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I'm not meaning to be controversial, antagonise anyone at all or in anyway cause offence, but.....

....there's an awful lot of posts on here asking others if so-and-so is right or "correct dressing".

Surely this indicates a possible lack of confidence in one's own judgement and, well, confidence per se. Are some people really desperate for this approval from their peers?

I, for instance, was subject to a minor minus comment when I revealed that I wore off-white denim with a tweed jacket to sit in the public gallery at a Magistrates Court to observe my wife advocating, big deal - no.
I've a thick skin - you don't approve, so what and guess what? I don't care. The weight of the fabrics worked together and I didn't notice a sniper on the street ready to take my head off for it. In fact, as with the broad rules of "proper dressing", I did my own thing...

Who wrote THE rule book....? And who tore it up?

Discuss...
 

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I like the college professor "discuss" part at the end. Sounds like an essay.

Honestly, most of my "proper" questions regard formalwear, where there generally is either a proper (white tie/morning attire are fairly well-prescribed) etiquette or there is a traditional view on the style choices. In my opinion, many of the members who are looking for or commenting upon a "proper" style are merely aiming for a traditional approach. I think it's good to know the traditional style or approach, from which you can then vary as you please.

Classic example: lapels on a dinner jacket. While some prefer the notch lapel, and some swear by the peak lapel, one of the members recently gave the evolution of the dinner jacket, which made me appreciate and come to a decision more easily about which lapel style I'd prefer, and why notch lapels would be seen as more informal than the other lapel styles.
 

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Surely this indicates a possible lack of confidence in one's own judgement and, well, confidence per se. Are some people really desperate for this approval from their peers?
A lack of confidence in my judgment…well yes. I have only recently started to pay real attention to my clothing and now that I am I have a lot of questions. This stuff does not come naturally to me. I have even found myself using the color wheel for matching.:eek: I am here to learn and contribute what I can. Andy has the best site out there on men's clothing!

The fact that I lack confidence in my fashion sense doesn't mean I lack confidence in other areas of my life or am desperate for approval. I am confident enough to be OK with the fact that I don't know and not so desperate for approval that I have to pretend to.

Asking questions and soliciting opinions is all part of the learning process for me. I just hope you all will continue to put up with my questions.
 

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....there's an awful lot of posts on here asking others if so-and-so is right or "correct dressing".

Surely this indicates a possible lack of confidence in one's own judgement and, well, confidence per se. Are some people really desperate for this approval from their peers?
I'm here mostly due to ignorance concerning what "correct dressing" or whatever loose sartorial rules exist. As JayJay said, I'd like to knowingly "break" the rules than do so out of ignorance. My father runs a construction company, and has little need or time to dress up. My white collar grandfather died when I was 2. As such, I'm fairly ignorant concerning what the various customs and standards are. I didn't know that buttons on a jacket are supposed to be 1.25 inches from the end(boy, I hope that i remembered that correctly!), the history of cuffs and when they generally appear (or don't).

I guess you're correct. I don't have much confidence in my clothing judgment. I'm a graduate student in chemistry, and I've been a member of the T-shirt and jeans brigade for a long time. Now that I've advanced to the point I can make other people crawl under the optics table on a filthy floor checking for faulty cables, I can dress a bit better. I'm learning and branching out, but I'm in an environment where wearing a polo with chinos and shined leather bluchers as opposed to sneakers can elicit sarcastic remarks concerning formal wear. I'd like to start out conservatively, that way I know my sarcastic retorts are valid.

EDIT: I would like a copy of The Book as well. It might hold information concerning the random stuff I worry about, such as whether the buttons on my back pockets should be buttoned or not.
 

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Actually, the Rule Book has been long, long ago shredded and forgotten except by a small minority of crotchety eccentrics.

It is now mainstream to wear jeans to formal events, t-shirts to work, and sandals to the opera or theatre. A tweed sports coats worn with an open necked shirt is regarded as the height of formal wear. The funny thing is these people think they are still being a 'rebel'. Rebellion against what, I ask! The Rules have long ago being so utterly relegated to the doldrums that hardly anyone remembers what they are rebelling against.

Today, the real rebellion is to actually dress by the tradition etiquette of dress - to actually dress correctly. It seems almost a revelation to discover these ancient secrets. The funny thing is that people who have no clue how to dress seem to have in them an arcane memory that somehow manages to intuitively recognise that the "correctly" dressed man seems to have dressed exactly how he ought to have. There is an indefinable rightness to it, and they are often amazed, as though the wearer were the guardian of some ancient dress secrets. For indeed, he is - they have intuited correctly.
 

