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  1. #1
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    Default Not WASP and still Trad?

    Can someone who is not WASP be Trad?

    For example, could a recently-arrived Mexican immigrant become Trad?

    Can anyone become Trad?

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    As much as it seems so at times, Trad is not a state in which one can be.

    Trad is simply a clothing style.

    So, no and yes. No one can be Trad, but anyone can dress Trad.

    There are many anecdotes about Jewish men dressing the most Trad in a given area or period, for example.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coleman View Post
    As much as it seems so at times, Trad is not a state in which one can be.

    Trad is simply a clothing style.

    So, no and yes. No one can be Trad, but anyone can dress Trad.

    There are many anecdotes about Jewish men dressing the most Trad in a given area or period, for example.
    Coleman: I don't know about that ('simply a clothing style'). Reading this forum has just about convinced me that it's a state of mind as well. I thoroughly agree it's open to anyone though, gardel.
    Friends! Trust not the heart of that man for whom old clothes are not venerable. -Carlyle, Sartor Resartus

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    It gets complicated, that's for sure.

    We all seem to attribute ideas and ways of thinking to it, but you'd never get everyone to agree (and that's surely for the best).

    As much as we disagree on the style, it is still the most consistent piece of the puzzle. The similarities in our methods of thought and action might be more of an explanation for our choosing this style.

    In any case, as a great Trad Forumite once said, it's like herding cats to attempt a definition.

  5. #5
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    I am Jewish and tend to dress more Trad than not. I see no reason other than for reasons of exclusion why Trad would be limited to WASPs, even if Trad is a state of mind in addition to a clothing style. That being said, my friend at work does refer to me as an "Unchosen One" for the way in which I dress. I remind him that Jacobi Press was Jewish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gardel View Post
    Can someone who is not WASP be Trad?

    For example, could a recently-arrived Mexican immigrant become Trad?

    Can anyone become Trad?
    I would say yes for the simple reason that, as this forum was created, it treated Trad as synonymous with TNSIL*. If you look at old photos of for example Yale students from the heyday of TNSIL, you'll see a smattering of blacks** and other non-Wasps. IMO the best representation of Trad ever worn was Miles Davis in the late 1950s.

    *TNSIL=traditional natural shoulder Ivy League
    **I hope this term doesn't offend. I know some prefer the term African American, but with respect to those students, I have no idea of their origins. Top universities have long attracted citizens of other nations.

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    Default Banish the thought.

    Quote Originally Posted by gardel View Post
    could a recently-arrived Mexican immigrant become Trad?
    I cite the following not for political effect, but because I think it is funny and I read it literally thirty seconds after opening this thread. Nevertheless, here it is:

    ---
    "They will look at the kind of dress you wear, there's a different type of attire, there's a different type of ... right down to the shoes, right down to the clothes."
    ---

    So there's at least one resounding "no" to answer your question.

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    Trad as a style is "aspirational" - that's why it seems at times to be, among its devotees, a mode of identity.

    That said, it's a style. There may be correlations involved - the kinds of people attracted to "trad" style might have (or affect to have) certain ideological preferences - but there's nothing genomic or inherent about "trad folks" beyond a fashion sense.

    The greatest irony of trad style is that if there *are* "trad people", they would likely strongly disapprove of anyone making an actual effort to affect a certain style of any kind, traditional or not!

    DH

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    Quote Originally Posted by M. Morgan View Post
    I cite the following not for political effect, but because I think it is funny and I read it literally thirty seconds after opening this thread. Nevertheless, here it is:

    Wow! Using this guys reasoning, I now suspect my friends(college students) of being illegal immigrants.:icon_smile_wink:

    (I'm not talking about M. Morgan, but the Link that he posted of the gentleman who made these comments.)
    Last edited by ZachGranstrom; April 22nd, 2010 at 16:00.
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  10. #10
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    Anyone can wear the clothes that fit them, but the style is too loaded with connotations of Anglo-Americanism for someone without a certain "look" to be able to pull it off without looking at least somewhat contrived. Not stating my own personal opinion here, just stating what I've perceived to be the general perception of the world outside the message boards.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dhaller View Post
    Trad as a style is "aspirational" - that's why it seems at times to be, among its devotees, a mode of identity.
    DH
    Aspirational means that people are trying to be something they aren't, often associated with being rich. I don't think most people who shop are J Press aspire to being wealthy. By virtually any standard, they are wealthy. The Trad Men thread is filled with pictures of people wearing trad style such as Yale students, George HW Bush, the Kennedys, and quite a few senators. To what are they aspiring?

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    Quote Originally Posted by P Hudson View Post
    Aspirational means that people are trying to be something they aren't, often associated with being rich. I don't think most people who shop are J Press aspire to being wealthy. By virtually any standard, they are wealthy. The Trad Men thread is filled with pictures of people wearing trad style such as Yale students, George HW Bush, the Kennedys, and quite a few senators. To what are they aspiring?
    That's just it - people shopping at these places with aspirations of giving off the look of those who have (and may have always had) money. I think that's the aspirational aspect of it in some - but not all - cases.

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    oh, bullcrap, dhaller, ds, it's an upper-middle class style, if anything -- a perfectly acceptable class to aspire to in America.
    Last edited by The Rambler; April 22nd, 2010 at 16:13.
    Friends! Trust not the heart of that man for whom old clothes are not venerable. -Carlyle, Sartor Resartus

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    I have posted many times to say that WASP is just one aspect of trad. I argue for an inclusive trad, and one that is based more on principals of economy and aesthetics than on history. This makes post racial trad very possible.

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    +1 for Miles!

