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December 14, 2011 9:29 AM   Subscribe

"It was Alan Flusser who pointed out, a whole generation of men in the '70s stopped getting dressed, so they didn't teach their children how to get dressed. More and more people have found, 'Oh, I can go read about this stuff.' " The Oral History of Menswear Blogging. With Michael Bastian, Scott Schuman, Michael Williams, Lawrence Schlossman, Jesse Thorn, and others.
posted by villanelles at dawn (58 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fusser?? How apropos.
posted by spicynuts at 9:36 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


It mentions English Cut in the article, which I heard about through the blue.
posted by resurrexit at 9:45 AM on December 14, 2011


Now, as a genderqueer person I follow menswear blogs (the fussy, traddy, let-me-tell-you-about-benchmade-shoes ones) obsessively. But...

1. There's a LOT of racism on some of those blogs, whether in the comments or in the actual posts - mostly under the guise of "those POC are so sloppy and lazy for not dressing like the 1950s, [insert remarks about criminality and laziness]" and creepy fetishization of Asian women. Some people, like the Affordable Wardrobe guy, moderate fairly heavily and have spoken clearly against this type of thing.

2. Most of them are obsessed with "masculinity" - like, there isn't any space for any queer reading of men's clothes, or for any valuation of men's clothes that isn't ook-ook macho - nothing can be "classic" if it isn't super-masculine. (With the minor exception of evening slippers, but only if they're figured as "this is something the English upper classes wear"). There was one instance in which Mister Mort, who is a Big Deal, had this whole post basically making fun of gay style blogger guy he'd photographed because the guy was carrying an insufficiently masculine bag. And the comments on that one were unbelievably bad, from obviously rich, educated people too.

3. There's a HUGE amount of snobbery. It's not just people who like to dress well, it's people who are constantly whining in a really unattractive way about "those other people who dress badly".

4. There's a total lack of recognition of economic reality - the constant cry is "don't buy [cheap thing]; save up for [pricey thing]", which is all well and good if you already have decent shoes, a good-enough coat, etc, but pretty rough if you have to replace something right away.

5. And Styleforum, jesus. For a while there was this guy who worked at one of the big, important English shoemakers...a young guy who provided some SUPER interesting commentary about how the shoes were made and what it was like to work there. Nothing negative except the usual kind of "and there's this one tiny thing about work that's kind of ridiculous and frustrating". (Actually, it was his comments that, at the time, cemented my loyalty to this shoemaker.) One of the rich dudes on Styleforum basically posted "you shouldn't be complaining about your betters" and wrote a nasty letter to the guy's employer, who fired him. (Luckily, he was so talented that he was quickly hired at the Even Better Shoemaker.)

I don't think it's a coincidence that all this stuff is happening during a period of incredible economic polarization - these style blogs, with their dizzying assumptions that everyone should be planning to buy $30 socks - are pretty much for the one percent and the aspirational classes.

I would LOVE a queer-friendly men's style blog that was also preppy/traddy, since I'm a bit old and Seriously Employed for the attractive stylings of the various queer tumblrs.
posted by Frowner at 9:45 AM on December 14, 2011 [22 favorites]


I'm ambivalent about style blogging. On the one hand, I never bought an item of clothing on my own before I was 19, and it's been a lot of fun discovering the sorts of things I like to wear and whatnot, and I like that the Internet has taken it upon itself to write about this. On the other, I hate the attitude I see a lot of "if you don't dress by following these 53 rules specifically then you're offending everybody within eyesight of your presence".

Jesse Thorn in particular had a post (which I Googled but couldn't find) where he just lay down 10 or 15 rules for how to dress, each accompanied with a snarky "how could a person possibly think this is a good idea? what idiots" sort of tagline. Rubbed me the complete wrong way; things like that make me want to encourage my slobby nature and root for the collapse of aesthetics and fashion so that smirky assholes have one less thing to smirk about.

Are there any blogs about men's fashion written by enthusiastic amateurs, rather than experienced dressers who deign to share their wisdom? The Internet's all about enthusiastic people who're learning things as they go; I don't see so many blogs like that about fashion, and it makes the prospect seem less interesting when it's just "I know what I'm talking about. LISTEN."
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:46 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


On the one hand, it's great that there is a resource for men's formal wear online. On the other hand, so much of it has an aura of "Look how great I am! Here's a picture of me or another guy who's trying so hard to look like a guy you'd take a picture of! Sweatpants? What are you, dumb?"

Such is the nature of cultivating an image and trying to manufacture a faddish aura: You gotta show it off, and someone else has to be wrong.
posted by Turkey Glue at 9:57 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


As long as menswear boils down to the ubiquitous SUIT, blogging about STYLE seems to be rather beside the point. Debating the finer points of what for all intents and purposes amounts to a UNIFORM is hardly pushing any limits sartorially or otherwise.
posted by monospace at 10:08 AM on December 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


On the other, I hate the attitude I see a lot of "if you don't dress by following these 53 rules specifically then you're offending everybody within eyesight of your presence".

It's a dialectic though, isn't it? You can't read that without the context of 21st century American culture which is extremely informal, it's a reaction to an existing reality. As a result a lot of the advice over-balances to the other extreme.

Most of them are obsessed with "masculinity" - like, there isn't any space for any queer reading of men's clothes, or for any valuation of men's clothes that isn't ook-ook macho - nothing can be "classic" if it isn't super-masculine.

Maybe this is a reaction to the mainstream American association of masculinity with slobby-ness and treating any sign of caring about neatness in appearance as effeminacy?
posted by atrazine at 10:09 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


The awful truth about most of these style bloggers is that they simply don't look very good. Their style icons look great in tweed and sweaters and bow ties because they look good wearing anything (or nothing). This looks great in the context of a movie star in a movie. It's not really something you can pull off at your day job. Does Cary Grant look great in this scene because his pants are riding higher than is traditional today? Or does he look great because he's fucking Cary Grant?

See also: Mad Men style
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:10 AM on December 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


I actually like that men's style blogging is dominated by mostly average-looking guys. If only women's style blogging were so free.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 10:12 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


My career path was pretty much decided by finding jobs where I can work in a T-shirt and jeans. So I'll never understand this world.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 10:19 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


So apparently I should have done a better job filling out the post. To make it explicit, this is an oral history about the rise of a specific circle of blogs devoted to mostly American menswear. They rarely talk about suits, they are not (for the most part) intended to be guides for those on very limited budgets, and, at least from what I've seen, they do not mock people of color of people in sweatpants. They're certainly not for everyone, but for the people that do enjoy them they are a thing which did not exist before and so their existing now is a big deal.

