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The blasphemous odd vest/ jacket thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by size 38R, Jul 25, 2013.

  1. barrelntrigger

    barrelntrigger Senior member

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    Amidst all the trolling and hate for the OP, this post got ignored. I somewhat agree with 38 R on the definition of classic men's wear. To me, defining what's classic sometimes could be aiming at a moving target. How far back do we have to go? Back to the 1940's or to the 19th century? I'm not a historian but I would think the costumes of Gangs of New York does a some what of an accurate portrayal of what men wore in Manhattan back then. Maybe the pictured costumes are a bit on the exaggerated side, I still would think the idea of paring odd trousers, odd vests, with an overcoat was fairly common.

    Also, let's take this picture of Prince William for a second, this is a perfect example of what a classic British morning suit consist of, a black morning coat, an odd waistcoat, double breasted even, paired with striped trousers.
    [​IMG]
    Personally, this getup goes against everything I've learned from SF during the last a year and a half. Because they are commonly known as "reverse orphans", you just don't wear striped trousers by itself, period. But apparently, you don't get anymore classic than this. So, it's ok to break the sacred SF rule and wear reverse orphan? But only in the morning and maybe it's ok when you are British? [​IMG]

    Also in this wicked fit by An Accute Style,
    [​IMG]

    traditionally, the madras pattern is considered to be one of the popular fabric amongst the ivy/preppy crowd. But I can only imagine what did the westerners first thought of the fabric when it was imported from India. Did they immediately embrace it or did they jeer and laugh at the first daring westerners who wore the madras patterned clothing in pubic? How long did it take for the public to accept it's ok to wear such loud pattern to social event? I don't know but maybe someone could educate me on the subject. [​IMG]

    I guess the bottom line is when, how, and why did the odd and weird become acceptable and classic? Maybe someone else could word it better than I could cuz I'm running on 2 hours of sleep and my eye lids are getting heavier by the second...Zzz [​IMG]
     
  2. barrelntrigger

    barrelntrigger Senior member

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    Oh, would someone please explain to me why do classic men's opera pumps have fracking BOWS on it???!!! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. mezentius

    mezentius Senior member

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    Well, the rules which SF recommend apply to suits, not to morning dress. Now, I'm quite new at this, but if I had to take a punt at the underlying aesthetic principle behind this contradiction, I would say that because morning coats have that tail, they look like an outer layer to the trousers, which allows mismatches (as you would between a suit and a shirt) while maintaining visual coherence. Suits, however, truncate at a uniform level, thus if you reverse orphan with a suit then you'll look as though you're cut in half, breaking the visual connection between top and bottom and thus looking rather terrible (see OP's first picture).

    Rules aren't about when or by whom they are set up; they are merely neatly summarised condensations of basic aesthetic principles (well, at least the rules endorsed by CM anyway).

    And OP, another forum which I frequent enforces banning people who reply with only image macros. Now I begin to see why it would annoy them so much. Nevertheless, good topic for a thread - it would be interesting to see how people can successfully marry these two styles.
     
  4. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    As far as the pinstriped odd/orphan trousers--they work in the context of a morning suit. Perhaps in a few formal evening wear contexts. They don't work anywhere on the normal, everyday scale of casualness-formality.

    CM is absolutely a moving target, but it is one which moves upon a fairly linear path. Yes, there are tangents, but decade to decade menswear tends to return to some gradually changing mean. There needs to be a sense of continuity; simply because it was considered classic menswear four or five decades ago doesn't mean we can pluck it out of a bygone era--as well as perhaps pluck it out of its sartorial context--and proclaim it to be classic menswear. That which we associate with classic menswear tends to be present, decade to decade, slowly evolving.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  5. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Striped odd trousers are an integrated part of the morning suit look, complete with a long morning coat and vest, but you don't wear it outside of formal day dress. Sort of like how you wouldn't take a wing collar shirt out of white tie and wear it with a suit or wear a tailcoat with a regular spread collar shirt and four in hand tie. It's also worth noting that traditionally one wears a special sort of cashmere stripe trouser with a morning coat and you would not wear this trouser on its own or have a suit made from that cloth.

