STYLE GUIDES: essential or obnoxious?

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lately i've been having a lot of opinions about people who write "instructively" about style and about the guidelines they propose. i'm not sure how it works in the world of womenswear but for guys it seems like there have been dozens of books, even hundreds over the years, comprised solely of this sort of advice. just about all the major men's magazines publish this stuff to no end but -- no surpise -- a lot of that's mostly about enforcing the dress code of the business & professional worlds. basically, "how to be taken seriously."

sure, i know that for plenty of guys this stuff is genuinely helpful not to mention strategically useful for advancing in the workplace, but i tend to resent some of the prescriptions: "A man should never wear an X with a Y." why the fuck not? who says so?

obviously these "rules" are a lot more fixed for men (or at least they change more slowly) but i've just been thinking about how these guidelines get invented and passed along in culture.

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

where w/e you want just be really handsome

松 (▩ ▨ ▧ ▦ ▥ ▤ ▣) ☃ ☃ oooh ive been so good this year (Lamp), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:54 (seven years ago) Permalink

i like that rule

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

You are going to force me to do my poll thread involving THIS GENIUS-LEVEL BOOK:

http://cache0.bookdepository.co.uk/assets/images/book/medium/9780/5951/9780595177936.jpg

Back up the lesbian canoe (Laurel), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

Which mostly wants to teach you all about quality and restraint.

Back up the lesbian canoe (Laurel), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

but really like

my latest peeve is anyone or anything that suggests "dressing up" or "dressing down" an item of clothing

like every garment exists on a relative scale of casual vs formal

i mean i get it but it just bothers me

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 15:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

i am automatically suspicious whenever something is proclaimed "a classic"

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 16:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

Uh I think your personal style spends a lot of time breaking "the rules" -- also, the rules change by era, so anyone whose style is heavily reliant on that of an earlier age is going to be breaking modern rules almost by definition. So of course you aren't going to find this kind of instruction very instructional.

Back up the lesbian canoe (Laurel), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 16:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

Well, for women, a strand of pearls is a classic. A tank dress in an expensive fabric, preferably in black, is a classic. There ARE classics. But they're stuff that's so mild and innocuous as to be almost unnoticeable in its own time. That's how they get to be considered "lasting."

Back up the lesbian canoe (Laurel), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 16:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

i dunno, like i said i'm having a lot of opinions about it. i guess this is prompted by a blog post where the author took photos of rather acceptably well-dressed dudes and actually adjusted them in photoshop to comply with his "rules" like changing the neck of a cardigan and changing the color of a shirt. i feel like a lot of people making or perpetuating these rules are really just making a big deal out of their own personal tastes.

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 16:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

these just seem like any set of rules for artistic processes; they're basically there for beginners so they feel like they have some guidelines so they know they don't look like total dillholes. but once you're advanced enough, it's ok to break the rules. like in middle school art class you learn how to draw landscapes in perspective or cheap rules for how to figure out how big the eyes and ears should be when drawing a face, but once you're an artist, you can fuck with perspective or facial proportions however you want. seems harmless.

congratulations (n/a), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 16:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

tbh i think reading barthes' fashion system really caused me to go up my own ass about overthinking this

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 16:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

sometimes i like to put on my best doublet and hose and sneer @ clowns dressed like peasants

松 (▩ ▨ ▧ ▦ ▥ ▤ ▣) ☃ ☃ oooh ive been so good this year (Lamp), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 16:36 (seven years ago) Permalink

i think its essential in that most dudes NEED to be told what to wear / what not to wear to get a job, score the babe, get dat promotion, and once they figure out the basics they can develop their own personal style (basically what n/a said...). but unfortunately most dudes don't have it in them to stray from the pack... which is why shopping for menswear in the states is so boring. for me, anyway... but then again i dress like a clown

though i love looking at menswear photo blogs with hysterical comments about DARING lapels and SHOCKING sleeve button placement and etc... i mean, is that all you got? ugh...

phil-two, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 16:45 (seven years ago) Permalink

i do think theres this... not myth, i suppose, but perception that its just so tricky for ~dudes~ to 'dress well' & that w/o some expert handholding itd just be cheese-stained t-shirts & sweat pants everywhere whereas i think most ppl (men & women) dress so poorly for the same reason so many ppl eat poorly: because to do otherwise requires real time & (often) expense.

also i honestly cant think of a single 'style rule' that id be like 'yes, thats a thing'. i guess black @ funerals, if that even counts...

