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Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Jul 30, 2012.
I think it's just that the lapels are way too skinny.
Clap, generally quite good. Hard to make out a lot of detail, though. Sure, the lapels are on the slim side, but not egregiously so. And they do complement your build.
But is that fucking folded silk in the last outfit? WTF, man.
RDiaz, I agree about the patches and folded silk. Claypyron said it best about the patches. Is that shirt bengal-striped though? I think I'd call it hairline, maybe pencil or fine.
recondite, I like that shirt w/ that jacket. Both are lightweight and summery. Ideally I'd like a softer collar w/ that, but as we established above, that's mainly my personal preference.
Claghorn and Coroneaus, I agree w/ what Foo said about buttondowns. Others will know more than I, but fwiw, I think end-on-end, chambray, linen, and linen blends makes a nice shirts (spread or BD) that are between poplin and oxford in texture.
Just as a thought exercise, in high school about 25 yrs ago, we had to wear "dress" shirts in white, blue, pink or yellow. I had solid ocbds in white, blue, and pink, and university striped ones in blue, green, and yellow (from Mervyns, LL Bean, and Lands End, the LE ones thrifted). We rarely wore suits or sport coats in hs, but we did weekly in college. I had two suits (three piece SB in navy worsted flannel pinstripe and DB in worsted charcoal) and two sport coats (blue blazer and black/white herringbone tweed). In addition to the six ocbds I had from high school, I had two white poplin shirts, one point and one tab. Then one blue fancy stripe poplin w/ snap down collar (remember Perry Ellis?) and one green graph check. I wore the solid ocbd's and the stripped poplin w/ the suits and sport coats, the white poplins w/ suits mostly and the striped ocbds w/ the sport coats only. I wore those for years, but got rid of the last one a few years ago.
Now, if I were buying from scratch, for winter I'd get white and blue shirts in oxford, both BD and spread for each (I like oxford in spread), and for summer white and blue in chambry, end-on-end or linen-cotton blends, one white and one blue bd and one each spread. That'd be 8 shirts. Then I'd get blue and brick red ocbds for winter, and red, blue, and/or black check for summer. That'd be a dozen shirts that would work both seasons w/ suits or sport coats.
I think I agree w/ everything else you wrote above, but I don't agree w/ this element of SF orthodoxy. I really like spread collar shirts w/o tie, but only if they're really soft and ideally w/o a jacket too. Imo: hard spread collar w/o jacket or tie < hard spread w/ jacket or tie = soft spread w/ jacket or tie <<< soft spread w/o jacket or tie.
Spread oxford is either an abomination or next-level. Really depends on the usage. Can't say I'm not curious!
The other shirts sound nice, but where are you finding checked oxford cloth?
Well, it's really not orthodoxy specific to SF. Both "rules" read elsewhere and the genealogy of the collar are indicative, I think.
The line between the lapel and the top edge of the breast pocket is less than a centimeter. I think what you're seeing may be a combination of the skinny lapels (about which I agree with RDiaz), the angle, and the square being folded a bit thin. There was about three quarters of a centimeter of gap between the edge of the sqare and the interior seam of the welt on the breast pocket.
Also, thank you for saying I'm slim. I used to be rail thin - 140 lbs or so - and between two kids, divorce, remarriage, and graduate school I've shot up 60 then come back down 30 or so. I like this weight a lot more than either 140 or 200, however I'd rather given up on continuing to think myself thin. It is nice to hear.
I agree with you about Oxford and spread. Despos is making me up a pink oxford with a spread color that I'm very excited to see what he does with.
I have the same feeling about the shirt, though I think the stripes are a bit wider than I'd expect from a hairline stripe. So I prefer to call it a fine bengal stripe, though it may have a different name (I've read "dress stripe" somewhere?)
Let's take this piece by piece.
This is wrong on its face. You may not like white with tweed, but it's clearly more "appropriate" than black or purple or green or any of the other travesties that have been showing up with alarming frequency in WAYW.
I have no objection to disliking a white shirt in a combination for whatever reason -- too stark, too high contrast, too refined, whatever. A white shirt isn't always the best option, just as a bengal stripe isn't. But reducing the matter to unthinking dogma is silly.
Please back up your claim that the white shirt is a "big mistake" with any sort of evidence. White was commonly worn with tweed in the Victorian period, Edwardian times, the Ivy League years, the hornrimmed '60s. I have produced copious photographic proof of this and can do so again if necessary. Jan's even posted his recollections of how blue shirts were looked upon with skepticism within his adulthood. At what point was it established as being "an error"? The '70s? My word.
