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Dressing well in the brave new world...

13797 Views 82 Replies 38 Participants Last post by  eagle2250
This is probably a well-worn subject by now, but I'd be most interested in hearing the ways in which men dress well in this age of casual rule.

I would happily dress as our esteemed member Upr_Crust does each day! Sadly, a button-down shirt, khakis, and a blazer now elicits comments such as, "Why so dressed up?" Dressed up? My late father would never be caught in public in anything less!

I got to thinking about this topic (yet again), after reviewing an interview with Roycru. As part of this, he said:
" It seems as if, for the first time in history, there is a universal world wide style for all sexes and ages consisting of tennis shoes, jeans (or short pants), back packs, ball caps (worn indoors and outdoors), and tee shirts, which almost all people wear wherever they go and whatever they do. Any other style seems to be a relic of a time that has gone and will never come back." (italics my own)

The interview concluded with:
"Finally, what can readers learn from traditional American dress?

RP: Probably the same things that they can learn from looking at dinosaur bones, seeing what's left of a time that has passed forever. When I was young, everyone looked like me. Now, very few people still look like me. Eventually, probably no one will look like me. Some time in the future traditional American prep-ivy-trad style will be as rare as knee breeches, tricorn hats, and powdered hair are now."

So I ask anyone interested in commenting, how do you dress these days, and not look as a relic?

Or do you just say (as I often do) that if people can put steel in their faces, and wear pajamas in public, how can anything that is classic style (or anything else these days for that matter) be considered weird?
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Mr B. Scott Robinson, your post #60, seen above, convinces me to embrace you as a spiritual mentor, but first I must ask, how long do you intend for those wearing clashing leather hues to remain in purgatory and has wearing two unmatched shades of brown position me in the 'deity's gunsights? LOL. ;)
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I'm still trying to determine why a creator God would create us as broken vessels and then command us to be made whole through redemption, with some predestined to fail in this journey. Bad luck for them.

I would have much preferred to have been created perfect from the outset and avoid all the trouble. From my read, we are still on humankind version 1.0 Noah which was seen as rather glitchy from the get go.

A new faith...

Those wearing ties to church should be first in line for salvation with those dressed to mow the church lawn cast into a lake of fire?

Organist saved, bongo "players" damned?

White shoes outside of Easter/Memorial Day....firey furnace for certain?

Hands kept firmly at ones side during the invitational hymn with violators left to clean up after Wednesday night supper?

Brown shoes with black belts cast into purgatory?

Or we could learn to proceed in life with our sense of humor as our shield and our ability to be self deprecating as our flaming sword leaving our breast plate of self righteousness somewhere along the side of the road to Damascus.

Cheers,

BSR
I'm still trying to determine why a creator God would create us as broken vessels and then command us to be made whole through redemption, with some predestined to fail in this journey. Bad luck for them.

I would have much preferred to have been created perfect from the outset and avoid all the trouble. From my read, we are still on humankind version 1.0 Noah which was seen as rather glitchy from the get go.

A new faith...

Those wearing ties to church should be first in line for salvation with those dressed to mow the church lawn cast into a lake of fire?

Organist saved, bongo "players" damned?

White shoes outside of Easter/Memorial Day....firey furnace for certain?

Hands kept firmly at ones side during the invitational hymn with violators left to clean up after Wednesday night supper?

Brown shoes with black belts cast into purgatory?

Or we could learn to proceed in life with our sense of humor as our shield and our ability to be self deprecating as our flaming sword leaving our breast plate of self righteousness somewhere along the side of the road to Damascus.
And no seersucker after labor day!
Cheers,

BSR
I'm still trying to determine why a creator God would create us as broken vessels and then command us to be made whole through redemption, with some predestined to fail in this journey. Bad luck for them.

I would have much preferred to have been created perfect from the outset and avoid all the trouble. From my read, we are still on humankind version 1.0 Noah which was seen as rather glitchy from the get go.

A new faith...

Those wearing ties to church should be first in line for salvation with those dressed to mow the church lawn cast into a lake of fire?

Organist saved, bongo "players" damned?

White shoes outside of Easter/Memorial Day....firey furnace for certain?

Hands kept firmly at ones side during the invitational hymn with violators left to clean up after Wednesday night supper?

Brown shoes with black belts cast into purgatory?

Or we could learn to proceed in life with our sense of humor as our shield and our ability to be self deprecating as our flaming sword leaving our breast plate of self righteousness somewhere along the side of the road to Damascus.

Cheers,

BSR
As I recall, from scripture, the original creations fomented their own imperfection, albeit encouraged in this fall. Genesis chapter 3.
I'm still trying to determine why a creator God would create us as broken vessels and then command us to be made whole through redemption, with some predestined to fail in this journey. Bad luck for them.

I would have much preferred to have been created perfect from the outset and avoid all the trouble. From my read, we are still on humankind version 1.0 Noah which was seen as rather glitchy from the get go.

A new faith...

Those wearing ties to church should be first in line for salvation with those dressed to mow the church lawn cast into a lake of fire?

