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  • ryn
    replied
    Originally posted by Galcobar View Post

    Being a dandy is about flamboyance, which stands in stark contrast to anything which can be described as sober.

    Society has long been able to recognize a difference between formality and (over-the-top) fashion. Consider the tuxedo, and then consider the ruffled, pastel and neon versions which existed in the 1970s and 80s. Even at the height of their fashionability, you'd never see those versions at a truly formal event. That was true when dandies would wear their corsets too tight (men wore corsets to get a clean waistline, dandies gave themselves an hourglass shape), because the point of being a dandy was and still is to reject formality by going to extremes. A garment which can be described as plain, conservative, sober, etc. doesn't send that message.

    We may well reach a point where the suit is considered too formal for daily wear, much as we did for tailcoats, but I wouldn't expect it to fall into dandy territory. At least not for many decades, given we're no longer seeing the kind of rapid social changes that led to the rise of the leisure suit in the 1800s.

    That said, I do wonder a bit if we're neglecting an element of the discussion: the range of relative formality. While much of the decrease in formality has come from people switching to less formal clothes, we as a society have added new, even more casual categories of clothing. As such the range of formal to casual accepted for public wear hasn't gotten any narrower, just shifted downwards. Even with our growing love of athleisure we still recognize a need for garb appropriate to formal, solemn events that is distinct from an outfit for trips to the grocery store. I don't see how we can get more casual at the bottom end, which suggests that the top end can't really move down any further either.
    One must keep in mind that the definition of dandy varies from the original fops that were certainly flamboyant. I am thinking of Manton's book the Suit, which he wanted to name the Dandy, but I digress.


    A suit today is largely reserved for work. In this sense the leisure suit is dead, or at least moribund, but the business suit lives on. The business suit is of course in decline, but still is strong in certain spots, for example congress, but also on tv. Not only the news, but suits are worn by characters on tv, far more than real life. At least in my experience, then again, I don't live in a major city.

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  • Galcobar
    replied
    Originally posted by andrewrg View Post
    Do you or anyone else here think that if the suit is going to permanently lose a lot of wearership (word?), that it's going to fall into dandy territory? As in, right now, wearing a suit and tie and shoes is considered being dressed up, but wearing a green suit with contrasting vest and a red felt hat (seen hear in someone's Pitti Uomo picture) is considered dandy in the same place where others wear a suit? Like if everyone at an office wears a shirt and chinos, will people look at the guy in the suit the same way many guys in suits look at these guys here?
    Being a dandy is about flamboyance, which stands in stark contrast to anything which can be described as sober.

    Society has long been able to recognize a difference between formality and (over-the-top) fashion. Consider the tuxedo, and then consider the ruffled, pastel and neon versions which existed in the 1970s and 80s. Even at the height of their fashionability, you'd never see those versions at a truly formal event. That was true when dandies would wear their corsets too tight (men wore corsets to get a clean waistline, dandies gave themselves an hourglass shape), because the point of being a dandy was and still is to reject formality by going to extremes. A garment which can be described as plain, conservative, sober, etc. doesn't send that message.

    We may well reach a point where the suit is considered too formal for daily wear, much as we did for tailcoats, but I wouldn't expect it to fall into dandy territory. At least not for many decades, given we're no longer seeing the kind of rapid social changes that led to the rise of the leisure suit in the 1800s.

    That said, I do wonder a bit if we're neglecting an element of the discussion: the range of relative formality. While much of the decrease in formality has come from people switching to less formal clothes, we as a society have added new, even more casual categories of clothing. As such the range of formal to casual accepted for public wear hasn't gotten any narrower, just shifted downwards. Even with our growing love of athleisure we still recognize a need for garb appropriate to formal, solemn events that is distinct from an outfit for trips to the grocery store. I don't see how we can get more casual at the bottom end, which suggests that the top end can't really move down any further either.
    Last edited by Galcobar; January 16, 2021, 09:43 AM.

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  • ryn
    replied
    I don't even have a white collar job, so a date night is the only opportunity for me to wear a suit or even a blazer. I take the opportunities I can get.

    I am not saying that anyone needs to wear a suit, but for anyone who complains about not being able to wear a suit, there are options to make occasions. That is a little hard during the pandemic. However, if you are the only one home, then really YOU are the only person who is keeping you from suiting up.

    I know that the guy from SuitSupply describes one of his suits as "perfect for a weekend at home" sure, that is a bit eccentric, but we live in crazy times.

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  • JT10000
    replied
    It the people in an office are wearing chinos and shirts and walk in with blazers, then a suit is not that big a deal. If they never wear blazers, then it's probably too much. Not dandy, but too much. Even now.

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  • andrewrg
    replied
    Originally posted by Silverstreak View Post
    I’ll be the Obsolete Man, wearing leather shoes, suits and ties long after everyone else has stopped.
    I'll be with you--going back to work in person in Feb, and I've got a suit and tie ready.

    Do you or anyone else here think that if the suit is going to permanently lose a lot of wearership (word?), that it's going to fall into dandy territory? As in, right now, wearing a suit and tie and shoes is considered being dressed up, but wearing a green suit with contrasting vest and a red felt hat (seen hear in someone's Pitti Uomo picture) is considered dandy in the same place where others wear a suit? Like if everyone at an office wears a shirt and chinos, will people look at the guy in the suit the same way many guys in suits look at these guys here?



    BTW NOT a dig at anyone who dresses like this! It's a great picture, but I don't have any of this in my closet.

    Leave a comment:


  • Silverstreak
    replied
    Ties are definitely dead I’m afraid. I still like them but I am in a definite minority. I feel suit and tie combinations will one day occupy the same niche as British powdered wigs, ie something only worn by government types. And I say this as a fan of suits and ties. I’ll be the Obsolete Man, wearing leather shoes, suits and ties long after everyone else has stopped.

