If you have to reduce your wardrobe to only 5 items...

Discussion in 'Outerwear' started by 58panheadfan, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I can only assume it's the association with the corporate world, like suits. I think also a lot of guys don't like them for precisely the reason I do: their lack of practical purpose. They're one of the few accessories of male clothing with serves no practical purpose other than to add to the look (there is an argument they help keep the neck warm, I suppose, but I think that's tenuous).

    It's an interesting world alright. There do still seem to be a lot of people who go by the notion that not having to dress up like The Man wants - i.e. collar and tie - and being able to be "comfortable" (a relative term, especially in these parts, but the mainstream notion is that casual dress is more comfortable) in casual wear - is something that happens when you have 'made it'.

    Ha - or you're just not into clothes. Jackets aside, natch. ;)

    I suspect that for me it's another subconscious Indiana Jones thing. I'm cool with that. :) Lawyers is an interesting association. Of course, the bow tie has a long link with architects, draftsmen, engineers, and doctors of all sorts: up out of the way, and so not inclined to get in the way, especially if working in short sleeves (functional buttoned cuffs are known in the English tailoring trade as 'surgeons' cuffs' as they were designed to allow Doctors' frock coats to be rolled up out of the way - this long before ether scrubs or Don Johnson).

    Yeah, definitely not a fan of those big, clownish 70s ones.... I only wear self-tie ones as well.

    Mid-grey is great like that. I don't tend to wear t-shirts as outerwear now, but I have a lot of them as undershirts, and while I love a fresh white one, they definitely go grey and grubby looking faster than one that starts out mid-grey.

    Depends on the item, really. Two pairs of shoes, worn in rotation, will last longer than three pairs of shoes worn exclusively until they need replaced. Anything will wear out faster the more frequently it is worn (relative to itself), though I've found some quality items do definitely last longer than several of a cheaper option. I'm not sure there's any universal standard on this, though. I've also known it to vary with the individual. As kids, my brother always went through two pairs of shoes to my one, with no real difference in what we got up to.
     
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  2. Dickie Teenie

    Dickie Teenie A-List Customer

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    Iowa now Athens Gr.
    Wesco black Morrison boots
    WH Ranch Dungaree's jeans
    Money shot on a sleeper Sheriden styled black tooled belt and silver buckle. $2000+
    Two shirts, one tucked length and one untucked.
     
  3. zebedee

    zebedee One Too Many

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    It always amazed me that I bought so much stuff, most of which I seldom wore. I find it damn hard to get rid of jackets, but other things I donated to charity with a sense of relief. I reckon here in Hong Kong I am down to five work shirts...
     
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  4. Hal

    Hal Practically Family

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    A closed collar, whether a shirt collar buttoned or a roll-neck pullover (turtleneck in the USA) certainly keeps the neck warmer, and a buttoned shirt-collar without a tie looks ridiculous to me. After some years of retirement mostly casually clad, I have "reverted" to jacket-and-tie in the colder seasons partly for that very reason.
    "Comfortable" is certainly a relative term, and I think that there is a greater degree of social acceptability than of physical comfort involved in it. People are "comfortable" wearing items approved of by others. Those who have never (or hardly ever) worn a suit and tie often dismiss such clothes for this reason, I believe.
     
  5. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    @Seb Lucas, that very generous of you! Thank you for the compliment. My kids would disagree though.
     
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  6. HadleyH1

    HadleyH1 One Too Many

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    1,240
    all and all... at the end.....for me this will do
    jeans/ cotton t- shirt.


    That's it.
     
  7. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I would agree that it's the closed collar that keeps the neck warm. I also agree that the tie vastly improves the look of the same, though that is of course subjective. Interestingly, I do remember a brief fashion around 1989/90 among media types for wearing a shirt without tie but doing up the collar button - Punch published a cartoon at the time of men standing in a line sorting out their collars outside a fancy restaurant with a sign saying "buttoned collar required". It'll be interesting to see whether that look ever comes back in fashion. I've seen worse things than the Peaky Blinders take on it (at least the brass collar stud gives a focal point otherwise lacking in the absence of a tie), but with a 'regular' shirt, it really does look dreadful to my eye - like the wearer simply forgot to don a tie. I suppose if it did become normalised to many that would stop happening. One thing I can also imagine seeing eventually (I know it was in some scifi or other, but I can't recall which) is the appearance of a shirt with a contrasting-coloured covered placket, designed to echo a tie without there actually being one. Not for me, but I'm surprised it hasn't troubled the fashion world significantly yet.

    Yes, I believe there's far more to it is purely psychosomatic than normally given credit.
     
  8. Seb Lucas

    Seb Lucas I'll Lock Up

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    The done up shirt top button with no tie look returned a few years ago and is still around here and there. