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Can't Do Nothing For you ManPublic Enemy
I’ve realized that style influences can be something else sometimes. I was thinking about the overall evolution of evolution of style influences. Me I started with what I saw everyday. My influences were the OG’s at my church and my grandfather. You then move on to different sets like the Rat Pack, and other movie stars. The problem is you soon realize that most of the guys who you see on tv cannot dress. It’s less about can’t and more about wont take the time to learn how to do it well. They pay people to look the way to do. They don’t pay for clothes, so the value in a proper wardrobe drops. You move on. Yes!! I can afford a subscription to both GQ and Esquire. You purchase a Details from time to time if they actually have something good to say. Now if you are a baller shot caller, you subscribe to The Rake. Congratulations you’re paid and you have a nice sense of the basics in mens style.
The problem starts when these damn magazines raise more questions than answers. Oh word? Their is a forum dedicated to the constant evolution of mens style? I’m on it! WIWT becomes a code word that these dudes speak. Influences change almost instantly to names like Adabrka, Phat Guido and Ethan. These guys have their own blog you say? I’m on it! Tumblr!! What’s popping? Style ideas being fed to you by the second. Yeah, it’s pretty nice here when it comes to that. I thought it was cool that the individuals I have mentioned were able to influence individuals personal, professional, and formal wardrobe. Shout out to those guys. A big shout out to flavor flav, for not only being influential in Hip Hop, but also still being able to influence peoples style. I saw this guy this morning leaving my grocery store. I hope you understand the pic now.
“The thing about my collection generally is that I try to create something that's masculine, yet sensitive, you know? I don't want to make clothes for jocks. It's not like "Yeah bro." But I also don't want to make clothes for peacocks. It's meant to be something that you can put on and you feel cool and you feel like you're wearing something of quality. You feel like you're wearing something that somebody has thought about. But you don't want to feel like people are staring at you because you're trying so hard. You don't want to look like you're trying hard but you definitely want to be the best looking guy in the room.”—Robert Geller
I do spend a whole lot of time browsing the interwebz, flipping through magazines and books, looking at clothes and stuff (and enjoy wearing them as well). I like trying out new stuff and (obviously) post them for critique, praise or whatever comes my way.
This would all be fine and dandy, where I to wear only street style clothes, denim and whatnot, because in those communities experimenting is a good thing. There are of course different sets of rules to each sub genre of style, I notice this, but nowhere are they so rigid and at the same time ambigous as in menswear. Add the prefix “classic” to menswear and any/all online discussion/s will lead to a man-on-man cat fight.
The problem is that if you are wearing a suit/sportcoat/tie/whatever, people within the classic menswear group will have claims on you, and the way you carry these off. Everyone in this vast and schizophrenic community has their preconcieved notion of the Golden Set Of Rules, and I will not try and summarize them because you probably already know of most of them.These are the rules by which they will judge you.
The problem, in my humble opinion, is that these rules are vague and/or very open to personal interpretation (and are sometimes total misconceptions), and they change over time. Also, they are not applicable to certain men who have reached an icon status (see Agnelli, Edward VIII et al.). So it all comes down to group think really, which often results in down right bullying and snark.
Many followers of classic menswear both of old and present, share the opinion that modern = bad, new < old. Still it changes over time, you don’t see many frock coats when walking about town now do you? Indeed, people who do walk around in frock coats are extensively ridiculed by the majority of the classic menswear community.
Right now the biggest hate trend is toward the “modern” concept of wearing slim fitting suits, shirts and ties. The fact that most of it has already been done in the sixties, before most of these men were born and even longer before they made their minds up about what is classic, is besides the point.
There is of course limits to how big/small a suit can be before it just starts looking ridiculous
Now, I wear moderately fitted clothes, not tight and not sacky. But I do enjoy watching both styles on other people, when kept within reasonable bounderies (see horrible pic above of when these bounderies are long since broken). And I do not acknowledge any style to be superior/inferior to the other. This has nothing to do with me having neither a liberal nor conservatvie outlook on clothes. It’s just a notion that the rules doesn’t exist in the manner many would like them to and therefore it’s quite silly trying to impose them on other people. For a first hand look on how different these rules are percieved, check out some of the big forums on classic menswear online:
Ask Andy About Clothes: Sack suits rule
Style Forum: Overall more fitted/contemporary clothing
The Fedora Lounge: Classic, in the sense that everything past the 1950’s is modern.
So what’s my point, do I vote for abolishment of everything percieved as classic menswear?
Certainly not, but I do want to throw my .01 in there. You can never rely on a set of rules alone, and you should tread lightly when trying to impose them on others.