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The perils of overdoing it.

John Ellis

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Originally Posted by Fade to Black
i think you guys are thinking too much about this subject

Actually I don't think so. The reason it has provoked so much input, apart from garrulousness including mine, is because it lies at the heart of the sartorial interest that motivates this site. Most people here recognize dressing well in 2008is something of a minority interest despite the vast amounts of money spent on men's clothes. Normal egoism therefore dictates we are interested in how we are perceived and whether choices that push the envelope help or hinder that perception.
 

Fade to Black

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yeah but i think it would be more stylish if people didn't get so hung up over nitty gritty details and just wore the clothes with no fuss.
 

John Ellis

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Originally Posted by Fade to Black
yeah but i think it would be more stylish if people didn't get so hung up over nitty gritty details and just wore the clothes with no fuss.

But it's not a nitty gritty detail is it? Were talking about one of the fundamental fault lines of our little Zeitgeist.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by John Ellis
But it's not a nitty gritty detail is it? Were talking about one of the fundamental fault lines of our little Zeitgeist.

Zeitgeist would dictate against wearing classic, tailored clothing to begin with. In the day and age of 'green', the hybrid car (well, specifically the Prius, since it's the only one that sells), and tie-less presidential candidates, really expensive bespoke clothes are exceedingly incorrect.
 

Despos

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Originally Posted by Fade to Black
yeah but i think it would be more stylish if people didn't get so hung up over nitty gritty details and just wore the clothes with no fuss.

Take a look at the coffee sites and see the rituals people go thru to make a cup of coffee.
 

academe

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
In the day and age of 'green', the hybrid car (well, specifically the Prius, since it's the only one that sells)...really expensive bespoke clothes are exceedingly incorrect.
I actually think of bespoke or even MTM clothing as being more green. You're buying from what are often small businesses, probably with better working conditions and labour practices than mass produced RTW. You're also buying fabrics and clothes whose method of construction means that they are likely to last you many more years than RTW, and are consequently less "disposable."
 

John Ellis

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
Zeitgeist would dictate against wearing classic, tailored clothing to begin with. In the day and age of 'green', the hybrid car (well, specifically the Prius, since it's the only one that sells), and tie-less presidential candidates, really expensive bespoke clothes are exceedingly incorrect.

"of our little Zeitgeist"

I do wish posters would read comments more carefully. This was not a comment about the wider zeitgeist but our own somewhat narrower one.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by John Ellis
"of our little Zeitgeist"

I do wish posters would read comments more carefully. This was not a comment about the wider zeitgeist but our own somewhat narrower one.


"Out little Zeitgeist" is not exactly clear. At any rate, this only goes to show the problem with your thinking. You're referring to the 'zeitgeist' of a particular group of people. Why is it more relevant than another group? It appears that we choose which groups we associate with, and thus, the 'zeitgeist' that is relevant to ourselves.
 

John Ellis

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
"Out little Zeitgeist" is not exactly clear. At any rate, this only goes to show the problem with your thinking. You're referring to the 'zeitgeist' of a particular group of people. Why is it more relevant than another group? It appears that we choose which groups we associate with, and thus, the 'zeitgeist' that is relevant to ourselves.

You do seem to have some comprehension problems. "Our little zeitgeist" is an fairly easy to understand concept if your recognize the world is full of little specialized sub culture Zeitgeists and that's what we're talking about here. Judging by your prose I can see that fairly easy to understand concepts aren't really your thing, or maybe you just like muddying the water, either way it's fairly irrelevant to our theme.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by John Ellis
You do seem to have some comprehension problems. "Our little zeitgeist" is an fairly easy to understand concept if your recognize the world is full of little specialized sub culture Zeitgeists and that's what we're talking about here. Judging by your prose I can see that fairly easy to understand concepts aren't really your thing, or maybe you just like muddying the water, either way it's fairly irrelevant to our theme.

I'll ignore your insults and persist in pointing out that the existence of numerous "specialized sub culture Zeitgeists" renders your advice that "we" should make sure not to "step over the line" and be wary of the "fault lines of our little Zeitgetst" even more inane.

You assume there is a well-defined "we," and that's the problem. Can you see why?
 

WestIndianArchie

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Originally Posted by John Ellis

>This thought is provoked by a lengthy thread about the appropriateness of getting a particular rather heavy and loud tweed made up for essentially urban wear.

>I submit there is a very fine dividing line between looking stylish and being an object of admiration, and on the other hand looking something of a caricature that evokes humor rather than respect.

>The first thing that needs to be said is that if you are very well and stylishly dressed in the USA or most of Europe, you are going to get noticed anyway.

>This being the case it behooves us to practise a little moderation and restraint.

> it does mean it has to be done with great care so one doesn't slip over that invisible line into self parody. I suggest that certain garments have already gone there: the Ascot for example.

>All this means that in purely aesthetic terms there certain minefields to be avoided.

> But these are essentially staying inside rules that have been developed and tested over decades. Team light tan shoes with a blue suit as I saw being done in a high end men's store the other day and the result is simply garish.