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  • Kittiwake30
    replied
    The suit was dying long before the Pandemic. Agreed that the necktie croaked over a decade ago, even in the most old school and starchiest industries.

    Sad to eulogize these changes. Clothing is getting more technical and comfort-based it seems. Working from home will definitely drive the trend.

    Would be interested to know how retailers dealing in men's formalwear are trending during the pandemic.








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  • JT10000
    replied
    Originally posted by patelsd View Post
    I tell my wife this all the time - just because other people do it doesn't mean we have to. Clothing is personal, the extent to which you choose to dress up or dress down is up to you. I always feel better when I look nice, so why the hell should I care if another dude is wearing a tank top? Obviously, there are limits (if you wear a tux to Chuck-E-Cheese you're going to look like an asshole) but I think worrying about what everyone else is doing is a fruitless exercise - people were dressing poorly before the pandemic and they will continue to dress poorly afterwards, if thats not what you want to do, wear what you like.
    This. Within limits - I do like compliments.

    And part of the "new world" is figuring out what works well in this context - making me feel good, maybe impressing a little but not worrying too much and not looking out of context. So actually I'm spending a fair bit of mental energy since things are new. This is interesting.

    The one time I really could wear a suit (since February) I jumped into the opportunity. A wedding! Yeah! Can suit up without feeling way out there! Even though it was online. Some people were in t-shirts, whereas I don't think they would have dared for an in-person wedding.

    More recently I was interviewed online for a YouTube show. So I wore a scarf and sport shirt with a sort of fleece top - it felt dressy but very informal. I like it and got some good feedback on social media.

    And I think this look may spillover in the office eventually if we go back.


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  • patelsd
    replied
    I tell my wife this all the time - just because other people do it doesn't mean we have to. Clothing is personal, the extent to which you choose to dress up or dress down is up to you. I always feel better when I look nice, so why the hell should I care if another dude is wearing a tank top? Obviously, there are limits (if you wear a tux to Chuck-E-Cheese you're going to look like an asshole) but I think worrying about what everyone else is doing is a fruitless exercise - people were dressing poorly before the pandemic and they will continue to dress poorly afterwards, if thats not what you want to do, wear what you like.

    Leave a comment:


  • hockeysc23
    replied
    From a functionality point? No. But my want to wear one around the house just because? No.

    suits would be excessive overkill for my zoom calls and I need to relate to my clients and not put them off. A gs15 director was wearing a hoodie on our last call.

    My wife and I aren’t one for fancy dinners necessitating dressing up even outside covid. So I just don’t know when mine will see action. So to me it’s dead for now but not forever.

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  • tankerjohn
    replied
    Originally posted by facelessghost View Post
    But I figure by the end of most of our lives, suits will occupy a role similar to that of the tuxedo today.
    I like that reference. Its almost comical to think that the tuxedo was invented as a way to dress DOWN for dinner and originally only considered appropriate in one's own home when not dining with guests. Now we are at the point where a dark suit is generally considered an appropriate alternative to a tux in most social situations and most fashionable celebrities have dispensed with both.

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  • JT10000
    replied
    Originally posted by facelessghost View Post
    I like suits and I'm sad to see them go. But I figure by the end of most of our lives, suits will occupy a role similar to that of the tuxedo today.
    Maybe.

    I've worn a suit just once since February - for an online wedding. It actually was nice to get dressed up.

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  • Evenflow
    replied
    People are definitely using COVID as an excuse to be lazy and/or dress like crap, no doubt. I won't stop dressing well, probably ever.

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  • mark4
    replied
    Originally posted by andrewrg View Post


    Good point about the number of people who wear them. I see a lot of people around town wearing them. I live in DC, so mostly they're politicians, lobbyists, etc, all wearing black or very dark suits. I'm a school teacher, so it's not totally common to wear a suit or jacket, but I'd never see someone at my job wearing a suit like the ones they wear. Same around downtown (the business part, not the congressional part), lighter colors, closer cuts, etc. I feel like the *somber suit* is like a calling card, or a badge, or something. The other types of suits are more often a choice rather than an expectation.
    Yeah I live in the DC area too. The suit is definitely not dead here, or at least wasn't before the pandemic, by any means. I think bold predictions about it dying forever because of the pandemic...who knows what will happen when things return to something resembling a post-pandemic new normal? I work for a Federal agency and wore a jacket (sometimes a full suit, sometimes a sportcoat and cords/chinos/trousers) most days when I was in the office. Usually not during the summer because it's too hot here but fall through spring. I'm hoping our telework policy gets a little more liberal than it was pre-pandemic but expect to be in the office for 2-3 days a week (as opposed to the 3-4 days I was in rather than teleworking before), and when in the office will probably dress as I did before. I don't think jeans and a T shirt or polo is going to be an acceptable look except maybe on casual Fridays.

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  • andrewrg
    replied

    Originally posted by facelessghost View Post
    the number of people who wear them and the places to wear them gets smaller each year.

    I like suits and I'm sad to see them go. But I figure by the end of most of our lives, suits will occupy a role similar to that of the tuxedo today.
    Good point about the number of people who wear them. I see a lot of people around town wearing them. I live in DC, so mostly they're politicians, lobbyists, etc, all wearing black or very dark suits. I'm a school teacher, so it's not totally common to wear a suit or jacket, but I'd never see someone at my job wearing a suit like the ones they wear. Same around downtown (the business part, not the congressional part), lighter colors, closer cuts, etc. I feel like the *somber suit* is like a calling card, or a badge, or something. The other types of suits are more often a choice rather than an expectation.

    Leave a comment:

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