On (long, phone-based) preview I think Atrazine has a good point. Rory is right that a lot of these blogs are devoted to the idea that their is a right way and a wrong way, that there are certain colored sneakers you wear in the summer and certain kinda of boots you wear in the fall. But i think thats mostly just talk, reacting to the looser styles that preceded them. When you see what they're wearing and the looks they promote, it's actually a lot more varied and creative than you would think based on all their talk of rules and lists.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 10:19 AM on December 14, 2011


You know, if this were a post about people telling women how to dress, I think this thread would go very differently.

/not suitist, own many nice ones
/not anti-womens' fashion siteist
posted by digitalprimate at 10:21 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe this is a reaction to the mainstream American association of masculinity with slobby-ness and treating any sign of caring about neatness in appearance as effeminacy?

Maybe this is blogging that claims to be about "men" but explicitly constructs itself to exclude queer men and non-gender-conforming men. I mean, call your blogs "The Manly-Man Queer-Haters Suit-Wearing Association" if you must, but let's at least get that out front. "Reacting" to homophobia/fears of effeminacy with more homophobia and gender-conformity (which is what all this "I'm a manly straight dude who owns pin-up model shot glasses even though I know where my cashmere is sourced" routine is)...well, that's neither necessary nor awesome.

And gay dudes wear traddy suits too, IME.

(Bear in mind that I read these blogs. Like, a lot. Put This On has actually posted a couple of things pertaining to queer women who wear some men's clothes.)
posted by Frowner at 10:26 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"if you don't dress by following these 53 rules specifically then you're offending everybody within eyesight of your presence"

I'm heartened that I can do so much good with so little effort.
posted by robertc at 10:27 AM on December 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


(By which I mean that you can wear a really nice men's sweater, a button-down, men's benchmade shoes and the traddiest scarf within a mile radius and be neither "masculine" nor a dude nor straight, as I know personally from today's wardrobe choices.....and I'd love a website that could talk about benchmade shoes, ties, fabric, etc without having to telegraph "we like fabric but no homo"....because over here? Homo.)
posted by Frowner at 10:29 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Most of those blogs aren't so much about dressing better as they are about larping a scottish lord from the late 50ies.
posted by Sourisnoire at 10:30 AM on December 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


It was Alan Flusser who pointed out, a whole generation of men in the '70s stopped getting dressed, so they didn't teach their children how to get dressed.

First, since this is in an American context, I feel it is safe to say that "getting dressed" means putting on clothes. I do that every day, and so do my children. What they probably really mean is getting dressed up. I almost never do that. Last time, it was a funeral. If the way I normally dress offends somebody, it is most definitely not my problem. My son, on the other hand, has chosen a career that requires he dress up most every day. That's OK with me.

Sorry if all this is addressed in the links someplace. I don't care about fashion enough to read them.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:36 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I follow a lot of women's style blogs, but they tend to be of the "look what i found at the thrift store!" variety. Which is good, because I buy most of my clothes at the thrift store too, and it's useful to get ideas on what kinds of pieces to look for and how to pair them up. These blogs don't really seem to be aware of the existence of people who can't afford to spend more than a few bucks on any given item of clothing. Which is a shame, because you can find a lot of the stuff they talk about secondhand-- maybe not those exact brand names, but vintage equivalents.
posted by nonasuch at 10:37 AM on December 14, 2011


a whole generation of men in the '70s stopped getting dressed...

My streaker dad did this to me!!!
posted by orme at 10:44 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, I think it has to do with a combination of stagnant wages and people after the Vietnam war saying, "You know what? Fuck it, man."
posted by orme at 10:46 AM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I actually like that men's style blogging is dominated by mostly average-looking guys. If only women's style blogging were so free.

I would like it yet more if men's and women's style blogging were dominated by folks who were extraordinarily attractive -- but who had an epiphany, rededicated their fabulous selves to dressing in a perfectly average way that set the standard for others, and donated their blogging time and fashion expenditures to worthy charities.

Plus a pony, with or without average-looking gear.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 10:46 AM on December 14, 2011


You know, as I've been thinking about this, it occurs to me that men's style blogs are the way they are because masculinity is the way it is - ie, the idea of masculinity (not "how guys act" or "all guys think this is ideal") is basically about never showing weakness and never being openly in an equal relationship with another. Thus the fetish for dependent women (sex workers, women figured as stupid or naive, retro-dependent wives, women as trophies). Thus the other fetish for employing the right people - it's proper and correct to know how to find and manage a tailor, how to find and manage a cobbler, etc. And thus, of course, the impossibility of any queerness at all - queer women are usurping male prerogatives, queer men are risking being "feminized" or at least not-being-the-dominant-one-in-the-relationship.

Thus the unreality of the lives held up as ideal - the handful of independently wealthy men who play at some upper class job or other, the international business traveler with a $15,000 shoe wardrobe, the endless wealth porn. It's dress as dominance and competition rather than for pleasure, comfort or art.

It makes me a bit ill to see the perpetual photos of rich young men being fawned over by older men working as tailors- the more so when most of these young men have clearly inherited their money and couldn't sew on a button.

And then there's the endless hilarity of everything being declared "gentleman's", bloggers referring to themselves as "gentlemen", etc etc. Not to be all snobby about it, but to seriously describe yourself as a gentleman...it's a bit like introducing yourself as "well-known writer" or telling the doorman "don't you know who I am?"

I'm always reminded of some lines from a novel I read a long time ago - something about how "gentlemen" must in their natural state be total barbarians, because the whole "code of gentlemanly behavior" is pretty much "I should get a cookie for not lying, not cheating and not trampling on widows and orphans".

Dapper Kid which is seemingly no more (and I hope that this isn't the result of the blogger's health problems) used to be my favorite for smart, gentle, queer-friendly style writing.
posted by Frowner at 11:08 AM on December 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


This GQ article has been spoofed by Vanity Fair.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:14 AM on December 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


And then there's the endless hilarity of everything being declared "gentleman's"

On that subject and by contrast, I think James May's Gentleman Laboratory (AKA Man Lab) seems much closer to that mark in a more authentic way.
posted by -harlequin- at 11:20 AM on December 14, 2011


But i think thats mostly just talk, reacting to the looser styles that preceded them. When you see what they're wearing and the looks they promote, it's actually a lot more varied and creative than you would think based on all their talk of rules and lists.

