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Random Fashion Thoughts (Part 3: Style farmer strikes back) - our general discussion thread

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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One of the weird things about CM is how irreverent rule-breaking is celebrated if it's been codified into class behavior. This only works with older classes (so like 1970s prep or 1980s Old Money), which are considered "higher status" than modern rich people. 1970s prep was full of rule-breaking and people reveled in wearing absurd things because they were thumbing their nose at the previous generation. Now that stuff is celebrated in CM, but only if you do it just-so and just-right, following codified looks but not the spirit.

The blog Ivy Style is full of guys in their 60s and guys who are in their 30s who pretend they're in the 60s. The comment section loves shitting on looks like ALD, but then celebrate how some wacky Harvard kid in 1968 wore a madras sport coat with shorts because "he didn't care and it was so nonchalant back then."
 

sipang

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Let's just say, there's a lot to unpack there

That vibe always remind me of militaria forum and reenactements stuff , it's all about the clothes but also not at all about the clothes
 
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jaaz16

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Along this same vein, I think this look really shines when it’s basically adding one classic—what this board would call CM—piece into an otherwise streetwear fit. Like the photo of the big camel polo coat—it’s just a sweatsuit and hat without that coat on top. Or a cricket sweater with a hat, baggy jeans, and 3-eye timbs. Thinking about ALD in particular, yes it is sometimes a full on suit they are styling to be more streetwear, but a) I think that doesn’t work as well outside of the context of handsome models, and b) I think that’s rarer throughout their lookbooks than 1 classic piece (a knit or coat or whatever) incorporated into an otherwise totally streetwear fit.
 

gardenvariety

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Now that stuff is celebrated in CM, but only if you do it just-so and just-right, following codified looks but not the spirit.

The blog Ivy Style is full of guys in their 60s and guys who are in their 30s who pretend they're in the 60s. The comment section loves shitting on looks like ALD, but then celebrate how some wacky Harvard kid in 1968 wore a madras sport coat with shorts because "he didn't care and it was so nonchalant back then."
Not sure if you've written about this topic before, but it's such an interesting observation. It feels like the seed of a strong post/essay. It could go in a number of different directions, too... here are a couple questions that came to mind for me:
  • what makes something a tradition? When people hold onto tradition, what are they holding onto? Your example is a great micro example of something that happens in lots of non-clothes arenas. I've always liked your essays that start with something about clothes and then go broader. Possibly related
  • I think what ALD is doing is really cool. So to these people, what exactly is so threatening about it? Fear of change? Racism? Just plain ol' gatekeeping to feel like you're in the club? I just love your point about this weird rigid worship of past irreverence (but dislike of current 'real' irreverence). It makes no fucking sense to me.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Not sure if you've written about this topic before, but it's such an interesting observation. It feels like the seed of a strong post/essay. It could go in a number of different directions, too... here are a couple questions that came to mind for me:
  • what makes something a tradition? When people hold onto tradition, what are they holding onto? Your example is a great micro example of something that happens in lots of non-clothes arenas. I've always liked your essays that start with something about clothes and then go broader. Possibly related
  • I think what ALD is doing is really cool. So to these people, what exactly is so threatening about it? Fear of change? Racism? Just plain ol' gatekeeping to feel like you're in the club? I just love your point about this weird rigid worship of past irreverence (but dislike of current 'real' irreverence). It makes no fucking sense to me.
I've always felt that fashion (and taste in general) is mostly sociological and not aesthetic. We form our opinions about aesthetics based on our identities, tribal affiliations, and how we view other people. We express that taste to both affirm our individual identity and tribal affiliation, and to raise our perceived status.

A few writers have written about this sociological component of taste. Pierre Bourdieu and Terry Eagleton have written about how taste is legitimized through the ruling class. Thomas Packard and Thorsten Veblen have written about consumption is used as a way to express class. Contrast this with Kant, who believed we can "understand" beauty and aesthetics if we just think hard enough.