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I think the part of the "rebellion" is caused by people thinking that the "rules" are arbitrary. Most people don't know the rules, and don't know how they came to be rules, so they just assume they are artificial. Most of them evolved for reasons that make perfect sense once you know them. The rules aren't rules, they are simply guidelines for combining different articles of clothing, fabrics and colors in ways that look good, are seasonally appropriate or that respect occasion with the proper levels of formality.


I would agree that today the rebel is the person that wears a tie, a three piece suit, spectators or a fedora. (Unless of course they are doing it in an ironic-hipster way.)
 

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As these gents have put so well, trying to be different renders sameness, for everyone else in the world is trying to be different. Instead, strive to be original.

That is the problem with those who throw out too much of the rule book: they are all the same in that they don't know how to dress.

The Book has come from centuries and decades of history and tradition. When people completely destroy that history and tradition they develop what we see today: incompetence, and not only in dress.
 

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I'm not meaning to be controversial, antagonise anyone at all or in anyway cause offence, but.....

....there's an awful lot of posts on here asking others if so-and-so is right or "correct dressing".

Surely this indicates a possible lack of confidence in one's own judgement and, well, confidence per se. Are some people really desperate for this approval from their peers?
For me, at least, I am going through a major career change and entering a world where people are judged by how they dress.

In the past, whenever I had to dress up, I would wander through Burlington Coat Factory and pick things that I thought were "nice." These usually ended up being clothes that, here, are considered casual and cheap. I was less than a novice, sometimes wearing a thin, skinny tie, rubber-soled black shoes, a brown belt, and no jacket. This was "dressed up." If I were to do this now (i.e. use what was my own judgment), I'd have a difficult time finding employment.

Now I'm learning that there are traditions and standards--protocol, if you will. People expect a certain level of refinement, and, frankly, expect you to look somewhat like them. Now that I think of it, this happens even in casual settings. When I played in a rock band, despite the "do your own thing" atmosphere, there was a certain way people were expected to dress within the scene, and those who didn't know better had a harder time becoming accepted.

There's a real difference in the appearance of someone who is purposefully bending the "rules" and someone who just simply doesn't know any better, so I can see the value in finding out what is "proper" even if you don't intend to be a complete conformist.
 

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I've been a member here a year and this is my assessment: yes, I learned a hell of a lot of information, some very relevant in day-to-day living, other information pointless and obscure. I am forever in debt to Andy and the others for enriching my clothing and footwear knowledge.

However, once you become a regular here, you may start to notice a collective view towards something, whether it be jeans or tuxedo lapels or shoe makers -- and I can name a lot more stereotypes. Most of these views maintain momentum by having stupid kids who have no clue what they're talking about lift up the views. Ten years from now, I secretly hope they look back and realize what a "tool" they were/still are. Some of the other followers genuinely believe what they say from a life of experience, so stay alert on who is genuine and who is fake. But, I suppose all Internet forums have this "problem," or, "benefit," whichever way you see it. With that said, some of the collective views are quite old-fashioned, not classic.

Some of the suggestions made -- now I'm not going to name name's, but you can probably figure it out -- are so out of style, it's a humongous joke to think any man of the "real" world would take those individual's seriously, fashion-wise so to speak. But, then again, doesn't clothing make the man?

Much of tthe rules these forumites, the American ones included, are British in origin. In "real" life, I have no doubt reactions are more head-stratching than approving. "It's because someone said so on the Internet, so it must bmust work in 'real' life! I then won't pay no mind to your confusing look.'"
Maybe the traditionals had it right all along: keep it all American. I clearly am no fan of British dress, and I'll always fend off as much influence as possible. I'll say it loud and proud. Now for a deep sigh of relief after getting that off my chest with you all.

I'm not meaning to be controversial, antagonise anyone at all or in anyway cause offence, but.....

....there's an awful lot of posts on here asking others if so-and-so is right or "correct dressing".

Surely this indicates a possible lack of confidence in one's own judgement and, well, confidence per se. Are some people really desperate for this approval from their peers?

I, for instance, was subject to a minor minus comment when I revealed that I wore off-white denim with a tweed jacket to sit in the public gallery at a Magistrates Court to observe my wife advocating, big deal - no.
I've a thick skin - you don't approve, so what and guess what? I don't care. The weight of the fabrics worked together and I didn't notice a sniper on the street ready to take my head off for it. In fact, as with the broad rules of "proper dressing", I did my own thing...

Who wrote THE rule book....? And who tore it up?

Discuss...
 

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I break plenty of rules, but I agree with the desire to know the rules in order to break them; many of the rules make sense aesthetically and functionally, so knowing them allows one to co-opt their inherent understanding of what looks good and works well, even if one doesnt adhere to them fanatically.
 

