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Sneakers With Tailoring: Yes, No, Maybe?

Sneakers With Tailoring: Yes, No, Maybe?

  • No, never.

  • Yes, it can be done tastefully.

  • Not sure.


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acapaca

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One of the strange things about "individualists" is that they're always trying to convince people that they don't care about other people's opinions.

If you don't care to talk about the standards by which people can dress better, why participate in a forum that's dedicated to discussing how people can dress better? Go out into the world and be your individual, free-floating self.
Oh, there are myriad reasons. To stay up on new developments in the industry or new offerings by brands. To get, or maintain, a sense of what other people are wearing or thinking, and how that may change over time. To learn things about aspects of dress with which you may be less familiar. To bounce ideas off others. To immerse yourself in a hobby you enjoy. To go through the practice of articulating your own thoughts and thus better understand them. This list could go on and on...

Myself, I'm not convinced by the claim that everyone wishes to impose their own norms on others. I just find it hard to imagine that anyone would truly believe the world would be a better place if everyone dressed according to the same principles. What a dull existence!

Now, does everyone think their own norms are superior? Well, it is very abundantly clear that some on this board do. But I'm not sure everyone feels that way. Or at least, I think most people are sophisticated enough to realize that works for them, what is 'superior' in their own circumstances according to their own tastes, may not work as well for everyone else. This would especially be true for those who don't mind standing out (or even may have need to, as the case may be). The last thing someone like that would want is for his own sophistication to go unnoticed!
 

dieworkwear

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What I am asking you is this:

Do you think that style leaders just create new trends and they are followed, and that alone is the justification for whether something looks good or does not look good, specifically in regards to classic menswear?

I am basically posing you a sartorial Euthyhro dilemma:

Do the style leaders love the fashionable because it is fashionable, or is it fashionable because the style leaders love it?
I think we might be talking about two different things. I'm not talking about appointed style leaders, but rather people who have cultural capital, for whatever reason. There are some people who are just considered cooler or more aspirational than others. These can be privileged people, artists, musicians, rocker rebels, cowboys, or whoever.

You often see this in fashion advertisements. Since clothing is often wrapped up in identity, it's often used for self-reinvention. People assume that they can reinvent thsemlves if they just buy a new jacket or a pair of pants. And fashion companies play into this. So for an ad, they'll point to some archtype. In Filson ads, you'll often see some gritty looking man doing things such as chopping down trees, even though few of thier customers actually chop down trees.

There are some people who are "style leaders." In classic men's style, we can easily point to the Duke of Windsor as an example. When he adopted a fashion, others followed, and then it trickled down as people copied the copiers. But this is increasingly rare nowadays, as fashion has become more fragmented and Balkanized. Kanye holds sway with some people but not others.

More commonly, you see this happening with style tribes. Again, to take a CM example, much of Brooks Brothers' style was copied because of its association with American elites. Up until the 1980s, few people even had physical access to a Brooks Brothers store (nevermind financial access, but physical). Brooks only had 11 stores up until the late 1970s, nearly all of them in major city centers, often coastal states.

Yet, Brooks' style was copied far and wide -- the polo coat, oxford button-down, Shetland knits, tweed jackets, and so forth. When something landed at their Madison Avenue store, many of the "Brooks satellites" followed (e.g., J. Press, Andover, and such). And then those downmarket from those stores also followed the satellites. This is how Brooks' style spread across the US. I once talked to Paul Winston, owner of Chipp, who told me about how people in the Midwest would basically order Brooks' style clothes at his trunk shows during the 1960s and 70s because they didn't have access to Brooks stores, but wanted "the Ivy look."

From this, we get copying. And sometimes, when a style is copied so much that it loses its in-gropu signal, the originators move on. This is not always the case, but it's often how style evolves. Here's Georg Simmel in his 1904 essay "On Fashion"

Fashion is the imitation of a given example and satisfies the demand for social adaption; it leads the individual upon the road which all travel, it furnishes a general condition, which resolves the conduct of every individual into a mere example. At the same time it satisfies in no less degree the need of differentiation, the tendency towards dissimilarity, the desire for change and contrast, on the one hand by a constant change of contents, which gives to the fashion of today an individual stamp as opposed to that of yesterday and tomorrow, on the other hand because fashions differ for different classes – the fashions of the upper stratum of society are never identical with those of the lower; in fact, they are abandoned by the former as soon as the latter prepares to appropriate them.“
You see this happening now. Twenty years ago, I remember fighting with guys about slim-fit clothing. Slim fit was considered metrosexual (read: gay and less manly). Now that slim fit has become the "normie" aesthetic, fashion is filling out again because first adopters don't want to look like "normies." There's a contrarian nature to fashion that keeps the pendulum swinging.

