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Non-Rule "Rules"

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Jul 27, 2012.

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  1. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    :D
     
  2. Fraiche

    Fraiche Senior member

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    Curious about the light colored pants suggestions for business attire to combo with dark jackets... Aren't light colored pants considered informal?
     
  3. Lo Zingaro

    Lo Zingaro Active Member

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    Another rule thay I have is that a tie should always have a dimple.
    Oh, and no tie-pochette match!
     
  4. lestyr3

    lestyr3 Active Member

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    Good rules. Mine:

    1. If the situation is enough for a jacket or suit, it's enough for a pocket square.
    1a. Corollary: If it's enough for a tie, it's enough for a jacket AND pocket square.
    1b. Corollary: If it's enough for these three, then wear badass socks.
    2. If in doubt, ditch a layer. Layers are about warmth. No extra layers just to sneak another color in to your scheme - it's not worth either the sweat or the studied nature of the look.
    3. No vetos for significant others upon dress. My show. Suggestions once I have a game plan are always welcome.
     
  5. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    :confused:
     
  6. SamSpade

    SamSpade Senior member

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    So, through trial and error, I also stumbled on some non-rule rules. Some of them overlap with a lot what has been said, but here are mine, along with rationales:


    1) Grenadine ties only (after trying every conventional tie out there, I soon realized that they are incongruent with most situations and outfits - even ostensibly formal ones - these days. Since knit ties on the other hand are way too floppy and wimpy, I discovered that the grenadines provide by far the best middle ground of a tie that is sufficiently dressed up, but not overly formal and not out of place with casual outfits.

    2) Tie width: I was infected with the GQ bullshit about the slim ties for years. Although I am not a big guy, I finally realized that virtually all ties under 3.5" width actually look bad. Anything narrower than 3.5 looks lifeless, wimpy, can't produce a decent knot (much less a dimple), no drape, etc. - just frustrating.

    3) Brown shoe most of the time, suede most of the time (similar to silk formal ties, black shoes are far too severe for most applications

    4) Rubber soles only. I don't care about tradition and pedigree - leather soles wear out ridiculously fast. I wanted to like them, but after multiple tries concluded that they are simply not worth it. I only have one pair of leather soled shoes for dancing. Rubber soled shoes are made just as well as leather soled ones and last far longer

    5) Derbys (or alternatively - ankle boots) are fine with suits. Oxfords are far too sleek to be worn with anything other than suits (which limits their useability), and even with suits, they look effeminate (in a bad way) - e.g. "I cant walk on anything other than carpet and a 10 meters of sidewalk.

    6) The navy sport coat being an essential is bullshit - the navy color is nice, true, but if you also happen to like navy ties like I do, this severely limits their wearability (most navy and black ties are "meh" with navy sport coat. Brown and patterned sportcoats are fine.

    7) I will absolutely never wear striped or regimental ties, tried them many times, and hated them for 2 reasons - 1) regardless of design and pattern, the stripes are almost always too severe and draw too much attention to the tie; they just look like damned candy canes 2) symbolically, they are associated with the military, and I absolutely hate anything related with the military (well, symbolically; cargo pants and field jackets are fine :))

    8) Collar stays - love/hate relationship, mostly hate. Sure, they help the collars, but I find something inherently wrong with having to implant what is basically an exo-sceleton into my clothes

    9) Loose clothing is better than fitted. Again, I am not a bigor chunky guy (5'8", 155 lbs), and for years was infected with the GQ slim clothing crap. Well, I finally realized that it neither looks good, nor is comfortable. The "baggy suit" is a strawman they invented to drive the sales of designer shit, and then to drive the sales of conventional shit again once people like me realize that the slim shit is shit :D... Sure, clothing should not be ridiculously baggy, but it should allow you to move around with sufficient comfort, which I understand that no part of the garment should dig into your flesh in any way. Now the fashion pendullum has swung so far in the skinny direction, that it is actually hard to find normally fitting clothes even at stodgy places like Brooks

    10) 9 applies to jeans too --> most slim jeans I've tried are far too uncomfortable. The Levis 501 cut seems to be as slim as reasonable...
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
  7. TGOL

    TGOL Active Member

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    No black shoes without a necktie. Of course, black shoes are rarely a good choice for me, given that I wear mostly tan pants, but still.
     
  8. JLibourel

    JLibourel Senior member

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    I have made comments like this before, but it bears repeating here: If you follow a thread like this long enough, just about every damn thing you wear will turn up on somebody's sh*t list!
     
  9. luftvier

    luftvier Senior member

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    Truth.

    Here's my non rule rule: "don't look like a clown."

    I am occasionally successful.
     
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  10. JapanAlex01

    JapanAlex01 Senior member

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    I only wear black shoes with grey suits; brown with navy. I never mix it up.
     
  11. Jamesgatz

    Jamesgatz Senior member

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    SamSpade: interesting, contrarian rules.
     