I think we like and dislike certain things because of how they're associated with certain groups, whether in reality or our minds. Why do people on SWD hate Allbirds? Because they're associated with normies. Why do CM guys hate ALD? Because they hate fashionistas, the riff-raff, modernity, etc. This is not so much about aesthetics but about sociology.

Regarding what makes "tradition," two thoughts:

1. There is something as a "classic look." It remains classic because of the stability of a certain British and American lifestyle, which mostly disappeared starting in the 1980s. That was a lifestyle of elite education, business, sport (often polo and rugby), hunting, Scottish estates, and other gentlemanly pursuits. Although that class has mostly disappeared, their taste has been coded as "good taste" and it remains aspirational, as people want to seem like they're of that class.

2. The term "classic men's style" is also a collection of looks, not just one. The Mods wore skinny bum freezer suits in the 1960s; preps and prep revivalists wore crazy patterns and bright colors in the 70s and 80s; Hollywood actors wore drape cut suits in the 30s through '60s. And so forth. It's useful to also think of classic men's style as a diverse tradition. But notably, with some rare exceptions, they are almost always a reflection of an upper class or privileged life. There are some enduring non-elite looks, as well. But they tend to be workwear and coded as "SWD" on this board.

Anyway, I think some CM guys hate this stuff because CM is generally a more "normie" aesthetic than non-CM looks and it's easy to react negatively to things that aren't normalized. Second, it's about identity and tribal affiliation. I think some CM guys have formed a CM identity online -- rules they've learned about through blogs and forums -- and are thus prone to attacking anything that's outside their tribe. Thirdly, as Bourdieu and others might say, this is just about class aspiration. Rich people from an older generation are considered higher status and thus worth emulating. Modern rich people are less worth emulating. Regular "street" people are not worth emulating at all.
 

sipang

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On a much much shallower level, I think it's quite easy to slip and indulge in some mild nostalgia and halcyon days thinking with this whole classic menswear as a hobby thing. After all, as far as the society at large is concerned it doesn't exist anymore. But so much of classic menswear is about codes and rules (and breaking them with panache) in various social situations, how does it work if no one gets it ?
Of course, you should dress for yourself first. Of course that past may be a dubious fabrication, more fictional with every passing day, but still...


And maybe coming at it from a SWD angle helps framing it in a more practical way, focused on the garments themselves and leaving out all the baggage they carry with them. I personally never had to wear a suit in a professional setting, never actually had to wear a suit period. I know I got into classic tailoring a bit circuitously through my interest in Yohji Yamamoto so it's purely about the volumes and the overall silhouette and that's still the main lens through which I'm judging and wearing tailored stuff today, be it vintage, Italian, English etc. Doesn't mean I'm wearing everything loose and oversized but I still feel it makes a difference, even if mostly in my mind, as to what I'm trying to accomplish by wearing it.
 
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sipang

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House of Gucci feels more exciting than House Atreides right now...maybe it's Blondie
 

blacklight

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Not sure if you've written about this topic before, but it's such an interesting observation. It feels like the seed of a strong post/essay. It could go in a number of different directions, too... here are a couple questions that came to mind for me:
  • what makes something a tradition? When people hold onto tradition, what are they holding onto? Your example is a great micro example of something that happens in lots of non-clothes arenas. I've always liked your essays that start with something about clothes and then go broader. Possibly related
  • I think what ALD is doing is really cool. So to these people, what exactly is so threatening about it? Fear of change? Racism? Just plain ol' gatekeeping to feel like you're in the club? I just love your point about this weird rigid worship of past irreverence (but dislike of current 'real' irreverence). It makes no fucking sense to me.
Bro is that a graffiti soul? If you ever find yourself in NYC drinks are on me.
 

sinnedk

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house of gucci trailer just dropped

been following this a little, movie looks real good hope it lives up to this trailer...

Such an awesome show, Steven Van Zandt was great in that role and also so out of his element at the time since its his first acting gig

and btw if anyone needs something to watch, Sopranos is a a top notch show, i was skeptical back in day but it drew me in very fast.
 

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