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The Contentedness thread

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by hendrix, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. mike868y

    mike868y Senior member

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    in an attempt to force myself to find contentedness, I'm think I'm going to avoid buying clothes for a few months. i've got enough decent clothing now that I don't "need" anything really, so forcing myself to find happiness in what I do own will be a good exercise I think.
     
  2. Parker

    Parker Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    there was a slightly hokey op-ed in last sunday's nytimes about happiness and its relation to spending/indulgence. spoiler alert! having more money and buying stuff for yourself doesn't make you happy. still, there were a couple good points and it made me think of this thread, esp. this line:

    "Underindulging — temporarily giving up chocolate (replace with your latest clothing obsession), even when we have the cash to buy all we want — can renew our enjoyment of the things we love."
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  3. hendrix

    hendrix Senior member

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    I know this probably isn't what you meant, but while Parker and Synthese are excellent idols, I think you should instead aim to be a better version of yourself.

    What do you like?

    This is a little bit hippie, but perhaps rather than thinking about what we want, maybe we should be thinking about what would fit with ourselves (what wants us?...i know i know, sorry). Moreover, what would fit with the person we want to be.

    Do you want to be someone who wears sneakers, boots, derbies or dress shoes most days? If boots, would they be sleek and sexy? chunky? in between? combat style? colour?

    Do you prefer the casual elegance of knits over structured leather jackets?

    How would you like your clothes to fit?

    Styleforum has been a good influence on many of us, but what about real life influences? How does your dad dress? What type of shirts will your mum buy you for christmas? Are there some themes there? We write these things off when we join the forum a little too hastily. These people know us far better than anyone on the internet does. Try as we might, a picture can't show how an item of clothing represents our life; growing up, our culture, our friends, our career, our taste in food, music, sport...

    I was talking to a SA the other day and he kept going on about how everyone here dresses like shit and wears things too loose. It was horribly annoying because this was a guy from the other side of the world who had come here and made a judgement on what is, in essence, part of our culture. What was worse was that he didn't seem to understand that his skinny pants and cardigan was more representative someone else's particular design idea that arose about 15 years ago than any part of his personality.

    He would probably look good in pictures but I felt like he had zero personal style.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
    10 people like this.
  4. Reginald Bartholomew

    Reginald Bartholomew Senior member

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    Dunno if this belongs here exactly, but helping someone else find the style they are comfortable and happy in is an underrated pleasure. Not being a pushy know-it-all or out-hipping them, but just helping them figure out what they like and where to get it. Is also a great way to interrogate your own style choices.
     
  5. steveoffice

    steveoffice Senior member

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    this is an awesome thread idea. will contribute in time ::cheers:
     
  6. Synthese

    Synthese Darth Millennial Dubiously Honored Moderator

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    I have one of my mother's old Banana Republic shirts from the early 1980's, and it's about as billowy as a sail. Every single seam has been reinfroced at least twice, and she also has drawn and embroidered all over the back of it. I'm always afraid to wear it outside in case it completely disintegrates, but I love it. It's got thirty years of softness going for it. Man, I have some really great old stuff lying around. I should wear more of it.
     
  7. Therendition

    Therendition Senior member

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    I do the exact same thing.
     
  8. Working Stiff

    Working Stiff Senior member

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    Cool. I had some old shirts that my Dad had tailored for him in the 70s (that eventually disintegrated) that were the best. Beautiful cotton that had been rubbed down until it was soft as silk. Hand-me-downs can be so amazing, and the history makes them much more satisfying than buying new things. I have to admit, what I like best about this site is the designer stuff that gets posted, because it's the most fun for looking at in pictures, but in reality random old stuff is so great, and if someone asks you where you got your shirt you get to say "it's an old shirt of my dad's" instead of "it's an obscure Belgian designer that I know about because I am an internet nerd with more money than taste who buys $200 used shirts from my internet friends."

    (NB: I'm not trying to write a faux-populist anti-fashion post, just trying to point out the satisfaction of ordinary items, ideally mixed with more design-y stuff) (NB: am not sober)

    Side note: Maybe what I like about fashion brands is how they are obviously, intentionally wasteful and silly and unreasonable - "this is a $300 polyester sweater because fuck you."
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. 1969

    1969 Senior member

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    This shirt probably encapsulates everything that I have learned about myself on styleforum. I wish I had a fancy DSLR to make it look all porny but I don't. Ten years ago I wouldn't have been able to tell you why I liked this shirt, how it fit in with my style, how it was different from any other shirt or even what kind of fabric it was made of. This shirt is from our own sf member Kent Wang and was originally billed as a collaboration with member Get Smart from Thick as Thieves. Props to both of those guys for being one of the early DIY crowd on SF. The forum has moved in a different direction since then but here is this 4 year old shirt that I still wear. I marked through the label on this one to denote that it's got too many stains to wear to my office but it still gets thrown on once a week. I have newer ones too that are just as good to me. I actually drove over to Kent's apartment for this first one to try on a couple of sizes and so there's my first SF meetup thing going on as well. :embar:

    Anyhow, here are some reasons I fucking love this shirt more than any normal person could understand....