So there are different groups. I do think that actual, real life cowboys exist today and they still wear things like Wranglers and cowboy boots. They probably don't even know that city slickers are now interested in this style, and if they find out, I'm sure they would just laugh. I doubt they would change their dress habits because of it. But there are also some people who will change their fashion when the in-group signal weakens (see Simmel's quote above). Either way, the people who hold sway have some kind of cultural capital -- they might be considered cool or honest or hard-working or noble or whatever.

I feel like if you've been interested in fashion for a long time, this is intuitive, as many people, at some point, tried to dress like their cultural heroes (often musicians). And then they later abandoned the style when it was considered uncool (often because it was adopted by uncool people). This is a very stupid and silly way to approach dress -- I admit -- but it's just a sociological fact of how fashion changes.
 

JFWR

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I think we might be talking about two different things. I'm not talking about appointed style leaders, but rather people who have cultural capital, for whatever reason. There are some people who are just considered cooler or more aspirational than others. These can be privileged people, artists, musicians, rocker rebels, cowboys, or whoever.

You often see this in fashion advertisements. Since clothing is often wrapped up in identity, it's often used for self-reinvention. People assume that they can reinvent thsemlves if they just buy a new jacket or a pair of pants. And fashion companies play into this. So for an ad, they'll point to some archtype. In Filson ads, you'll often see some gritty looking man doing things such as chopping down trees, even though few of thier customers actually chop down trees.

There are some people who are "style leaders." In classic men's style, we can easily point to the Duke of Windsor as an example. When he adopted a fashion, others followed, and then it trickled down as people copied the copiers. But this is increasingly rare nowadays, as fashion has become more fragmented and Balkanized. Kanye holds sway with some people but not others.

More commonly, you see this happening with style tribes. Again, to take a CM example, much of Brooks Brothers' style was copied because of its association with American elites. Up until the 1980s, few people even had physical access to a Brooks Brothers store (nevermind financial access, but physical). Brooks only had 11 stores up until the late 1970s, nearly all of them in major city centers, often coastal states.

Yet, Brooks' style was copied far and wide -- the polo coat, oxford button-down, Shetland knits, tweed jackets, and so forth. When something landed at their Madison Avenue store, many of the "Brooks satellites" followed (e.g., J. Press, Andover, and such). And then those downmarket from those stores also followed the satellites. This is how Brooks' style spread across the US. I once talked to Paul Winston, owner of Chipp, who told me about how people in the Midwest would basically order Brooks' style clothes at his trunk shows during the 1960s and 70s because they didn't have access to Brooks stores, but wanted "the Ivy look."

From this, we get copying. And sometimes, when a style is copied so much that it loses its in-gropu signal, the originators move on. This is not always the case, but it's often how style evolves. Here's Georg Simmel in his 1904 essay "On Fashion"



You see this happening now. Twenty years ago, I remember fighting with guys about slim-fit clothing. Slim fit was considered metrosexual (read: gay and less manly). Now that slim fit has become the "normie" aesthetic, fashion is filling out again because first adopters don't want to look like "normies." There's a contrarian nature to fashion that keeps the pendulum swinging.

So there are different groups. I do think that actual, real life cowboys exist today and they still wear things like Wranglers and cowboy boots. They probably don't even know that city slickers are now interested in this style, and if they find out, I'm sure they would just laugh. I doubt they would change their dress habits because of it. But there are also some people who will change their fashion when the in-group signal weakens (see Simmel's quote above). Either way, the people who hold sway have some kind of cultural capital -- they might be considered cool or honest or hard-working or noble or whatever.

I feel like if you've been interested in fashion for a long time, this is intuitive, as many people, at some point, tried to dress like their cultural heroes (often musicians). And then they later abandoned the style when it was considered uncool (often because it was adopted by uncool people). This is a very stupid and silly way to approach dress -- I admit -- but it's just a sociological fact of how fashion changes.
I grant you that style leaders are not anointed such - we do not vote for the president of men's fashion, saying that the Duke of Windsor is our appointed Fashionissimo - but what your position seems to reduce to is to accept the second horn of my sartorial Euthphyro dilemma. Namely:

The fashionable is fashionable because the style leaders love it.

If the Duke of Windsor wore green shell cordovan half brogued oxfords, and that became a look copied by many men the world over, you'd be praising my shoes. You'd be like: JFWR knows what he's doing, because his look is a classic, Duke of Windsor inspired outfit.

My position is that the style leaders find the fashionable, fashionable, because it is fashionable. They choose wisely, perhaps not the same as what others choose, but they discover something and adopt it.

This is why I think, for instance, we can speak of the principles that can guide us to reasonable understandings of what does and doesn't work, and perhaps even open the way for new styles that haven't been tried, but which could work. My heuristic of formality tries to capture that intuition. It takes as given the standard judgements of formality of various pieces, and then it attempts to show that if the average formality of the outfit of the whole is ever too far divergent to one significant part, the outfit lacks the coherence that is going to look good.

