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  1. #1
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    Default The Heritage-Hipster Matrix

    An Online WSJ piece today, "Is L.L. Bean Driving the Runway?!" starts:

    "Unbatten the hatches, folks: The Brawny Man is back. He's dressed for the elements, looking as rugged as a lumberjack—and also a tad pleased with himself. Yes, he can hunt, chop trees, mine gold and pull lobsters from frigid waters. But his oil-waxed knapsack of tricks has just grown: He's today's fashion icon"

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...Header_Rotator

    Based on the photograph's these "Brawny Men" look like some skinny guys trying out for a cast opening with the Village People.

    I simply don't get these "designer interpretations of traditional American outdoor and working attire. RL has a $700 ripoff - excuse me, interpretation - of the $250 Filson Cruiser (110) this fall that is made from inferior fabric and not long enough to cover your butt in cold weather. What's the point?

    The chart in the article titled "The Heritage-Hipster Matrix" (Our road map to the strange and crazy lovefest between new-school designers and old-school brands.) is amusing.
    Last edited by Mazama; September 25th, 2010 at 15:31.

  2. #2
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    Useless clothing for useless people.

  3. #3
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    Agreed. I think it is time to err on the side of dandy, rather than fauxberjack.

    This is why I am not pleased with my 20 year old set of Filson luggage. It is not JUST that its trendy, but it lacks elegance.

    But anyway, I (for one) am feeling a bit hemmed in: one side, that horrible southern frat boy look with bright polo, khakis, flip flops, and horrible sunglasses; on the other, skinny boys with beards with rugged boutique clothing.

    On paper, both could come under the American traditional look. In practice, they are . . . well, you get the point.

    I do like that there is more interest in American made clothing, but this hipster movement is marked by a surfeit of smugness and self-parody.
    PeterW
    Charleston, SC

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    ^^ Just keep wearing what you've been wearing. This too shall pass
    Wtb: 3.25" ties

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip English View Post
    Useless clothing for useless people.
    Hah! I love how wearing a 3/2 sack allows you to make judgments on people's usefulness.

    As if clothes have any connection with morality.

    Conor
    Hidden Content "Cheerios tasted better when Cruiser wasn't weeing in them." - csharp

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    Is "useless" a moral term?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterW View Post
    Agreed. I think it is time to err on the side of dandy, rather than fauxberjack.

    This is why I am not pleased with my 20 year old set of Filson luggage. It is not JUST that its trendy, but it lacks elegance.

    But anyway, I (for one) am feeling a bit hemmed in: one side, that horrible southern frat boy look with bright polo, khakis, flip flops, and horrible sunglasses; on the other, skinny boys with beards with rugged boutique clothing.

    On paper, both could come under the American traditional look. In practice, they are . . . well, you get the point.

    I do like that there is more interest in American made clothing, but this hipster movement is marked by a surfeit of smugness and self-parody.
    Howz about this: we don't err on any side. We dress in a manner that's appropriate to our immediate situation. That means we don't build a treehouse in a 3 piece suit, don't stroll the boulevard in coveralls, or attend the opera in footie pajamas.

    My major beef with fashion is that it moves clothing into the abstract. That's fine for an art exhibit, but ridiculous otherwise. I even enjoy runway shows where the garments have truly moved beyond costumes into the absurd, but again, they have their place on the runway.

    If I'm walking the dogs through the woods I'm going to be in a macanaw cruiser. If I'm attending a cocktail party here in Greenwich, I'm likely to be in a shawl-collar tuxedo. If I'm at work I'll be in a blazer or a suit. In my workshop I'll be in a chambray shirt and dickies. The garments are contextually appropriate.

    (also, I wear a beard because I have a fat-bottomed head and the beard allows me to employ an optical illusion. I'm not letting my inner lumber-jack shine through)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip English View Post
    (also, I wear a beard because I have a fat-bottomed head and the beard allows me to employ an optical illusion. I'm not letting my inner lumber-jack shine through)
    I wear a beard because, as a comedian once suggested, I'd like to maintain the illusion that my hair is migrating to my face rather than abandoning me altogether.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip English View Post
    ... we don't ... attend the opera in footie pajamas.
    Strange as it may sound, that is an aspiration of mine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redmanca View Post
    Hah! I love how wearing a 3/2 sack allows you to make judgments on people's usefulness.

    As if clothes have any connection with morality.

    Conor
    Clothes have everything to do with morality! I, for example, wear a 1.75" cuff on my pants to indicate that I'm a remorseless sinner.

    The point of that comment is that if you're dressed like a lumberjack in SoHo, you probably have less than a passing acquaintance with trees and their many uses.

    As someone who works with, and has a tremendous respect for the building trades, it irritates me that someone can put on "workwear" and approximate, if only visually, the reverence associated with such garments. This is why I call them useless. They are impersonating people with tremendous societal value while having little or none themselves.

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  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starch View Post
    Strange as it may sound, that is an aspiration of mine.
    As long as there's grosgrain along the zipper I suppose it would be fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redmanca View Post
    Hah! I love how wearing a 3/2 sack allows you to make judgments on people's usefulness.

    As if clothes have any connection with morality.