    This shirt fits me perfectly with no alterations, I've used it as the model for other made to measure shirts and even when I need to lose 5 pounds it still fits perfectly with high armholes and trim throughout but not tight anywhere. I identified with the Americana vibe when I got here initially because I'm a little older and perhaps I remember wearing raw denim before it was a thing, but this shirt exemplifies the stripped down, minimalist approach to American clothing that I've come to make my 'uniform'. It has no front placket, no pocket, no darts or pleats anywhere- it's totally clean and the button down collar is not too big nor to small. The length and shape of the bottom hem are also perfect for me. The fabric is royal oxford, which is lighter and softer than regular oxford fabric.When I throw this shirt on with some 4-5 year old denim I look and feel cool because my shit has little stains and rips and what have you that are real. Knowing these little things about this shirt, why it's different and why it works for me gives me enjoyment in wearing it. I hope everyone has something like this in their closet.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2012
    3 people like this.
  10. wogbog

    wogbog Senior member

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    west canada
    Almost two years ago, intoxicated by alcohol and my new pair of Tournaments, I bought a pair of Common Projects canvas Expedition boots. For the next two weeks - customs spent a good while admiring them, apparently - I wondered if I'd made the right decision. Opening the box and putting them on, the answer was an immediate yes. I loved the slight shine of the (waxed?) canvas, the layers of the stacked leather heel, the tarnished metal of the hooks and zipper, and the elegant carved curve of the sole right before the heel. (There's a bunch of little "dashes", a bunch of small scratches, between two layers of the sole, if anyone knows what those are, tell me!) Buying clothes online reminds me of the suspense and joy of being a kid at Christmas. Having seen pictures and done research online, or nagged your parents incessantly, you're reasonably certain of what you'll get. But not 100% certain, there's still the possibility of surprise or disappointment. The materials might look different in person, or feel weird, or the piece might not fit. These boots, like a perfect present, made me glow with delight for days. I'd wanted something like them for longer than I've had a serious interest in fashion and clothes. Five or six years ago, inspired by pictures of The Dillinger Escape Plan or somesuch, I scoured Victoria for the perfect pair of boots, but I was sorely disappointed by the clunkiness and size of Dr Martens, Red Wings, etc. These are what I was looking for: the last is sleek, the shaft is narrow, and they are easy to put on. (Revolve's pictures did a good job of hiding the zipper. Seeing it's pull tab peeking out at the top of one of the boots was the moment I decided to buy them.)

    [​IMG]

    Since getting the boots, I've probably worn them more days than not. They're cool enough for all but Victoria's hottest summer days. (It's a temperate place.) WIth a wool insole, I can wear them all winter, unless it snows. With a Topied sole, they can hold off a decent amount of rain. They've trudged through muddy fields. They've jumped in puddles. Because I walk around a lot, I've never had a pair of shoes last through this much wear, and while they're in need of a new round of Topies, I see no signs that they'll need to be retired soon. I've grown quite attached to them. And the age, in my opinion, has made them look better, wiser; my girlfriend thought they'd come pres-distressed and was surprised to learn that they'd started off black and pristine. By comparison, the Tournaments I mentioned earlier are now haggard; their uppers are torn, their sole has been worn through, and their eyelets are rusty.

    [​IMG]

    Canvas is not your regular boot material, but I love it. It gives a softer impression than leather. I remember rolling my eyes hearing a girl say to another "that dress is so you" in a clothing store, but I can't think of a better way to express it. Canvas is so me. It suits my personality. I was tempted by the leather version of the same boot, but now I think they would have been too strict, too authoritative, too military. Canvas is harder to clean, and the dirt makes it more relaxed. It's imperfect. And it means I can wear them through the spring and summer.

    [​IMG]

    I'll end with two criticisms. First, while the speed hooks are more interesting to look at than another six eyelets would be, the laces tend to fall off of them, especially when I unzip the boots, forcing me to retie. I'm not a huge fan of tying shoelaces. And even though the hooks are pretty, they spend most of their time hidden under my jeans. Second, one of the zippers called it quits after six months. My cobbler replaced it with a less pretty one. It's not too bad because they're hardly visible on the inside of my foot - it took one of my friends a while to even notice they had zippers - but it was still disappointing. Despite these flaws, they're a pair of boots I thoroughly love. Someday I'll probably want to buy another pair of boots, and I hope I can find another pair I like as much. Or half as much, even.

    [​IMG]
     
    14 people like this.
  11. CoMj

    CoMj Member

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    Good job. This is so good, almost too good.
     