Maybe in part, but in another (large) part, it's also an onanistic echo chamber of little fads like double-monk-strap shoes and wrist bracelets and of enthusiastic self-congratulatory back-patting between many of the bloggers involved.
posted by The Michael The at 11:26 AM on December 14, 2011


I used to watch Put This On because I was interested in the craft aspects of menswear (for gaming/writing research reasons). I kept asking my husband to watch it with me--my husband who is about the straightest, preppiest, Vikingest bear of a guy I know--and he finally told me he was flat-out refusing to watch any more because the snobbery of the hosts made him so uncomfortable. I watched about half of the next episode, got to a point where either Thorn or his cohost basically said anyone who ever wore a poly-cotton blend was subhuman and unfit for polite company, and that was it for me. I unsubscribed from the podcast and now get all my craft stuff from film costuming blogs.

I read women's fashion blogs and I wish I could find a men's fashion blog as positive as the women's fashion blogs I enjoy. Fashion doesn't have to be a competitive sport.
posted by immlass at 11:27 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Alan Flusser has written several books ("dressing the man" in particular) on men's fashion and the thing I really like is how advocates for timeless style. There is a place for trendy fashion, no doubt, but giving what you wear some thought and choosing a style that endures for many years is a worthwhile endeavor. While you can spend a lot in the process you don't have to. Personally speaking I have put together a great classic wardrobe that is mostly trend-proofed and for me this is a sort of rebellion against marketing forces that would have me upgrade my look at their whim.
posted by dgran at 11:34 AM on December 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


There is a place for trendy fashion, no doubt, but giving what you wear some thought and choosing a style that endures for many years is a worthwhile endeavor.

This is what I neglected to mention in discussing the reliance on lists and rules. I think an important aspect of these guys is that they're self-consciously style bloggers, not fashion bloggers. Aside from a few favorites like Michael Bastian, designers don't appear very often on these sites. They're not who you go to for news on Thom Browne or Hedi Slimane; they're much more likely to be writing nerdy posts on some recently discovered trove of deadstock sweaters from the forties. The emphasis on timeless style, and the scant attention paid to trends or fashion, makes it very tempting to incline towards a more hidebound and reactionary dictatorial style, which, as I mention above, the best bloggers simultaneously indulge in and rebel against.

This is also why I find the comments about the 1%-ness of these blogs a little odd; once you're dealing with blogs about clothing you're more often than not seeing clothes that are an order of magnitude more expensive than the stuff shown here. These guys do features on the new Lands End catalog, for christ's sake.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:42 AM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I read Put This On pretty regularly and I'm a bit surprised about the reaction to it here. My impression has always been that the blog is really about finding what works for you and not slavishly devoting yourself to the latest trends. Jesse seems to like ties, but he's not advocating everyone wear a tie. He's also not (in my opinion, anyway) advocating everyone go drop their life savings on a bespoke pair of shoes.

Tumblr seems to be down right now, but Put This On does a few things right that have personally helped me dress better and I think is able to put the information across in a very non-judgmental way:
-Fit - here is how the cut of a shirt or the length or pants affects the way your body appears in your clothes
-Quality - how to avoid buying crap that won't last very long
-Value - where to get good quality without breaking the bank

Is there a bit of geekery about multi-thousand dollar leather bags and custom suits? Yes, of course, because the writers are enthusiastic about the subject matter. I just don't get the impression that they are casting judgment on those that can't afford these things.

Is buying quality clothing at a good value somehow classist? Is this not similar to the previous "Don't eat at Olive Garden" argument? I have gotten some great advice about how to buy at thrift stores and eBay and I feel PTO, at least, has been very good about not showcasing only things that the super rich can afford. Again, sometimes the enthusiast in them comes out and drools over a $500 pair of shoes but there is a difference between taking a few sentences to appreciate a finely made piece of kit and belittling those that can't afford something like that.

In the end, I feel like what is essentially a niche interest is being attacked from both sides for either being a niche or not catering to one's even-tinier sub-niche. Something about pleasing all the people all the time...
posted by backseatpilot at 12:01 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is what I neglected to mention in discussing the reliance on lists and rules. I think an important aspect of these guys is that they're self-consciously style bloggers, not fashion bloggers. Aside from a few favorites like Michael Bastian, designers don't appear very often on these sites. They're not who you go to for news on Thom Browne or Hedi Slimane; they're much more likely to be writing nerdy posts on some recently discovered trove of deadstock sweaters from the forties. The emphasis on timeless style, and the scant attention paid to trends or fashion, makes it very tempting to incline towards a more hidebound and reactionary dictatorial style, which, as I mention above, the best bloggers simultaneously indulge in and rebel against.

This is also why I find the comments about the 1%-ness of these blogs a little odd; once you're dealing with blogs about clothing you're more often than not seeing clothes that are an order of magnitude more expensive than the stuff shown here. These guys do features on the new Lands End catalog, for christ's sake.


See, I don't buy this "timeless" routine. For several reasons - first, while there's a kind of men's dress which has sort of been the same since the late twenties, even there you see huge variation. Brooks Brothers made polyester stuff in the seventies, for example, and if you look at the old catalogs you'll see wide ties and loud colors - just slightly more subfusc than what everyone else was doing. And consider variations in cut - no one is mentioning this, but the "classic" sweaters and coats of the eighties are kind of unwearable by current standards, because they have huge sleeves and huge dropped shoulders. The "men's style" shape of the eighties was to grossly exaggerate the shoulders through volume and drape. Fifties cardigans are also wide and bulky and comparatively cropped - you can see this by searching "vintage cardigan" in men's sweaters on Ebay. "Timeless" is always timebound - just like you can always tell when a historical costume film was made because the interpretation of the historical costumes is always of its era.

And I've seen enough with the men's style blogs to note fads coming through - ties are getting wider, as are lapels. And after a lot of de-emphasis of sport on these blogs, sport is coming back into fashion. This is partly the needs of capitalism (if everyone has a wardrobe of "classic" clothes that last forever, why will they continue to consume?) and partly the needs of competitive dressing, as you have to stay one jump ahead of the proles.

There's always a lot of ideological retconning about this - "I always liked selvege jeans even in high school because they are an eternal style verity" translates into "I had this pair of random jeans that happened to be selvege and although I didn't know what selvege was I liked the jeans"...or sometimes into a flat lie. In a couple of years we will always have been at war with Oceania...or rather, we will always have been wearing wider ties and lapels (and probably a bigger shoulder - have to move that high-grade eighties vintage somehow).