Organist saved, bongo "players" damned?

White shoes outside of Easter/Memorial Day....firey furnace for certain?

Hands kept firmly at ones side during the invitational hymn with violators left to clean up after Wednesday night supper?

Brown shoes with black belts cast into purgatory?

Or we could learn to proceed in life with our sense of humor as our shield and our ability to be self deprecating as our flaming sword leaving our breast plate of self righteousness somewhere along the side of the road to Damascus.

Cheers,

BSR
Don't be ridiculous. The pianist is saved. The organist? Far too "rock and roll", sir. Straight to Hell with them.

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This is probably a well-worn subject by now, but I'd be most interested in hearing the ways in which men dress well in this age of casual rule.
I'm surprised that, after 7 pages, nobody has pointed out that Dave's opening post contains probably the best pun this forum has seen in 10 years. So I just did. Congratulations, DaveS!

To answer Dave's question: I dress just a little better then I really need to. Instead of jeans, I'll wear khakis-from Brooks Brothers, Bill's, or O'Connell's. A buttondown-collared shirt instead of a T-shirt. If others have on a button-up shirt that is untucked, mine will be tucked in-always. Instead of a hoodie, I'll wear a casual jacket from Brooks Brothers or LL Bean. Rather than a sweatshirt, it will be a Shetland crewneck for me. Long trousers-never shorts-in public. At night, I'll throw on a tweed sport coat when going to a movie or to a restaurant. (If I'm going in a group, and I know that absolutely no one else will be wearing a sport coat, then neither will I-I'll stick with the aforementioned casual jacket. I dial up my outfit a little, but not so much as to make others feel underdressed.) I wear sneakers to the gym and only to the gym-otherwise it's non-clunky walking shoes from Timberland (if I plan on walking a few miles) or casual shoes from Allen Edmonds. Sometimes dark brown Merrill's shoes if I'll be walking 7, 8, or 9 miles.

For jury duty or the theater, always a jacket and tie, regardless of how other people there are dressed. I don't know them, so I don't mind if I outdress them. Anyway, because I'm in my early sixties, people don't pay much attention to me. If they do happen to notice my attire, they probably figure I'm old enough to dress a bit out of step with the times. Summing up: my clothes are always neat, clean, pressed, color-coordinated, never really over the top-and I feel comfortable in them-so I simply keep on keeping on.
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I see quite of bit of myself in your post. Although I admit that I cannot recall the last time it occurred what anyone else might think about the way I put myself together,...(Underdressed or overdressed.)

I suspect many of the regulars here at AAAC can relate to your post.
Best regards,
I think there are some absolute truths about dressing well. And most of us can figure that out by the simple "I know it when I see it" test. You want to dress well you go all out - well fitted suit, braces or a nice belt that matches your shoes, high end shirt, a tie and a PS. You know it when you see it. Take a look at upr-crust photos on an almost daily basis. It's not for everyone but when you pull it off it's pretty obvious. Most people dress very average even when they try to dress well. While some may consider chinos and a BD shirt with leather shoes dressing well it is certainly not inspirational - it just isn't dressing poorly which has become more the standard. And that is not to disparage those who don't have the means, desire, nor need to dress any better than cargo shorts, a t-shirt, ball cap and tennis shoes. If that's what they want to wear fine - but I think I have the right to have the opinion that I don't consider them well dressed because I know it when I see it.
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I often dress better than most of my colleagues. I could never seriously lecture a class in golf shorts and a polo.

I dress in suits, khakis, and sports coats etc. from brands such as Brooks Brothers, Bill's, and Ledbury. I'm often asked why I'm "overdressed" in Khakis, an OCBD with a rep tie, AE shoes, and a blazer.
Well 'moral' means concerned with right and wrong behaviour. Given that you acknowledge that you dress smartly where others don't, and that in the circumstances in which you dress as such it is, in your view, wrong to dress in a slovenly or indifferent way, you are unavoidably applying a norm to how we dress at church. You are right, and those who dress indifferently are, to use your word, doing 'wrong'.

There is surely no clearer indicator of moral superiority than to indicate that you are in the right and others in the wrong.