  12. El Argentino

    El Argentino Senior member

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    Location:
    Where the Truckee waters flow
    One of my most content moments as of yet was manually rewaxing my Barbour International last Thanksgiving. Here's a photo right after we'd finished:

    [​IMG]

    I'd bought it new off the forum and had worn the crap out of it for almost two years. Jacket went with me over two continents, and something like 8 countries. Areas around the elbows, on the back, etc had almost been worn down to just the base layer of cotton by the time I wised up and began to want to properly "care" for it. So I bought a tin of Barbour wax off of Orvis and took the jacket to my parents' house over Thanksgiving break. One morning while the bunch were out doing shopping or something, my mom and I took 2.5 hours to lay this guy out on the table and just recoat the thing - boiling down the wax, brushing and spreading it across the surface. We were able to chat and catch up a bit, more difficult attending school out of state - she really enjoys DIY type things, and so she thought it was fascinating that I was investing time like this in a garment. She made cider while we watched it dry. It was a great, great memory - I can still remember how crisp and bright the air looked outside through the kitchen window.

    I wear this guy every opportunity I can when the temperature drops below 60 or so. Intend on having him for many years and is one of the few pieces in my wardrobe that have achieved "unsellable" status. Just no way to part with this one.

    Favorite yet pair of jeans is a nice, comfy pair of Pure Blue Japans.

    [​IMG]

    These are about 1.5 years old now, but this photo is from earlier in their life. These guys have been through a lot since I purchased them - originally in a backlashy move against the trend of skinny jeans I picked up the fullest cut on BiG. I remember wearing them w/in the first two weeks, wanting to keep them pristine and the distinct thought of avoiding problems was running through my head as my infant daughter spit up all over me. :satisfied: Well, there that went. But washed them and no big deal. I remember wearing them while standing on a beach in Montevideo watching a winter squall come in off the South Atlantic and just being mesmerized by the forces of nature. Took the LSAT in these guys. They've gotten past the hairy stage and are as soft as anything I've ever felt. Definite win.

    These shortwings are a newer addition to my wardrobe - those who frequent the Alden thread will have heard this story

    [​IMG]

    Bought them last december off of Ebay for a great deal. When I got them, they were almost caked with black polish and residue. They'd been well worn, maybe a little abused. But as my first pair of Aldens I was intent on getting wear and some fantastic looks out of them, having been sucked into the Alden thread and starry-eyed over some of the beautiful shell in there. Starting from zero-knowledge, sought out products, methods, etc. of cleaning them up and restoring them to former glory. I'd brush these things for almost 20 minutes at a time early on. Picked up renovateur and saphir wax paste initially, but then consulted with Mac about how to just clean them up naturally without having to strip them, using something like Renomat. May Saturdays of F/W semester involved late nights after work and water, rubbing, brushing, buffing over and over in almost a mindless sort of routine, usually with some football game streaming over my computer from La Liga or Serie A. They've been getting better and better as I've worn them fairly regularly and continued cleaned them up, and now some of the original #8 color is starting to shine back through. Love them - pair them with almost anything I own. There's a distinct tinge of pleasure as I lace them up knowing how much effort and time I've put into them to bring them back. I've since learned that Alden doesn't currently produce a six-eyelet shortwing balmoral, and so these must be even older than I'd initially imagined. Nice bit of character there that I never even would have noticed but for the forum's help.

    I think that's really the key - not just time, but maybe even making a concerted effort on caring for something. All of these pieces that I love I've invested time in maintaining, time that other articles of clothing don't get. Building that emotional attachment, being able to look back and chart where you've been with a given item (ala that denim post from Synthese) is what really makes an article a part of who you are, engrained in your personal history. Love it.

    Thanks for this thread, Hendrix. Great stuff here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
    15 people like this.
  13. Jabonator

    Jabonator Senior member

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    First of all, great post.

    And as you suspect, I don't want to be an imitation. They are just examples of style/class/swag/whatever I admire.

    I'm really just trying to find my own style, but it takes time and commitment (as I'm cheap and rarely feel good about spending a lot on a single item, and instead buy bunch of shit on sale). My everyday style is skinny jeans and a tee or a plaid shirt, or denim shirt, etc. Pretty much different streetwear basics, jeans, shirts, chinos, cardigans. With Finland's 4 seasons it adds to me not having a consistent look going on (not a bad thing).

    I haven't really got sneakers, although I want to get a pair, probably starting from Chucks or the like. My shoes right now are brown leather chukkas and blue suede bucks. One of the biggest things I admire in Synths fits are his beautiful boots. Definitely want something sleek like his MMMs.

    I've come to appreciate many different aesthetics. But I'm yet to figure out what would best suit me / my body type. My interest in clothing has probably been influenced by my interest in music, somehow.

