Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Jul 30, 2012.
What? His shirt? Not the suit.
Oh. Okay. Now I get it. I hadn't seen Foo's post.
This is precisely why it's such folly to spend so much time flipping through photos. A single outfit, no matter how great, teaches very little about how you should build a usable wardrobe. Take a look at Will's most recent outfit on A Suitable Wardrobe. It's a stunner. But, first of all, most who try to learn from that example will royally fuck up. And second, unless you develop a better understanding of things, you won't realize that a red and white striped shirt like that has very limited usability compared to plain blue.
Anyway, it's not as if this a strange opinion to have about the dominion of blue shirts. Will just days ago came to the same epiphany. Vox ordered like thirty of the same blue chambray shirt. And all the Italians do it. Just to name a few examples. But then, if you spend all your time staring at WAYWRN and Tumblr for examples, you might have easily lost the forest for the trees.
I have a preponderance of blue shirts, too. They're easy. I think I have maybe three white shirts and one of them is formal.
When Dieworkwear named Yukio, I Googled him because I wanted to know why he got a pass. We must've posted at the exact same time. It's a pretty odd coincidence that the picture I chose had a white shirt. I hadn't even really noticed the shirt. I've seen so many white shirts my whole life that they barely register as there.
No, this is really solid advice. My remark about squareFAIL was not intended to denigrate this valuable observation.
Well, I do agree his square is questionable. I would not have been merciful grading him in this thread. But it just goes to show: this shit ain't easy.
There's nothing wrong with having a dedicated red and white shirt for one outfit. I have several...
Most people gave a dedicated tattersall for their tweed jacket...
And while I have your attention Foo, please tell me why charcoal pants are hated so.
There is something wrong with that--when everything you have in your wardrobe can only be paired with one thing or another. Then, you don't have a wardrobe, you have a collection of outfits. There is no room for adaptation in that setup, and being adaptable is at the heart of style.
Charcoal odd trousers are a good example of what I mean. It's not that they literally always look bad. It's that they are very rarely the optimal choice.
Thanks Foo. Now I get it.
If you have a range of tweed patterned odd coats and subscribe to the "bland shirt, interesting country jacket" idea -- which I think you alluded to in your discussion of English city style vs. the Continental approach (i.e., austere suit with a fancy shirt vs. the inverse), I see nothing wrong with having just a couple of shirts in tattersall patterns on a white ground that are so subtle as to be largely interchangeable. In that situation, they would play the role of the blue shirt, but lend a needed sportiness to the tweed or plaid or what have you. I, for one, have little interest in owning a huge amount of tattersall or other sporty shirts. Would not one or two suffice? Calculate that you wear a country coat on the weekend or on a day off -- infrequently enough to effectively be OK with just the one shirt. Although one may be pushing it. No more than three, though, I think.
If I read you correctly, I am understanding charcoal to be very dark or near black. Sorry, I don't know what charcoal refers to exactly. But what about something a few stops (I use this term since I know you're a budding photographer) darker than mid-gray? There are occasions when you want to be more austere and it's helpful to have a grayer gray, if you will. Not so much with a jacket but definitely with a sweater.
When we're talking about tweed in Britain, the approach very often isn't austere coat with fancy coat. It's brutally fancy coat with tattersall. The English like their tweed very colourful, will then combine it with a random tattersall shirt and a woollen tie with an animal of some description on it. They do anchor the pattern in solid trousers (moleskin, corduroy) and jumpers, vests or waistcoats, but will then go to town on the colours: yellow trousers, orange or maroon waistcoats, etc. It seems that the blue shirt, in that conception, is a little too citified to be worn with tweeds.
That may be true amongst the bespoke crowd and I reservations about that. In Britain the most popular Tweed would be a Harris, typically the herringbone one. That's far from colourful.
I hate Harris Tweed with a passion.
It seems to me that its the Americans and Italians who go ga-ga over loud Tweeds.
I oft wondered how many of those House Tweeds Huntsman sells and to whom.
I can't agree with 'brutally' fancy - at least not in the bit of the south and midlands that I've seen. But they are patterned and distinctive colors.
Everything else seems spot on.
I would add that a plain blue shirt is actually much more common than a loud shirt in the City or CW. Although loud shirts are fairly pervasive, they seem to correlate with a certain type of persona. Also, though it may be stupid to generalize like this, I associate loud-shirts-as-business-wear with the less prestigious professional firms of the City.
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