For a very interesting take on trends in men's fashion, the chapters on the late seventies in The Beautiful Fall (which is not just about the seventies, subtitle notwithstanding) are very illuminating. They really show the whole trend process (in this case through the fashion for 'classic' twenties and thirties styles.

Now of course the individual can have a sweater for thirty years, given a good sweater and some luck. And certain individual garments don't date very much...a shetland sweater from 1970 is going to be sort of like a shetland sweater from today, although I'd expect to see differently shaped ribbing at collar, cuffs and waist, a particular set of colors and possibly a scratchier wool.

But I suspect that - should runaway global warming spare us - we'll look back at today's interpretation of "timeless" style in 2021 and say "oh, that's so 2011".

Men's style blogs often define themselves as serious and timeless as against women's style blog frivolity, excess, trendiness, etc. But given that they're all about how to consume correctly, I'm not sure I see the difference.
posted by Frowner at 12:07 PM on December 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


This is also why I find the comments about the 1%-ness of these blogs a little odd; once you're dealing with blogs about clothing you're more often than not seeing clothes that are an order of magnitude more expensive than the stuff shown here. These guys do features on the new Lands End catalog, for christ's sake.

Also, simply to be perpetually consuming for fashion's sake (unless you're consuming at the H&M level) takes quite a lot of money, even if you're just buying up the sale ties at Land's End or popping for the occasional $100 scarf. The vast majority of people in this country simply are not in the market for $150 shoes and - bar major social change - never will be.

I grew up in social circles where Land's End was the moderately expensive, preppy option, and I didn't grow up poor by any means. When we bought new clothes, they were JC Penney or Sears. I remember looking with longing at the LL Bean catalogue. I remember saving up and saving up and saving up to get a pair of Birkenstocks back when they cost $100 and weren't actually that common.

To the fashion bloggers - including Put This On - J Crew is the cheap "it will do in a pinch but look at the low quality!" retailer. To me, J Crew is pretty darn nice. I'm always up for a gently used J Crew sweater on Ebay. And again, I am by no means poor, plus I'm a total clothes horse.
posted by Frowner at 12:18 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I go back and forth with Put This On. Around last summer they did a feature on swimsuits and recommended, without irony, a suit that cost $150. I unsubscribed in disgust. In later discussions on their Facebook page they claimed they weren't necessarily recommending these high end items to everyone, much like a car magazine that profiles a BMW isn't suggesting everyone get one. I didn't find that persuasive, given the subtitle of the blog.

I've slowly come back, and I think they've started to strike a better balance of discussing the generally affordable (eBay auctions, Lands End sales), the aspirational (Aldens), and the fantastical (bespoke suits).

The bracelets/all camo everything/NATO watchstrap/double monk shit can get tedious, and I try to avoid the blogs that go to that well too often. And I do find it pretty odd how so many of them - white and black alike - are so into hip hop. There's a social commentary in there somewhere, I'm sure.

To the fashion bloggers - including Put This On - J Crew is the cheap "it will do in a pinch but look at the low quality!" retailer. To me, J Crew is pretty darn nice.

Co-sign (did I do that right?)
posted by schoolgirl report at 12:26 PM on December 14, 2011


See, I don't buy this "timeless" routine.

You give good examples, but advocates of timeless fashion navigate toward a safe middle where the width of lapels is likely to endure. They suffer the apex of the fashion swings knowing they will be vindicated. The example of the shoulder width in the 80s was just plain bad design though. Shoulder seems that match the shoulder (what an epiphany!) is an enduring style.

That is the essence of the timeless strategy. Wear something your grandpa would have recognized as being in good taste and hope that civilization holds together enough that your grandchildren would likewise think so.
posted by dgran at 12:29 PM on December 14, 2011


It's a dialectic though, isn't it? You can't read that without the context of 21st century American culture which is extremely informal, it's a reaction to an existing reality. As a result a lot of the advice over-balances to the other extreme.

Well, yes, which is why I think the styleblogging response of "enough about what's happened for the last decade, let's go back to the old way!" reads to me as a little bit too kneejerkish and exclusionary. I'm looking at the included blogs in this post and most of them are like what I'm used to: they harken back to a certain era of style that I find alienating for the same reason I find prep culture (recently discussed on MeFi) alienating. It's not that it's unattractive; it's that teaching style by emphasizing rules and conformity gives me the heebie-jeebies.

I've got guy friends who wear Hawaiian shirts with baby-blue crocs, guys who tuck their sports jerseys into their pants, guys with extensive collections of hats, guys who wear endearingly clashing thrift store thingies. My roommate goes back and forth between nice suits and shirts with Zelda maps printed on them. There's a joy to people just wearing whatever they feel like without this obsessive attention to what defines niceness.

Fuck timelessness. Fuck clothes my grandfather thinks are in good taste. (Theoretical grandfather here; my actual grandpa got me a vivid flannel jacket that's beautifully unconcerned with good taste and I love him.) There's a problem with fashion that tries to fit in with accepted standards of taste; there's a problem with any culture that tries to tell you there are right and wrong ways to look or speak or think or live.

What I want are some bloggers who do the things bloggers are best at, which is pursue eclectic things which I may or may not immediately appreciate, and then write engagingly and entertainingly about what they think about these things. The Sartorialist has great taste but the lazy shit never says anything other than "boy does this look good"; I know 14-year-old kids who've got more interesting voices than the fucking Sartorialist. Where are all the weirdoes writing about fashion? Where are the goddamned nerds? Enough of these poseurs, enough of the "book smarts". They're not my people and they're not the Internet's people and just because they look respectful and aren't idiots doesn't mean they're going about this right.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:36 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wear something your grandpa would have recognized as being in good taste and hope that civilization holds together enough that your grandchildren would likewise think so.

My grandfather would have disowned me if he'd lived long enough to see me out of the closet. My grandfather would be appalled that I am wearing men's dress boots today.

See what I did there? When objects (boots, jackets, ties, shirts) are used as rigid signifiers of class and gender, you end up in a world where some people cannot do it right. Or at least cannot do it right without substantial personal sacrifice and discomfort.

This isn't the same as saying "wear a nice sweater that looks good on you and try to be intentional about it".

