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I think that the clothing corporations put out new "rules" on a yearly basis in order to convince gullible young men to shell out for new (and often preposterous) clothes on a seasonal basis. Some people get confused, and think these are actual rules, even where they clearly conflict with the traditional (read: REAL) rules.* Adding to the confusion are those who confidently express their personal opinion or preference as a rule. Pretty soon, 50 different people are citing 10 different, mutually exclusive rules. No wonder so many throw up their hands and assume that there ARE no rules.

*Which may, of course, be broken effectively if done purposefully and with a sense of style and proportion.
CuffDaddy, I believe you are referring to "the fashion industry" which LOVES to "change the rules" of fashion and in fact has to change the rules on a yearly basis just to survive. AAAC serves to provide its members with a forum where Style can be discussed primarily and style moves at a far different pace than fashion and for different reasons.

If the original posters fears were fully founded then this forum would be a sartorial tower of babel filled with much heat and little light as we argued about how much of our boxers should stick out above our baggy jeans and whether Hollister was cooler than Abecrombie and then in 3 years both of these companies would no longer exist (fate willing) and skin-tight would be the new saggy.

While I hate to think of mens style as being strictly rules based it does have a certain set of time honored traditions and truths that survive the whims of fashion. Certain colors will always compliment, some colors will work better with some skin tones than others. Certain cuts of clothing and modes of tailoring will always be more flattering than others. These "truths" are in flux but they move at an evolutionary rather than revolutionary pace and they serve a purpose both to the style lovers and even the fashionistas.

Without the classic style of a traditional mens business suit the current fad of peewee herman suits would have no frame of reference, it wouldn't make any sense because it would lack a baseline against which it could be judged. The same is true for the less daring - the fitted look - that harkens back to JFK and can be seen on TV in "Madmen".

When Georgio Armani "shocked" everyone with his less structured suits the fashion trend it created lasted for about a decade and then slowly fizzled but likely moved suit styles a bit off their previous course permanently.

I am still able to find what I am looking for here as it relates to style and I pick and choose whose advice I would take, I would also recommend Andy's CD-Rom because it provides a ton of information and without a knowledge of the theory and the history the practice (what you wear and why) will suffer and you will remain frustrated.

I do find that right now there is a recent influx of younger folks about to enter the job market or leave school as well as folks looking for information as they try to get new jobs etc. and along with that you are getting opinion, misconceptions, "rules" and just general feedback which you can filter out if you have some kind of solid foundation.

If people want to come in to AAAC and rail against the past or against traditional mens style I doubt they will stay long since they arent looking for a starting point and already have all the answers they will ever need. Its likely you will see them one day at an event where everyone is dressed moderately well and they are wearing a costume of their own invention that they swear by. Good luck to them but I would rather look well dressed.

...one last thought: Black tie has rules,real ones, arguing them is a time-honored tradition here. Everything else offers a bit more flexibility (although your mileage may vary on the trad forum...yeah I said it!).
 
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