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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Mm. Dapper Brits and my grandfather don't have much in common; my grandfather grew up in a time when ostentation and "foppishness" as he liked to call it were frowned upon for members of his social class.

Despite the rather advantageous start I received, I grew up in a household of very modest means; We certainly couldn't afford to purchase the latest styles of clothing, and I was quite content to dress in polos and khaki trousers or shorts of similar make. My brother on the other hand felt disenfranchised by my mother's inability to procure the latest and greatest fashions, and he did everything he could to do so himself--even turning to theft in his teens and early 20's in order to do it.

I will never object to purchasing quality items over purchasing what is readily available but poorly made or simply currently fashionable. Even the inexpensive Old Navy OCBD's that currently comprise much of my day to day wardrobe will last for at least a couple of years--although I intend to replace them sooner rather than later; they fit a student budget at the moment.

I don't suppose I took issue with the quest for quality items, but I personally don't care to give the style a very rigid definition. If you want to be trad, be trad. Approach life with simplicity, frugality, and a stoic demeanor and everything else will follow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My biggest worry when it comes to Trad is that now that "preppy is in" there will be a time when people look at what I'm wearing and say "That is so 2008".

I am for the reasons cited self-aware about my clothing, but not to the point (I hope) of excessive self-consciousness once I'm out the door.

Oh yeah, and my feet feel better since I started wearing quality American shoes.
I'm quite pleased people have managed to take something positive from a thread fueled by multiple gin & tonics :) I really don't care what people have to say about my wardrobe. This has essentially been my "style" since I was 8 years old; it was essentially my grandfather's style; it was the style many of his friends and successful associates wore.

I'm presentable; I rarely have to worry about being over or under dressed for my workday or social gatherings after. Not to mention that women around my age seem to admire my 'style' when compared to that of men in my age group who wear the latest fashions. I've dated more than a few women whom I would consider out of my league and they've all complimented my sartorial sensibility; granted, charm, intellect, and random eccentricities all played a factor.

Do your best not to fall into the trap of putting too much stock in other people's opinions of you. They'll probably end up replacing their entire wardrobe within the year, and you can use the spare cash to dote on your charming partner or other pursuits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #98 ·
No, I am not. That comment had nothing to do with any of your posts. I was referring to the post that started this thread and the author's inclusion of sentences such as the following:

"Much like GHWB I grew up in a family in which it was normal for men to dess in this particular style"

"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. "

and

"that particular ideal is one that many older "WASP" families cherish deeply"

My point, more of an observation, was twofold. One, there is some degree of tension on this board between those who insist "trad" is essentially a uniform and those who think it is more broadly classic american style.

Two, there are those on this board who feel some obligation to describe their tradly heritage. It's nice, I suppose, but doesn't add to the discussion. Sometimes I find it amusing, other times I think it's annoying. I know I am not alone in that. So, the thrust of my initial post was simply that this amusing thread nicely illustrates the two primary areas of tension amongst forum members.
I think you misunderstand my point, SC. I think that my upbringing probably gives me less "trad heritage" than someone without "credentials."
 

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Discussion Starter · #112 ·
The sniping is pretty ridiculous at this point; I certainly had no intention of starting a row. It was never a question of whether or not I had "trad credentials" or "I'm more trad than you are," but more a comment from someone who is essentially an outsider looking in about the sheer amount of effort that went in to what appeared to be a simple, minimalist style.
 
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