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What are some things in classic menswear that annoy you?

FlyingHorker

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Wow... it took a whopping 24 posts to get to disliking double monk shoes.

I'll never understand the rationale behind such disdain - except that may be those posting it, have never seen a good-looking pair?
I wish the buckles were matte, I'm not a fan of shiny metal buckles. That alone turns me off from them.
 

usctrojans31

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This is more of an attitude with luxury in general, but the unnecessary comparative property, e.g. I've worked with X tailor, therefore I am better than you because you work with Y tailor. Or my suit is super 180s and yours is only 120s.

This phenomenon is certainly not limited to menswear, but the idea of "dressing as a sport" and this unnecessary bombast is just ugly. At the end of the day, we're talking about clothes. Not saving lives.
 

buddingman

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I know I'm just a luker and I havent posted any photos ever so I don't have a leg to stand on, but my fiancee is out of town and I'm bored at home so I feel compelled to post.

This is all coming from a 23 year old who is just starting to get into this world so a lot of it is strange to me and hasn't been normalized in the way that it is to many people who spend a significant amount of time discussing clothing on the internet.


Like others have said, the whole sprezzatura thing to me seems very stupid. A lot of people putting a lot of effort into making it look like they are nonchalant about dressing when it's incredibly obvious that they did so. And they tell you that they are doing it on purpose? Especially out of context of the internet. Men wont even wear suits unless required, and they go for a dark grey or navy. So it took me a while to get used to someone on the internet wearing a $3k bespoke purple double breasted suit with twelve wristbands and some fedora talking about how he looks like he "just threw something on" and was effortless because he has some buttons unbuttoned. If you want to dress like that, thats great, I just don't get the whole part about lying people that you have a casual attitude about it.

A lot of the trad stuff really made me feel weird for a while too. I grew up in a private/prep school my entire life (13 or 14 years up until I left for college) that dressed very much like the east coast ivy that people love to talk about. I'm young, so my school's version of that is a more new school but it's basically the same thing. We all dressed like our dads (because our moms were buying our clothes + we had uniforms for most of our lives too) who were golfers. We only knew people who dressed like that, I literally didn't know anything else. But there weren't "rules" no one ever talked about wearing basically only light khaki pants (navy was ok, or some go to hell color if you were bold), ocbds, navy blazers, lots of polos, only white socks, no black clothing etc.. its just how we dressed. To be honest, most guys don't even think about how they dress, they are just copying their friends and the guys a year older than them. It took me going to college to learn that literally no one else dressed like me except other fraternity kids. So to find out that a bunch of older guys on the internet are posting photos of themselves in their outfits and asking "is this trad?" and reading posts about people fighting over weird details or what was ok to wear made me a little uncomfortable for a while. Not that I was an ivy kid in the 60's or whenever people are looking back towards, but it was so close to home it felt like they were talking about and trying to imitate us.

No one ever would have asked "is this trad?" when I was going to school. We would have made fun of you, that would have been so fucking weird. We wouldn't have even known what that meant. My first thought was, why are you trying to copy this? I felt like people were trying to fit some sort of life they didn't have. (Not that I had an enviable life, it felt more like someone was dressing up in punk clothes but didn't go to shows and listen to the music or fit the lifestyle if that makes sense) I don't get why people just don't wear what they want, and not worry if its "trad" or not. Maybe this hits close to home because my style influence is very similar to trad stuff, but its natural because its what I was brought up around and what I enjoy wearing, not because I'm trying to fit an image. Or follow rules from 70 years ago that the people back then probably didn't even give a shit about or follow. I tihnk we've just cherry picked some photos and people and over-exaggerated it. Maybe I'm wrong.

Now that isn't to say I think it's dumb for people to comb over details of OCBDS for hours on end or whatever. I think it's dumb to care about those details to be "trad" or to fit an image, but if you care because you think it makes a more beautiful shirt, I can get behind that.


Also I think jeans and blazer combos are hideous. Reminds me of 50 year old men in boot cut jeans and poorly fitting suits having a "night out". In my mind there are distinct levels of formality with clothing and I don't like skipping around that much. Something about the rough utilitarian fabric of jeans and the softer, fine fabric of a jacket does not go together in my mind. Sid Mashburn seems to be the only person I've seen who I don't mind when he does this, and it's only if he's wearing white jeans.


Something I also was initially put off from was the whole "luxury lifestyle" that kind of seems to go with tailoring. Im starting to understand that I like suits and wearing suits because I think they are beautiful, (but I also just enjoy clothing in general) but I think a lot of people are drawn to them because they see them as a symbol of power and wealth. These people like suits but also like luxury watch brands, luxury cars, European vacations, fine whiskeys etc... I'm getting a little tired of the "luxury" persona, the blogs or personalities who seem to cover the whole gamut and try to pump up the whole "manly" or "gentlemen" persona. I think its fine if you like those things individually, but I think a lot of people just try to fit an image more-so than have genuine interests in all of those things. I guess I wish when I was looking into tailoring all the other baggage of the "lifestyle" people associate with it didn't always have to tag along. Just seems a little contrived.
 
