Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ennius, Sep 18, 2013.
...to the nearest hundred
Out of curiosity, I went and counted my ties. Counting my Sgt. Pepper tie, Christmas ties, and ties with school or sports team themes, I have 52. I reckon the number I might wear with some frequency year round to be about a dozen and a half. Many of those in the latter category seem better paired with actual suits rather than my odd jacket and dress pants combos I seemed to have devolved to. So lately they don't get much use either.
So, in the closet in the mornings I frequently have a sort of "water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink ..." sensation. Therefore the notion of determining a five-essential-ties start(over) set is both an interesting academic exercise and, for me, also something of practical benefit. I have enjoyed the example lists offered.
On the detour down the "is a black tie essential/versatile" road, and particularly on the subject of funerals, it is my personal observation - I won't presume to call it "evidence" - that most of the time the male attendees, including members of the immediate family, seem to do well to even own a suit that fits, much less one of a type and color in keeping with long held conventions and "rules" for such occasions. This seems especially true for teenagers and twenty something's. I don't mean that in a judgmental way at all, simply a personal observation.
I will continue to try to hold up my end and attend such affairs in the most appropriate uniform I can muster and I would not dream of (nor do I think anyone else posting in this thread intended to suggest) wearing something contrary to the "rules" simply for the purpose up making a stand for fashion evolution. But, I do mull over the implications of the adherence to a custom, e.g. black ties at a funeral, declining over time to the point that very few practice the custom or rule, or even know what the "rules" are or were.
Quote: This is a good point. Questions of etiquette - which this is, rather than style of the 'does blue go with black?' type of question - are always subject to this conundrum. Does tradition or current social practice guide our decisions? If social practices change, does it mean that the traditional practice can be said to be no longer 'right' or 'acceptable', or do we struggle against changing social practices and insist on a 'standard'? This is particularly important when it comes to sensitive occasions at which clothing choices can actually give offence to others.
The nature of the current social practice should be taken into account as well. If the current social practice veers towards indifference/apathy, it should have a smaller effect on how we conduct ourselves.
It would be interesting to have a Friday challenge where the only rule is that the contestants need to wear a solid black tie.
The problem with that is that there are only a few combination where a black ties are optimum, but many were they aren't bad. So the majority of the really good entries would be fairly homogenous. Pretty sure I'll be choosing Unstapled as a theme. Maybe Patterned Pants.
The very reason I was a bit stubborn up thread
What does unstapled mean?
Yes. We understood that. What we weren't (aren't) sure about is whether you understood why most of us prioritized the second (look alright with a variety of outfits) over the first (looking excellent).
Ah, no staple items. This is what 5 hours of sleep does.
Fwiw, the fact that the black tie is less than optimal is what makes it a good Friday challenge
Yes and no. It's a good challenge for the individual entrants, but it wouldn't be great for the challenge itself. Optimal with black tie is easy--just very limited (whereas adequate with black is both easy and variegated). Participants know that optimal gets votes, so the top vote getters would end up going with the same few looks. No variety = no fun...though it may be educational.
Shifting back on topic--I don't understand why people think brown ties are underrated. Brown is a great color for a tie and most people seem to agree. It seems to be held in proper regard. I'd take brown over burgundy; if I had only one outfit to wear for the rest of my life, it would include a brown tie (brown tie, blue shirt, navy blazer, white linen pocket square, gray trousers, brown oxfords)
Styleforum has taught me the value of the brown tie (and brown shoes for that matter). What you describe as your ideal outfit is similar to mine, save a few small details. This is very close to being my next tie purchase (Kent Wang), unless I can find a knit with sky blue dots:
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