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As these gents have put so well, trying to be different renders sameness, for everyone else in the world is trying to be different.
This fact is truly remarkable. We are constantly being instructed that one must be a "rebel" in ripped jeans, in order to be "different" and an "individual". We are also instructed that we have been "set free to wear whatever we want". The result is that everyone turns up dressed en masse like the same rebel-clone. It turns out that this propaganda about "freedom" and "rebellion" are just modern double-speak that mean the exact opposite.

Indeed, has anyone stopped to consider that in a "free-to-wear-whatever-you-want" environment if I showed up in top hat and morning coat, people would be aghast. Where is the "freedom" in that? "Wear-whatever-you-want" turns out to be a code word for: jeans and t-shirts are compulsory uniforms, no deviance permissible. It is like: "you must love Big Brother", "loving Big Brother will set you free".
 

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there are certain conventions that have survived the test of time, and whenever i am reminded or instructed about them, as someone that is relatively new to this site, i am appreciative. after that, when it comes to what i wear on a daily basis, it usually comes down to whether the clothes/colors/pattern "feel" right in my mind right before i walk out of my apartment. a stranger's opinions as to your wardrobe shouldn't give you enough of a pause to even consider writing up a new thread.
 

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This fact is truly remarkable. We are constantly being instructed that one must be a "rebel" in ripped jeans, in order to be "different" and an "individual". We are also instructed that we have been "set free to wear whatever we want". The result is that everyone turns up dressed en masse like the same rebel-clone. It turns out that this propaganda about "freedom" and "rebellion" are just modern double-speak that mean the exact opposite.

Indeed, has anyone stopped to consider that in a "free-to-wear-whatever-you-want" environment if I showed up in top hat and morning coat, people would be aghast. Where is the "freedom" in that? "Wear-whatever-you-want" turns out to be a code word for: jeans and t-shirts are compulsory uniforms, no deviance permissible. It is like: "you must love Big Brother", "loving Big Brother will set you free".
"There is a level of cowardice lower than that of the conformist: the fashionable non-conformist." --Ayn Rand
 

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If you look at dress etiquette charts from America from the 19th century until the mid-20th century they pretty much all say the same things as the British ones.

Those Americans who want desperately to rid themselves of all things British from their wardrobes will probably have to discard most of their wardrobe! All of the sport coats, lounge/sack/business (or whatever you want to call it) suits, dinner jackets/Tuxedoes, leather shoes (Oxfords or Derbies), ties etc will have to go. It would be almost as difficult as swearing off speaking English in America (though some would argue Americans have already done so). Perhaps traditional native American Indian dress might be revived?
 

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If you look at dress etiquette charts from America from the 19th century until the mid-20th century they pretty much all say the same things as the British ones.

Those Americans who want desperately to rid themselves of all things British from their wardrobes will probably have to discard most of their wardrobe!
Duh

How do you escape something that is un-escapable? The answer is you don't. Escape is not even the solution. By the way, if we are discussing this from a classical Western historic POV, aren't the Persians the geniuses who brought pants to the Western world? Wasn't something said about neckties being non-British in origin? I have no intention to battle this out, I hate arguments, especially over the Internet. Just accept and move on.
 

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I was just looking around on the internet to find some information on a point of grammar. I found the following response. It seemed strangely apropos to this discussion, so for your consideration:

In English 10 class, we just started the poetry unit after finishing the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Today, the class was introduced to the poetic words (such as metaphor, allusion, oxymoron). Then we were given a poetry book and the teacher told us to scan all the poems in it to decide whether a certain part is metaphor or oxymoron, etc. I found this very boring and so did most of the people in my English class. Am I going to need to know these poetic words for the later part of my life? What's the purpose of learning these kind of things?

Thu, Apr 8, 2004

Grammar's Response
Have you ever taken an art class, especially one in drawing — or opened a textbook in drawing? What do you see there? drawings of bones, of muscles — all the stuff that makes the thing — the hand, the arm, the face, the back — beautiful. And those gorgeous drawings of birds by Audobon? You know what he did before he drew those birds? He cut them apart, dissected the bejeebers out of 'em. If you are to understand the beauty of anything, you have to know how it works — the underneath, the guts of it. A more mundane example might be your best friend's motorcycle or fixed up jalopy. If you really want to know what made a '56 Chevrolet Impala a beautiful car, you had better be prepared to get your hands dirty.
 

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By the way, if we are discussing this from a classical Western historic POV, aren't the Persians the geniuses who brought pants to the Western world? Wasn't something said about neckties being non-British in origin?
Feel free to wear 17th century Croatian styled neckcloth (or wherever the ancestral necktie originated) or Persian styled trousers. If it makes you feel more American, all the better.

BTW the American English word "pants" is a contraction of the word pantaloon - a fashion that came from Britain in the early 19th century. Perhaps you had better stop using that word :icon_smile:
 
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