    I sort of do a bit of different styles - basic SW (I've got an ugly ass faux leather that I need to upgrade, dark skinny jeans and brown chukkas), basic summer uniform (jeans/chinos/shorts + tee), preppier shit (I've got red chinos which I've worn a couple times w a blazer and a shirt when there's been a smart casual dress code). I often wear a black fedora. I guess you could call me a hipster if you wanted to. I know many do - kind of easy to make that assumption when you wear big plastic glasses and a hat. But I've always liked hats.

    Anyways, I'd like to get some good staples to pull off the jeans+boots+tee+blazer look. That's probably the biggest inspiration for me right now. Other than that I don't really have an idea of a look. Just some certain pieces of clothing I'd like to have (well-fitting jeans, chinos, cool leather, scarves, etc). But my sense of style has definitely developed since signing up here, and I'm sure it will continue to do so. I'm still young, I'm in no hurry.
     
  14. Lorcan7

    Lorcan7 Senior member

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  15. max_r

    max_r Senior member

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    I'm not gonna lie, I'm kind of jealous of some of your guys' stories and histories with your stuff.

    The only thing I can think of that I've always been very content about is my old APC new standards. They were my first nice jeans, and the only pair I've had that has fit perfect (imo). I went through pretty much every Levi's cut before I decided I needed to spend more than $40 on jeans. I really love the New Standard cut, I think it works really well for me. My calves must be a bit big for the size of the rest of me, because I can never get skinny cut jeans over them, and most slim jeans need to be sized up 2 just to avoid the skin-tight calf look. New Standards, however, fit great; very close in the thigh and calf without feeling or looking too tight. I bought them lightly used from someone on here 3 years ago. If I remember correctly, I made my account here just so I could PM the guy selling them. I had fucked up the sizing on the pair I'd ordered from context (bought a size 30 and wore them for a week before deciding I needed to sell them and go smaller).

    They were my only jeans until just recently, worn daily for a year and a half, maybe two years back in university, and then relegated to weekend wear when I got a real job and had to start wearing suits every day. They've been soaked maybe 3 or 4 times (when they started to smell) and machine washed probably 8 times in close succession (with lots of bleach). For a few months before I got a new pair of APC's I'd been itching for a pair of light washed jeans, and had the overwhelming urge to throw them in the washing machine with some bleach. One day I was a bit bored and thought, fuck it, I'll bleach them, so I asked synthese how much bleach he used to bleach his, but he didn't remember. I tried only using a cup of bleach at a time, but the going was slow and they weren't lightening up much so I got a bit frustrated and put in 1.5 liters of bleach all at once and they came out like this

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    They came out a bit lighter than I envisioned, but I'm really happy with the way they turned out. Still super comfortable and my favorite jeans ever. I've gone through about 3 or 4 phones since I got these jeans, so the phone fade outline on the back pocket is kind of all over the place.

    They did have crotch blow out at one point which I tried to patch myself by hand-sewing a patch to the inside (the thread was originally black, but turned beige when I bleached them), but the hand-stitching didn't really hold up and they continued to deteriorate. Luckily I got my hands on a working sewing machine and was able to stitch them over with some light blue thread that is practically invisible, and they're holding up great. The patch is a bit ugly, but very few people see it so I don't really care. It adds character.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The button hole also finally gave way when I washed them, so I crudely patched that as well

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Its really nice to have a pair of jeans that go with everything I wear, so I can just throw them on and forget about them. Their story might not be as sexy as synthese's and the only camera I have to use is an iphone, but I hope you guys enjoy the pictures and story.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
    15 people like this.
  16. GoldenTribe

    GoldenTribe Senior member

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    Some hardware I like: (JV linen-blend jacket, Y's waistcoat, RSxFP polo -- I don't actually wear them all together)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And on the hardware note, the Raf chain shoes were just the completion of a metal ornamentation trifecta begun with a pair of Alexander McQueen fw11 Spazalatto cap-toe shoes:

    [​IMG]

    They have a gold guard at the rear as well:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
    5 people like this.
  17. Blackmaged

    Blackmaged Senior member

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    missing them helmut lang metal heel derbies though :teach:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  18. GoldenTribe

    GoldenTribe Senior member

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    Nice, are those yours?

    I considered the gold MJ ss12 rip-offs -- even saw them on sale -- but meh. I'm quite content :D:foo::slayer: with the three I have.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  19. Blackmaged

    Blackmaged Senior member

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    haha i wish they were mine! they actually popped up on ebay a while back, ended at like $500 or some ridiculous figure. the picture is courtesy of sufu's RP thread.

    didn't really like the MJ rips, not a fan of the shape.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
  20. StanleyVanBuren

    StanleyVanBuren Senior member

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    I want to do this to mine now.

    Does anyone want to give me a reason not to?
     
    2 people like this.

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