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What is SF Wearing: 4.10.2014


Darth Millennial
Dubiously Honored
Feb 10, 2009
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What is SF wearing 4/10/2014: 'Tales from the coffee shop.' We’ve all been there. Weird things happen in coffee shops all the time. Once more, I’ve asked our intrepid members something vague, like: “Where did you come from, where are you now?” Carry on.


Original WAYWT post here


What this looks like: British.

“This is impossible.”

“It’s not,” says your friend, staring at his letters. “It’s just hard.”

“That’s what I said. Isn’t there an app for this?”

“That would be cheating.”

“I don’t think I care.”

“But you’ll know. I’ll know.”

“So? I have a win ratio to preserve, here.”

“Is that all that matters to you? The ratio?”

“Sure. What else would?”

“How about the pleasure of word-building, of having nothing to rely on but the depths of your own vocabulary, of pitting your own intelligence against that of another? When you begin to pick apart your enemy’s syntax, to predict his choices…’To know your enemy is to become your enemy.’ Sun Tzu said that. My victories are a testament to my own glory, not to my reliance on some…machine.”

The rest of the people in the shop are staring. Communal board games can be hazardous to public perception.

You lower your voice. “Dude, it’s Scrabble. You’re overthinking this.”

“And you have no honor!” He slams the tiles down on the board, stands and walks out.

There it stands: the board, the terrain of battle, used against you; your own verb, the instrument of your downfall. The word burns in your mind and you stare after your friend - no, your enemy, swearing revenge:


The Goods:

Hat: COL (40's/50's French vintage)
Jacket, Shirt: Uniqlo
Pants: Common People
Shoes: Loake

MOK says:

I’m neither the oldest member in terms of age or time on the forum, but I’m definitely middle-aged (and continuously fighting middle-aged spread) and have been around Styleforum since 2008. My age certainly has an impact on what I wear – when I first crossed over from CM (or MC as was) I made the mistake of alternating between dressing like suburban dad one minute and going overly juvenile the next (thankfully members called me out). I probably sit on that border between CM and Streetwear (artificial though that border is) and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I wear suits to work for about half the week, but when I haven’t got meetings I can go more casually, and not wishing to be a weekend warrior, much of wardrobe is flexible enough for wearing to work.

I’ve gone down a broadly English ‘heritage’ route – I live in a relatively rural area and it suits my environment (and age). I do dabble from time to time with other directions, I played with Americana, but I’m probably pretty much done with that direction – it doesn’t have the right resonance not having that background. I love Yohji and have three pieces – I might get more, but I know I’ll have limited opportunity to wear it, whereas a Cabourn piece will get much more wear for a similar investment, and getting hold of pieces in a large enough size isn’t easy. The size issue prevents me from exploring Japanese design in general. I’m built for Western clothes. The area that most interests me is heading across the channel with French workwear – I’ve picked up a few modern interpretations and will probably try a few vintage pieces as well. I think if I was to embrace another big name designer it would probably be French, Christophe Lemaire’s stuff is very appealing.

I fancy trying to blend a less rustic English look with a little more euro-sophistication, and of course hats. My hat collection has grown a lot over the past year, but it’s a neglected element amongst fashion designers and I’m exploring custom made hats with a vintage sensibility.
Short-term I’m looking to play with a very English look this Summer – village fetes, cricket and boating, although of course if it gets too hot for blazers and jackets, all bets are off and I’ll be donning shorts with the rest!

Long-term I don’t know where I’m heading, it definitely won’t be sports-luxe. I’ve largely neglected the boom in Scandinavian/Nordic designers, but might head that way, or maybe I’ll head Italy-wards, whilst trying to avoid the clichéd…



Original WAYWT post here


What this looks like: Elementary, my dear 010101110110000101110100011100110110111101101110

“Interesting. There’s no sign of any intruders.”

You put a hand over your face. “The barista’s watching, man. Come on.”

“Quiet!” Your friend is on his hands and knees, peering at the ground. “I must have total silence in order to concentrate.”

“Sorry. He gets like this sometimes.” The barista rolls her eyes and goes back to foaming milk. “Seriously. Come on. No one stole the dishes. They’re just washing them.”

“As you say. Perhaps I was overzealous.” He stands, brushes the dust off of his knees. “Ah, well. And here I thought that, for once, I had a chance to put my talents to use.”

You lean back against the bar. The barista passes you your cappuccino. Your friend clasps his hands behind his back, kicks at the ground. The barista meets your eyes.

“Uh,” she says, setting the second cappuccino on the bar, “I can’t find my car keys.”

Your friend lifts an eyebrow. “A missing object case, eh?”

The barista looks at you. “You started it,” you tell her.

Three hours later, muttering through his shawl, your friend comes back to the bar carrying the missing keys, two thousand dollars in cash, and a stolen Rembrandt.