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dieworkwear

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I know I'm just a luker and I havent posted any photos ever so I don't have a leg to stand on, but my fiancee is out of town and I'm bored at home so I feel compelled to post.

This is all coming from a 23 year old who is just starting to get into this world so a lot of it is strange to me and hasn't been normalized in the way that it is to many people who spend a significant amount of time discussing clothing on the internet.


Like others have said, the whole sprezzatura thing to me seems very stupid. A lot of people putting a lot of effort into making it look like they are nonchalant about dressing when it's incredibly obvious that they did so. And they tell you that they are doing it on purpose? Especially out of context of the internet. Men wont even wear suits unless required, and they go for a dark grey or navy. So it took me a while to get used to someone on the internet wearing a $3k bespoke purple double breasted suit with twelve wristbands and some fedora talking about how he looks like he "just threw something on" and was effortless because he has some buttons unbuttoned. If you want to dress like that, thats great, I just don't get the whole part about lying people that you have a casual attitude about it.

A lot of the trad stuff really made me feel weird for a while too. I grew up in a private/prep school my entire life (13 or 14 years up until I left for college) that dressed very much like the east coast ivy that people love to talk about. I'm young, so my school's version of that is a more new school but it's basically the same thing. We all dressed like our dads (because our moms were buying our clothes + we had uniforms for most of our lives too) who were golfers. We only knew people who dressed like that, I literally didn't know anything else. But there weren't "rules" no one ever talked about wearing basically only light khaki pants (navy was ok, or some go to hell color if you were bold), ocbds, navy blazers, lots of polos, only white socks, no black clothing etc.. its just how we dressed. To be honest, most guys don't even think about how they dress, they are just copying their friends and the guys a year older than them. It took me going to college to learn that literally no one else dressed like me except other fraternity kids. So to find out that a bunch of older guys on the internet are posting photos of themselves in their outfits and asking "is this trad?" and reading posts about people fighting over weird details or what was ok to wear made me a little uncomfortable for a while. Not that I was an ivy kid in the 60's or whenever people are looking back towards, but it was so close to home it felt like they were talking about and trying to imitate us.

No one ever would have asked "is this trad?" when I was going to school. We would have made fun of you, that would have been so fucking weird. We wouldn't have even known what that meant. My first thought was, why are you trying to copy this? I felt like people were trying to fit some sort of life they didn't have. (Not that I had an enviable life, it felt more like someone was dressing up in punk clothes but didn't go to shows and listen to the music or fit the lifestyle if that makes sense) I don't get why people just don't wear what they want, and not worry if its "trad" or not. Maybe this hits close to home because my style influence is very similar to trad stuff, but its natural because its what I was brought up around and what I enjoy wearing, not because I'm trying to fit an image. Or follow rules from 70 years ago that the people back then probably didn't even give a shit about or follow. I tihnk we've just cherry picked some photos and people and over-exaggerated it. Maybe I'm wrong.

Now that isn't to say I think it's dumb for people to comb over details of OCBDS for hours on end or whatever. I think it's dumb to care about those details to be "trad" or to fit an image, but if you care because you think it makes a more beautiful shirt, I can get behind that.


Also I think jeans and blazer combos are hideous. Reminds me of 50 year old men in boot cut jeans and poorly fitting suits having a "night out". In my mind there are distinct levels of formality with clothing and I don't like skipping around that much. Something about the rough utilitarian fabric of jeans and the softer, fine fabric of a jacket does not go together in my mind. Sid Mashburn seems to be the only person I've seen who I don't mind when he does this, and it's only if he's wearing white jeans.


Something I also was initially put off from was the whole "luxury lifestyle" that kind of seems to go with tailoring. Im starting to understand that I like suits and wearing suits because I think they are beautiful, (but I also just enjoy clothing in general) but I think a lot of people are drawn to them because they see them as a symbol of power and wealth. These people like suits but also like luxury watch brands, luxury cars, European vacations, fine whiskeys etc... I'm getting a little tired of the "luxury" persona, the blogs or personalities who seem to cover the whole gamut and try to pump up the whole "manly" or "gentlemen" persona. I think its fine if you like those things individually, but I think a lot of people just try to fit an image more-so than have genuine interests in all of those things. I guess I wish when I was looking into tailoring all the other baggage of the "lifestyle" people associate with it didn't always have to tag along. Just seems a little contrived.
I think sprezzatura is a bit overdone as a concept, but there is something about style that's not really about the clothes at all. I mean beyond the other elements of style -- like, being into cool things. George Frazier called it duende, which gets cited a lot on blogs. The idea is similar to other concepts -- British aristocratic reserve, Boston Brahmin sang froid, preppy ennui, the Yoruba concept of itutu (Dick Pountain and David Robins' book on cool covers some of this).