松 (▩ ▨ ▧ ▦ ▥ ▤ ▣) ☃ ☃ oooh ive been so good this year (Lamp), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 16:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah i guess there is some false concern for dudes knowing how to dress themselves because caring about one's appearance is (still) threatening to masculinity -- better to have someone lead you through the zone, so as not to appear too light in your sockless loafers

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 17:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

not that people actually follow these guides, unless they're telling dudes to put on high-waisted baggy khakis with hot-air balloons tucked in? its all i see every time i transit thru DFW or O'Hare. I wonder if chicks dig that look?

phil-two, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 17:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah i mean at this point it's just too easy to criticize dudes for ill-fitting clothes, but they are at least following some internalized rule that khakis and a collared shirt is an acceptable look for them to wear in public, even if they don't know how they should fit to actually look good

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:01 (seven years ago) Permalink

this doesnt bug me all that much? i dont read as many fashion blogs as you do elmo but from my fashion-impoverished point of view the creation of rules and systems is inevitable--in fact its sort of required for fashion to operate the way its supposed to. & of course its not just that fashion requires rules, systems, codes in order to "work" but it also requires that those same laws be broken, changed, mutable. (like nick says you see this in any art form--but i think fashion in particular has this kind of relationship to rules given how it operates socially)

& you cant really separate these rules as they appear in esquire or these terrible blogs with the fetishization of some form of lost masculinity or know-how or whatever. the "mad men" effect or what have you. and maybe it bugs you that theyre written out in these kind of condescending voice-of-god ways? both of those things admittedly irritate me.

ban drake (the rapper) (max), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:09 (seven years ago) Permalink

though i love looking at menswear photo blogs with hysterical comments about DARING lapels and SHOCKING sleeve button placement and etc... i mean, is that all you got? ugh...

and honestly i kind of love this, not ironically! for this kind of man-blog subculture changing the button on the sleeve is actually shocking/daring/whatever--how is that not fascinating and exciting! isnt that what fashion is kind of all about?? navigating arbitrary rules regardless of how ridiculous they seem to outsiders?

ban drake (the rapper) (max), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:11 (seven years ago) Permalink

so i guess my answer to the thread question is BOTH

ban drake (the rapper) (max), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:12 (seven years ago) Permalink

it's stuff like dictums about matching shirts & ties, stuff like that, that gets me so worked up. like "never wear a pink shirt with a red tie, u plebe" or whatever.

right now i'm wearing two patterns of similar scale and color, which is supposed to be a big no-no: black & white tattersall check shirt, black & white micro gingham flannel tie. i think it looks really nice! but i am doing it intuitively, based on my own personal taste and sensitivity to color and proportion, etc. but idk, those are faculties i guess not everyone has access to / are in touch with

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

I think it's fair to say that your tie collection alone wd probably give any style guide writer conniptions, so

Back up the lesbian canoe (Laurel), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

because they'd be all "shit, this guy has no use for my style guide ;_;"

fat fat fat fat Usher (DJP), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:26 (seven years ago) Permalink

"khakis and a collared shirt is an acceptable look for them to wear in public"

this combo doesn't signal acceptability to me so much as this dude will not snatch my wallet, but may vote republican. (so it's a push?)

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

Yo Elmo, a slight derail, but I want to ask your (or anyone's) advice in a case of something I thought was normal, but was apparently prohibited when I checked with a style guide: brown shoes with navy or black suits?

kkvgz, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

max I totally agree with the necessity of a system, and yeah a lot of the irritation is a reaction to the proclamatory tone of 'the rules.' i kinda wish people didn't pretend that fashion ISN'T ultimately arbitrary, even though i find a lot of enjoyment both in following the rules (dressing to a certain standard and knowing that ppl will recognize that i "dress well") & subverting them when it suits me. it's a balance i guess?

