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Thin White Duke

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On another non style related forum I look at, whenever someone asks for advice along the lines of needing a suit for a wedding or other event, there is always a plethora of people advising to get one from George at Asda as you can throw it out afterwards. Even my brother - hardly a sartorial icon but he knows me well enough - when I told him that last time I went home to England I took one dark navy suit plus shirt and tie just in case there was a funeral or impromptu wedding invitation, he replied that if it was him he would have just bought a cheap one if necessary and then thrown it out later.

This seems to be the modern mentality, that more formal clothing is used so rarely it’s now disposable like a Bic razor.

Anyway as for smart casual - here’s a cross post from the MC casual thread. Details on the blog ...

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cerneabbas

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I have seen similar advice about suits TWD.
As you say it is a modern mentality and not just about clothes,they will buy a tent etc for a camping holiday and chuck it in the campsite skip when they leave...look on YouTube for the aftermath of Glastonbury field after field of tents,mattress's etc etc waiting to be bulldozed.
 

Clouseau

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On another non style related forum I look at, whenever someone asks for advice along the lines of needing a suit for a wedding or other event, there is always a plethora of people advising to get one from George at Asda as you can throw it out afterwards. Even my brother - hardly a sartorial icon but he knows me well enough - when I told him that last time I went home I took one dark navy suit plus shirt and tie just in case there was a funeral or impromptu weeding invitation, he replied that if it was him he would have just bought a cheap one if necessary and thrown it out.

This seems to be the modern mentality, that more formal clothing is used so rarely it’s now disposable like a Bic razor.

Anyway as for smart casual - here’s a cross post from the MC casual thread. Details on the blog ...

View attachment 1283733View attachment 1283734
I think there is a new concept that is 'Junk clothing'. Like junk food : cheap, wear it a couple of times, then flush the toilets.
 

Yorky

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I have liked MrK and Clouseau's posts because I think that this could be a good and necessary debate.

Work apart there seem very few occasions now in my life where wearing a suit would be necessary or even appropriate,sad but true I suspect for 99% of the UK population.

With the rise of central heating I feel that virtually any gathering will see the blokes in shirt sleeves in no time.

I think that (unfortunately) Clouseau is correct that times have changed,I wish that it wasnt so but we have to make the best of the time that we are in.

As for Clouseau's point about business men wearing suits,the majority of suits that I see being worn by people in their workplace are ill fitting and look like they were bought in Matalan etc,just look at most politicians here...or rather dont look at them.
Even in the late 60s early 70s Bowler hats could be seen but again times have changed.
There seem to be few places that enforce a dress code now and I suspect that any place that tried to enforce smart dress would not last very long (sadly).
So I think that the dreaded 'smart casual' is probably as 'dressed up' as 99% of people are going to get 99% of the time.

I have said before that I dont mind wearing a Harrington,OCBD,wool trousers and decent shoes together,the jacket will probably come off soon after arrival at destination anyway and it is practical for wearing in the car and probably a bit better protection against cold or wet weather than a Blazer.

I think that 'smart casual' is probably the type of dress most relevant to TLGO.
I tend to agree with your comments, although when I go out to a decent place for dinner with the wife, I will still wear a suit or blazer/jacket and trousers combo. But unfortunately the other Patrons do not adhere to my own personal tastes. The same applies to my better half,who has never been into my style but dresses to the nines in clothes by her favourite designers, Chloe, Stella McCartney, Joseph, etc etc.
Having said that we often get compliments from other people, and find it a bit sad that they have to conform to what is now the norm.
I have never worked in a place that required a business dress e.g. a coal mine, but have worn many a Donkey Jacket. When I was made redundant I went into lecturing/ assessing in Electrical engineering, where I predominately wore smart casual, and possibly a jacket and tie to meetings with clients.
Going to a New Years meal at Harvey Nics Leeds and have bought a dark blue Velvet Double Breasted jacket to wear to it from TK Maxx by Feraud, still considering the rest of the outfit.
 

Jimmy Balantyne

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I was reflecting further on the comments by @Kingstonian about the Harrington not being my forte. I noted too that similar views were expressed on the new FC thread relative to Frank Sinatra. And having reflected on the point I do now have some sympathy with that view.

Growing up in the late 1960s it was an aspiration to look just as good in your casual gear on Friday night at the local as it was to shine in your mohair on a Saturday at Ilford Palais. Never off duty.