> So before kitting yourself up in a particularly loud cheviot for a stroll down Madison you might want to think twice about it.

>I feel the same way about luxury weaves like twills or herring bones in white shirtings. I love them personally (sorry Manton) but they have to be very, very, very muted and by this I mean you can't see them if you are more than 12" away from the wearer.

>Somebody once said the well dressed man should pass totally unnoticed.


There is a business uniform.
- a plain navy blue/charcoal wool SB 2 button suit
- white shirt with barrel cuffs
- a striped tie
- pair of black cap toe oxfords

^^Any deviation from above is an affectation to me.

A double breasted suit?
French Cuffs?
Tie clip?
Some pansy looking floral tie?
Surgical cuffs?

No one will ever laugh at you for wearing the uniform.
You won't botch an interview for being boring.
No one will not take you seriously because you have the uniform on.
You can't lose a court case because you wore the uniform.
Your clients won't walk out on you for wearing the uniform

Even if everything perfectly fits, people outside of this sartorial circle will never notice.

You will blend in...to the point of invisibility.

Is that what you want?

Is that what you want for all of us?

It's not what I want.
 

John Ellis

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Originally Posted by mafoofan
I'll ignore your insults and persist in pointing out that the existence of numerous "specialized sub culture Zeitgeists" renders your advice that "we" should make sure not to "step over the line" and be wary of the "fault lines of our little Zeitgetst" even more inane.

You assume there is a well-defined "we," and that's the problem. Can you see why?


In the context of here there is indeed a "we" even if you can't seem to see it. The fault line is where our little zeitgeist intersects with other sometimes wider zeitgeists. You also seem equally oblivious to the personal comments that litter your own prose and are ultimately going to provoke a like response from even the most fair minded of correspondents who are here to discuss interesting physical and social aspects of men's fashion and are not particularly interested in deciphering philosophical posturing and non sequiturs.
 

Zegnamtl

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Imagine what could be done if all this bandwidth had been used wisely and constructively!
 

palladio211

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Originally Posted by John Ellis
For example I was castigated for suggesting that a beginner might team a Hermes tie with navy blue suit and white shirt. This seems to me a far less egregious sin than some of the suggested "sophisticated" combos I've seen promoted here.

What's wrong with a Navy suit, Hermes tie and white shirt? This will always be in good taste. Some may say it's boring, but there are plenty of times when blending in is more appropriate than standing out IMHOP - business meetings (unless you're the boss), meetings with less well dressed clients (you don't want them to feel uncomfortable), church, weddings, etc. Cary Grant, an icon of style, spent an awful lot of time in solid suits, white shirts and solid colored silk ties.

To me it's more about quality and fit than color combinations, checks or patterns. Let's consider someone wearing a perfectly tailored navy A&S lounge suit in a beautiful fabric, accompanied by a white shirt with a bespoke fit in the collar, and a perfectly knotted elegant woven silk tie (i.e. Turnbull or Charvet). This man is going to "blend in" with those who don't have a clue about clothing or style. However, they will likely notice, if only subconsciously, that he is "different" or more elegantly dressed. In comparison, those who know fine clothing will recognize the subtle differences in his attire right away.

For me, this is what it means to be well dressed. To be dressed in such a way that doesn't bring attention to the clothes but to the man. To look more elegant than the guy next to you, without making that guy feel uncomfortable. To send subtle signals to others of good taste that you are in their "club", without shouting to the masses that you are an elitist, or even worse, a fop. Finally, you have to wear what makes YOU feel comfortable. 90% of a man's style comes from his self confidence and level of comfort with himself in a given setting.
 

TheFoo

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Originally Posted by John Ellis
In the context of here there is indeed a "we" even if you can't seem to see it. The fault line is where our little zeitgeist intersects with other sometimes wider zeitgeists. You also seem equally oblivious to the personal comments that litter your own prose and are ultimately going to provoke a like response from even the most fair minded of correspondents who are here to discuss interesting physical and social aspects of men's fashion and are not particularly interested in deciphering philosophical posturing and non sequiturs.

I think it's poor form to dismiss a point-of-view or argument as "philosophical posturing" without making a case for why. But then, your approach to me has been consistently ad hominem, hasn't it? Why not respond to what I actuallly say?

Perhaps you don't like or value philosophy, but defining terms is still a good idea, no? You haven't defined "we," claiming it is self-evident even though you acknowledge that many people here dress in a way that seems inappropriate or wrong to you. Maybe they simply belong to a different "we" than you do. Maybe we each belong to more than one "we."

You say the "fault line" of our "zeitgeist" is located "where our little zeitgeist intersects with other sometimes wider zeitgeists." So, aside from failing to define what "our little zeitgeist" is (as if there is only one), your definition of where our zeitgeist ends is that it ends where it ends. Enlightening.

I don't know if what you're doing is posturing, but I can't identify the substance to your argument. If there is any, I'd be more than happy to hear it.
 

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