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:29 (seven years ago) Permalink

it's stuff like dictums about matching shirts & ties, stuff like that, that gets me so worked up. like "never wear a pink shirt with a red tie, u plebe" or whatever.

right now i'm wearing two patterns of similar scale and color, which is supposed to be a big no-no: black & white tattersall check shirt, black & white micro gingham flannel tie. i think it looks really nice! but i am doing it intuitively, based on my own personal taste and sensitivity to color and proportion, etc. but idk, those are faculties i guess not everyone has access to / are in touch with

― tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:16 PM (10 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

right but 1) part of the whole "game" of fashion is breaking the rules, doing the things youre not supposed to do, etc., and in so doing opening up a new game, a new system, an so forth--and also 2) whether or not these style guides/experts like it, the rules theyre laying out apply only to a specific (sub)culture; they might claim these are universal rules for all men in all situations but surely that claim is laughable on its face & not worth taking seriously. (and finally 1+2) part of the fashion game involves adopting and breaking and playing with rules for subcultures of which you do not belong)

ban drake (the rapper) (max), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:33 (seven years ago) Permalink

those are faculties i guess not everyone has access to / are in touch with

otm

phil-two, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:34 (seven years ago) Permalink

elmo i think we mostly agree, but i would also point out that without these rules your own personal flair--which id argue is what makes you "fashionable" rather than just, i dont know, "well-dressed"--would be meaningless; its only in the face of the rules that your pattern-matching moves from "personal taste" into the realm of actual capital-f fashion

i think? i dont know im sort of riffing here

ban drake (the rapper) (max), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

Yo Elmo, a slight derail, but I want to ask your (or anyone's) advice in a case of something I thought was normal, but was apparently prohibited when I checked with a style guide: brown shoes with navy or black suits?

― kkvgz, Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:28 PM (7 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

the "rule" as i understand it is that dark brown, navy and black should never be worn together. its not especially arbitrary, as these rules go--when you put black next to navy they look too similar without actually being the same. tan shoes and lighter-brown shoes look fine because they are clearly different from the black.

ban drake (the rapper) (max), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

That makes sense. I was thinking of lighter browns.

kkvgz, Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

kkvgz: perhaps you'd like to consult this tie-rack with built-in style chart!

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4016/5076644311_74f8f825c8.jpg

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

elmo i think we mostly agree, but i would also point out that without these rules your own personal flair--which id argue is what makes you "fashionable" rather than just, i dont know, "well-dressed"--would be meaningless; its only in the face of the rules that your pattern-matching moves from "personal taste" into the realm of actual capital-f fashion

i think? i dont know im sort of riffing here

― ban drake (the rapper) (max), Tuesday, April 12, 2011 2:35 PM (7 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

i kind of want to take this back. i think there is an impt distinction to be made between "personal taste"/"style"/"fashion" but im not really sure what it is or how those things relate.

ban drake (the rapper) (max), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 18:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah though i think the obvious distinction is that "fashion" is time-specific? but i get where you're coming from

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 19:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

personal taste is obv different from fashion - subjective vs intersubjective - but there is no next-level overarching objective 'style'.

and the hint of parp (ledge), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 22:30 (seven years ago) Permalink

sorry if that is like duh radical subjectivism 101

and the hint of parp (ledge), Tuesday, 12 April 2011 22:38 (seven years ago) Permalink

right after I graduated high school I bought 'dressing the man'

this was only because I was into old 40s-50s movie stars like cary grant and bogart and stuff

i think drake distracts (dayo), Wednesday, 13 April 2011 00:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

laurel i need more info on that book!

tangelo amour (elmo argonaut), Wednesday, 13 April 2011 01:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

anyway I liked the book because it taught me about proportion, like I realized that I have a pretty long torso and short legs for someone my height. and there are ways to work w/ that. but yeah most of the color-matching stuff I just skipped over.

i think drake distracts (dayo), Wednesday, 13 April 2011 01:16 (seven years ago) Permalink

what was annoying was that it would show pictures of really famous and handsome dudes and the captions would be "look how his clothes really make his look!" and really, these were dudes who you could dress in a polo and khakis and who would still look awesome

i think drake distracts (dayo), Wednesday, 13 April 2011 01:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

