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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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Why would it make a difference if high-end makers offered the style? Why is "quality" here being put over aesthetics?
It makes a difference because it's a form of false equivalence, which would reflect either poor reasoning or bad faith.
 

dieworkwear

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It makes a difference because it's a form of false equivalence, which would reflect either poor reasoning or bad faith.
This was your question:

There is no doubt that the man's outfit conveys a certain message, nor any that the message would be markedly different if he were wearing purple. But where do they sell purple denim jackets and jeans? Do they sell them at the same stores, or in the same departments, where you figure that guy bought his?
The photo is from a Levi's lookbook, so all the clothes are Levi's. When we see the photo, we read "masculine," "cowboy," and "American West." There's a certain charm in the outfit associated with the nobility that comes with working under the open sky. That's how I read the outfit.

You then asked: "But where do they sell purple denim jackets and jeans? Do they sell them at the same stores, or in the same departments, where you figure that guy bought his?"

Yes. I posted a full Levi's outfit in that style, but in purple (satisfying "at the same stores" part of your question)

Not that I think it matters if Levi's specifically sells that outfit in purple, but they do, so I answered your question.
 

acapaca

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So let's be sure I'm clear. You are saying that navy oxfords with a navy suit is the same thing, when it comes to that sort of outfit, as those purple examples would be if they were worn on the guy in the back of the pickup truck?

Do you really believe that?

Because if you really believe that, what tells me is that you don't have near the discernment with your eye that I thought you did.
 

dieworkwear

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So let's be sure I'm clear. You are saying that navy oxfords with a navy suit is the same thing, when it comes to that sort of outfit, as those purple examples would be if they were worn on the guy in the back of the pickup truck?

Do you really believe that?

Because if you really believe that, what tells me is that you don't have near the discernment with your eye that I thought you did.
I wouldn't say they communicate the same exact thing, but I think the effects are similar. The style is so unusual, it points to certain social groups.

If you wear navy shoes in a CM outfit, I will assume you're odd, don't know how to dress, a dandy, a shoe enthusiast, or a normie cubicle farmer.

If you wear purple denim jackets with purple jeans, I will assume you're a super cool teenager, a strange person, or a dandy. The outfit no longer reads "cowboy."

In your case, you are a bit of a shoe enthusiast, no? So the characterization is correct. Your choices communicate something about you.
 
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acapaca

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I wouldn't say they communicate the same exact thing, but I think the effects are similar. The style is so unusual, it points to certain social groups.
Well, unusual to whom? For language to work, you know, both the speaker and the listener have to agree on a number of things.

How about a small thought experiment. Imagine a party where half the people are in suits and half the people are in rugged Americana, or however you want to characterize the guy in the back of the pickup truck. Or imagine two separate parties if you like, one for each group and in two separate rooms.

Dress one of the suit guys in navy oxfords and a navy suit, and dress one of the rustic guys in purple jeans and a purple jacket. After the party, poll the participants. First ask them if they noticed anyone dressing unusually, and if so whom. Then ask if they noticed anyone in navy oxfords or purple jacket and jeans.

if the effects are similar, we should get similar poll results. But I'm certain (and so are you, or I'll eat that guy's hat) that far more people will not notice the navy shoes, or even notice anything unusual, than will miss the guy in purple. And I think those results will hold no matter the audience.

The reason my original questions mattered is that, I firmly believe, there is something we should be able to discern from the fact that you can walk into Edward Green and buy navy shoes but you can't buy purple jeans and jacket at the Armoury, or Self Edge or Ralph Lauren or wherever it is that people buy traditional rugged Americana. Unless I am sadly mistaken, it's just not something that segment of the market does. I imagine you would also almost never see those purple jackets and jeans in the kinds of social settings where people wear SWD in a sophisticated way.

Maybe what we could discern from that is that it's possible the CM scene is subtly evolving in ways that you do not or cannot understand. When you sense the same effect from purple denim and navy calf, it suggests to me that you don't have nuance in your outlook but rather see things in a binary way -- it's either traditional and classic or it's not, and everything that's not is equivalent to everything else that's not. Criticism becomes really easy when it's just a simple binary. What's so profound about that?

It is not seldom that I have read advice on this board along the lines of 'Don't make that your first jacket, or even one of the first five. Make it your fifteenth'. There is a lot of good sense to that. But of course, it requires an openness of mind, to say 'fifteenth' instead of 'never', because you have to set aside that on any occasion you wear that jacket, there were fourteen 'better' and more coherent choices. If that's the argument one wants to make -- and make ad nauseam -- fine, I guess. But I think that a world in which you don't have to send the same message every single day, or perhaps even speak the same language, is a richer place to be.
 