You might disagree, and probably would do disagree, with how much variance I allow in that system. I said 2 points. I dare say you'd say maybe 2 points in the direction of informality, whereas perhaps only 1 point - or less! - for formality. But we are coming at fashion from a different perspective. I don't think fashion leaders are ruling by absolute fiat. For that matter, I think even you agree with that, as you already buck against modern trends which clearly have social capital backing. If everyone is wearing dress sneakers, well---

Nevertheless, you're also judging, I do believe, based on basically sartorial consensus rooted in icons of fashion dressing in a particular way, which is then copied by others and adopted as a sort of "look".

I think you are undoubtably right that there is a social dimension to dress. Even without that much insight into these cultures, I can identify the tell-tale marks of goths, punks, rockabillies, hip hop people, Ivy leaguers, prep school kids, hipsters, etc. It's that funny fact that "non-conformists" all look alike.
 

FlyingMonkey

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This topic apparently is heating up:


I was all prepared to be sceptical, but that is actually far better than most of the discussion in this thread. It manages to take on the varied sources of aesthetic norms, and yet be targeted at a contemporary audience, and most of the looks work pretty well.
 

Nobilis Animus

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If we want to get all sociological: the trouble is that using DWW's version of cultural capital is like trying to pay for a house in bottle-caps. The currency is all wrong.

Cultural capital isn't simply the sense of being 'cool,' which itself is ever-changing. Ironically, wearing Tom Ford would be a better signal of cultural capital today, because it is only capital in so far as it relates to the prevailing culture of high society. The adoption of things like workwear into fashion is an exercise in cultural capital, but not by the workers.
 
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Sir Jack II

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I feel like you're using some Kantian logic for aesthetics and reading formality into a shoe like it's code on a hieroglyphic wall, whereas I think of it in terms of social meaning.
When you mention Kantian logic here, do you mean something like essentialism (or ascribing metaphysical properties to physical objects)?
 

JFWR

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When you mention Kantian logic here, do you mean something like essentialism (or ascribing metaphysical properties to physical objects)?
No. He is suggesting that my aesthetic ideas are mirroring Kant's thoughts on aesthetics. That I could "think my way" to good taste - by thinking in terms of colour and formality combinations - rather than rely on good taste as instantiated in the world.
 

dieworkwear

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Ironically, wearing Tom Ford would be a better signal of cultural capital today, because it is only capital in so far as it relates to the prevailing culture of high society.
You think wearing Tom Ford makes you cool? :confused2:
 

Nobilis Animus

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You think wearing Tom Ford makes you cool? :confused2:
If by cool you mean like how a (probably good-looking) celebrity's or (talented) artist's style can be cool, then I believe I said the opposite - or at least that wearing some high fashion pieces signals more cultural capital within our current society than donning the Walmart jeans that actual ranchers wear today. If an artist ever wore those, it's probably because they need to get dirty or are deliberately trying to be inversely-cool, which I already talked about in this thread.
 

dieworkwear

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If by cool you mean like how a (probably good-looking) celebrity's or (talented) artist's style can be cool, then I believe I said the opposite - or at least that wearing some high fashion pieces signals more cultural capital within our current society than donning the Walmart jeans that actual ranchers wear today. If an artist ever wore those, it's probably because they need to get dirty or are deliberately trying to be inversely-cool, which I already talked about in this thread.
If you're saying that wearing Tom Ford signals more cultural capital than wearing Walmart jeans, I don't think wearing either signals anything more than what's already inherent to you. I don't think wearing Tom Ford makes you cool any more than wearing Walmart clothes makes you cool.

If you happen to be cool, then other people might copy your style. That doesn't mean that the copycats will end up being cool. Cultural capital is independent of the clothes you put on your body.

This approach to style was discussed in another thread, and I think Despos correctly pointed out that it makes the person a poser.

 

dench127

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So uh...can someone ID these sneakers, or give me a good lookalike?

1634074659304.png

or these sneakers:
1634074715472.png
 

Nobilis Animus

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If you're saying that wearing Tom Ford signals more cultural capital than wearing Walmart jeans, I don't think wearing either signals anything more than what's already inherent to you. I don't think wearing Tom Ford makes you cool any more than wearing Walmart clothes makes you cool.

If you happen to be cool, then other people might copy your style. That doesn't mean that the copycats will end up being cool. Cultural capital is independent of the clothes you put on your body.

This approach to style was discussed in another thread, and I think Despos correctly pointed out that it makes the person a poser.

I actually agree that wearing an item of clothing isn't enough to make anyone 'cool.' Wearing certain clothes definitely signals cultural capital though, because cultural capital isn't always what's cool. Sometimes the relationship is not immediately apparent.

Pretty sure Bourdieu discussed this too.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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I actually agree that wearing an item of clothing isn't enough to make anyone 'cool.' Wearing certain clothes definitely signals cultural capital though, because cultural capital isn't always what's cool. Sometimes the relationship is not immediately apparent.

Pretty sure Bourdieu discussed this too.
Your views remind me of the writings of Wayne Kerr.
 

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