See, there's a theory of the past and the future written into your statement - a theory that your grandparents were basically middle or upper-middle class, not bohemians, not queer (no jazz sweaters or gold lame evening jackets for them!) and that your grandchildren will share your aesthetic values - plus your social values (that is, they won't prioritize Sorels for the mud and snow over Edward Greens for town) and your social world (it will still seem meaningful to wear a tweed jacket). And your sexuality - they won't be queer, or if they are they'll be straight-acting, nothing camp, no feminine masculinity. I strongly suspect that this isn't what you mean, but it's implicit in the idea that taste and aesthetic practice will continue similarly down the generations.

My great-great-grandparents were Prussian farmers who wouldn't have recognized a herringbone if it came up and bit them, and who would be appalled and astonished to see a woman in pants. Only certain people can participate in timelessness.

Seriously, let's free the cashmere jackets from ideology and just wear them because they feel soft and we like them.
posted by Frowner at 12:51 PM on December 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Folks, the grandfather/grandchildren thing here is just an example and keep in mind that the focus is on good taste not some particular rule or code of etiquette for dress. That your grandfather would disagree isn't the point here. Enforcing some top down set of rules isn't the point either. Read closely the advocates of timeless style and you will find that they quite enjoy breaking the rules, but they will say it is best done when you know what rules are in play.
posted by dgran at 12:57 PM on December 14, 2011


There's a problem with fashion that tries to fit in with accepted standards of taste; there's a problem with any culture that tries to tell you there are right and wrong ways to look or speak or think or live.

That's taking it a bit personally. These are just some guys who are finding things they like, egging each other on, showing off; they're engaged with their own burgeoning community and with independent shops and producers; they're not conforming to the dominant culture or ordering you to. You're telling me that the Japanese guys refurbishing sixty year old looms to make authentic American workwear aren't nerds? The guys on SuFu obsessively taking photos of the fades on their denim every month aren't weirdos? Give me a thousand of those guys over Banana Republic or J Crew, who, yeah, they make nice stuff, but they are Olive Garden, they're Applebees.

But so what? We live in a world that has both Per Se and the Olive Garden, and thank christ for that. People can get excited about something without automatically denigrating everyone else who doesn't. If someone wants to nerd out about Henry James that doesn't mean they're saying all Stephen King fans can suck it.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 12:59 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does Cary Grant look great in this scene because his pants are riding higher than is traditional today? Or does he look great because he's fucking Cary Grant?

I seem to have missed a scene or two.
posted by dhartung at 1:03 PM on December 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


If someone wants to nerd out about Henry James that doesn't mean they're saying all Stephen King fans can suck it.

Except often they are. True - it's also often the case that they're not. Some people bring their pecking order into it, some don't.
posted by -harlequin- at 1:15 PM on December 14, 2011


Part of why I like Put This On is its tagline of "dressing like a grown-up." I believe that, with the twin phenomenons of extended adolescense and excessive casualness, it is harder to dress and act like someone who is an adult. The options for men wishing to go down a more mature-looking path are not as available or relevant today, which I think provides some of the reactionary fuel running blogs like PTO or Die, Workwear! or The Sartoralist. Yes, these blogs can fall down into deep wells of fussiness and elitism when it comes to brands or bespoke fashion (Die, Workwear! is much more guilty of this than PTO, IMHO), but much like photography, it's important to know what the rules of men's fashion are before you can break them and develop your own style.
posted by stannate at 2:14 PM on December 14, 2011


Can someone explain the connection between dressing nicely and masculinity to me? When I think of masculine I think of sports jocks in team sweaters, working class men in white-t shirts and jeans, leather jackets, that kind of thing. (i.e. the opposite of me, except for the fact that I like to wear leather and denim and pretend I look good in them) The type of people who look down on prissy men in ironed shirts and ties. The type of issue addressed in Champagne and Benzedrine's excellent post "On Machismo..."

Of course, my version fashion tends to involve shirts other people tell me are nice (basically anything with buttons and a collar counts as nice), sweaters that don't have logos and black/grey pants. If I have an excuse I have a suit (Italian cut, 3 button because I'm skinny) and some ties (Including my Grandfather's periodic table of elements tie).
It is amazing how much KNOWLEDGE of fashion you can retain in your brain (What the types of suits are, what a French Cuff is) without being able to tell if what you are wearing actually works as an outfit, or if you are wearing the right level of formality to an event.
posted by Canageek at 2:30 PM on December 14, 2011


I've always turned to The Art of Manliness for grooming/style tips.
posted by popaopee at 2:43 PM on December 14, 2011


Can someone explain the connection between dressing nicely and masculinity to me?

This is how I read it: Caring about your appearance is a feminine trait (eg moisturisers marketed to men are a relatively recent phenomenon). If you are going to care about your appearance, you better signal your masculinity super-hard, less someone take you for gay. Like Frowner said above, "we like fabric but no homo".
posted by Leon at 2:51 PM on December 14, 2011


the art of manliness and this whole "good taste" "this is adult" thing seriously do signal certain perhaps retrograde ideas about class and performance of masculinity. i am not going to bother busting into a big thing about this since frowner has held it down, but man. it is cool to see people who are enthused about men's fashion because it is certainly cool, but i can't get myself to sign off on the idea that it's somehow "mature" to return to old-fashioned idea re: clothes as rigid and kinda -ist social signifiers.

that being said fucking i will make a crude nest of cashmere sweaters and sleep in it always because i do like to dress like an old man who does not like to have fun when i am not up to dirty/messy things.
posted by beefetish at 3:10 PM on December 14, 2011


Folks, the grandfather/grandchildren thing here is just an example and keep in mind that the focus is on good taste not some particular rule or code of etiquette for dress. That your grandfather would disagree isn't the point here. Enforcing some top down set of rules isn't the point either. Read closely the advocates of timeless style and you will find that they quite enjoy breaking the rules, but they will say it is best done when you know what rules are in play

So you're positing two things here, and Frowner's comment about how your ideal grandfather differs from an actual real-world grandfather strikes at the heart of both of those things. Basically, you're arguing that:
  1. There exists a relatively transhistorical standard for "tastefulness." (which is the thing you overtly argue for, with your privileging of "timelessness"), but also
  2. That this transhistorical standard is in no way itself restrictive or oppressive, and most especially that this transhistorical "timeless" standard in no way excludes any particular groups. (this is the portion of your argument that Frowner's comment addresses, and that you don't seem to acknowledge).
If "timeless" standards are actually oppressive, or exclude groups that they shouldn't, then those "timeless" standards need to be changed; attempting to adhere to them, or justifying your non-"timeless" individual personal standards through appeal to them, means reinforcing the exclusion.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 3:14 PM on December 14, 2011


There's an element of nostalgia to this, obviously, and nostalgia is always, or almost always, a reaction to loss of something. Sometimes that's loss of privilege. But I think a larger part of it is a loss of a sense of what masculinity is. The old model, the 50s-60s Mad Men model got blown away in the later 60s and 70s in a blaze of bell-bottoms, hideous plaids and turtlenecks, fashion-wise, and it's never really been replaced by anything. Modern male clothing in most places means dressing like an idiot, whether it's "business casual" Dockers and shirt, or the latest atrocity from Ed Hardy et al., or just wearing rumpled whatever picked up off the floor. This reflects the modern reality of "masculine" meaning roughly "thug" -- the kind of guy who never watches anything except Ultimate Fighting or movies featuring The Rock, and never reads at all.

