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Trad and Effort

19107 Views 118 Replies 37 Participants Last post by  heimskringla
Do forgive me if this has been beaten to death already. However, in following this forum for the last few months, I have come to a conclusion about what attracted me to the 'trad' style in the first place.I enjoy the apparent effortlessness involved--except most of you put quite a lot of effort in to dressing in a particular way.

Much like GHWB I grew up in a family in which it was normal for men to dress in this particular style; plain front trousers, a properly fitting jacket, and a presentable pair of shoes were de rigeur for the men in my family, even after we ceased to have an abundance of wealth. My grandfather certainly had a favorite haberdashery or two, but I never recall him fussing over whether or not his jacket had darts or a rolled lapel. He always insisted that a gentlemen must never try too hard to dress well, because in doing so he was likely to appear pretentious. There's a certain austerity in that statement, I suppose, but that particular ideal is one that many older "WASP" families cherish deeply.

I suppose that what I'm saying is that I find it very difficult to fuss quite this much about what I'm wearing; I prefer a sack cut when I have the opportunity to wear one, but I wore a darted 2b charcoal suit last Friday evening (to a business casual dress dinner) and received a number of compliments. I also don't feel awkward when appearing without a jacket on a day-to-day basis; I enjoy them, but if it's too warm and humid, I'll dispense with the jacket. I wear a tie when the mood strikes, but I'm more comfortable in the heat with the first button of my collar undone.

I wear an OCBD and plain front khaki trousers on a daily basis. They look good; I can meet with students and administrators informally dressed this way. I don't have to spend too much time considering what I'll wear in the morning; I own 14 OCBD shirts, one polo, a pair of loafers, a pair of slip on Sketcher's, and a pair of captoe oxfords. I rarely experience a moment of indecision when the available choices are light blue, French blue, white, ecru, and pink.
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I agree with the above comments.

-- In most things -- professions, art, craft, however humble or fine -- seeming effortlessness is part of mastery, even though underneath the surface, those legs are paddling like crazy. But does the audience really want to see the dancer's face straining?

There's nothing wrong with taking effort to make things seem effortless.

-- As mentioned above, clothes are a much bigger challenge today. There are exponentially more choices contriving to bewilder the picture. Even more signfiicant is our throwaway culture.

A few decades ago, if a guy needed a pair of decent, versatile, and durable shoes, he might just pick up some penny loafers. Even at a modest price, those shoes were well made (in the USA, even!) with good leather. Today the same quality shoe must be sought after through a maze of confusing choices, and a much greater price.

Today, most people just buy stuff that lasts a year or two and then throw it away. That wasn't always the goal.
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I'm not concerned with the ethnic heritage of the people who make the clothes I buy. I just tend to prefer that my stuff is "made in USA".

I am 100% NOT accusing you of anything, but it seems to me that the distinction between what foreign stuff is OK and what isn't is whether white people make it.

Not a lot of people around here talking about their Peruvian poncho.
I too have reached the "very little effort" phase. Took me 6 months (from 0 to 60), but I'm there.

This is a weird thread.

Evidently we've established that if a "trad" in today's world were to wander science fictionally onto a 1955 college campus, nobody would recognize what he was wearing. And he himself would be vastly confused. Everyone would be exclaiming "Mein Gott! What kinds of clothes are THOSE?"

Occasionally, 50 years ago, some newspaper would run an "ad" showing outlandish futuristic clothing, but only as a college prank.
I wonder if certain board members have disappeared due to this type of sniping, which seems to be on the increase here.

I know I'm getting tired of it.
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