Please don't take me as hostile - I do not mean to say that you would ever be so impolite as to approach these people and put them down. Furthermore, I think your intentions in dressing well for church are entirely honourable and admirable. However, to say that you have never implied your moral superiority to the more casual dressers would be to ignore the effect of your last comment.
I'll just toss my $0.02 in. I am not a religious man. However, out of respect for the institution itself, if I am going to attend a place of worship for any reason, whatever it may be, I will be in a suit. It isn't about judging others; it's about me doing what I think is appropriate and respectful.
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I'll just toss my $0.02 in. I am not a religious man. However, out of respect for the institution itself, if I am going to attend a place of worship for any reason, whatever it may be, I will be in a suit. It isn't about judging others; it's about me doing what I think is appropriate and respectful.
So, if you happen to be the only person in a particular place of worship that is wearing a suit, is it your opinion that none of the other men are being respectful to the institution?
So, if you happen to be the only person in a particular place of worship that is wearing a suit, is it your opinion that none of the other men are being respectful to the institution?
I don't know if that is quite fair. But if you have an unknown (going to a place of worship that you may have never attended) and you aren't certain how the members may dress isn't it safer to err on the side of being overdressed rather than underdressed?
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To me, it's not about religion but respect for the institution, whether I am visiting collegiate offices where i used to work, a nice local restaurant or my church.
I respect the institutions and since I was raised (reared) to show respect in the way I was shown, I feel it incumbent to be true to myself and to those who i feel are important to me.
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Not too long ago, I was one of the masses of the brave new world who hardly ever dressed up. For me it was shorts and tshirts when casual and chinos and polos for dress up. And if I had to get super dressed up I pulled out the fancy black suit form JC Penney and the fancy square-toed shoes from DSW. And this was up until a couple of years ago. I had no concept of fashion and no idea how to dress professionally even though I'm an accountant. Partly because I also never even bothered to look around to see what others wore.

Then a couple of years ago I was at a CPA conference and for some reason I started to notice how many others were dressed better than I was. Not all of them because there are plenty of badly dressed accountants. But, enough dressed well that it made me notice. And the ones that dressed the best also were the ones people looked up to the most. Did it mean they knew more? Not necessarily. But, it seemed to give others confidence in their opinions.

So, I started my journey of education. It started with videos from Real Men Real Style which led to many other videos and websites, including this one. I had a lot of learning to do. I had never heard of most of the brands talked about, although, I had heard of BB, but had never been in one.

When I started dressing better, I noticed some things. First, it made me feel better about myself. Like I was taking pride in my appearance and actually trying rather than just putting on something clean and going with it. Secondly, I noticed how others treated me. They started to treat me with more respect, even though nothing inward had really changed. Although, some friends were confused by my clothing, wondering what had happened, though, they all agreed it looked good. I just went to another CPA conference a month ago and this time I was dressed appropriately and didn't feel out of place at all. In fact, I felt like for the first time in my career I actually know how to dress professionally.

That's not to say that all of a sudden I was better than anyone else. I'm certainly not. But, I notice when I dress well, I feel better about myself and other people treat me in a way that I like. I think as long as someone isn't walking around like they're better than someone just because they "dress better" (which is subjective) then it's fine to dress up in this "brave new world" and enjoy yourself.
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The churches that I went to as a small boy sermons and Sunday school lessons pointed out that in the Old Testament, somewhere, that God commanded them to wear the best clothes for God. Thousands of years later- Sunday Best. Then the Hippies developed. Some of their views are right, too. So, Sunday Best became history. Overall, Sunday Best I think still has a place.

As far as other reasons, that don't include church, dressing well has different meanings. And even then there are reasons not to dress well. But in general dressing better is personally better, and healthier. Some of what is considered dressing better here, now, 50 years ago is sloppy and inappropriate back then. The whole idea of dressing well is ever changing. Those who are older than me were brought up with different rules. Those younger have grown up with very different rules, because of the Hippies.

My 2¢
Every church will have its own sartorial environment. If you plan to attend a specific church over a long period of time my advice is study how those in the sanctuary & choir dress. My experience is those people set the tone for the way the congregation dresses. The goal is you want look good & respectful and fit in.
So, if you happen to be the only person in a particular place of worship that is wearing a suit, is it your opinion that none of the other men are being respectful to the institution?
I'm not judging others; I speak only for myself and one of the ways in which I personally would show respect.
I'm not judging others; I speak only for myself and one of the ways in which I personally would show respect.
Good sensible safe answer, and no quarrel with it at all.
It is essential, of course, that one avoid judging the actions of others, since that would be judgmental. The very idea that one might, for instance, assert that men should dress up a bit when going to church or temple is a violation of modern relativism, a belief system that is grounded (ironically and hilariously) in the most thoughtless of absolutisms.
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I've actually started dressing up more at church lately. Not because I think what I'm wearing is holy or anything like that nor is it to impress anyone else. But, as someone mentioned earlier, it's an important event for me so it should be reflected in the way I dress. If I were going on a first date with someone then I would want to look good (although, my wife might wonder why I'm going on a date with someone else. :p ) Or if I were going to an important event then I might get dressed up. So, how important is church to me? (it's very important). So, it was a personal conviction of mine to at least look at little more presentable. Not that I'm always wearing a suit, but I'm at least wearing something better than jeans and t-shirt which was my normal church outfit. But, I think how someone dresses at church is really up to them. I just decided for myself that dressing a little nicer is something I wanted to do while I'm there.
It depends where you live and what you do. America is still largely a frontier country in mindset and people value practically over peacocking. It’s slightly different in Europe and other places where people rightly or wrongly have more tradition of dressing up all the time. I notice that in large, international cities there are plenty of well dressed people. Well dressed does not always mean a tie. I like that there has been an explosion in sport coats and blazers of varying descriptions and soft tailoring, it’s a style I like and I ascribe to personally.

Better a well put together semi-casual outfit than a bad suit and tie in my view.
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