The Look goes on...

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by Mr Knightley, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. cerneabbas

    cerneabbas Senior member

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    I can relate too a lot of this as I have quite a lot of tattoos,in my case nothing below the elbows or neck / face / head..so wearing a short sleeve shirt and trousers nothing shows.

    The reactions of people who have known me for years but have never seen my tattoos can be hilarious when they do see them,some people become negative,but on occasion women who haven't taken any interest before suddenly become friendly,usually non tattooed women, I never follow this interest up as I find that a bit strange.

    I agree about not wanting or needing to dress like a hooligan,in fact I don't dress to attract attention ( I tend to dress for my own 'gratification' if that's the right expression ).

    I also see these types who seem to have become skinheads / hooligans / bikers in middle age and I give them a wide berth the same as the 'still a skinhead at 55 mob' or the re-enactment lads, one of the oddest things for me is the guys with both arms completely sleeved and no other tattoos,usually with a large gold earing and a large dog on a chain..LOOK AT ME,please look at me !

    People ( myself included as you have just seen ) are quite judgemental about appearances,I am sure this goes back to ancient times where you had to look at someone and make a quick decision if they were safe or dangerous,fight or flee...the Look for me should be a bit understated,innocuos,even boring to someone who sees me,toned down as you say.

    As I have said before one of the great things about wanting 'the Look' now is that because there is no definitive style as in the skinhead period for instance,we can be more creative and experiment,I would be the first to admit that I have got it wrong many times,this is one reason why this thread is so interesting to me,to see what other peoples ideas are.
     


  2. Kingstonian

    Kingstonian Senior member

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    It is very difficult to buy quality these days. If I could shop down the High Street I would be happier, but I cannot. I have to seek stuff out. Whereas as decades ago it mostly was all there for you.

    I saw several coats that looked really good but were obviously decades old on pensioners who had them forever presumably.


    The association of clothes with individuals is a difficult one. It seems a pity to avoid decent stuff that is not particularly flash just to avoid wisecracks. If it was costume then that is different. Yet you could probably walk into a pub in cargo shorts in winter and nobody would say anything. Funny old world.
    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015


  3. Botolph

    Botolph Senior member

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    I'm pretty much in your boat, AYP. I don't want to look like some hooligan or tough guy like I might have even into my early 30s... My arms are pretty well-covered in tattoos and even with a long sleeve shirt my wrists show, as of course do my knuckle tattoos. The way I dress and the way I present myself are certainly at odds(to the surprised observer) with my tattoos. My wife's family are somewhat well-to-do Washington folk and they find me at least a curiosity as I'm an uneducated, guy who comes from a meager working class family, having grown up in a mill town in Central Massachusetts. They find me amusing I guess.
    Weather depending, I go for the Baracuda/mac, jeans/chinos, buttondown shirt or polo(Fred Perry, John Smedley, whatever), and brogues/loafers look. Nice and neat. Even though this seems like an obvious look in England to our forum-mates, you and I in America have the advantage of "the Look" not being as mainstream or well-known, and we wouldn't be looked upon as "skinhead" or "mod" or whatever by 99% of the gen pop. People think you're a well-dressed guy, and that's about it.
    Now as far as the "mid-life crisis skins" in your neck of the woods, I know pretty much what and whom you're talking about and it's embarrassing from three-thousand miles away, never mind in your own city. Like my wife, a former(and might I add elegantly-dressed) skinhead girl said, the skinhead thing was a "youth subculture". One would hope that having the hindsight of a 21-year old(never mind a 40+ year-old!!!!) would steer one clear of any sort of subculture-related look, as that ship should have sailed by adulthood. Alas, this internet is a double-edged sword and with the click of a mouse people can "rediscover" their youth, whether real or imagined. Sad, really.


    I have a sort of opposite situation in the case of meeting people for the first time who might have preconceived notions: In my profession(professional musician), when "normal/straight/regular" people meet me, typically the first thing they say is, "wow, you look so normal", or "you don't look like a punk rocker!", etc. And to the latter I always say, "that's because I'm not a punk rocker and I never was". Of course, especially in America, I'm not going to say, "I was a skinhead...", as of course you have to qualify that with so much crap and I'm not going to explain or justify myself to the world.