The Goods:

Shawl: Engineered Garments
Coat: TOJ
Jeans: John Elliot
Boots: Buttero

AFL says:

Thinking back on it, my interest in fashion stems from two motivations: to be cool, and to obscure my body. I don't think those are noble goals, but there it is. I was always a huge dorkus malorkus growing up (probably still am), so in 2007 or so I made a conscious decision to try to change my image. It's up to other people to tell whether or not that worked. It's really silly, but I'm always wrestling with my inner dweeb. And the other part, about my body, I think I've mentioned here before. The left half of my ribcage is underdeveloped, and I'm not sure anyone can even notice, but I've always been very self conscious about it. So for that reason I like to wear a lot of layers. Developing a style (as much as I have one) has been about taking these insecurities about my personality or my body, and turning them into an opportunity to be creative.

I like that I get to talk about this outfit in particular, because black & brown has been my favorite color scheme these past few months. I used to want to vom when I saw the two together, but now I'm really into it. It might be hard to tell from the photo, but the brown tweed of the TOJ coat has flecks of black in it. The EG shawl, on the other hand, is mostly charcoal with sort of a brown windowpane pattern. I think the combination of those items makes what would otherwise clash feel coherent.

When I was doing more knitting I got really into these crazy variegated yarns - one skein dyed like a half a dozen different colors. And it's not like every color in that one skein necessarily goes with every other color in it. If you picked two out and juxtaposed them, it would probably look a bit weird. But you knit them up and get this really beautiful melange with all the colors melding together, and it seems very natural.



Original WAYWT post here


What this looks like: Acid. Lots of acid. But taken responsibly.

“And she was barefoot? Man, I think you need to find a new place to go in the morning. We live in a city - all these places are the same, you know?”

“That’s not true. My coffee shop is the center of the universe.”

“It’s not,” you say to your friend. “You’re just there all the time, and it ***** with your head. Your weirdo-exposure level is abnormally high.”

“I’m telling you, it’s a special place. A community of like-minded individuals. The things we’ve accomplished together would astonish you.”

“Don’t tell me you’re turning into one of them.” You grab a carton of OJ and toss it in the buggy. “I’m moving out if you turn into one of them.”

“And what are ‘they’?”

“You know. Them. Patchouli, macintosh, black turtleneck. Pretty soon you’ll be going to poetry readings.”

“There’s nothing wrong with poetry readings! And I like my macintosh. But you haven’t seen the things that go on there. It’s not just poetry readings - dance parties; wild, orgiastic summonings; sacrificial bean offerings.”

“Hold on, you lost me.”

“Yeah, that’s what I’m saying. It gets crazy. And smelly. You were right about the patchouli, at least.”

The Goods:

Hat: Lanvin
Glasses: Dita
Pants: Dries van Noten
Shoes: Vans

Breezy says:

I've always been into clothes, even as far back as when I was a little kid, I remember my parents would go to India and my mom would bring back outrageously patterned silk shirts made for my brother and I - one half polka dot, one half solid colour; one half another shirt with red roses in silk, the other half black raw silk - tailor made stuff is cheap over theree! Even before that, I used to throw tantrums if my mom tried to dress me up in dorky looking outfits and refuse to go to school dressed in like Steve Urkel - and I would win! All the way through my teens and into younger adulthood I'd spend relatively stupid money on what I thought was "cool ****". Before coming to Styleforum, I though the stuff at places like Harry Rosen and Holt Renfrew (ie Nordstrom, shittier Barney's) was the coolest. Don't get me wrong, I still looked dashing.

In the five-ish years since I signed up here and the two or so years spent lurking beforehand I've really come to learn what I like and what I gravitate towards - I realize I will probably never get a leather jacket, and will continue to buy fuzzy sweaters and really expensive t-shirts. It's what makes me feel cozy that I gravitate towards. I still have my fancier fashiony stuff that I wear maybe once a week or two, but walking around in the fancy stuff doing my day to days (work, working out, martial arts, sitting on floors at friends' houses) leaves me a little less comfy - so I mostly end up choosing from 4 pairs out of like 15 pairs of pants, a t-shirt that costs way too much money, a cozy sweater, and some slip-on Vans.

For me, aside from comfort, I'm appreciating more and more the fun aspect of this fashion silliness - because, let's be cereal, it really is pretty silly. For one thing, it's so easy to look "cool" - brooding, dark, black, O calamitous angst. That look a lot of the time ends up seeming contrived and just so "easy mode/tryhard" - kind of boring. I know not a ton of my fits fall under the far-out silly category, but I do have more fun dressed as such than in the imsupercool style. Maybe that's just what I'm getting into more, these days. It's more fun to laugh at this hobby than to take it seriously - oversized stuff, weird hats, bright colours/patterns. It really is more fun on the dance floor wearing something fun than something toocoolforschool. But I enjoy going out to parties dressed up in colourful custom-made spandex outfits, wearing makeup, and sometimes I like to *********** as a sexy (bearded) woman (I look great in fishnets), so what do I know...



