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Wearing vintage clothing?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by The_Foxx, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. mattjames

    mattjames Senior member

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    I've seen a lot of comments in this thread with descriptors like "affected", "costume", "trying too hard", etc. If I may, aren't we all wearing costumes? I don't mean in the overly philosophical sense, I mean in the same way that someone who wears All Vintage All The Time.

    How is it different to go out into a sea of cargo shorts and t-shirts wearing a bespoke three-piece, or even a tie and sportcoat? Even in situations where one has to wear a suit, anything not from Men's Wearhouse sticks out like a sore thumb. I know everyone on this forum regularly fields questions about why we are so "dressed up" or if we are in a play. I really don't see the difference between wearing french cuffs and a tie tack, wearing all vintage, and wearing a black trenchcoat and eye makeup. I've done all three, at various points in my life.

    Everyone's going to get mad at me for this post, but I really don't mean to be bitchy. I just find it kind of ironic for a bunch of guys in three piece suits with custom tailored shirts to be criticizing someone for dressing funny.


    I totally agree.
    With the full-on vintage look it's a case of I wouldn't wear it myself, but I really appreciate it on somebody else with the balls to pull it off. There are so many worse ways a person can dress.
     
  2. mack11211

    mack11211 Senior member

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    How old is vintage? 20 years?

    For practical purposes, it means anything made before kids just out of college were born -- in other words, about 20 years.

    The 80s revival is in full swing. [​IMG] A lot of vintage store in NY are selling it.
     
  3. FlaneurNYC

    FlaneurNYC Senior member

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    My favorite vintage pieces are inherited ones. There is something endearing about wearing my grandfather's Pringle cardigan sweaters with the grosgrain ribbon sewn behind the buttonholes. Or his tweed ties.
     
  4. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I've seen a lot of comments in this thread with descriptors like "affected", "costume", "trying too hard", etc. If I may, aren't we all wearing costumes? I don't mean in the overly philosophical sense, I mean in the same way that someone who wears All Vintage All The Time.

    How is it different to go out into a sea of cargo shorts and t-shirts wearing a bespoke three-piece, or even a tie and sportcoat? Even in situations where one has to wear a suit, anything not from Men's Wearhouse sticks out like a sore thumb.


    I don't really think it does. Most folks can't tell the difference in a Men's Wearhouse suit and, say, an Oxxford. They may notice a suit looks particularly nice, but there's nothing about a high-end two piece that automatically marks it as unusual to the untrained eye. The average joe will, however, notice if a guy is wearing a fedora and spectators. Such clothes, on their face, have an element of costume about them, but particularly when worn together, or from head to toe.

    I think the key distinction here is that I, and I suspect many people here, are very aware of the dandy component of our wardrobes, and try to keep a reasonable balance to what we wear. I don't rock three-piece suits at a baseball game. Some vintage afficionados, on the other hand, take pride in defying contemporary standards of dress. It's the difference in working within a set of parameters and discarding those parameters entirely.
     
  5. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    I've seen a lot of comments in this thread with descriptors like "affected", "costume", "trying too hard", etc. If I may, aren't we all wearing costumes? I don't mean in the overly philosophical sense, I mean in the same way that someone who wears All Vintage All The Time.

    How is it different to go out into a sea of cargo shorts and t-shirts wearing a bespoke three-piece, or even a tie and sportcoat? Even in situations where one has to wear a suit, anything not from Men's Wearhouse sticks out like a sore thumb. I know everyone on this forum regularly fields questions about why we are so "dressed up" or if we are in a play. I really don't see the difference between wearing french cuffs and a tie tack, wearing all vintage, and wearing a black trenchcoat and eye makeup. I've done all three, at various points in my life.


    Costume and affected refer to something that calls undue attention to itself. Often, it's the person who is trying hard to stand out, whether they admit it or not. (If they're actually not wearing something unusual in order to get attention, then they may be truly eccentric, but the result really is the same.) Those of us who simply dress in more usual ways (but notched up a peg or two) are not generally doing it so people stop and stare (they rarely do); we're doing it because we like it.

    I doubt it.

    In reality, the people you're describing are a very small portion of this forum.
     
  6. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    The average joe will, however, notice if a guy is wearing a fedora and spectators. Such clothes, on their face, have an element of costume about them, but particularly when worn together, or from head to toe.

    Uh oh.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Senior member

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    I was totally with you until recently. I've picked up a couple of pair of used shoes on ebay. To be sure, these aren't shoes I want new, they're old dress shoes I intend to wear with jeans.

    I made sure they were in relatively good condition before buying (I've seen a lot of thrift store shoes that look OK but have mold/mildew or other grossness--needless to say, I'm not buying those). I gave them a good cleaning inside with disinfectant spray (lysol, IIRC--and I use it liberally) and a paper towel. I tree them for a day or two. I also buy new full footbed insoles. Even trying on shoes with someone else's footprint inside creeps me out, and insoles make a big difference.

    As for head to toe vintage, the esquire guy looks good, but you have to be committed and a real character to pull that off.
     
  8. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Uh oh.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG] Sorry, Alan. Probably not the best example. I would say that I don't think your clothes look vintagey, but I'd probably be digging myself deeper. So I'll just say that I never think you look like you wandered in from the '40s.
     
  9. AlanC

    AlanC Senior member

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    The last time I wore my Alden specs for the season I also had on a Panama hat. A woman asked me if I was 'on the stage'.

    Costumey? Me? [​IMG]
     
  10. meister

    meister Senior member

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    I've seen a lot of comments in this thread with descriptors like "affected", "costume", "trying too hard", etc. If I may, aren't we all wearing costumes? I don't mean in the overly philosophical sense, I mean in the same way that someone who wears All Vintage All The Time.

    How is it different to go out into a sea of cargo shorts and t-shirts wearing a bespoke three-piece, or even a tie and sportcoat? Even in situations where one has to wear a suit, anything not from Men's Wearhouse sticks out like a sore thumb. I know everyone on this forum regularly fields questions about why we are so "dressed up" or if we are in a play. I really don't see the difference between wearing french cuffs and a tie tack, wearing all vintage, and wearing a black trenchcoat and eye makeup. I've done all three, at various points in my life.

    Everyone's going to get mad at me for this post, but I really don't mean to be bitchy. I just find it kind of ironic for a bunch of guys in three piece suits with custom tailored shirts to be criticizing someone for dressing funny.


    I'm not you are spot on...vintage is great.
     

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