??
http://images.usatoday.com/news/politics/photos/0717gorebuff.jpg

Philip Nunez, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 01:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

I am pretty proud of myself for being able to look sharp and separate myself from the usual workaday brooks brothers schmuckatrons despite almost 100% of my wardrobe being lands end and ll bean - and this schtick (I am comfortable acknowledging it as a such, where does that idea fit? hmm) took me like a decade of ill-considered middle-of-the-road experiments to settle into.

i do think theres this... not myth, i suppose, but perception that its just so tricky for ~dudes~ to 'dress well' & that w/o some expert handholding itd just be cheese-stained t-shirts & sweat pants everywhere

there is absolutely a problem for dudes, especially twentysomething young straight fools just entering the workforce, who don't know to match or coordinate their belts and shoes and blazers and ties and just throw on whatever. You could blame all kinds of factors - two off the top of my head would be the masculine "your mom dresses you" stigma which seems to make guys gravitate towards the cheese-stained t-shirt and ratty ballcap in rebellion against any kind of dress which might get a poindexter label, and the university culture that reinforces this by not discouraging it as adamantly as it probably should

but that could be solved by For Dummies content, and not even a book, a brochure; the thing is there's no money in printing dress-yourself brochures, so everything aimed at this market of desperate young bros with their first office job is in book format, overloading the simple advice with a lot of striped oxford nonsense. The overly helpful attitude of your average men's wearhouse sales clerk isn't very useful either.

So having said all this ruthlessly obvious crap, I wonder if maybe what the world needs for dumb guys who don't know nothin about to dress is "schtick guides" - "How To Roll Like Steve Jobs" lol amirite - at least give our guileless future dads of the world the option to play dress up in a couple of different ways without having to end up always looking like a cheap knockoff of something that was a mediocre idea to begin with.

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 01:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

Oh elmo, the book is at work! Sorry, was too busy today to deal w it. BUT I WILL.

Back up the lesbian canoe (Laurel), Wednesday, 13 April 2011 01:51 (seven years ago) Permalink

The fashion sketches in it are the best, so dramatic. And all the illustrations have legs like 5' long, proportionally speaking. Which is less than helpful. But the truisms they're illustrating still hold, like: "A dark dress with a light scarf around the neck will draw an observer to your face. A dark dress with a white belt will draw an observer to your waist." And: "A beige suit and shoes and bag will always look good with many colors of shirt underneath, but a colored suit will have to be perfectly matched to everything else."

Basically it's all about Quality, or "Q". Buy the best you can afford, because worn-looking Quality is still better than new cheapness. Plus consider the usage for the fashion -- plastic trim masquerading as leather: non-Q. A vinyl poncho in a casual setting when it's raining: totally Q.

And so on.

Back up the lesbian canoe (Laurel), Wednesday, 13 April 2011 01:55 (seven years ago) Permalink

If you must buy pearls but can't afford them, buy fake. But make them the best fakes, so that not even an oyster can tell the difference. It actually says that!

Back up the lesbian canoe (Laurel), Wednesday, 13 April 2011 01:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

I looooved reading men's style guides, my whole childhood & teenage years. I remember some of the first of my parents' books I picked up were about men's fashion. The range of types of clothing was a lot smaller than women's clothing so the details seemed to matter a lot more. Maybe this is why men's fashion seemed so much more comprehensible than women's fashion, which is still kind of ?¿?¿? to me. Plus going to a tailor seemed so glamorous & posh. Men's clothes are also a lot more pragmatic than heels & skirts (not saying this is the entirety of the realm of women's fashion or that these types of clothing are bad). It was all abstract to me anyway, aspirational, no one in my family dressed nice.

blah blah blah my entire life happened to me once (Abbbottt), Wednesday, 13 April 2011 01:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

...and there are the ones that are actually factually wrong, like Color Me Beautiful's statement that black haired people never have blue eyes.

Christine Green Leafy Dragon Indigo, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 02:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

oh Elmo you mean the 'put this on' guy whose own clothes don't fit right!