All of the non-thug masculine markers have to some extent moved into the "gay" column, and while gay is increasingly seen as permissible, it's still something that the average man is terrified of being associated with. Notice that some of the things that used to get you points for being intelligent and modern (like reading poetry) now are (to the homophobic) markers of being queer. MORE SO THAN BEFORE (because being queer is a possibility now). So: pretend you're Don Draper.

You could call this the confusion of having to choose -- just as a white man has to be aware of white privilege now, unless he's a chump, he has to, in effect, come out of the closet as a straight man, in a way that didn't use to exist. You could be pretty damn gay in the old days before people actually started wondering if you might be.

No thinking white man wants to be what used to be called a "chauvinist pig" anymore, or a racist, or a homophobe, but some valuable traits of old-school masculinity got tossed out too when those things became unacceptable. Good models of masculine behavior, including dress, acceptable to wide swathes of society, just aren't out there. So people wanting to find a way to identify as male without being slobs or brutes have fallen into a nostalgic trap, and end up like poor old T. S. Eliot, who wanted nothing so much as to be a perfect English gentlemen but always got it wrong. He used to spend hours grilling his English friends on the proper material and design for umbrella handles.

Trying too hard, in other words. The real aristocrat, of course, is famously shabby and worn, which is admirable, but on the other hand the real aristocrat generally speaking belongs hanging from a gibbet, like the unreconstructed racist/sexist/homophobe. Which is a problem. Retreat!

Myself, I'm fascinated by "quality" clothes, and dressing up, but it always has a play-acting character to it. I don't have to wear a suit to work; I work with hippies, mostly. But I do -- as a revolt. And my retro style icon is every bit as much Malcolm X as it is Don Draper or Bertie Wooster.

But what can you do? Anti-style is a style too, and the uniform of the rumpled jeans-and-sweatshirt "I don't care about fashion" is a fashion statement, too -- and one just as reeking of class and race privilege as any of Donald Trump's suits.

I do have trouble with the GQ/Esquire "jacket by Thom Browne, $3700" crap, because I can't afford it and think people who can should be paying more income tax instead.
posted by Fnarf at 4:03 PM on December 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


In truth, I will always be grateful for the posters at Superfuture for helping me find several of the best pears of jeans I own*, but Jesus Christ with a silk pocket corner, I'm glad I don't have to hang around with them everyday.

I can handle understanding basic style, but fashion and the constant search for the New Big Look bores me to tears. And to me this is why I still read A Continuous Lean and I quit reading all the others sometime back.

*Due to crappy preppy clothing snobbery in an old-school industry I once worked, I promised myself I will never wear khakis again, and I will only rarely wear ties. I like having a very nicely cut and beautifully worn in pair of jeans with a matching well-cut oxford shirt for formal occasions. Total cost in may case is less than $300 and I can wear them to the grocery store or work too.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 4:19 PM on December 14, 2011


Fnarf: I think it is a shame that this is becoming associated with sexism, as it would be nice to have a nice set of guidelines on what I can where then. By which I mean, some 'idiots guide to dressing for work' an aspie like myself can consult. From what I can tell it used to be easy: My Grandfather (in a not-dissimilar profession) just wore a suit to every job he ever had, and that was perfectly acceptable. Now people comment when I wear a dress shirt, asking if I have an interview, and over dressing is almost as bad a interview sin as undressing.

That said, some flexibility is nice-- Some of those old restrictions were crazy, and I'd love it if we could just settle on a happy medium, where a dress shirt, black slacks and nice shoes = any job interview, a suit works for any formal occasion (My Dad wore a suit to his wedding, so that is going to be good enough for me!) and a t-shirt and jeans are any casual occasion.
I swear, part of the reason I want to be a prof is because you can be eccentric and no one bats an eyelash-- I have a prof who wears a fishing tackle vest and Guinness shirt to class, one of wears nothing but microfiber (NOTHING), one who wears a suit 3 months of the year, and wool sweaters the other, and one that has never been seen outside of a suit.

I must say, it made me happy to think that there were people out there who didn't idolize the lowerclass sterotype. It is kind of disheartening when all you see around you is aimed at making the ideal man a rough and tumble autoworker, who drinks hard, doesn't know what politically correct means, and doesn't need no damn books, when your ideal image is closer to a Victorian gentleman with a study of books made of oak, filled with comfortable chairs and a fireplace whom can discuss nearly any subject with some familiarity.
Then I find out a bunch of them are sexist asses. Why is it that both the 'men should dress in suits and look nice' and the 'men should be cavemen' seem to be really sexist?
I've got this image in my head of an educated, erudite man who dresses in a set fashion and takes people as they are-- Did I make this up, or is there some group I'm missing?

Next point: Couldn't women just wear suits? I mean, they make them, some of them even look nice. They are way more reusable then a dress and only cost a bit more. Wouldn't it simplify things nicely if men and women just wore similar business attire? Wouldn't that remove the sexism in how one dresses? Pants and a jacket for everyone? Flat shoes for all?

Final comment: Whomever invented the idea that dress shirts should be worn untucked should be slapped upside the head. You look like a slob if you do that, but it has become SO prevalent that my female freinds tell me that I look annoying and dated if I wear it tucked in. They are CUT specifically to be tucked in, that is why they are longer at the front and back. The only reason they are popular untucked is fat people don't look as fat in them.

Final point: I would TOTALLY consider joining a nudist colony to avoid all this if Canada wasn't too damn cold for it 3/4 seasons.
posted by Canageek at 4:34 PM on December 14, 2011


I’m going to second Dressing the Man by Alan Flusser as being an excellent book. If you read it you will understand what people mean by "timeless". Men or women should not be dressing according to trends, but by what looks good on you.

