Cantabrigian, May 24, 2013.

  1. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    I have a suspicion that most subjective things have a basis in objective fact. Like why we can tell you why certain songs are successful, or why some people like the taste of chocolate. If it were all subjective then I could just as easily say that any particular person DOESN'T look comfortable in unique clothing, and there would be just as much of a chance of that as someone saying that they do. Over time it's basically 50/50. But some people, I think, objectively do look more comfortable stepping out a bit. Tirraileur (sp) for instance.
     
  2. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    Objective and subjective are now boring and meaningless words. Let's agree not to use them.

    We may all agree that a particular song is good, or we may not. But any attempt to classify good songs and bad songs based on some criteria measurable by something other than our own personal judgment is doomed. All the "rules" are just retrofitting our own preferences. Once you notice you like something, you can go back and claim that it's because of the way this texture plays with that or whatever, but it's only a justification. There's no system that is capable of producing flawless, original, and interesting work. Originality requires inspiration, which is a gift from the muses, not the philosophers.

    "Good" and "bad" is not a useful classification for clothing either. To me it's more about the impressions you get from someone and the inferences you make about them. Two different people can wear the same clothing and it can give a very different impression.
     
  3. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    The ability to look great while wearing rather atypical things is very close to my personal definition of what makes someone stylish, as opposed to just being well-dressed/elegant. The latter requires some inclination, great patience and a moderate chequebook. The former is impossible for most of us, as it takes a touch of genius/inspiration.

    How they do it is beyond me in terms of the underlying mechanics. It's probably a combination of lots of practice (constantly pushing the envelope of what works together & reflecting on successes & failures), a considerable natural sympathy for aesthetics (an eye for proportion, colour, pattern, detail, etc), and a restless imagination. These things feed off each other, incrementally developing the skillset. Having a profession/lifestyle where it's easy to experiment is probably a necessary but not sufficient requirement too. Finally, and this probably goes without saying, but being good-looking (or intriguingly not) also makes a great deal of difference to pulling off good peacock-type outfits.

    I would love to be able to work these kind of looks consistently well, but lack at least a couple of the above requirements (I leave it to you to deduce which), so settle for having fun instead. Ah well, there are worse fates. But I do have a sneaking envy for the Tirailleurs, barims, TTOs, Parkers, etc of the world!

    PS. I do think it would have been rather nicer to simply hyperlink to the waywrn post of the poor fellow with the unfortunate outfit in the OP rather than embedding the entire post inline for ridicule. It's not a pleasant way to treat another person in my opinion - logically defensible, of course, but still not pleasant - but each to their own I suppose.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  4. Caustic Man

    Caustic Man Senior member

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    The problem with defining good and bad is that the words themselves are subjective. I'm not dealing with that though. I'm just talking about what makes things appealing. And beyond that, what makes things seem natural. Oh, and another thing, as Aristotle may have pointed out, philosophers actually exist. Muses do not.
     
  5. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    I think presence has something to do with it, along with a sense of drama. You never want your clothes to have more presence than you do -- TTO and Barima (who was most active before my time on here, to be honest) can keep up with the stuff they wear, but I'm pretty sure if you put me in their best rigs, I'd be worn by them.

    There are also a lot of people who think a little too much about Styleforum when they put something together. For better or worse, I'm learning how to dress from the internet too -- but I'm conscious of the differences between SF and the real world. Heck, I'm conscious of the differences between SF, AAAC, and Tumblr.

    I think a wide range of influences, beyond the #menswear miasma of Lino/Luca/Connery, is vital. Holdfast, who's being pretty modest here, in my estimation, is somebody who's certainly talked about drawing influences from some pretty varied sources. Like, in the last few months, the biggest influences on how I dress have been more big picture concepts from art classes than specific combinations of clothes I've seen online.
     
  6. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    Let's take contextual appropriateness as a given.

    I realise it's not and its actually probably one of the things people struggle with the most.

    But assuming you're not egregiously over or under dressed, what makes some outfits outside of generally accepted guidelines workable while others are just :uhoh:?

    I'd suggest that fit is one of the keys.

    Something garish and ill fitting looks like it was too cheap (for a reason!) to pass up at Nordstrom Rack. Whereas something that looks deliberately well tailored would generally get the benefit of the doubt.

    Luca Rubinacci wears some pretty weird / garish stuff but he's almost always a cut or two above the other guys checking their phones on that halfwall at Pitti.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  7. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    IIRC after a Lord of the Rings marathon, Holdfast briefly considered commissioning a cloak. Or, to be a little more fair, a cloak-like overcoat.

    That really has no bearing on this discussion.
     
  8. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    And that's awesome.

    Your point about fit is well-made, I think. I didn't dislike GMMcL's look nearly as strongly as most people did, but I do think it would have been cooler if that pants draped better -- either through a slimmer cut, or a quick hit with an iron. That would have made sense to me, given that the risk the top half ran was that it was rather "sharp."
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  9. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    Similarly, seems like it helps to stick to a classical color palette--

    Ya feels me?


    Extra crispy

    Vs


    Original recipe
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
  10. bertie

    bertie Senior member

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    I think well fitted clothes look more deliberate - it looks like you created the outfit with intention. Combine that with elements used commonly in MC and it looks like you know what you're doing but choosing to deviate from standard rule-based dress. Thus adding loud pants or a hat or a colored shirt to such an outfit looks like you know but don't care. How you carry yourself matters as well. A look of confidence adds to the sense of knowing but not caring versus just not caring.

    Just my $0.02
     
  11. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    The more I think about it, I do believe that nailing fit and color palette allow you to leave all effs behind. E to the g
    Trousers especially are spot on. Black, white and grey? Okay I'll give him a pass on the dress slippers.
     
  12. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    Well, it's not as if nailing fit and color aren't essential when giving multiple rat's asses, it's just that you can get away with not considering color if you're wearing a mid-gray suit, light blue shirt, quiet tie, and white linen square.
     
  13. bertie

    bertie Senior member

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    Now imagine if any parts were rumpled (like he did not iron as opposed to linen) or was ill fitting or if any colour was totally incoherent or if he broke a major rule (like three striped elements with stripes all same width such as original pic). He would look like a slob, like he was trying too hard and failed or his mom dressed him. Also if he stood really stiffly.

    One either is a savant to pull it off or well practiced like HF suggests.
     
  14. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    So be good or be good at it?
     
  15. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    Also I think SwagStance looks good because he has multiple interesting items.

    Slippers but with a blue blazer = Pitti
    Sportscoat with shiny black loafers = it was a really good sale or (and possibly worse) this is my sprezz coat!! See my sprezz?!? LOL

    But the two together work IMO
     

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