But can a blouson and jeans or cotton trousers ever look as good as a three-piece bespoke suit or blazer and POW trou? It might appear more appropriate in certain casual settings, but to use Kingstonian's words it may lack the gravitas of a more formal fit. The structure and cut of a really good jacket can help to disguise imperfections and want of proportion in our bodies.

Whatever the quality of a Harrington, it is unlikely to achieve this same effect. Most Harringtons are too short on me but the sleeves always feel long. Add to that the complete lack of structure and the issues start to mount up.

So, maybe all we can look for in casual wear is the very best quality and cut we can afford (perhaps spending a little more than we can really afford) and rely on those qualities to carry the day. Casual wear is important. We only have to look at some igents who spurn casual clothes to see just how ‘wrong’ they can look in certain settings. But will it ever bring us, the wearers, the same satisfaction as a really good suit or tailored jacket and trousers and will it ever convey the same visual appeal to onlookers?
The two are very different vibes and each has its place but for me, there's nothing quite like a well-tailored sports jacket with a good shirt. I've never been one for suits, I've had a few but they very rarely get worn and often, by the time they do, they're out of date. The myth of the suit that won't go out of style, is exactly that, a myth. The confidence inspired by a good sports jacket/blazer is incredible. For me, clothes, like manners, are armour. Peace Mr, Knightly.
 

Kingstonian

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I must confess that I do own two Harringtons including a beige one. Used to have three - gave one to my brother.

They are handy at times but I do find they are commonplace and a bit boring now. If someone of my vintage is wearing them I wonder if they wore one in the 60s.

As regards collar and tie and suits, it is nice to go up town because I can wear my old kit and fit in like I have just come from work. No questions asked. Local Wetherspoon is a bit more problematic unless I pop in on the way back from town.

Raynes Park Wetherspoon even has one customer who wears a cravat. Looks like a former academic or civil servant type. Drinks shorts until his large, overbearing wife comes in for him.

More typical is the retired chap who seems to wear PE kit all year round shorts, trainers etc but with a flat cap also worn indoors. All human life is there as one of the newspaper straplines used to say.
 

Botolph

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The two are very different vibes and each has its place but for me, there's nothing quite like a well-tailored sports jacket with a good shirt. I've never been one for suits, I've had a few but they very rarely get worn and often, by the time they do, they're out of date. The myth of the suit that won't go out of style, is exactly that, a myth. The confidence inspired by a good sports jacket/blazer is incredible. For me, clothes, like manners, are armour. Peace Mr, Knightly.

I, too, rarely wear suits and am more of an odd jacket/sport coat or blazer guy. I concur with the “...confidence inspired by a good sports jacket/blazer...”. If I go out to dinner with the misses, to my local for a couple, or to Mass I’m in a jacket and nice shirt. If I’m at the bar I’m probably wearing jeans. Mass or “date night” I’d be wearing wool trousers and a tie as well.
That sport coat though... it always comes through in style.
Might do that harrington challenge though, I have a few and like the look.
*EDIT* Wow, total stream-of-consciousness post here.
 
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am55

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Clouseau

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Mr Knightley

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As @cerneabbas said this could be a very good and necessary debate. I think it is, but I was not really commenting on the declining standards in menswear (and in many other things) in my post, although I may have hinted at that decline.

I was really posing the question – thinking of @Kingstonian 's original point – as to whether a (good) blouson can ever convey the same sense of style and occasion as a (good) suit. I was not thinking about the plain man who buys his suits and his onesies at Primark or Asda, drives a new £70K Range Rover but drives it in dirty trainers and a t-shirt.

I suppose, in response, you guys were saying that in very few settings today can a suit ever look ‘right’ and hence the need to dress more casually. But doesn’t that depend on where you go and what you do?

I am looking forward to the current FC to see whether a smart blouson can indeed outshine a fine CM fit.

@Yorky your post reminded me that the navy velvet jacket became, for a short time in the late 1970s, a serious alternative to the navy blazer. I saw businessmen in France and Belgium sporting them during the day with grey flannel trousers and loafers and did my best to copy that look. Today I would advise checking out (if you haven’t already) the thread on the CM boards ‘The State of Black Tie’ which focuses on evening wear in a broad sense. May be helpful for your New Year bash. BTW Mrs Yorky sounds a very stylish lady!
 

Clouseau

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I think it is a bit like comparing French food to Chinese food. It can't compare !
Both can be excellent or terrible...
And anyway it is subjective : a young SW&D guy will most probably find ridiculous and dated a "Fine CM suit" and vice versa...
So it is an irrelevant debate imho...
 

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