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The Look goes on...

Thin White Duke

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As I cruised thru the last 4 pages or so of this thread, I found myself saying, "Hey Siri, play The Jam"...
Better yet get some visuals ...


Without intending to I’ve done approximations of all three lads’ looks in this video.

I have a boating jacket like Weller’s but mine is navy with a sky double track stripe.

I have beige suits in cotton twill and linen similar to Rick’s. The linen is definitely more casual but I wear the cotton one for work with saturated blue shirt and gold and blue repp tie.

And Bruce’s look is text book navy blazer sky blue shirt and grey strides. I wouldn’t wear white trainers (I think they are his Kios boots that were popular for a minute back then) but often travel with navy blazer, sky popover and grey strides.

Looks like my look hasn’t gone on much since 1979 - either I’m stuck in the past or else the choosing of good quality gear in a not outrageous style can look good no matter what decade you’re in!
 

mhip

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I grew up in Southern California. There was a Mod movement here, but it was sadly, as you guys mentioned earlier, mainly known for parkas with The Who patches and multi-mirrored scooters.
Early 80s look here was Ocean Pacific shorts and shirts, Vans shoes. Dress up was Levi corduroys, Left Bank and Kensington shirts and Members Only jackets.
 

Thin White Duke

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Ah Members Only - VH1 was doing a thing about the 1980s and mentioned Members Only as “The Jacket of the Gods!”:colgate:

(For anyone unfamiliar it’s really the jacket of old geezers in baggy chinos or dad jeans and orthopedic shoes who think they’re being hip and trendy cos they’re wearing a blouson!)
 

Swampster

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Looks like my look hasn’t gone on much since 1979 - either I’m stuck in the past or else the choosing of good quality gear in a not outrageous style can look good no matter what decade you’re in!
I think Bruce and Rick could easily walk down the street today and not be thought of as 'dressing up'.

Thinking about Jane Austen and the Look, there is actually a link for me, albeit a rather tenuous one. I always loved the Regency period - imagine just being a dandy and nothing else .
I think the early English dandyism with its look being much more austere than that of the fops but with an extreme attention to quality and detail is a spiritual ancestor of later styles. The military and 'country life' styles also shows through. I'm thinking of the Arthur Wellesley type, rather than the continental version of, say, Joachim Murat.
Later on, foppishness and dandyism get thought of as much of a muchness.
 

mhip

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Ah Members Only - VH1 was doing a thing about the 1980s and mentioned Members Only as “The Jacket of the Gods!”:colgate:

(For anyone unfamiliar it’s really the jacket of old geezers in baggy chinos or dad jeans and orthopedic shoes who think they’re being hip and trendy cos they’re wearing a blouson!)
(and early 80s Southern Cali high school kids)
 

Thin White Duke

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I think Bruce and Rick could easily walk down the street today and not be thought of as 'dressing up'.


I think the early English dandyism with its look being much more austere than that of the fops but with an extreme attention to quality and detail is a spiritual ancestor of later styles. The military and 'country life' styles also shows through. I'm thinking of the Arthur Wellesley type, rather than the continental version of, say, Joachim Murat.
Later on, foppishness and dandyism get thought of as much of a muchness.
I remember the late lamented Glenn O’Brien lamenting the evolution of the word ‘dandy’ into being synonymous with overtly flamboyant and attention seeking when it’s origin meant quite the opposite. Not exactly austere but demure, sharp and well fitted which is the legacy we owe to Brummell in his navy jacket and beige strides.

Mind I could live without the stories of him taking several hours to get dressed each day and having a basket of discarded neck cloths just because they didn’t tie quite right!
 

Oneflewover

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How do you guys approach it?
Not surprising in a way when the crumpled look appears at odds with our usual philosophy that sharp is best. I have found that to obtain a linen fabric that behaves well, you need to go for something heavier, which appears to defeat its purpose to some extent.

How do you guys approach it?
I don't try and mix it at all, one or the other. Either try to look 'sharp' or give up on it all together.
 

Yorky

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Me too - so tedious. Despite not liking her or many of the other characters, I found myself enjoying the book. I was left wondering if liking / relating to characters is a prerequisite for enjoying a story. Until then I had rather thought it was...

Thinking about Jane Austen and the Look, there is actually a link for me, albeit a rather tenuous one. I always loved the Regency period - imagine just being a dandy and nothing else - and was drawn to the many references to fashionable society in her books. I was not disappointed when I came to read them.
In the early 80's, I had a couple of Regency style jackets MTM, which where DB 5x5 and very high fastening with large collar and lapels.One was black mohair number and the other a grey and black stripe, I had bought an original 60's one from a vintage shop and got my tailor to copy it, they were fine to wear to mod events, but got a lot of attention on a Saturday night out in my home town.
 