FlyingMonkey

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Derek, I've spent some time defending you here but, as a sociologist, I'm a little surprised to see you talking about the 'social message' of clothing, citing Bordieu, and at the same time enthusiastically quoting Manton, an example of the worst kind of sly, white supremacist conservative (there's really no excuse for him any more).

And BTW, I had to laugh when you described the hippie in the 'cowboy' get-up as associated with "the nobility that comes with working under the open sky"... this kind kind of romaticised picture is also sailing very close to Mantonian white nostalgia. If we're going to read clothing with a clear understanding of history, the white cowboy is not only an erasure of the real history of cowboys (who were originally mostly black, as we've discussed before), but also part of a history of genocide and forced displacement of indigenous peoples and the destruction of the environment, which constitutes the real and much less noble recent settler-colonial history of Turtle Island (AKA North America).

Now, I make these points in a deliberately mischievous way (because I know you know), not because I disagree with your aesthetics or your views on the construction of taste as such, but just to consider what a reliance on the past as a guide to aesthetics does, especially if we're going to insist on reading clothes socially and politically - as I think we must. Nostalgia can be a dangerous drug - and I do see a pretty clear connection between Manton's aesthetics and his politics, while recognising that this connection is not automatic or general - i.e. I am not saying that everyone who wears CM is white supremacist conservative (!) but there is an obvious link for someone like Manton, which we can't just discount. And Manton's dislike of the iGent aesthetic is of a piece with the contemporary far right's hatred of immigrants, postmodernism, 'cultural marxism' (sic) and everything else that is apparently undermining western civilization.
 

dieworkwear

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I imagine you would also almost never see those purple jackets and jeans in the kinds of social settings where people wear SWD in a sophisticated way.
I thought you found it offensive to say that some people dress in a more sophisticated manner than others? Seems like I was being excoriated for this idea. But now people who wear expensive SWD brands are more sophisticated dressers than people who wear affordable SWD brands?

I'm not sure what was your point regarding high-end denim brands. I thought you mean that, if you took the same Levi's outfit and made it purple, including from the same brand, that was the only way you can tell whether your impression of the outfit changes based on color and not brand.

I was not sure if you were implying that high-priced brands are somehow more legitimate than low-priced brands. I'm not sure what price or quality has to do with my point.

Well, unusual to whom? For language to work, you know, both the speaker and the listener have to agree on a number of things.

How about a small thought experiment. Imagine a party where half the people are in suits and half the people are in rugged Americana, or however you want to characterize the guy in the back of the pickup truck. Or imagine two separate parties if you like, one for each group and in two separate rooms.

Dress one of the suit guys in navy oxfords and a navy suit, and dress one of the rustic guys in purple jeans and a purple jacket. After the party, poll the participants. First ask them if they noticed anyone dressing unusually, and if so whom. Then ask if they noticed anyone in navy oxfords or purple jacket and jeans.

if the effects are similar, we should get similar poll results. But I'm certain (and so are you, or I'll eat that guy's hat) that far more people will not notice the navy shoes, or even notice anything unusual, than will miss the guy in purple. And I think those results will hold no matter the audience.

The reason my original questions mattered is that, I firmly believe, there is something we should be able to discern from the fact that you can walk into Edward Green and buy navy shoes but you can't buy purple jeans and jacket at the Armoury, or Self Edge or Ralph Lauren or wherever it is that people buy traditional rugged Americana. Unless I am sadly mistaken, it's just not something that segment of the market does. I imagine you would also almost never see those purple jackets and jeans in the kinds of social settings where people wear SWD in a sophisticated way.

Maybe what we could discern from that is that it's possible the CM scene is subtly evolving in ways that you do not or cannot understand. When you sense the same effect from purple denim and navy calf, it suggests to me that you don't have nuance in your outlook but rather see things in a binary way -- it's either traditional and classic or it's not, and everything that's not is equivalent to everything else that's not. Criticism becomes really easy when it's just a simple binary. What's so profound about that?