Ines de la fressange did a style guide book - must buy.

daria, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 02:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

haha I def wear dark navy, dark brown and black together! idgaf

daria, Wednesday, 13 April 2011 02:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

Let's just acknowledge that real style was never possible until converse all-stars opened a website that allowed the hoi polloi to order custom shoes for under a hundred buckos

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 12 July 2011 02:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

the other day i was thinking about doing a fuckyeahmenswear thing but for mens fitness type shit like

dont come at me with those fucking salads sprezz-dawg
i just ate at fucking baja fresh. twice. cuz i just eat fried shrimp like that.
i see you in the morning running through park like a chump hampster when im fucking w/ all you can eat breakfast
for three hours
i got these abs when i bent down to pick up a pen i dropped. the only crunch i know is the captain
so walk the plank
fuckers tryna impress they dates with some kale and kidney beans
put that quinoa away ive got genetics keeping me regular
im fucking speedboat-dating supermodels while i get calf definition from just being so gd fly

# (Lamp), Tuesday, 12 July 2011 02:18 (seven years ago) Permalink

haha for some reason i thought this was the thread where we talked about that site, guess not...

# (Lamp), Tuesday, 12 July 2011 02:20 (seven years ago) Permalink

why are sarah palin's "girl parts" distressed

max, Friday, 15 July 2011 01:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

is that a wrinkled pussy joke?

horseshoe, Friday, 15 July 2011 01:06 (seven years ago) Permalink

sarah palin isnt that old!!

max, Friday, 15 July 2011 01:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

look it's not my wrinkled pussy joke

horseshoe, Friday, 15 July 2011 01:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

been thinkin about this a lot tbh

would it be too obvious and undergraduate of me to conclude the essential function of men's style guides is to police masculine gender hegemony and economic class privilege

jackie tretorn (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

i feel that is a boring thing to conclude, seems obvious to me but idk

jackie tretorn (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:15 (seven years ago) Permalink

yeah but its still p much true!

where w/e you want just be really handsome

this is still my one sentence style guide btw

Monstrous TumTum (Lamp), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

oh totally

*reblogs old mcqueen photos*

jackie tretorn (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

*steve, i mean*

jackie tretorn (elmo argonaut), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 17:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

Alright elmo, quincie, and anyone else: I put that style guide poll up FINALLY. Have at it.

it's not that print journalists don't have a sense of humour, it's just (Laurel), Tuesday, 16 August 2011 19:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

I completely agree with elmo's shit up there

disappointed that I missed the poll

fwiw the international cybersecurity practitioner style guide includes a LOT of not ironing anything, chuck taylors, non-shiny ironic "ha yeah like this is a tie but not serious" ties and shell toes. everybody is totally surprised

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 03:20 (six years ago) Permalink

I feel like there should be a whole style guide just telling nerdy dudes how to be more like the last couple of dr. whos so they can get out of the black tshirt and doc martens hole we've been in for decades

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 03:22 (six years ago) Permalink

You will have to leave Eccleston out of the guide then

The Most Typical and Popular Girl Rider (Crabbits), Wednesday, 19 September 2012 03:24 (six years ago) Permalink

yeah yeah I meant smith and tennant. eccleston is exactly the problem (and more or less how I dressed during most of my 20s)

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 03:29 (six years ago) Permalink

WILSON'S LEATHER

The Most Typical and Popular Girl Rider (Crabbits), Wednesday, 19 September 2012 03:33 (six years ago) Permalink

lol

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Wednesday, 19 September 2012 03:46 (six years ago) Permalink

have been thinking about this quite a bit today, again

at this point, i have temporarily dropped out the blog circuit because the it was causing more resentment than enjoyment

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Wednesday, 19 September 2012 03:52 (six years ago) Permalink

i pretty much am a style guide now

the late great, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 05:17 (six years ago) Permalink

j/k

the late great, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 05:18 (six years ago) Permalink

I am a lot happier now that I've stopped looking at style blogs, geek li

the late great, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 05:19 (six years ago) Permalink

whoops thar was supposed to say

feel like sometime last year I just figured out what I like and was able to start ignoring blogs, magazines, etc

what I like turned out to be dressing like my dad btw

the late great, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 05:20 (six years ago) Permalink