    Yeah the nice thing about the look is you CAN sort of pick and choose different aspects of it that work together as some sort of continuum of style... though at all our advanced ages(haha) we can leave out the bleached skin-tight jeans with matching jacket, Ronald McDonald cherry red boots with bright colored laces, and a flight jacket with a million patches and badges on it. We can and should leave the '80s and '90s behind, even if others our age(s) won't or are newly embracing it(so embarrassing).
    I'm sure most here have got the look wrong over the years, and with time and experience have refined their personal style and know what does and doesn't work for their body type, as well as stepped away from anything that might just make them simply look like a clown or caricature with ill-fitting clothes.


    It certainly is tough to buy quality unless you want to drop a ton on your clothes. Here in Boston I usually stick with J. Press --who can pretty much do no wrong as far as I'm concerned; I look just fine in a sack jacket-- or Brooks Brothers for some items like the Advantage Chinos, socks, some shoes, and few other things. Other than that it L.L. Bean or other "established" labels for v-neck lambswool sweaters and such. Unfortunately some of the other miscellaneous items tend to be mailorder.

    That is the double-edged sword with the clothes association. I had a Tootal-type silk scarf on when me and the boys were going to the hockey game, and a buddy made a crack about how he should have taken the T(underground) with me so he could have gotten one of those free ascots... But you know, as much as (yeah)we dress for other people, we still gotta make ourselves happy, too.
    A lot of my old pals have pretty much given up on looking good, and fair play to them. Most of us are out of the game(violence-wise as well as ladies-wise) and are married-- but I still like to look good. It just makes me feel good. My Dad, bless him, is a Hawiian shirt, bowling shirt, or company polo shirt and cargo shorts almost year-round kind of guy, but his father was a nice chinos, buttondowns, golf jacket sort of fellow, and my other grandfather was an army man and even in his 80s he dresses well. My grandsires influenced my look so much so that my Dad(a longer-haired rocker to this day), said that my Grampy, if he were alive when I was a little skinhead, would have loved the short hair, neat clothes, etc.

    He also asked if I go running in my wing-tips(brogues)!! Haha.

    I know it was a Facebook page and is some weird film thing, but the term "the Neat Offensive" is pretty apt in describing how I present myself in a world of sloppy, scruffy, unkempt people.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015


  4. covskin

    covskin Senior member

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    Too much to agree with here.

    For the record I was a skinhead until I grew up properly around 21 but enjoyed my ma1 and Solovairs (black! 8 hole!) this winter, though was careful to avoid the 'full house' of Fred Perry, button down shirt, etc. Not a single tattoo on me, I got a downer on tattoos as a teenager from having mates with teardrops and the like, but to be quite honest if I got a tattoo it would be on my face and be done with it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015


  5. AngryYoungPoor

    AngryYoungPoor Senior member

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    I'm sure you do know who I'm talking about haha! Mr. "Old firm casuals" (who, for the record, was told by yours truly how mixed up that name is haha) started quite a "movement " out here. He also got a whole crew of former Ravers and club kids to shave their heads and sign up with him hahaha, so you can understand my urgency in distancing myself from that lot.
    I'm a BIG J Press fan! I went on a Press tweed Sport Coat bender last autumn and have acquired quite a tidy collection. Between them, the aforementioned LL Bean and O'Connells, my wages don't stand a chance haha.
    I've had a similar experience to you with my ex wife's family. They were VERY traditional Chinese folks and just could not see past the tattoos (although it does not seem that you have that issue) and blue collar thing (even though I was university educated, owned my own business and treated their daughter like a queen.. I was definitely from the wrong side of the tracks haha. Racism at its finest haha
    My current wife's family are amazing and I can do no wrong with them, they are a close knit , Mexican family and I'm much more suited to that scene haha. Did your Mrs. "Come up" in the DC area? I'm from Baltimore and know quite a few folks from DC, I also spent quite a bit of time in Boston, so I'd be REALLY surprised if we did not cross paths at some point.