It is not seldom that I have read advice on this board along the lines of 'Don't make that your first jacket, or even one of the first five. Make it your fifteenth'. There is a lot of good sense to that. But of course, it requires an openness of mind, to say 'fifteenth' instead of 'never', because you have to set aside that on any occasion you wear that jacket, there were fourteen 'better' and more coherent choices. If that's the argument one wants to make -- and make ad nauseam -- fine, I guess. But I think that a world in which you don't have to send the same message every single day, or perhaps even speak the same language, is a richer place to be.
I have no idea what most people would say in that room. I can only give you my impression. I would notice the guy in a purple jacket or navy shoes, and I have the judgment I've so far expressed. To my eye, it would be like painting a mustache on the Mona Lisa.

I think I understand why CM is changing the way it has. I think it's because of online shoe culture, and how a cohort of people left the forum. Their presence helped anchor the culture here. There are still a large number of people here that are interested in outfits -- I would say well over 50% -- but also a section of the forum that's mostly interested in shoes. There is a section of this forum that's basically the dress shoe equivalent of sneakerheads. When is the latest drop? What's the new make? What shoes are you buying next? Check out this photo of my new shoes.
 

dieworkwear

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Derek, I've spent some time defending you here but, as a sociologist, I'm a little surprised to see you talking about the 'social message' of clothing, citing Bordieu, and at the same time enthusiastically quoting Manton, an example of the worst kind of sly, white supremacist conservative (there's really no excuse for him any more).

And BTW, I had to laugh when you described the hippie in the 'cowboy' get-up as associated with "the nobility that comes with working under the open sky"... this kind kind of romaticised picture is also sailing very close to Mantonian white nostalgia. If we're going to read clothing with a clear understanding of history, the white cowboy is not only an erasure of the real history of cowboys (who were originally mostly black, as we've discussed before), but also part of a history of genocide and forced displacement of indigenous peoples and the destruction of the environment, which constitutes the real and much less noble recent settler-colonial history of Turtle Island (AKA North America).

Now, I make these points in a deliberately mischievous way (because I know you know), not because I disagree with your aesthetics or your views on the construction of taste as such, but just to consider what a reliance on the past as a guide to aesthetics does, especially if we're going to insist on reading clothes socially and politically - as I think we must. Nostalgia can be a dangerous drug - and I do see a pretty clear connection between Manton's aesthetics and his politics, while recognising that this connection is not automatic or general - i.e. I am not saying that everyone who wears CM is white supremacist conservative (!) but there is an obvious link for someone like Manton, which we can't just discount. And Manton's dislike of the iGent aesthetic is of a piece with the contemporary far right's hatred of immigrants, postmodernism, 'cultural marxism' (sic) and everything else that is apparently undermining western civilization.
I'm aware of Manton's politics, but can discuss his contributions to the forum in a dispassionate way. His name came up in the last convo because I was explaining what the word iGent meant and Manton wrote a thread using the term in 2008. One usage of the term refers to that Iammat type of look.

I recently wrote about Black cowboys; I'm aware of the history. I don't know what that has to do with how people read that outfit. The existence of black cowboys means that the history of the American West is more complicated than "cowboys are bad." And regardless of the actual history, people will still read that outfit as being a romanticized version of the American West. If you changed the denim outfit to purple, the meaning would not be the same. This would be true if the wearer was black or white.
 
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acapaca

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I thought you found it offensive to say that some people dress in a more sophisticated manner than others? Seems like I was being excoriated for this idea. But now people who wear expensive SWD brands are more sophisticated dressers than people who wear affordable SWD brands?
I was trying to use language you would appreciate, or at least understand. Perhaps sophisticated wasn't the best choice of words. What I meant was...if you go to a place where people dress in a...cool? hip? trendy? 'in the know'?...sort of way, you won't find people wearing clown outfits or Ronald McDonald costumes or purple jackets and jeans. I had assumed that the 'denim' part of 'SWD' had a lot to do with hip and trendy and cool, but I admit that I don't know the scene well. And I had also never seen purple jeans and jackets before today, even in a picture, so my apologies if I'm way off about all this. At first I was going to say that you wouldn't see people wearing purple jackets and jeans at an Avett Brothers concert, but then I figured that the Avett Brothers are probably so 2015 and I would be laughed at by the cool people if I used that example.

But that said, I certainly believe that there are levels of sophistication in dress, just as in most other things of its kind, and yes, I'd be very surprised if purple jeans and jackets were near the top of it. But knowing it and saying it to someone directly are two far different things. There are a lot of things I know, or at least believe, that I would find in poor taste to say out loud.