I feel silly posting that because it makes it sound like I've figured out style, which i haven't, I think a lot of the time I look merely passable , functional, anonymous etc

the late great, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 05:51 (six years ago) Permalink

ok, so i guess what i'm getting at is something my friend said. my friend, who i haven't spoken to in a long time, so let's call her acquaintance, was some sort of big stylist type. like one year she did all the branding for window displays at the gap, and one year for j crew, and one year for madewell, etc etc. and her advice was always "wear what you feel". like, wear clothes that feel like you and that feel how you feel, and don't wear clothes that don't, no matter how intellectually good they seem. she doesn't look like a model at all, in fact, she's pretty unglamorous looking, but she does always comfortable in her skin because she "wears what she feels", i guess.

i guess this is the problem w/ style guides, is they're based on what someone else feels, what "the mood of the season" is, etc

and i guess what i'm getting at is thank fucking god i finally feel comfortable enough to be able to wear what i feel, and to (vice-versa) know what i feel like, which is like almost always white and navy, sometimes green and tan, never feel like red or orange, really, ok maybe a tiny bit etc. and it feels good to be able to trust in that rather than to try to feel out what feels good from looking at style guides.

this aging thing isn't so bad after all, i guess.

the late great, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 06:31 (six years ago) Permalink

unfortunately all of the above reads like braggin so sorry in advance

the late great, Wednesday, 19 September 2012 06:32 (six years ago) Permalink

I didn't think it read like braggin at all

I think what I needed re: style was somebody to show HOW to dress like I feel, the world is full of rules about how to dress like somebody else feels, so you rebel against that by looking like a generic schlub and maybe occasionally going OUT THERE with some bright colors or a pattern or a paisley tie or some shit.

Most people are looking for permission and after a while they give up and let wifey buy them whatever's on sale at land's end.
I am all hell yes about sale shit at land's end, don't get me wrong, but I'm not into office uniform mediocrity, never have been, I feel pretty sad when I think about my lost years in the khaki polo IT guy shit country.

maybe there should be a style guide about basic principles, expand on "wear what you feel" with some more explicit instruction, like "think you don't feel a tie? here's some ways to feel like a necktie" or "hate going to men's wearhouse? how to beat the pinstripers with separates"

something to give more kids the right clues so they don't have to wait for someone to buy them a copy of TAKE IVY

El Tomboto, Thursday, 20 September 2012 03:18 (six years ago) Permalink

it's true, i had to wander in a wilderness of tons of garbage clothes for a long time before i figured it out

the late great, Thursday, 20 September 2012 04:51 (six years ago) Permalink

'dressing how you feel' requires one to first be aware how you feel, which might be a problem for some guys!

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Thursday, 20 September 2012 14:05 (six years ago) Permalink

one of the differences between style rules for men & women is that while women are, i think, encouraged to use their attire to express various sides of themselves as they suit various roles & occasions. for ex, you can be a chic sophisticate in the office friday and a sultry temptress on saturday night and a sweet girl next door for sunday brunch. but i feel that for dudes, there is only one identity that is advocated and that is MAN and the only variations are just different positions on a casual vs. formal scale.

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Thursday, 20 September 2012 14:13 (six years ago) Permalink

maybe there should be a style guide about basic principles, expand on "wear what you feel" with some more explicit instruction, like "think you don't feel a tie? here's some ways to feel like a necktie" or "hate going to men's wearhouse? how to beat the pinstripers with separates"

anyone finds these or writes these, let me know.

stURGEON & musKEY (how's life), Thursday, 20 September 2012 14:18 (six years ago) Permalink

like, a lot of these style blogs pay homage to developing a 'personal style' but like, you have to choose ONE LOOK and commit to it completely, and you should be able to dress yourself in the dark because your wardrobe is arranged so that every shirt can be matched with any other pair of pants you own

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Thursday, 20 September 2012 14:19 (six years ago) Permalink

*case study*

this pic & quote is from a dude i follow on tumblr, seems like a nice dude, takes good photos and has some nice clothes.

http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_mav7k0sFqp1qdb4s4o1_1280.jpg

Pattern Mixing

Perhaps the gingham of the shirt and the PoW check is too close in scale. I also thought the faint burgundy overcheck would draw out some of the reddish hues in the tie.