I very rarely wear a suit, the one I have is cheap but good looking, and I’ve always had the kind of job that I could literally wear just about anything. But at some point I got tired of grown men dressing like children and decided to not be one of them.

There are plenty of men’s style blogs that talk about thrifty clothes, and are non fetishy. Duckduckgo.com is a great search engine.
posted by bongo_x at 5:55 PM on December 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


. . .a whole generation of men in the '70s stopped getting dressed, so they didn't teach their children how to get dressed.

Life is a, uh, depending how you dress her
So if the devil wear Prada
Adam and Eve wear nada
I'm in between but way more fresher
With way less effort


Short version: Ah uh, you can't tell me nothin'
posted by a shrill fucking shitstripe at 5:55 PM on December 14, 2011


your ideal image is closer to a Victorian gentleman with a study of books made of oak, filled with comfortable chairs and a fireplace whom can discuss nearly any subject with some familiarity.

See, that Victorian gentleman was at best implicated in some really dodgy stuff to get to that study - I always think of the Carlyles, who were pretty socially progressive, but whose primary servant slept on the floor in the basement kitchen of their large house for the first twenty years of her employment. On the nasty, gross basement floor during a really polluted time in London history. Even though, as I say, they had a really big house with attics and so on - and eventually, it occurred to them that maybe the maid was human and would like an actual, you know, bed. And Carlyle wasn't some kind of child-beating, prostitute-frequenting ex-Raj monster or anything. The more awesome Victorians who didn't act like that were working class autodidacts and radicals who simply didn't have access to the fancy study and the large library.

Note that I am NOT saying "don't have a library, don't have armchairs, don't have wood paneling similar to that enjoyed by wealthy Victorians" - I'm just saying that it's important to name and understand the social system that created "tasteful" standards - and to be aware that if we don't like Victorian-style abuse and exploitation, we shouldn't live a "tasteful" contemporary lifestyle based on modern abuse and exploitation.

As far as the imaginary grandfathers go: the thing is, if I can imagine a really traddy grandfather in a tweed jacket and a cashmere scarf enjoying the heteromasculine "finer" things and approving from heaven of my black watch scarf and English boots, why can't I imagine a nelly queer grandfather who would think my scarf boring and stodgy and who'd rather see me in silk brocade? Why is the traddy grandfather privileged as the arbiter of taste?

On "in what way is dressing traddily coded as masculine?" It's really, really all on the surface: "gentleman's" this and "gentleman's" that; "the art of manliness"; constant narrative about how we need to redefine the "real man" as someone who wears smart suits; the whole "men's fashion is timeless, unlike women's" routine; the way "masculine" is always defined by its non-femininity and the way non-heteronormative women are never referenced on the blogs while heteronormative women when mentioned are reduced to stereotype (you should see the way some of these blogs talk about wives and girlfriends!). And the way it's about control and competition - that's why all the hip-hop references, I think. There's this attempt by white bloggers to fuse white masculinity (class, racial hierarchy, privilege) with what they perceive as the desirable traits of a recreated blackness (a little bit "street", sexual swagger, access to slang, hipness that isn't queer.) There are LOTS of very nicely dressed gay dudes; no one ever talks about them on straight style blogs. There are lots of butch women with dapper stylings; no one ever talks about them. (And consider - I, a queer woman, have absolutely no problem with looking at pictures of femme women and stealing style ideas, or looking at pictures of nattily-dressed straight dudes and stealing style ideas...I don't need to pretend that my style comes from some pure font of queerness, but straight dude style bloggers need to pretend that their style comes from some pure font of straight masculinity.)

Oh, and the periodic "actual making fun of gay men" thing - for example, Hamish Bowles gets made fun of a lot. No one actually says "we're making fun of him 'cause he's gay", but he's a really beautifully dressed guy who 1. collects (or maybe just archives?) women's couture; 2. has a gentle, refined version of upper class style; and 3. is interested in non-macho stuff. Instead of being held up as an Awesome Style Icon, he gets mocked for his association with women's fashion and for various "you are insufficiently masculine Hamish" reasons.

To maybe clarify: My ideal men's style blog wouldn't admire people just because they were rich or of aristocratic background; it would genuinely treat tailors and weavers as equals, not just as clever proles and servants (there's a very good piece by the Shoe Snob on Laslo Vass which I think does this); it would acknowledge economic realities by showing attractively dressed people in genuinely cheap/no-provenance clothes; it would be welcoming to gay men; it would not contain tossed-off creepiness about women and would acknowledge that English boots and tweed do not actually contain Y chromosomes; it could discuss classics of men's style that aren't manly (like glam or gay styles) and how those things influenced straight/traddy styles; it could take women as style models where appropriate to the general tone of the blog. It would not imply that being honest, courteous, brave and hard-working are uniquely "manly" traits. It would acknowledge the breadth of people of color's influences on fashion without just making the occasional handwavy reference to Miles Davis, and it would never, NEVER use cheap stereotypes of inner city youth of color as "terrible examples" to be avoided. It might center men, but it would not seek to define men in opposition to women or in opposition to queerness. As I say above, I really like Dapper Kid - a blog by a young man of color who is queer- and woman- friendly and who writes about the economic realities of wanting a few super-expensive things on a tiny budget. Plus his fashion commentary is very smart. (Oh, yeah, my ideal blog would have MORE WRITING to go with the pretty pictures.)
posted by Frowner at 6:34 PM on December 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Frowner: I think I have it: I'm betting I stole that idea from Doctor Who: Take some of the early Doctor's cloths, the then Tennent's pretty much accepting of everything (Well, except Jack sleeping with everyone, but that was more about promiscuity and time/place then WHO he was sleeping with, based on that fact he stopped Jack from flirting with both men & women). Heck, that image of Tenant as a Edwardian teacher? Yes he was an ass, but he was still easier to relate to then modern blue collar workers for me (Who are, sterotypically, just as sexist, and based on the one's I've met, at least a substantial minority match the stereotype)

I just brought up my Grandfather as we have similar enough taste in fashion that we actually owned a couple of the same sweaters, and I wear at least one article of clothing I inherited from him-- I was talking an actual Grandfather, not a metaphorical one.

I have no problem with people wearing what they want: I think society would be MUCH improved if we attached no status to cloths. However, as someone who can't judge cloths appropriateness very well, there is a siren song of knowing exactly what to wear each day, of not wondering if what I'm wearing to this dance is too much or too little.