    I agree that classic menswear is a moving target, but as Claghorn said, you get some sort of linear progression over time. In the era when strollers were regularly worn as semi-formal day dress and the lounge suit was seen as informal, certain non-matching trouser or jacket sets were seen as more formal than a suit where jacket and trouser matched. The morning coat is also a product of that tradition but remains the only exception to the rule that matching pants and jacket are more formal than odd jackets and odd trousers (well, the stroller, but nobody wears the stroller). In Brummel's time, coats were not matched to trousers for purposes of formality either. Today, however, people dress differently because the suit has taken on the role of the most formal thing a man wears outside of specifically regimented formalwear (morning coat during the day, black tie at night and sometimes white tie at night).
     
  6. Roycru

    Roycru Senior member

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    Thanks awfully. It's rather a bit hard to tell from the picture, it's a green cashmere herringbone Chester Barrie Jacket, yellow doeskin Dunn & Co. vest, tan corduroy Orvis trousers, tan suede and brown leather Nordstrom saddle shoes, green, brown, and white Brooks Brothers tattersall shirt, and a green, brown, and white Brooks Brothers tie.
     
  7. Calder

    Calder Senior member

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    Bleeding Madras was created when Indian cloth merchants saw the Tartans of the scots regiments during the Raj and attempted to duplicate the look in the local material and popular colours.
     
  8. Roke

    Roke New Member

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    When full morning dress is too formal, there is the semi-formal stroller, with same general color scheme but with a black suit jacket and grey striped (or patterned, there is more leeway here) pants. So it's not strictly the tail coat :)

    [​IMG]

    Stroller on the left, morning dress on the right.

    I think that general advice is to avoid mix-and-matching unless you are really confident about it. Otherwise it is very easy to end up looking funny.

    Edit: Didn't see the above comment on the stroller. Yes, nobody wears the stroller without it looking more like a costume than "classic" :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  9. size 38R

    size 38R Senior member

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    Great posts guys, don't mind this thread being somewhat of a think tank. with contrasting opinions. posting pics of your self in odd fits, or posting pics to illustrate your points of view are strongly encouraged. [​IMG]
     
  10. Roycru

    Roycru Senior member

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    Here's a picture from 1986, where I am wearing a black jacket, grey vest, and grey and black striped trousers. Sorry now that I wasn't wearing my grey spats when the picture was taken. (Yes, I still have all these things.)[​IMG]
     
  11. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    Claghorn, Roycru's examples can teach a lot about combinations with fairly low contrast between jacket and trousers. I know they taught me a fair bit. He also posts the best pictures.
     
  12. size 38R

    size 38R Senior member

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    WOW!!!! Roycru has been wearing odd vests for 30 years???????[​IMG]
    mind blowing. and you've hardly aged. keep it up, thanks for sharing.

    A separate point i would like to talk about is, when men think "Classic menswear" especially early last century. they think either of the upper classes, or al capone style mobsters.like Tibor's fit in the what is styleforum wearing thread.
    so, why not shine a light on the common man's classic menswear, the middle class, working men, who would have worn the same style for events, or perhaps church on sunday. just in a better fabric and color palette. certainly not streetwear, the men wearing it wore the best they could afford. and wanted to maintain a respectable image. separate from the fashions of young people at the time.
    here are some tasteful pics to keep things going,
    [​IMG]
    the difference between " menswear" and "streetwear" are illustrated here.
    [​IMG]
    i have a coat like this, and wear it when it is snowing outside.
    here are some modern takes on the style.....
    [​IMG]
    love the pic on the right, and the odd vest/jacket combo.
    [​IMG]
    these pics reflect a revival in the common man's classic menswear. with an evolved, fresh choice of fabrics and styles.
    feel free to post a fit somehow including some elements of this style.
    with an odd vest/jacket. or just comment on the topic. the "morning suit" is a great example of Upper class menswear. good points all round.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  13. Roycru

    Roycru Senior member

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    Thanks again to everyone for all of your very kind comments. Here's a picture from 1968.......

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  14. size 38R

    size 38R Senior member

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    You could just wear that fit now, with a few updates. i'm sure it looked better in real life, camera's weren't great back then. [​IMG]

    wasn"t Claghorn going to post a fit? come on guys, post em up!
     
  15. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    You're clearly easily amused...