     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2015


  6. cerneabbas

    cerneabbas Senior member

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    I agree that finding quality is difficult these days,for me it can either mean making a tedious journey or taking pot luck online,and you still don't get the quality of yesteryear.

    I saw a pensioner wearing an ancient but good quality coat a few weeks ago and remarked to my workmate that you couldn't buy a quality coat now that would last as long.

    I guess that with tv and the internet there can hardly be a recognisable item of clothing that has not become associated with some character.

    Also with you on the winter cargo shorts wearer and/or the t shirt in pouring rain/freezing cold, I am happy not to understand that mentality.
     


  7. cerneabbas

    cerneabbas Senior member

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    Summer made a brief but welcome appearance here this week and has made me think about short sleeve shirts,many years ago I liked the bright check BD shirts but they have become a bit OTT for me now,the M&S ones are ok but not that well fitted,I find that they tend to balloon out around the waist,back in the day I would have gone for a Ben Sherman but not now,anybody wear short sleeve BDs now ? or have they become too associated with workwear ?.
     


  8. AngryYoungPoor

    AngryYoungPoor Senior member

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    I actually ordered a few short sleeved madras shirts from Lands End a couple of months ago. I found the fit to be spot on (although I did order one size down from what I normally wear) and the quality to price ratio was certainly in my favor.


     


  9. kicksinstyle

    kicksinstyle Well-Known Member

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    Been away for a bit and catching up on this thread... welcome AYP! I'm in Oakland and like Botolph I caught your drift in this post... enough said...
     


  10. AngryYoungPoor

    AngryYoungPoor Senior member

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    Thanks for the welcome KIS! Yeah, I'm sure you know all about that nonsense haha. Are you originally from Oakland? I'm sure we know some of the same folks haha.
     


  11. kicksinstyle

    kicksinstyle Well-Known Member

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    I'm actually from near Glasgow, Scotland funnily enough, but I've been in the bay area for 20 years, first the Mission in SF then Oakland since 2000. Got out at the right time I reckon!
     


  12. AngryYoungPoor

    AngryYoungPoor Senior member

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    I was born in Leith! We moved to the U.S. When I was six but I've been in SF for almost 12 years now. How funny!


    Hahaha
     


  13. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    A belated reply.

    First M&S. I was in London earlier for a meeting and walked back to Liverpool Street looking for anything at all that may interest me. Found a new (to me) large multi floor M&S near Bank station. I went to the menswear floor and found some stuff that looked nice but didn't stand close inspection. I got as far as trying on a made in Italy suit in a lovely navy fabric with dark horn (look) buttons. But the shape was completely wrong. Sleeves were too wide and long but the body was too short and tight. Crap really and it was the most expensive suit I saw there. They also had a 'Savile Row' range which was equally misconceived - bright blue suits with five or six brown cuff buttons, that kind of thing. Let's say the Look is not currently alive and well in M&S sadly.

    I still wear the odd short sleeve BD. Mine are all PRL and 'custom fit'. I have a couple of medium which are a bit slim but the large are good for me. I only tend to wear them on holiday or under a piece of knitwear because of that very association.
     


  14. Kingstonian

    Kingstonian Senior member

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    There are a couple of Marks that fit the bill. One near Leadenhall Market and one near Moorgate. Ede and Ravenscroft is a more interesting shop near Leadenhall Market and there is a small outfitters called Copperfields near Moorgate which does interesting stuff like Wensum suits.

    I still wear short sleeve button downs. Madras type ones. I have a couple from O'Connell's - supposed to be guaranteed to bleed. Not so.

    Long sleeves have more gravitas though. A good plain blue BD is very useful. Even on polos long sleeves stand out as a classier option - particularly when the weather is not that warm.
     


  15. Mr Knightley

    Mr Knightley Senior member

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    I like the Moorgate area. I found a great old-fashioned barber there selling nice shaving products called F Flittner, I recall. No doubt you know it.

    Actually, the Marks I went into earlier was close to Leadenhall Market - perhaps I misjudged it...
     


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