Why do you like clothes?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by matadorpoeta, Dec 8, 2003.

  1. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    all of us here on the style forum are into our clothes, and i think most of us like shopping, but i don't think we've discussed why.

    i'll start. i approach my clothes as an opportunity for self expression (what isn't?). i'm not a clothing designer or maker. i don't know how to sew. at one point i considered taking up tailoring (when i was unsure about college). i attended the first few days of a tailoring course, but dropped out because i felt the work was too tedious for me. it just wasn't my thing, and since then i've learned that i'm not very good with my hands.

    so even though i don't make clothes, i have a preference for custom made clothing. not so much because of the superior construction and fit, but because it gives me a chance to play designer.

    there are some musicians who aspire to play the great classic compositions and never try to write their own music. then there are those who are only interested in making their own music, no matter how awful it may be. i'm definitley one of the latter, literally.
     


  2. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    I like my clothes because it gives me a chance to separate myself from the crowd. It's a rare thing to see someone actually dress nicely these days. The compliments you get from doing so make the whole thing worth it. I also admire the amount of work that goes into these things. I think I'm alright with my hands (I draw and ink, and I paint small metal miniatures [​IMG] ) so I wouldn't mind taking a crack at tailoring one of these days. Fit is also hugely important to me. As a person of diminutive size, getting something that fits is a challenge. This has led me to gather a collection of custom-made clothes, and I think it's all well worth the time and effort (and money) I put into getting it all. If I hadn't, I could be just another short Korean slouch on the street wearing a sack suit and bad shoes [​IMG]
     


  3. GQGuyWannaBe

    GQGuyWannaBe Active Member

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    I'd have to say my #1 reason is expression, as you said... I'm a big believer in "The clothes make the man"
     


  4. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    if you are interested, i do recommend checking it out. even if you don't end up becoming a tailor, it only takes a few weeks or so to learn to make a shirt. in fact, in the class i took, we were supposed to make a plaid shirt at the end. the shirt would be plaid so we could learn to match up the pattern on the seams. it's not rocket science, though it must take a lot of practice to master.

    if you think of all the things we need and buy like toothpaste, cars, televisions, etc... there are not nearly as many choices as their are in clothes. when you choose a shirt, pants, and shoes to wear in the morning it's likely you are the only one in the whole world wearing that exact combination. (unless you shop at sears)
     


  5. Pink22m

    Pink22m Senior member

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    This is an excellent question, as it gets behind the sole reason why we are at this forum. Â It almost seems odd that this question has never been asked before in this forum (at least I don't think). Â In any event, I thought I would take the opportunity to discuss my reason for liking clothing. As Alias pointed out, liking clothing is something which is rare nowadays, as so many Americans (both men and women), don't seem to take much pride in their attire. Â People just don't seem to care about dressing nicely, either by choice, or by their lack of knowledge and acceptance of settling for your typical jeans and t-shirt look. Â This is especially true in college, as I have found out. Â And like Alias said, the compliments alone make it worthwhile to dress well. Â Especially when the compliments come from a lady [​IMG] One of the big reasons I love clothing is the self expression that it brings. Â I enjoy colors, and being able to put together outfits. Â Clothes are a perfect way of expressing your individuality, your sense of style, and your confidence. Â The latter is especially important, as the nicely dressed man is much more likely to feel confident and good about himself then the poorly dressed man. Â Simply put, dressing well conveys confidence. Â I also enjoy clothing because there are such a wide variety of clothes out there, from colors to cuts, to materials. Â Fashion is a year round hobby, unlike some other hobbies. Â Finally, it gives me an opportunity to stimulate the creative part of myself, and show off my creation [​IMG]
     


  6. mistahlee

    mistahlee Senior member

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    Three reasons:

    1.  \tEfficiency.  A man must have interests or go mad.  But the spare time of a busy man is small.  Clothes are an hobby that one can enjoy while doing all the other things in ones' work life.

    2.\tCreativity.  Every night I lay out my clothes for the next day.  (Surely many gentleman on this forum do the same.)  I start with an idea or inspiration, then mix colors and patterns until satisfied.  This can be really exciting as when an unexpected synergy happens.  In the morning, one of my first thoughts is looking forward with satisfaction to putting on my selections.

    3.\tIndividuality.  Who doesn't feel like a stand-out when well and thoughtfully dressed?  People notice.  One feels confident.
     


  7. Thracozaag

    Thracozaag Senior member

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    I certainly fall in the former category (although I did some composing as a kid). Sometimes I find it hard to comprehend that Bach, Mozart, etc. were even human beings.