so, i appreciate how he's mindful of scale and color, but it saddens me that it's done with such a reliance on established rules about pattern and color. like, dude, you look fine, why do you think that wearing a faint blue micro gingham shirt is some kind of risky style move, the fuck

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Monday, 24 September 2012 18:56 (six years ago) Permalink

men who internalize style guides as some sort of prevailing superego of fashion, that shit is dumb, stop doing it

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Monday, 24 September 2012 18:59 (six years ago) Permalink

who the fuck dresses like that, prime ministers?

the late great, Monday, 24 September 2012 20:52 (six years ago) Permalink

you can do that shit with a t-shirt and a hoodie

the late great, Monday, 24 September 2012 20:54 (six years ago) Permalink

who the fuck dresses like that, prime ministers?

tumblr #menswear powerbloggers, half of styleforum, moderators at r/malefashionadvice

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Monday, 24 September 2012 20:57 (six years ago) Permalink

i'm not endorsing wearing a t-shirt and hoodie to work

the late great, Monday, 24 September 2012 20:58 (six years ago) Permalink

but i do think if you're a lawyer or accountant dressed like that a lot of people are gonna be like wtf.

you can get the same dose of color theory with a dress shirt and a sweater

the late great, Monday, 24 September 2012 21:00 (six years ago) Permalink

there are teachers who are menswearish, like they'll wear suspenders, old-timey shirts, rolled up jeans with dress shoes, etc

i think it makes more sense to dress like a camp counselor than going that route

i think there's a line of overdressy that you don't need to go very far to step over comfortably in business clothing

like if you get the fit right, you can wear basics all the time and wear a tie or something and look a million bucks

the late great, Monday, 24 September 2012 21:02 (six years ago) Permalink

I pretty much agree that the shirt in that picture is way too same-but-different in pattern to the jacket and they don't look good together, especially with the busy tie. Two of the three would work, but not all three.

All this stuff is like jazz -- you can make the wrong notes sound right. But since most men are not miles davises of style, the rules are there to help them avoid looking like a mess. That said, yeah, these style bloggers get a bit fascistic about it.

look at this quarterstaff (Hurting 2), Monday, 24 September 2012 21:04 (six years ago) Permalink

I say that a man who is not a miles davis of style.

look at this quarterstaff (Hurting 2), Monday, 24 September 2012 21:05 (six years ago) Permalink

idk, i wouldn't have picked the combination but fair is fair and i'm not wearing it, i think it looks nice but it's not even very noteworthy imho. & i'm not going to criticize anybody for overdressing because i overdress for any & every occasion.

the thing that bummed me out was the "oops i broke a rule please don't pick on me" vibe from the caption.

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Monday, 24 September 2012 21:12 (six years ago) Permalink

it's hard to tell -- it looks like the kind of thing that, if everything was otherwise high quality and well-tailored for the man wearing it and the guy was well-groomed and put together etc then it might work very nicely, but if it was just your average midtown manhattan guy with off-the-rack clothes, the clash would make it look extra sloppy.

look at this quarterstaff (Hurting 2), Monday, 24 September 2012 21:15 (six years ago) Permalink

i dunno, it's not even that defensive in tone i guess, but i just get VERY SUSPICIOUS of dudes who consistently annotate their WIWT shots by explaining how they put their outfit together, what rules they followed, why they chose blue socks, why it's appropriate for the weather or the occasion. like everyone's gotta play the role of gq assistant fashion editor all the time? stfu.

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Monday, 24 September 2012 21:17 (six years ago) Permalink

also i think i have a higher tolerance for clashing than many other ppl fwiw

real men have been preparing manly dishes for centuries (elmo argonaut), Monday, 24 September 2012 21:19 (six years ago) Permalink

the tie is a dark "value" than the shirt and the jacket is inbetween, as it should be

the hue of the jacket is brown which is like a shade of orange which goes nice with the gingham which is like a hue of blue, complementary colors etc if i'm reading it right

there a consonance between the gingham and tweed and the tie itself is tying it all together HOHO but with a pattern that breaks up the non-square lines in the tie and he's correct it picks up some of the colors in the jacket

big fucking WHOOP

the late great, Monday, 24 September 2012 22:10 (six years ago) Permalink


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