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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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dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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😉 I'll note that as a "no comment" on the the contradiction of drawing the eye down compared to tan shoes then

BTW It's not me wearing them, as it just looks contrived/attention seeking to my eyes (fashion over style)

However, I think sneakers and suit can work as part of a personal style if they are cheap and canvas, but yet to be fully convinced

Hence my vote for not sure

Show me some pics, persuade me

Snarky Editing, I just find amusing as it involves no skills or style 😉
Please, there are no rules in dress. Everything is an opinion. Please only state your opinion once and leave it at that.

Why even argue the point?

State your opinion and leave it at that, you would earn far more respect from your peers (if you even consider them that)
 

yorkshire pud

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Please, there are no rules in dress. Everything is an opinion. Please only state your opinion once and leave it at that.
Thanks, I will 😉

Not only that, I don't claim to be the authority on American Classic Menswear (why would I be, I'm British and we have our own culture) or expensive European sneakers. I am literally telling you my opinion on the combo of sneakers and suits!!

You don't agree, fair enough

Next
 
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yorkshire pud

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I think that it depends on context. For a great number of years, it was the de facto uniform of the creative class. On the other hand, if you decided that you were Robert DeNrio in "The Intern", going full CM at a fashion startup, you would nearly inevitably be very much not like Robert DeNiro's character, and you would nearly certainly not make a friend/mentee/mentor of Ann Hathaway. You'd probably just be some creepy and/or officious dude in a suit.
Another SF recommended movie to add to my watch list I guess, thanks 👍
 

Waldo Jeffers

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Good old Noel🤣 I've always wondered what America thought our "sneaker culture" might be like???
I think Noel is a good example of a guy who really figured out his personal style in middle age. He looks way better now than he did in his 20s
 

yorkshire pud

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I think Noel is a good example of a guy who really figured out his personal style in middle age. He looks way better now than he did in his 20s
Yep, I'm a big fan, always admired his simple Mod influenced style, but definitely he looks way better after he quit the party lifestyle, I read that he had a few lock ups full of old Adidas trainers, and a classic Jaguar he has never driven 🤣
 

物の哀れ

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I think CM's association with conservative politics comes through three different areas, as it's a diverse field. This also touches on how nostalgia plays into aesthetics, and how nostalgia is used.

1. Far-right trad groups. The first group is what I would characterize as far-right trads. Not trad meaning American trad style, but just general notions of tradition. You often see these types of people post memes like "Which way, Western man?" They also post photos of a man in a suit versus Justin Beiber, or a Renaissance painting versus a modern sculpture. The idea is that modernity is bad and the past was good. Mixed into this is the idea that non-white immigrants are ruining Western countries and that we should protect white women.

My impression is that these people are not particularly interested in the aesthetics of dress, but what they believe the aesthetic represents. In other words, they are not going to spend a lot of time on here arguing about whether an extended front dart has any place in classic American tailoring. They are more interested in what they think a suit broadly represents.

I say this because, whenever I see how these people dress, I'm surprised by how bad they look. They are often wearing Brooks Brothers Red Fleece or very modern versions of classic dress. So short jacket, tight suit, bright tan shoes, etc. I don't think they're seriously interested in nostalgia of dress. Otherwise, they would not dress this way.

I think some of those ideas occasionally come up on this board, but it's rare. Most of those guys are primarily in CE and not CM. I think most guys who post in CM are primarily interested in aesthetics.

2. The normie. I also think that CM occupies a much more "normie" role in dress. By virtue of its history, it's the default for how many would choose to dress if they start dressing with intention (this is the fallacy that dressing well is necessarily dressing up). As such, I think the CM community is much more diverse in terms of geography, age, social background, etc. By contrast, I think SWD outfits are more rooted in urban communities.

I think you see this a lot with online content creation. The guys who create online SWD content (e.g., blogs and YouTube channels) are often based in London, NYC, Tokyo, and the like. Whereas CM content creators span everywhere from London (Permanent Style) to the American midwest (e.g., Art of Manliness, Gentlemen's Gazette, etc). I also get the impression that some of the audience is Balkanized. I think that there's a section of online content consumers who are based outside of major cities, and they primarily consume AoM and Gentlemen's Gazette type of content, not Permanent Style.