  12. Papa Doble

    Papa Doble Senior member

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    1. Ties must be 3.5 to 3.75 inches wide and the knot must be tied with a four in hand and have a dimple.
    2. Non-dinner jackets must have side vents and 2 buttons.
    3. No go to hell pants, FU jackets, "fun" socks, or bow ties (unless black tie).
    4. 2 patterns at most.
    5. No undershirts and only boxer briefs.
    6. If wearing a dress shirt with jeans, it must have a button down collar.
    7. Dress shoes must be brown or burgundy, except one pair of black cap toe balmorals with no brouging.
    8. No adherence to nonsense such as "men don't wear shorts or sandals." Maybe when I'm 60.
    9. "When in doubt, aim for sexy [over cute]."
     
  13. SamSpade

    SamSpade Senior member

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    True, that's why it would be useful to see more personal narratives/rationales, rather than just the lists... there is always going to ba an idyosincratic element, but imost people have reasons for the things they do, so it would be interesting to see them. People can hate something you do for reasons that are entirely different... One of the most juvenile aspects of the "rules" genre is precisely its aspiration for absolutes infallibility, which is laughable. Indeed, if that was the case, this forum would not exist: people would just be reading and memorizing Manton/Flusser, whatever, and applying indiscriminately...

    I used to religiously soak in all this condescending sartorial wisdom. Now I'm all "Bitch, please..." :nodding:
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
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  14. lestyr3

    lestyr3 Active Member

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    Right, the why is always the more interesting part, because that actually gives you food for thought and then you can decide for yourself. For example, I don't quite agree about the collar stays but I have to admit that you have a point - there is a certain calculation to have them in your shirt which may not be desirable. I still see uses for them...but I wouldn't have learned that if you hadn't put down your reasons there.

    That goes back to the whole idea behind "satorial rules." They're shorthand for when people either (a) Have lacking taste in clothing, or (b) Simply haven't had a chance for the trial and error necessary to dress better. In both cases, we want to save them from an obvious mistake, and there isn't time to explain why it's not a good idea (or we want to end a debate prematurely). Often the rules are foolish (e.g. "No Brown in Town") but look into why they were first laid out and it makes a little more sense (e.g. I can see a father telling his young son, "Brown shoes require a little bit more thought as far as matching to trousers, so if you're just wearing navy and gray in town to your appointment in an hour just wear black shoes now, we don't have time to discuss the theory"). They're simplifications, and very few simplifications tell the whole truth. But if you outline the why, there's usually a helpful truth in there
     
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  15. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    Or maybe brown shoes were traditionally worn by farmers/country people/hillbillies, so the 'rule' evolved so that nobody would think your were a clueless rube fresh off the turnip truck?
     
  16. lestyr3

    lestyr3 Active Member

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    Maybe! We do define our rules so as to NOT look like someone. Every time I've ever put on more than one bright thing at a time, I look in the mirror, feel the lump in my stomach, and seriously ask myself, "Do I look like an ESPN announcer?" 80% of the time, I tone down an item.

    I was thinking it was also to illustrate the break between city (colors of buildings/black) and country (colors of nature/brown) dressing.
     
  17. SamSpade

    SamSpade Senior member

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    You would be correct. This is what free market hero Adam Smith had to say - though without really questioning - about the "necessities of life", and how some of them are purely the result of social custom, rather than "real necessity"

    "By necessaries I understand not only the commodities which are indispensably
    necessary for the support of life, but whatever the custom of the country renders it indecent for
    creditable people, even of the lowest order, to be without. A linen shirt, for example, is, strictly
    speaking, not a necessary of life. The Greeks and Romans lived, I suppose, very comfortably
    though they had no linen. But in the present times, through the greater part of Europe, a
    creditable day-labourer would be ashamed to appear in public without a linen shirt, the want of
    which would be supposed to denote that disgraceful degree of poverty which, it is presumed,
    nobody can well fall into without extreme bad conduct. Custom, in the same manner, has
    rendered leather shoes a necessary of life in England. The poorest creditable person of either
    sex would be ashamed to appear in public without them. In Scotland, custom has rendered them
    a necessary of life to the lowest order of men; but not to the same order of women, who may,
    without any discredit, walk about barefooted. In France they are necessaries neither to men nor
    to women, the lowest rank of both sexes appearing there publicly, without any discredit,
    sometimes in wooden shoes, and sometimes barefooted. Under necessaries, therefore, I
    comprehend not only those things which nature, but those things which the established rules of
    decency have rendered necessary to the lowest rank of people."

    The same applies to "clothes for every occasion", and multiple suits, that were "established" as the standard for the middle class after WWII. I say established, because a lot of this was a purely marketing invention: rapidly scalling up production, with no markets to absorb it. Most men only had 1-2 pair of shoes (1 "nicer" pair for work, one pair - most likely military surplus - for everything else), and were perfectly happy with them. Come along the marketing douchebags: "Hey, I've got an idea: why don't we implant in their heads the notion that they are doomed to social and business failure unless they have bulging wardrobes of shirts, suits, and shoes?".

    And, here we are :embar:

    PS Oh, since this is as good an oportunity to plug it as any: Adam Smith hated big business (esp. the East India company), and insisted that the rich must pay greater proportion of their income in taxes.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012
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  18. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Are you some sort of spammer, or troll? I can't really tell... :confused:
     
  19. sugarbutch

    sugarbutch Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Best I can tell, SamSpade is an MCer with hardcore case of cognitive dissonance.
     
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  20. SamSpade

    SamSpade Senior member

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    Word, homeslice. :) :slayer:
     

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