am55

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But the most striking feature of the book is Mike’s inability to wean himself from the atmosphere of school. He enters upon his job without any pretence of enthusiasm, and his main desire is not, as one might expect, to find a more interesting and useful job, but simply to be playing cricket. When he has to find himself lodgings he chooses to settle at Dulwich, because there he will be near a school and will be able to hear the agreeable sound of the ball striking against the bat. The climax of the book comes when Mike gets the chance to play in a county match and simply walks out of his job in order to do so.
...
Through the books of this and the next period there passes a whole series of young men to whom playing games and ‘keeping fit’ are a sufficient life-work. Wodehouse is almost incapable of imagining a desirable job. The great thing is to have money of your own, or, failing that, to find a sinecure. The hero of Something Fresh (1915) escapes from low-class journalism by becoming physical-training instructor to a dyspeptic millionaire: this is regarded as a step up, morally as well as financially.
...
If one compares Bertie Wooster with Mike, or even with the rugger-playing prefects of the earliest school stories, one sees that the only real difference between them is that Bertie is richer and lazier.
...
Conceived in 1917 or thereabouts, Bertie really belongs to an epoch earlier than that. He is the ‘knut’ of the pre-1914 period, celebrated in such songs as ‘Gilbert the Filbert’ or ‘Reckless Reggie of the Regent’s Palace’. The kind of life that Wodehouse writes about by preference, the life of the ‘clubman’ or ‘man about town’, the elegant young man who lounges all the morning in Piccadilly with a cane under his arm and a carnation in his button-hole, barely survived into the nineteen-twenties.
Orwell on P. G. Wodehouse

The thread is taking a bit of a Midnight in Paris turn! To Wodehouse as per Orwell, it was the 1900s, to Mr K, the Regency era? To Proust, the fin de (19eme) siecle: "how paradoxical it is to seek in reality for the pictures that are stored in one's memory, which must inevitably lose the charm that comes to them from memory itself and from their not being apprehended by the senses ... The places that we have known belong now only to the little world of space on which we map them for our own convenience" (closing paragraph of Swann's Way).

I think the dandy is eternal, and shape shifting, an attitude to life rather than a specific time and place, however much we wish our life experiences to frame it thus. And it may not be possible where you are, now, maybe one has to move to find it, but it exists. I enjoyed MMCD's article on the resurgence of the 1930s in the 1970s, and the possibility of a certain tasteful dandyism within. Whatever your look, it can go rather than have gone on, as the (now dated?) Owen Wilson discovers in the movie.
 

am55

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My own Wodehouse "schoolyears", style-wise, harkens to the family late spring lunches under the apple trees outside the family home, up in the mountains. Pristine Parisian Saabs with mirror-polished windows and a hint of chrome parked by a scratched, well used Mercedes coupe with five times the power, directly on the field, a few hints of cowpat decorating the lower half of the unfortunately driven; my uncle smoking his cigar on a side table with a good finger or two of whisky in a jagged mass of centenary-old crystal; open necked white or light blue shirts for the fathers, still the blazer and tie for the patriarchal grandfathers; the contrast between the silverware and the surrounding nature; kids in then popular overalls running wildly in the distance, building wood huts whilst the adults sipped coffee for an hour before beginning the shift towards dinner preparations. I know there are many French readers probably nodding right now, maybe with a smell of plane trees and hot dust instead of apple flowers and growing wheat and dandelions on a background of wood smoke, but the core is I think quite national.

Is it anachronistic to dress for this today, yes, but it took me a decade or more to get away from it even a little. Once you are "programmed" like TWD it is hard for some to change their aesthetics...
 

Mr Knightley

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Very thoughtful as ever @am55 😊

I have over the years sought out the ‘eternal dandy’ in literature - in Proust, Wodehouse and elsewhere - as I have always been very attracted to the idea of ‘being sufficient to oneself’. The man alone and all that. We find so few people in life like that and perhaps that is why I spend time in this virtual world discussing these fine ideas!
 

Thin White Duke

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... We find so few people in life like that and perhaps that is why I spend time in this virtual world discussing these fine ideas!
Well the main reason I created the blog was to have somewhere to add to the discussion not just about clothes and style but a particular subset thereof. A couple of mates with whom I came through the revival still have an interest in the look but our conversations would have been an infrequent exchange via email. Also, I believe that most / all of what we wear is informed by the past. There’s nothing new under the sun so the leaders of fashion houses have to keep reinventing as Wilde said, to get us to keep buying - but more often than not their reinventions are just retreads of ideas from the past with tweaks here and there.

I did a post last year on the influence of the eighties and nineties, and mentioned how Ultravox and Japan had a period in which their style was directly influenced by the forties. Reading @am55 ’s post about how the feint whiff of a partly-imagined past still haunts our memories, I seem to remember Midge Ure saying Vienna was influenced by The Third Man (then later retracting that) but either way the video was costuming was an imagining of style from the forties.
 

Kingstonian

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Me too - so tedious. Despite not liking her or many of the other characters, I found myself enjoying the book. I was left wondering if liking / relating to characters is a prerequisite for enjoying a story. Until then I had rather thought it was...

Thinking about Jane Austen and the Look, there is actually a link for me, albeit a rather tenuous one. I always loved the Regency period - imagine just being a dandy and nothing else - and was drawn to the many references to fashionable society in her books. I was not disappointed when I came to read them.
The reality was that there were more peasants and street urchins than gentlefolk.

Keeping a roof over your head and putting food on the table were major concerns.
 

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