A lot of the forum dogma claims historical precedent yet fails to establish actual precedent.
The forum loves to get caught up in this sort of nuance but most folks would be better off worrying less about the trees and more about the forest.
Here's the fundamental problem with what you're saying, Doc: you are confusing what I'm saying for forum dogma. If my thoughts carried so much weight here, I wouldn't have so much to criticize all the time.
I agree with you that there is an epidemic failure to see the forest for the trees on the forum, but it is not because people are too nit-picky. It is because people obsess over individual clothing items that they impulsively like and then fail to see what their resulting outfits truly look like. Hence, the cure, is to show people bit by bit how those items could be pieced together better, or when they shouldn't be included at all.
Now to get into the weeds with your response: white may be less visually jarring than an obnoxious purple or green, but my point was that it is formalistically, contextually more odd. Separate issues, though related. I understand you are saying that such a claim about formality is not backed by historical example, but I disagree. I am absolutely sure that "people" wore white shirts with tweed in the past--but I'm not concerned with what "people" did. I am under no illusion that people had better taste in the past than they do now. The question is, what did well-dressed men choose to do? Let's take a look at the Duke of Windsor or Astaire. And then, which of their outfits looked best? That's how we should examine the past.
I don't mean to suggest everything you state is dogma, but the "blue shirt" thing certainly is. It is a forum "rule" that exists because people have read it here and insist upon it.
In this case, I hadn't meant to criticize you so much as illustrate the sort of thing people concern themselves with at the expense of the big picture. Please continue the showing -- that you can explain your reasoning is why I find it so frustrating when you fall back on fictional diktats.
So what you're saying is that you prefer blue shirts and will prefer historical examples featuring blue shirts? Fair enough. I don't care about preferences. I just object to historical misrepresentations and revisionism.
I hope, however, that you're not basing your preference on a false notion of propriety.
No, I'm saying it shouldn't be done--for good reasons.
Do you question the current reality, as it has evolved over time, that white shirts are the most formal of shirts? The problem with merely counting historical examples without interpretation is that you cannot detect good from bad, nonetheless the trajectory of taste. I sincerely do not believe it is merely forum dogma that white is more formal than blue. You said yourself that blue shirts were historically not worn as much and viewed with skepticism. That very squarely makes them more casual--less "correct." As I pointed out before, it is by no coincidence that the phrases "white collar" and "blue collar" have developed their current social connotations.
Today, tweed jackets are amongst the most casual pieces of tailored clothing a man can buy. They are also inappropriate for business formal settings. They, too, are squarely casual. That makes them fairly parallel with blue shirts. In contrast, white shirts remain the shirts we wear when we want to be most formal and most correct. I know this is true when I want to dress for an interview or important meeting. I know this is true when I put on a tux. For most modern men, there is nothing more formal than that. And it makes as much sense as it ever did--from back in the times when a blue shirt would have raised eyebrows. White shirts provide the highest contrast and thus are the most striking, and they are also the hardest to keep clean.
So, you are right that practices in the past may have been different. But today's norms are today's, and they are nonetheless squarely rooted in the past. An elephant is not a woolly mammoth, but the former is nonetheless an evolution of the latter (well, not really, but you get the idea). We are simply more casual than before and less tied to class-oriented norms, so we are liberated to wear blue when it looks better (which I'd argue is most of the time). The preference for white shirts as the correct sort of shirts has fallen away, but we are left with the residue that they are more formal and dressy. The combined result? White is generally wrong with tweed.
Look no further than the entire country of Italy to see that this is not merely forum groupthink.
he lives in nashville...ive spent a lot of time with him and his wife...and his brother...he's got so much charisma it sickens me.
My main issue with white shirts - and black shoes - is that they are not fun. They add a sense of rigidness and formality that I stay away from these days. They can certainly be correct and done well in the right context. I just think 9 times out of 10 a blue shirt - and brown shoes - work better.
I think items that are slightly more casual allow one's true style to come more to the forefront. Anyone can wear a white shirt, black shirt and gray shoes. It's mixing things up that is the hard, yet rewarding part.
PS - I'm not really sure who I should be agreeing with from recent posts as I haven't read them all. I've just seen glimpses of words like "rules" and "white shirts" and figured I'd chime in with my $0.2.
That dude in the hat is dressed nicely. Really, really nicely, actually. The jacket, shirt, and tie are fantastic together.
Don't worry, the Cliff's Notes are that you agree with me.
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