whnay.'s good taste thread

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Manton, Jul 30, 2012.

  1. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    It's like driving stick. It becomes easier and more natural over time, but you'd be a fool to stop thinking about it altogether.

    I start by picking my suit (or jacket) for the day. That choice is what drives all the others. Then I pick a shirt. Between the two, I have no trouble finding a pair with enough variance in scale and which will go together color-wise. The only thing that might be lacking is contrast variance (say between a navy blue suit and a dark blue bengal stripe shirt). Still, that's no problem since i can alway "fill in the gap" with my square or tie. Thus, I could probably pick my shirt blind.

    Once the shirt and suit are picked, I think about where I can add some variance in texture, contrast, color, etc., or fill in the space where I already have two extremes present. That dictates the tie or square I pick. Which I start with is a matter of whim. Doesn't really matter. Whatever one fails to do, I use the other for. Done.

    By the time I've gotten to the end, there is likely enough balanced variance across the board. If not, I re-think the square or tie. I never go back and change the shirt or suit. They are never the offending agents, and are the hardest to switch. 99% of the time, if I switch out anything, it is the pocket square. The other 1% of the time, it's the tie.

    The whole decision process takes maybe 15 seconds.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012


  2. whnay.

    whnay. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Funny Foo, I take the exact same approach. Always the tie or square, never the shirt or suit.

    I think that's why I don't own a single suit with more than two secondary colors. It makes the choice of everything else nearly impossible.
     


  3. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    I realize I was not invited to the party, that being said.

    I first decide the level of formality based on the days expected events then work through each element with a quick pass/fail determination being mindful of the established elements of the rig.

    I just mentally scroll through a number of qualifiers. Ths mostly stems from the 5 minutes or so I leave myself to get dressed in the AM.

    It helps if these things are all pre qualified when purchasing, I avoid things that don't work with a great deal of what I have already.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012


  4. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I think it's generally good practice to pick sober suits in basic patterns (if any). WAYWRN is so terrible in large part because people think they need an exciting suit to dress well.
     


  5. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Also, wouldn't you say that the key to our method is thinking carefully about wardrobe building first? You need good, usable pieces to start from, or else all is for not.
     


  6. SkinnyGoomba

    SkinnyGoomba Senior member

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    Foo I suspect you put most of the thought in upfront before purchasing something and it helps avoid failures.
     


  7. oldog/oldtrix

    oldog/oldtrix Senior member

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    And it shows. Oh my, that is the only mean thing I've ever said to anyone on SF, and I feel terrible about it. As penance, here's another red, white and blue combo for you to Foo all over:

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     


  8. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The sports analogy is a good one. The idea is to think about what you are doing, all the time, so you eventually don't really have to think about it all. You develop good instincts and habits by practice. The most inspired athletes look like they are playing thoughtlessly, and they are at that moment, but they got to the point where they can play effortlessly after a lot of effort. The same applies here. You have to spend some time observing and thinking about colors and textures and patterns and silhouettes and style languages and groupings until you feel like you have a natural understanding, and then your decisions will be made by trained, informed instinct.

    By way example, this morning I chose an olive finnemeresco suit (made of black, green and yellow threads). I grabbed a pink shirt without thinking, because I knew pink looked right with olive and it was close to hand (if a yellow or lavender shirt were closer, I might have as easily grabbed that). I grabbed a tan and pale blue striped Irish poplin tie (1" stripes) because the colors were right and I needed something not too business formal since the suit is kind of casual. Without much thought I rejected a black grenadine, which would have looked good but been too sober in mood. The only time I really had to pause and think was in choosing whether to wear a square and which one. Since I was in basically all solids, I thought I needed a square. A dark one wouldn't work. Light pink would have been too matchy with the shirt. I wanted solid because I didn't want the square to be the only pattern and attract attention to the wrong place. So I grabbed a baby blue cashmere. That seemed to work, and off I went. The whole process was about five minutes, including the time to actually get dressed. Fifteen years ago, that would have taken longer because I would have had to spend more time actually thinking through the ideas I wrote out (which took me longer to write than to do).
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012


  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Yes, very true. An agonizing amount of thought. Ask Nay or Manton.
     


  10. DocHolliday

    DocHolliday Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Sometimes I feel like wearing a particular item, be it coat, tie or shirt. Often it has to do with the weather. Then I grab stuff that looks good with it. The first item does affect everything else -- a small gingham shirt rules out a busy, small-patterned neat, for example.

    Mostly I wear the same things over and over. And it would be helpful if I weren't colorblind.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012


  11. in stitches

    in stitches Kung Joo Moderator

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    interesting, thank you.

    you must have a speedy quick mind.
     


  12. whnay.

    whnay. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    oldog

    I don't mind it but the solid silk square in red betrays the 11th commandant of taste - thall shall not wear solid silk squares other than white (or cream!)
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012


  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    What about a dark, navy blue solid silk square? Would wear one myself if I had one.
     


  14. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    This is awesome. Dull, but in an awesome way. Don't love the square, but who cares.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012


  15. whnay.

    whnay. Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    They always look cheap. Doesn't Ross / Macy's sell those horrid tie / shirt / pocket square combos where the square is always a solid color in silk?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2012


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