Original WAYWT post here


What this looks like: Victory

“That was years ago,” says the man, over the steam that rises from his tea. “Before the dark days came. Before the numbers grew too high, before we lost our taste for what makes us human.” He sets a heavy bag on the bar in front of you.

“Is that…meat?”

“Pure, local eighty-six. Pink gold. Feast your eyes on the revolution. Do you want some?”

“Do I want some meat?” You rub your eyes, and think that you should have chosen to engage him post-caffeine intake.

“Yep. What I like to do is take some of the fat and stir it into my coffee.”


“Gives it a nice, rich mouthfeel. Try it.” He reaches into the bag and pulls out a pinch. You stare at it. Flecks of ivory stare back, moist and glistening in the morning sun. “This is our answer. To the the inexorable march towards leanness. To the tyranny of fat-shaming.”

“But it’s just meat! You can’t change the world with hamburger!”

Without thinking, you open your mouth. He places the sample on your tongue. You chew. You swallow. Your lip quivers. You look back at him through eyes moist with tears.

He smiles. “Not just meat. This is the future.”

The Goods:
Cap: Patrik Ervell
Denim Shirt: Uniqlo
Pants: Baron Wells
Shoes: Ann Demeulemeester

C4 says:

I’m lucky enough to have been part of one of these before, so it’s nice to have a prompt like “what you’re into these days and what’s changed since we last talked”. I took a look back at the last article, and apparently, not much. At least, aside from wearing less brown and more blue if the pictures are any indication.

My career has taken a very dramatic change, and I am now part of the No Man Walks Alone team, meaning I now spend my days working with and around very cool clothes. Not a bad gig. I think it’s a good fit though, for a lot of reasons. When I first started talking to friends about this career change, a lot of people asked me if this meant I was going to change the way I dress, or go all #menswear or become some kind of NMWA rep.

I already have a relatively large wardrobe though, which spans a lot of designers and styles, (and many years) and much of the joy I get from clothing comes not from having these varied pieces but from putting together something coherent with them that is unmistakably “me”, in my eyes at least. I think a lot of this can be seen above, with a pretty wide range of designers one wouldn’t typically expect to see paired, and this is always been a big part of my personal style for as long as I can remember. I think it’s very easy to put a lot of weight on “’brand synergy” and subscribe to what we believe the designer(s) had in mind, but I think it’s a lot more interesting to focus instead on what you might call “item synergy” or simply personal style instead. Yes I realize how sanctimonious I sound.

[As an aside, adding restrictions is a great way to force someone to think creatively, which is why these WAYWT challenges are proving to be so much fun for so many posters – they eschew the normal notion of brand synergy and ask people to try something inside of a different box.]

So that’s a very long way of saying that not much has changed for me, clothing-wise, but there is a reason I went off on this tangent. I’m still slowly adding to my wardrobe and trying to add pieces that complement those I already own rather than replace them.

One of the things I like most about the new job has to do with the above, and that is the buying work. When we do our buys, we’re picking out things that we would both want and believe are just great pieces overall. We’re of course always focused on a sort of “store synergy”, but we try to pick the items that people can get excited about and add to their wardrobes even if they come from different stylistic backgrounds. Greg has always had a great (yet extremely varied) eye for clothes, and I think that viewpoint really comes through in the store. You’ll see some of mine leaking through going forward though, and it’s a good feeling knowing we agree on the pieces we’re picking up in the future.

Aside from really enjoying the types of buying work, I’m particularly looking forward to doing more styling work since I hope that will give me a chance to further flex those muscles that are currently limited to items I personally own.
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Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Jan 9, 2005
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fantastic. great Q + As. (photos are missing for me for AFL and Breezy fwiw)

also where 2 kop meat coffee?

cyc wid it

Stylish Dinosaur
Apr 2, 2011
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MoK, maybe Frank Leder and SEH Kelly? Good to have you back.

conceptual 4est

The Classic Gentleman is Back
Jul 24, 2012
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Great stuff, Synth. I really like the worlds you create

edit: or are all of these scenarios in the same universe....?
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Distinguished Member
Nov 15, 2010
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Great stuff, Synth.  I really like the worlds you create :eek:  

edit: or are all of these scenarios in the same universe....?

I'm pretty sure he just recycles the same old bullshit in each post y'know?

The AFL story and the Spacepope story are like the exact same thing. It's like he's gotten lazy and sourced material from his own old (and quite clearly horribly aged) writings. #whatahack


Distinguished Member
Oct 8, 2011
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There needs to be a
esque smiley for Breezy's face.

But seriously, awesome installment. I'm enjoying these broader questions + longer responses.


Distinguished Member
Nov 24, 2008
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Thanks Synthese - I wouldn't let you get away without a u in honour for Scrabble though ;)

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