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    For sure: I always thought his look set off his not exactly traditional music incredibly well.
    Friends! Trust not the heart of that man for whom old clothes are not venerable. -Carlyle, Sartor Resartus

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    Quote Originally Posted by Youngster View Post
    I have posted many times to say that WASP is just one aspect of trad. I argue for an inclusive trad, and one that is based more on principals of economy and aesthetics than on history. This makes post racial trad very possible.
    I don't have time to find them now, but I have seen pictures of early 1960s gang members (iirc in Harlem) wearing TNSIL. I would guess it was under the influence of the jazz scene.

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    There is also a popular book by Eric C. Schneider called,"Vampires,Dragons, And Egyptian Kings:Youth Gangs in Postwar NewYork." That discusses the "Ivy Look" , that was popular among early gangs in New York.:icon_smile:
    "It is better to look good than to feel good." Fernando Lamas

    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.
    Mark Twain

    "I hope that after I die, people will say of me: 'That guy sure owed me a lot of money.'" Jack Handey

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    Of all the things I've become attached to, The ones I superglued to myself caused the greatest regret. " Daniel Rahe

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    Nice photo. And there's gotta be about a million pics out there to make the point - as the sticky says, it's an American style.
    Friends! Trust not the heart of that man for whom old clothes are not venerable. -Carlyle, Sartor Resartus

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    The Kennedy''s seemed to always dress Trad and they were not WASPS. Lot of Irish Americans like myself have held down the Trad fort for generations. Look at all the Trad products made in Ireland. Up the long ladder and down the short rope, to hell with King Jimmy and God Bless the Pope. God Bless Ireland said the Heroes. Boston College and Holy Cross College tend to be Trad historically.

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    Default Hmm

    I don't know where to begin. The term WASP was popularized by E. Digby Baltzell in his sociology book comparing the elite classes of Phildelphia and Boston and their Quaker versus Protestant roots and their respsective effects on the cities and their social structures.

    Having had the opportunity to study with Digby I can tell you he was trad all the way. That being said. It's a style that emulates the esthetic of a certain group of people at a certain time. Because the places where these people congregated were "exclusive" they tended to develop a relatively uniform look. But most importantly one must understand that this was a look required to be adopted by the dress codes of New England prep schools, Ivy league Universities and Yacht clubs, Eating clubs and most social organizations of the middle of the 20th Century. Button down collars work better for children and harsh institutional laundries. Tweeds were warm in winter as were flannels and so forth. Even in the late 70s Choate, jeans were only allowed on weekends and a jacket and tie was required at dinner five nights a week. So it's less about your social group and more about the history of how the look evolved. Like anyone, this group of boomer kids and their parents embraced the look that became popular after WWII within their social group. And like most groups they hung onto the look as they got older even though most started wearing it very early.

    That's my take.
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  24. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Anderson View Post
    I don't know where to begin. The term WASP was popularized by E. Digby Baltzell in his sociology book comparing the elite classes of Phildelphia and Boston and their Quaker versus Protestant roots and their respsective effects on the cities and their social structures.

    Having had the opportunity to study with Digby I can tell you he was trad all the way. That being said. It's a style that emulates the esthetic of a certain group of people at a certain time. Because the places where these people congregated were "exclusive" they tended to develop a relatively uniform look. But most importantly one must understand that this was a look required to be adopted by the dress codes of New England prep schools, Ivy league Universities and Yacht clubs, Eating clubs and most social organizations of the middle of the 20th Century. Button down collars work better for children and harsh institutional laundries. Tweeds were warm in winter as were flannels and so forth. Even in the late 70s Choate, jeans were only allowed on weekends and a jacket and tie was required at dinner five nights a week. So it's less about your social group and more about the history of how the look evolved. Like anyone, this group of boomer kids and their parents embraced the look that became popular after WWII within their social group. And like most groups they hung onto the look as they got older even though most started wearing it very early.

    That's my take.
    My first thought was "why are we even talking about this?

    Then I read Scott's post. Thanks, Scott. I still wonder why this is even a topic, but at least you add some concise, intelligent thought to it.
    "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings"

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    Excellent post by Scott. Kudos.

    I would add only that many WASPs are Trad, but not all Trads are WASPs.

    This is why I love America: You can be whatever you want to be. Just ask Ralph Lauren.

    The fact that a Jewish clothing designer can sell WASPs Trad is a beautiful vision of what America can do for you - you are who you make yourself. It's what makes us different than England. They seem to have the same opportunities, but not society, or perhaps beliefs about reinvention.

    God bless the USA.
    --P&G
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  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pink and Green View Post
    Excellent post by Scott. Kudos.

    I would add only that many WASPs are Trad, but not all Trads are WASPs.

    This is why I love America: You can be whatever you want to be. Just ask Ralph Lauren.

    The fact that a Jewish clothing designer can sell WASPs Trad is a beautiful vision of what America can do for you - you are who you make yourself. It's what makes us different than England. They seem to have the same opportunities, but not society, or perhaps beliefs about reinvention.

    God bless the USA.
    Ralph sells an idea - an image - but not "Trad" or "WASP" simply. He sells his interpretation of it all.

    Scratch that, not his interpretation. He sells what the next new young thing out of FIT that Chuck Fagan has a "thing" for presents to Ralph for each season.

    I love the man; he's done incredible things and his legacy will live on far beyond my years, but he's lost (over)sight of his company and its image.

    Black Label is a very illustrative example of this.
    Last edited by Reds & Tops; April 22nd, 2010 at 19:40. Reason: Apparently I have trouble distinguising between its and it's
    "Our problems are man-made, therefore they may be solved by man. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings"

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