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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,
I'm new to this forum, but as someone who was always interested in attire and its history of the years (dating back to early medieval garb), I decided to join this forum. However, I have discovered that this forum is less about fashion and menswear than about some sort of culture that people here love, which you call "trad."
Now, at first, I thought this was just some sort of conservative thing that some of you guys wanted to perpetuate, however I've come to realize that it is so much more. I would like to offer my opinion on the matter...
I am Massachusetts man all the way (we even have a family tree at home that traces us all back directly to the Mayflower - more precisely, to William Bradford). I grew up on Beacon Hill, in the Back Bay area of Boston. I attended Deerfield Academy in Deerfield MA (class of '02; any of you go to the old alma mater?) and am the 5th generation of my family to attend there (though the first was actually my great-grandfather's uncle, not my great great-grandfather, who attended Andover). I am also the 9th (I think) generation in my family to attend Harvard College (class of '06). If you can call my family anything, it's traditional. However, I have grown to strongly dislike the culture that surrounds my life and my neighborhood at home. Nonetheless, I would still like to address this "trad" thing you all discuss.
First, I believe that any of you who are really trying to dress in this fashion you describe are also trying to buy into the old new england image (whether you're republican or democrat, because my family is actually independent and mostly democrat-voting, so you don't have to be repub). I think you miss much of the not-so-wonderful parts of the life we grow up with - the alcoholism, the divorces, the hidden hatred within families, the torment that many of us went through as children of controlling parents. More importantly, you're missing the fact that this style of dress is really part of a style of LIFE.
Why was I born with a pair of topsiders on my feet? Well, mainly because I've been sailing on Nantucket from the first summer I can remember. Why do I go to the Andover Shop to buy my attire (btw, J. Press is really a college thing for most of us, we only start going there with mum or pop after high school)? Well, mainly because mum always goes there, and that is because everyone before her went there. There is no actual regard to style or fashion - only to maintaining what was in the past. Why the pants with the whales or lobsters on them? Because all the shops on the island sold them every summer.
By no means am I criticizing anyone here...I really think it's great you have found a passion. However, I don't think many of you understand that by dressing in this way, you are buying into a 'style' that really is a LIFEstyle. Without the lifestyle, the style itself is kind of pointless. Whatever it is we wear, we wear it for a reason - it's functional.
If you have any questions or want to know more about what life is like in this somewhat sickening closed world I grew up in, just post it here, I'd be glad to answer. Even if it's just about attire, I can also help you out - despite my hatred of it, I'm as much a part of this lifestyle as anyone else until I graduate from college, and I know the ins and outs of dressing right (especially for the headmaster's tea receptions - make sure not to wear a ribbon belt!!).
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