It's a very difficult concept to pinpoint. It's not necessarily about handsomeness either. And some guys seem to have it, and other guys don't. I feel like everyone knows people like this in their life -- I grew up with some guys who just "had it" (I most definitely don't have it). I think that's an important part of style and somewhat related, but still distinct, from sprezzatura. It's less about covering up effort, it's something else that's harder to describe.
 

JJ Katz

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I'm sometimes annoyed by how swiftly and surely some people resort to deeming something, "costume," thus verboten. They have no authority, of course, and are just weirdos on the internet, so they don't matter terribly much, but neither in the grand scheme of things do flies, which hardly prevents them from being a nuisance.

It's not that I reject declining to dress a certain way for fear of looking too silly, because it's, "costume." If I had no instinct for social self-preservation and less luck even than I've had, I'd run around in full Edwardian dress all of the time. I get annoyed by the underlying lack of appreciation that it's mere bloody-minded pragmatism or sensible cowardice, not some transcendent rule or command that restrains choice of dress. If I dressed as I absolutely pleased I'd probably be living in a studio apartment of a converted dilapidated townhouse in Strawberry Mansion and called, "dapper," or whatever so many times daily that I'd eventually do something that would get a story about me the top spot on the front page of the Inquirer. I accept this constraint with humility, but some people seem afraid of some sartorial God that will smite them with lightening if they don't dress a certain way. This seems like no fun at all, and all of this is really just a lot of fun, and completely unjustifiable to anybody with a sense of personal identity.

Perhaps this arises from my background and perspective. My father's 'pick-up line' to my mother was, "I don't wear ties." He did wear ties later in life, but nevertheless always dressed informally. I never saw him in a suit, other than in pictures from his wedding, until he joined a men's chorus after he retired. I've spent my 'professional life' in offices where the usual standard of dress makes 'Casual Friday' all but redundant. Thus to me, dressing 'nicely' is an act of rebellion against the aggressive, oppressive casualness that my reality is drowning in and, more importantly, self-expression. I wear sport coats, bow ties, pocket squares and boutonnières for me, damn it all!. My 'comrades' are not the lawyers at white shoe firms or investment bankers, but girls with multicolored fluorescent hair and men in tutus. I like rules and find satisfaction in drawing upon historical precedent very well, perhaps because I am mentally disturbed, but cannot help but be angrily annoyed and sneeringly contemptuous of how so much of what goes on here seems dominated by a fearfulness about not playing by rules set by nobody worth obeying and enforced by nothing but vaguely imagined fears.

All humanity is some sort of farce or another! Just have some fun, goddamnit! Why bother otherwise?
I agree wholeheartedly and basically wrote what I intended to write.

In addition to being joyless and dull, the fear of desuetude which generates comments about costume is self- doomed. I mean, if a boater ( due to its extreme rarity) is “ cosplay”, at what point do the sort of summer wool trousers posters here drool about ( deservedly) or a conservative necktie fall into the same category? When less than 1% of the male population wears them? 5%? 10%
 

JJ Katz

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I think sprezzatura is a bit overdone as a concept, but there is something about style that's not really about the clothes at all. I mean beyond the other elements of style -- like, being into cool things. George Frazier called it duende, which gets cited a lot on blogs. The idea is similar to other concepts -- British aristocratic reserve, Boston Brahmin sang froid, preppy ennui, the Yoruba concept of itutu (Dick Pountain and David Robins' book on cool covers some of this).

It's a very difficult concept to pinpoint. It's not necessarily about handsomeness either. And some guys seem to have it, and other guys don't. I feel like everyone knows people like this in their life -- I grew up with some guys who just "had it" (I most definitely don't have it). I think that's an important part of style and somewhat related, but still distinct, from sprezzatura. It's less about covering up effort, it's something else that's harder to describe.
Yeh... I think we should probably distinguish between the original (still meretricious) but subtle concept of sprezzatura as opposed to the more... theatrical practices such as fellows carefully pulling the back blade of neckties askew, folding one collar point above the lapel, etc.

I don’t see it as some sort of heinous moral failure but it’s a boldly pretentious affectation and thus unlikely to be admired.
 

minimal1

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I think the focus on classic menswear here tends to focuses heavily on the suit and tie, but I think those that do regularly wear “classic menswear” fall into the sportcoat/odd trouser camp. Even then, that is a small subset of people in the general population.
 

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