    As for why I love clothes. It's quite simple. I love beautiful things, be it a painting, a poem, or a piece of music. I appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into making such beauty, and admire anything done on the highest level. I enjoy talking with people who are so passionately committed in the creation of their aesthetic, and like gaining new insights into their specific areas of expertise.
    I love the feel of the different fabrics; I love seeing these natural fibers being molded into articles of clothing by skilled artisans. I enjoy the feel of a well made jacket conforming to my body over time, and the satisfaction at knowing what I'm wearing has been made with care. The garment may even have a soul. (Is there a Shinto god of clothing)?
     


  8. banksmiranda

    banksmiranda Senior member

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    I like clothes because...they help to prevent widespread public nudity.
     


  9. GQGuyWannaBe

    GQGuyWannaBe Active Member

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    Yeah; that, I have to say, is even more of a #1 reason for me, now.
     


  10. matadorpoeta

    matadorpoeta Senior member

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    we could use togas for that.

    why do you wear what you wear? why do you buy what you buy? why do you even care what you look like when you leave the house?

    i went through a phase where i deliberatley looked like crap. i think i was 18. then i realized that one of my personality traits is that i like elegance in everything; music, art, film, bahavior, and so on. that's about when i began to see myself as someone who could (and should) wear elegant clothes.

    i'd like to hear people's stories about when, why, and how they really started paying a lot of attention to their clothes.
     


  11. Alias

    Alias Senior member

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    Well, my story begins at a tailor shop in Itaewon, here in Seoul, Korea. I needed a suit for something, and I didn't have one handy, so I decided to try out a custom-made since everyone was raving about them. I didn't know a thing about how my suit was supposed to fit and wear, so I trusted the guy taking my measurements. Apparently, Korean men like their suits on the large side, with heavily-padded shoulders and long jacket sleeves. They don't like waist definition at all, and they don't like anything that isn't ventless. They also wear their pants fairly baggy. After my first appointment, I began doing some research about suit construction and style. I stumbled upon enough hints to tell me that I wasn't going to get a suit I would like very much, so I called the salesman and insisted that some things be done, one of them being adding dual-vents on my jacket, making the pants flat-front and removing their cuffs. (He intended to give me the default: Pleated pants with cuffs, and a ventless jacket.) I began to engage myself further in "fashion" and "style" by picking up issues of Esquire and GQ, which I like to believe is as good a starting point as any. I also started visiting the forums at Ask Andy, which sort of answered some questions for me. By now I had a good general idea of how my suit's supposed to look, and I got my second at a department store. It was marginally better. I later had to take it back for alterations, because once again I fell under the curse of the "Korean Sack." My third one was from another tailor with enough fashion-forwardness to understand that I wanted something slim-cut. It's a fairly nice tropical worsted wool in navy blue, with pinstripes, two buttons on the jacket. Not bad, but I detest the buttons he gave me. As far as fit goes, however, it's great. I lent the salesman one of my GQ magazines. I didn't bother asking for it back. Then I discovered a copy of Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man sitting around in a Korean bookstore, one of those huge ones downtown that has all sorts of "foreign" literature (up to and including Chinese novels and Japanese comic books.) I immediately snapped it up. It soon became a fixture in my backpack; I would read it while on the subway going from point A to point B. It really helped me define just what's permanent for style and what isn't, despite what his self-portrait on the book jacket may say. (Weirdo.) It also helped me to get my colors right, so now I need to find someone to give away all of my light-colored ties to (they're in various shades of silver and off-white) and am now in the process of buying things that are darker and lend more contrast (I scored a very cool Zegna with navy blue, light blue, and brown on it, perfect for my suit/shirt/eye color.) It helped me cement how I was supposed to fit my suit to my body, which up until then consisted mostly of hearsay and Internet-gleaned how-to's. I joined the Style Forum and, with the instruction I received, got my fourth suit not too long ago, from a tailor I can now trust. It's the best one I've bought. So yeah, that's my little personal journey with regards to suits. I have another one with regards to dress shirts, because it's damn near impossible to find anything my size here without paying gobs of cash at the department store, whose salesmen might not even fit me correctly anyways. The shirtmakers around here weren't so great either. I discovered Jantzen Tailor from a recommendation on this forum, and I plan on getting all of my future shirts from there. I'm thoroughly enjoying the fact that I can get fitted shirts for $40 that some people pay a brand like Clairborne over $100 to get, and I'm also enjoying the fact that I can get decent bespokes for $500 that fit me as well as what some people would fork over $1000 for. I guess that's my vindication [​IMG]
     


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