On 'high-end'...my point was that they don't sell crap fast-food burgers at craft burger bars. If you go to a store like the Armoury, you will expect a certain curation in their goods on offer. They have the kind of reputation, do they not, that a customer can sort of trust blindly? As in, they may not feel the need to educate themselves about small details, or even broad strokes, if they can feel comfortable trusting their haberdasher to have the knowledge for them.

If that's true, as a general principle, then I'd like to know if you think it's every bit as easy to buy purple denim from the kind of maker or place that is seen as a consistent taste maker as it is to buy navy shoes. (It's not, which is a weakness in your argument.)

I have no idea what most people would say in that room. I can only give you my impression.
Well, that's exactly my point. How am I supposed to read that and believe that your views are in touch with the world around you? The real world that people live in. The world beyond a small circle of internet forum enthusiasts. You deny pretty vehemently that there's any cosplay element to maintaining a rigid and narrow range of what's acceptable to wear, but you also seem not to particularly care if that range becomes dated.

For someone who seems to work hard to have his finger on the pulse when it comes to these things, you just seem pretty uninterested in other points of view. It's not an especially endearing quality.
 

Stylewords

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How can something be a pseudo-academic discipline when it's an actual academic discipline? Do you mean pseudo-scientific?

English is also an academic discipline.
Ah, DWW with his antiquated and fixed rules. Is my use of "pseudo-academic" equivalent to wearing chinos with oxfords? Language is a living thing used to express meaning in a community. The use of the term "pseudo-academic" is firmly extablished in language use.
 

Phileas Fogg

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I love reading proclamations, opinions and statements from people who have at best a TED talk depth grasp of a given topic.

Please go on. This is far more amusing than talking about clothes.
 

JFWR

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Derek, I've spent some time defending you here but, as a sociologist, I'm a little surprised to see you talking about the 'social message' of clothing, citing Bordieu, and at the same time enthusiastically quoting Manton, an example of the worst kind of sly, white supremacist conservative (there's really no excuse for him any more).

And BTW, I had to laugh when you described the hippie in the 'cowboy' get-up as associated with "the nobility that comes with working under the open sky"... this kind kind of romaticised picture is also sailing very close to Mantonian white nostalgia. If we're going to read clothing with a clear understanding of history, the white cowboy is not only an erasure of the real history of cowboys (who were originally mostly black, as we've discussed before), but also part of a history of genocide and forced displacement of indigenous peoples and the destruction of the environment, which constitutes the real and much less noble recent settler-colonial history of Turtle Island (AKA North America).

Now, I make these points in a deliberately mischievous way (because I know you know), not because I disagree with your aesthetics or your views on the construction of taste as such, but just to consider what a reliance on the past as a guide to aesthetics does, especially if we're going to insist on reading clothes socially and politically - as I think we must. Nostalgia can be a dangerous drug - and I do see a pretty clear connection between Manton's aesthetics and his politics, while recognising that this connection is not automatic or general - i.e. I am not saying that everyone who wears CM is white supremacist conservative (!) but there is an obvious link for someone like Manton, which we can't just discount. And Manton's dislike of the iGent aesthetic is of a piece with the contemporary far right's hatred of immigrants, postmodernism, 'cultural marxism' (sic) and everything else that is apparently undermining western civilization.
I'm finding it hard to sift through irony versus real opinion here.

The moral grandstanding over Manton strikes me as an almost parody of pearl clutching left-wing academics. As if we must only listen to those we agree with morally on matters not at all pertaining to such things! Not to mention the shaky grounds of the moral censure. Ah yes, he is a white supremacist, because he disagrees with me.

Did you also non-ironically call the American continent "turtle island"? That alone should stand as a refutation of your entire point about " genocide" and "environmental destruction". Your hand-wringing over the cowboy imagery comes off as an absurd politicization, wedded to a very real disdain for the working class.

Then pairing a dislike of igent style as just another part of the "far right's" hatred of postmodernism, immigrants, and cultural Marxism? Given how undeniably, flagrantly white the iGent is, please tell me how this expresses nativism?

Your neo-puritan moral zealotry would be hilarious if it wasn't dangerous.
 

RJman

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Could you share a link pls? For some reason I thought you'd coined the term. I searched for the earliest use of "igent" and the oldest one I found was FNB in 2008. Could have first been used on Ask Andy.
Sadly the piece disappeared when ASW changed hands. I was proud of its list of Jeff Foxworthy-style quips.
 

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