    But, 'dude', we have no idea how you dress other than what you have posted so far, which frankly, is a mess. What you are doing is not CM, it is taking a superficial impression of a historical period and modelling costume after it using whatever contemporary pieces come to hand. You look like you are trying out for an audition of Oliver! And that's being kind. CM is indeed the product of historical evolution but some things don't survive - you can't just say 'I like how they dress in (a simulation of) the early C19th' and expect it to be considered CM. That's much more a street fashion kind of approach - but in that vein you have to be much more committed to the quality of your materials etc. The irony is that I do actually wear jeans and odd waistcoats quite a lot (mainly in tweed and heavy duty cotton twill from small labels like Old Town, ARN Mercantile and Wings + Horns - essentially workwear stuff) but I wouldn't pretend I was 'subverting CM'; I know it's streetwear. But I also know that you know you would get hammered if you posted your fits in SW&D, which is why you are doing so here.

    Now, as it happens, I know these things because I teach some classes on urban fashion, and I even wear actual (mid-late) C19th clothing (or clothing made after C19th patterns) for one class in particular. Here's me wearing such costume:

    [​IMG]

    But the difference is that I know this is costume. However I also know how to wear a waistcoat with a tailored jacket or suit and this is how you do it in the English tradition (excuse the slightly hungover expression). I am sure you can work out the differences given your extensive knowledge of men's style...

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  16. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Given the current weather, an odd vest will look very, very odd in this heat. Occasionally wearing a jacket, linen though they may be, still prompts a few questions about the heat and humidity. I've a dinner Friday, I'll see about wearing one of my odd vests then...depends on the humidity. I do have something from a wedding a while back, but the color of the picture is awful (making the vest look olive)

    [​IMG]

    Actual color of the vest (a wool/linen blend); it looks a bit less slubby in real life, but as is, I think the roughness of it still clashed a bit too much with a very conservative Dunhill. It got a great deal of compliments, but overall I'd consider the fit a flop.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
  17. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    The '68 photo is better than it would be digitally, but that's a reflection of my tastes.

    Your idea of dressing in a more workmanlike style is, basically, the workwear trend of the last few years. You're right that people bought quality back then, in a way people today don't.

    You seem to be trying to reconcile two very diverging ideas in dress -- dressing in a very workwear style (the dark shirts, and stuff outside of a lounge suit), and a turn-of-the-century dandy look (you're calling it "gentleman culture," which has a nice ring to it, but it isn't really a commonly-used term). If I may be honest, your current fits don't quite hit it. They look a little like somebody playing really bold dress up with the contents of a JC Penneys. That's harsh, but you're not hitting the marks you're aiming at. You may find you're aiming at the wrong marks, or you might want to start looking at lots of photos of stuff along the continuum from Teddy Boys to Mod stuff to Peacock Revolution stuff -- that very kind of English working class style that also integrated those dandyish details and pieces. That can look really great, and I think it might be more relevant to what you want than the contemporary stuff you're looking at and the archival stuff. In some ways, it's the missing link between the two. Also, you'll probably end up listening to some good bands.

    There's nothing wrong with not wanting to dress in a classic menswear way (which is inextricably tied up with aesthetics set by the upper classes -- don't forget how much we owe to the Duke of Windsor), and there's nothing wrong with wanting to be influenced by classic tailoring while doing your own thing, but trying to do it on the Classic Menswear board on Styleforum is either going to involve A) compromising what you want to fit in (a bad idea) or B) repeating this thread ad infinitum (a very bad idea). It's like, this is a jazz band, and so if you want to learn how to play punk rock, then you're in with the wrong set.

    Bottom line: finding a style that works for you involves making mistakes. There's no need to get married to any one thing you do. Even compared to a year and a half ago, I wear clothes very differently. We're both very young, I think, and so we're trying stuff out. Getting in weirdly philosophical arguments about clothing traditions online is a phase I went through very briefly (still it in a little bit, as you can see), but it's not one I recommend sticking with for too long.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  18. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    [​IMG]
    To be fair, there is no [​IMG]without [​IMG]-baiting -- which I always found the more annoying side of the coin. That's partially because I know his advice (in the Good Taste thread and on his blog) has helped me become noticeably better-dressed, and because I respect anybody who finds what works for them and sticks with it.
     
  20. size 38R

    size 38R Senior member

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    You teach Steampunk?????? [​IMG]
    no, seriously with jokes aside, your points are good. though they are your own point of view. of course the top looks costume-ish, but the lower one would look great with a bowler hat.
    that said. your style is no different to mine. just a little more uniformed. thanks for posting a fit. [​IMG]

    here is Today's fit..........
    [​IMG]
    come on, hate on my fit...............[​IMG][​IMG]

    yes i also wore a hat today. and have an umbrella, it's raining out.
     

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