So then CM is associated with conservative politics not because of anything due to the aesthetic, but as an effect of geographic and social distribution. It's just a bigger tent and probably better represents the broader, more diverse set of opinions within a polity. SWD communities are almost entirely liberal because it's mostly based in cosmopolitan cities, where people tend to be liberal.

When you visit boards such as Denim Bro -- another aesthetic that will find more of a home in the American midwest -- you will see the same divergence. Instead of the entirely liberal politics of SWD, there are more conservatives in the denim and workwear community. I think that's mostly a consequence of geography, not aesthetics. CM and workwear are relatively more "normie" aesthetics and thus will fit into a broader range of geographies, so it will capture a more diverse set of people.

3. Respectability. CM also represents notions of respectability or normative behavior, which in modern politics, mostly reads as conservative. You again see this language come up all the time on this board (although, I will say again, many of these traditionalists don't actually dress traditional). So, "don't wear sneakers because you will look like a child." Or "wear a suit and dress your age."

Respectability is often just playing into the dominant culture's norms -- "speak right," "dress right," "act right," which is to say "speak proper English," "dress like an Anglo gentleman," or "perform Victorian behavior."

Lots of minority communities with otherwise liberal beliefs also share this view. I think this view is just coded as conservative because of modern politics (much of which was polarized after the killing of Trayvon Martin, and respectability politics became even more of a dirty term).

CM is also associated with positions of power, money (corporate jobs), and rules (governance and law). So it's going to attract people who are also attracted to the Establishment, which reads as conservative. I think much of how we read politics and culture was shaped by 1960s and 70s culture wars, including civil rights struggles, hippie movements, preppy backlash, and the like.

4. Aesthetes. Finally, I think there are people who are just aesthetes. Some people like CM simply because of the look -- it's purely aesthetics. They may not have any relationship to the people above: they don't care about vintage values (the far right trad), they recognize that they stick out in their version of CM (so they're not the normie), and they don't necessarily care about respectability. They simply want to look good.

So for the first group (far right trads), conservative politics comes through CM directly through the aesthetic's association with the past. For the second group (normies), conservative politics comes through as an indirect result of CM's position as the aesthetic default. For the third group (respectability), it's partly a direct association of CM aesthetics and politics, but also how we today read notions of respectability in dress (or respectability politics). For the fourth group (aesthetes), politics and aesthetics can be two totally unrelated categories (e.g., see pins such as "vintage style, not vintage values" in certain womenswear communities).

I think nostalgia can play a role for all four groups, but it's strongest for groups 1 and 4. The normie probably only has a passing interest in nostalgia -- they may think that nostalgia makes you look overly vintage. I would count myself in group four. I value nostalgia as an aesthetic and use it to guide my own form of dress, but that nostalgia has little to do with anything outside of aesthetics.

I would never wear something that's offensive, including political things such as a swastika symbol. But I'm fine with sharing an aesthetic with people I disagree with, particularly if it's a relatively "normie" aesthetic that reads as "normal" anyway. Very few people are "so online" that they're even aware of the first group (the far-right trads).
I think this is a good framework.

I'd add a sub-group to the normies - the prosumers.

The prosumers prioritise consumption, product specifications, and "getting a good deal".

The normie will buy a single Rolex, where as the prosumer will buy multiple Omegas.

The aesthete will buy a pair of staples from Edward Green, where as the prosumer will buy many pairs of hand welted, gem toned, bespoke shoes from a Chinese shoemaker.
 

acapaca

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How does the aesthete become disconnected with all those past associations in the way the other groups don't, if part of the aesthetic charm relies on those very connections?
 

JFWR

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The ceaseless importation of iGents with no tradition of, taste for, or experience with the coat-and-tie means that the dress population grows more wacky, more clownish, less elegant, less sophisticated, and less traditionally American with every fashion cycle. As does, of course, the U.S. population, where every downtown center is full of men wearing walnut-colored oxfords with chinos, Allbirds with suits, and Ferragamo horsebit loafers with shorts. This is the core reason why clothing and shoe merchants think they are on the cusp of a permanent financial victory that will forever obviate the need to pretend that shoes should be considered as part of a wardrobe. Because they are.
Funny lampooning of Manton's political writings; however, sincerely, what is the objection to the colour combination of green shoes with those colours?