    Conor
    In my opinion it's not about morality, rather a critique of slaves of fashion adopting a "lifestyle look" that they at best parody by their insistence in wearing those styles with touches such as low rise trousers, "curated" labels and following whatever blogger they worship as their maven.

    Call me a curmudgeon, but fashion is cyclical and driven primarily by marketing. The workwear / heritage crowd will move onto something else in a few years while the rest of us keep on doing what we are doing.
    Wisco

    The juice isn't worth the squeeze - Trip English

    A gentleman has no obligation to correct the ignorant. -
    Wisco's Rule (arkirshner)

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    Quote Originally Posted by hookem12387 View Post
    ^^ Just keep wearing what you've been wearing. This too shall pass
    Amen.

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    Dave Barry did a great (and humorously brutal) article on this fashion once long ago, when it first struck. I wonder how much of that stuff would actually hold up when working outdoors for any length of time, and how much ( $1300 cotton parkas) is actually dangerous.
    Jack Floyd
    I remain mystified

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    WTB: Pink Brooks Brothers Slim Fit OCBD, 16 or 16.5x34

    Visit my blog: Hidden Content | Hidden Content

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    Orgetorix,you are so great.i learn much experience.

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip English View Post
    This is why I call them useless. They are impersonating people with tremendous societal value while having little or none themselves.
    So working in the building trades is the only way to contribute to society?

    Tell you what, call me tomorrow after I finish teaching High school English and you can tell me how wearing RRL jeans means I am useless and contribute nothing to society.

    Conor
    Hidden Content "Cheerios tasted better when Cruiser wasn't weeing in them." - csharp

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    In reading the article, I must admit being mildly enthused by the mention of Woolrich, Pendleton, etc...all preferred brands from my past...from my past staging a comeback but, this excitement was tempered by the memory of shopping the Woolrich Store located in Woolrich, Pa., just two weeks ago and being unable to find a single item that had been 'made in the USA!' These venerable brands may be staging a comeback but...'it ain't the same!'

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    Quote Originally Posted by redmanca View Post
    So working in the building trades is the only way to contribute to society?

    Conor
    Oh please.

    The trend is workwear. That's why I bring up the building trades. If it were lab coats and stethoscopes then a doctor could be irked.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eagle2250 View Post
    (my) excitement was tempered by the memory of shopping the Woolrich Store located in Woolrich, Pa., just two weeks ago and being unable to find a single item that had been 'made in the USA!' These venerable brands may be staging a comeback but...'it ain't the same!'
    It's not just that Woolrich is made offshore but for a number of years the quality of the wool they use has been absolutely awful (recycled Chinese army blankets?).

    Bemidji Woolen Mills still makes a close approximation of the former Woolrich products in their U.S. facility for what passes these days for a reasonable price. Their Stag Jacket is still made in numeric sizes (40,42, 44...) and is made from 18 oz. 85% wool blend versus Woolrich's 11.5 oz. (low quality) 80% wool. Of course you'll pay more, ~$160 v. $115. Bemidji also offers a number of models in heavier 85% and 100% new wool. Good stuff.

    http://www.bemidjiwoolenmills.com/category

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeterW View Post
    But anyway, I (for one) am feeling a bit hemmed in: one side, that horrible southern frat boy look with bright polo, khakis, flip flops, and horrible sunglasses;
    And don't forget the Southern Swoop haircut (also known as 'bama Bangs) that goes with the southern frat boy look.

    I'm currently working on a Master's degree, and I am absolutely surrounded by these toolbags, all of whom haven't been active in a fraternity for years/decades. The grad school's dress code is business casual, even on weekends, but somehow the flip flops are given a pass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trip English View Post
    Oh please.

    The trend is workwear. That's why I bring up the building trades. If it were lab coats and stethoscopes then a doctor could be irked.
    OK, but how can you judge someone's usefulness to society based on what they wear? You say builders are useful to society while those who wear those clothes but don't build things are useless. Do you know what they do for a living? What qualifies you to judge their usefulness?

    Again, am I (a high school teacher) useless to society because I wear RRL jeans? What possible connection is there between the clothes a person wears and what they contribute to society?

    Conor
    Hidden Content "Cheerios tasted better when Cruiser wasn't weeing in them." - csharp

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    I think you're perhaps being wilfully obtuse.

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    I have not doubt there are plenty of people who buy into this workwear/heritage trend purely as fashion, but I haven't come across any.


    I work in the skilled trades, and am somewhat involved and connected with organizations that promote them. Over the past few years across the board there seems to be a large influx in people interested in learning these skills, of the people I've met, most could be described as hipster/workwear/heritage enthusiast.

    To me they all seem really sincere, uncynical and un-motivated by fads.
    If anything they remind me of people here, almost anti-fashion, interested in quality craftsmanship, with an eye to timelessness and longevity.

    Granted, the people I've been n contact with aren't the types to be spending $600 on Woolrich X _____, Filson X ____ stuff, or wearing that ridiculous runway stuff shown in the article (though that could be because I'm not in New York).

    Again, I feel this is very analogous to trad, there are certainly types who are just in it for the trend, but many who see something more in it and are in it sincerely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Starch View Post
    I think you're perhaps being wilfully obtuse.
    There is a lot of that going around!!

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