Not WASP and still Trad?

Discussion in 'Andy's Trad Forum' started by gardel, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. gardel

    gardel Well-Known Member

    Can someone who is not WASP be Trad?

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

    Can anyone become Trad?
  2. Coleman

    Coleman Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. The Rambler

    The Rambler Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Coleman

    Coleman Well-Known Member

    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. yossarian

    yossarian Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. P Hudson

    P Hudson Well-Known Member

    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.
  7. M. Morgan

    M. Morgan Well-Known Member

    Banish the thought.

    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.
  8. Dhaller

    Dhaller Well-Known Member

    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! :)

  9. ZachGranstrom

    ZachGranstrom Well-Known Member

    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: Apr 23, 2010
  10. D&S

    D&S Well-Known Member

    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.
  11. P Hudson

    P Hudson Well-Known Member

    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?
  12. D&S

    D&S Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. The Rambler

    The Rambler Well-Known Member

    oh, bullcrap, dhaller, ds, it's an upper-middle class style, if anything -- a perfectly acceptable class to aspire to in America.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2010
  14. P Hudson

    P Hudson Well-Known Member

  15. Youngster

    Youngster Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. dmbfrisb

    dmbfrisb Well-Known Member

    +1 for Miles!
  17. The Rambler

    The Rambler Well-Known Member

    For sure: I always thought his look set off his not exactly traditional music incredibly well.
  18. P Hudson

    P Hudson Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. ZachGranstrom

    ZachGranstrom Well-Known Member


    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:
  20. The Rambler

    The Rambler Well-Known Member

    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.

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