Or let me put it this way:

What colours would you recommend go with green in shirts? Like say I came to you and asked: I want to wear a green shirt today. What kind of colours should I match it with? What would you say?
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Funny lampooning of Manton's political writings; however, sincerely, what is the objection to the colour combination of green shoes with those colours?

Or let me put it this way:

What colours would you recommend go with green in shirts? Like say I came to you and asked: I want to wear a green shirt today. What kind of colours should I match it with? What would you say?
There's no real tradition for green shoes in classic men's dress. Again, when I use the term classic men's style, I'm referring to a certain time period (mostly 1930s through 80s, excluding the 70s), location (mostly the United States, UK, France, and Italy), and section of society (mostly upper class). In other words, we're using the idea of "good taste." I'm fine with recognizing Bourdieu's point that taste is almost entirely sociological and that we can't derive notions of taste through some disinterested way, like Kant. Kant believed that we could just sit down and think about aesthetics, and then come to some conclusions about beauty. I don't think this is possible, but I really don't think it's possible when it comes to dress. As many writers have noted, such as those passages I quoted earlier by Simmel and Sennet, dress is largely social.

I can't think of any dress tradition where green shoes can be worn -- workwear, prep, dark avant-garde, contemporary minimalism, etc. But certainly, it was not worn in classic men's dress for the very simple reason that wealthy Anglos didn't wear green shoes. The stability of classic men's dress owes itself, in some regard, to the stability of upper-class lifestyles -- that's partly why the aesthetic is relatively timeless. The lifestyle stayed relatively consistent for a while, although its cultural relevance started to wane after the 1980s.

Perhaps you can find some ad in 1940 where some Fred Mertz type would buy and wear green shoes. But this is not what we mean when we say "good taste" or even "classic men's dress." Lots of stuff on Fedora Lounge would not be considered in good taste, and much of the dress there is historical. Zoot suits were also worn in the past, and they were considered bad taste (and would be now).

So there are all sorts of reasons why you shouldn't wear green shoes.

1. For people who are concerned with dressing in good taste, green shoes are considered in bad taste.
2. They draw the eye downward and are jarring.
3. They will send certain social messages about you. Perhaps you don't mind those social messages and you may even like them. I can't describe for you all the social messages, but if I saw someone wearing green shoes with a CM outfit, I would think they're odd, a dandy, don't know how to dress, a shoe enthusiast, and so forth. All the things discussed earlier.

Regarding how to wear green, I suppose I can see a long-sleeved green polo shirt worn with a brown tweed. Or a white and green striped oxford button-down. I don't know if I would ever wear a solid green woven shirt, as that can come off tacky (or in bad taste).

I've said before that I think you can dress in ways that don't accord with good taste. "Good taste" basically just means Anglo upper-class taste. But now many types of tastes have been legitimatized -- the taste of artists, musicians, certain types of criminals, blue-collar workers, etc. We live in a much richer aesthetic environment than we did in 1940 or 50.

But to dress in those ways, you have to know how to use that language. You can't just randomly put green shoes with brown suits because you think brown and green go together. This is the point I was trying to make about the Levi's cowboy in a blue denim trucker jacket and jeans. In blue, we read this outfit to be one way. In purple, it reads another. If you're wearing a brown or navy suit, the "correct" choice is going to be brown or black for footwear. If you wear green, it doesn't matter how the trouser cut interacts with the shoe -- it's going to look odd because our notions of taste are defined by social conventions.
 

acapaca

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Honestly, if you're not worried about reproducing a classical outfit, those shell captoes are pretty damn sweet. Deep, dark shade of green. I could see it with dark blue jeans and a sweater in the fall, if it were a derby.
 

acapaca

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3. They will send certain social messages about you. Perhaps you don't mind those social messages and you may even like them. I can't describe for you all the social messages, but if I saw someone wearing green shoes with a CM outfit, I would think they're odd, a dandy, don't know how to dress, a shoe enthusiast, and so forth. All the things discussed earlier.
But let's be clear that you also believe there is no way you, or presumably anyone else, can know what message any given person will receive.
 

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