I think part of the problem is that I don't associate class with money: Frankly just as many rich people are Bud drinking plebs as poor people. I do strongly associate it with intelligence, probably as a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that any given worker at the Ford factory near by will make 2-3x my salary for the next 10 or so years, and by the time I catch up they will have saved up so much that they can think about retirement. I'm fully aware that a lot of blue collar people are struggling to make ends meet-- I went to a very poor high school, so a lot of my friends parents were never around as they had to work so many shifts, just to try and keep their debt at a manageable level, let alone pay it off. However, those aren't the ones looking down on me for how little money I'm making and refer to my time in school as a waste when I could be working. Thus, I find it far easier to identify with a value system that does not place wealth or physical prowess as its judgmental factor. Thus it is easier for me to ignore the blatant sexism and classism of the Victorian age then to ignore the sexism and greed of the current blue-collar idealization.
Also more selfishly, I can pull off eccentric intellectual FAR better then I can rough and tumble. This doesn't stop me from wearing a lot of leather, I'll admit, I love leather jackets enough that I own um.... Well, I wear three of them, and I own a fourth that I don't wear...

The other thing is: Sure, class and knowledge cost a lot in the past. Why should they now? Some of my nicest shirts came from Winners (Brand name cloths, but last years fashions or end-of-lines, sold at a massive discount, so it is quite popular for people who want cheap cloths). If people wanted it I'm sure there would be more cheap suits and logoless dress shirts: How much does it cost to make a suit, really? Or a nice sweater? How much cheaper would they be if you took the brand name off them? Hint: A LOT. I fail to see why dressing nicely must be limited to the rich.

How much does it take to acquire knowledge of random things with the internet and public libraries? I've never PAID to learn about obscure OSes, poetry or a dozen other topics. Many more I've not paid more then the cost of a book at a used book store. Sure, wine is expensive-- Beer isn't. My Dad and his friends recently split a bottle of one of the most expensive regular-production beers in the world. Total it was something like $200CDN. That is a lot, but they split the cost, and that is the UPPER limit. Craft beer is cheap, and has just as much complexity of wine, when you really get into it.

Also: Aren't some gay styles REALLY manly? I mean, Metal, the "Manliest" form of music to ever exist, BORROWED its fashion from the leather scene. Also aren't a significant number of the fashions today just borrowed from gay men after a couple of years? (thinking of the scarves all the cool kids were wearing a while back). I can't comment other then that, as it has been shown that I have about the worst gaydar to ever exist, probably driven by the fact I'm rather oblivious to social cues, coupled with the fact in most cases I don't care.

Could I use rich white kids who dress up like 50 cent of whomever as examples of what not to do? How about ones with safety pins suck in their face? (Yes, I knew people who did that)

Frankly if I ran a fashion blog:
1) It would be used as a 'do not wear' guide by anyone with sense or taste
2) It would contain only seasonable cloths (see below)
3) No single garment over $100 as a hard upper limit. Suits count as multiple garments, as they last forever (I got mine in grade 8--I'm about to graduate Uni and it still fits with some letting out of hems, so 10 years or so, with a LOT of growth in there)

I'm still trying to figure out men's only fashions. On a lot of places they sell 2 cuts of shirts: Women's and unisex. Dress shirts have to have more room in the chest and tighter shoulders, but I fail to see why you couldn't us the same basic design. Women's suits are pretty much the same as mens, but with the above modifications and reversed buttons. Hell, one of my leather jackets is a women's one, as the only difference is the zipper is left-handed. What fashion is there that women CAN'T wear today? *confused*

Final points, as I haven't written enough meandering things yet:
Can we get kilts oked for men to wear in North America? Please? I'd like a nice cool kilt in the summer. But they would need pockets.
Second: Can we kill all impractical fashions? Namely high heels, pants without pockets (See: Women's dress pants), anything with fake pockets (See: Many men's suits & dress shirts), anything with pockets too small to use (Women's dress pants AND men's suits) and anything that restricts movement (Most dresses, miniskirts, etc) . Please? Oh and tiny purses that must be held all the time. Shoulder bags you can actually store stuff in are ok, and I wish they sold men's ones here (My Dad has one he picked up in Europe a few decades ago, it is nice rugged canvas, has tiny pockets for different things and a decent carrying capacity-- not a purse design either, more of a sachel: Why can't stuff like THAT come into style instead of stupid shirts with hemlines halfway up them?)

Finally: Can we have thin ties back? Or even medium width ones? I love my chemistry tie, but some variety is nice, and I don't like the massive placards we have now.
posted by Canageek at 7:39 PM on December 14, 2011


Finally: Can we have thin ties back? Or even medium width ones? I love my chemistry tie, but some variety is nice, and I don't like the massive placards we have now.

Uh... skinny ties have been the complete rage for the past few years. You can't buy anything but 2.5" or even 2" ties from a lot of stores.
posted by The Michael The at 8:11 AM on December 15, 2011


Um, nevermind then. I guess if I shopped for ties new they would be easier to find. >.> *cough*
posted by Canageek at 7:31 PM on December 15, 2011


justifying your non-"timeless" individual personal standards through appeal to them, means reinforcing the exclusion

I think several people are transposing some extra meaning onto the term "timeless" here that neither I, nor the seminole advocates like Flusser, intend by it. Up to this point I had no idea that the concept could be so offensive so I'll seriously take it to heart but I'm skeptical about claims that it fuels exclusion, anti-gay themes or whatnot.

The timeless advocates are a very small crowd of people who enjoy nice clothes but refuse the let the tail wag the dog -- when the fashion industry tells us about the new look for this season/year the timeless crowd is skeptical and pushes back. My ten year old jacket is just fine, thank you.

I'm told in this thread by several that the timeless fashion is oppressive. If there is any oppression going on here, the adherents of timeless fashion are the vanguard against it.
posted by dgran at 5:32 AM on December 16, 2011


I think several people are transposing some extra meaning onto the term "timeless" here that neither I, nor the seminole advocates like Flusser, intend by it.

Not just a timeless style proponent, but a Native American-rights advocate, too? I've clearly underestimated the man.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:51 AM on December 16, 2011


Arg... seminal. My kingdom for an edit button.
posted by dgran at 5:56 AM on December 16, 2011


Um, nevermind then. I guess if I shopped for ties new they would be easier to find. >.> *cough*

Coughcough.
posted by The Michael The at 8:34 AM on December 16, 2011


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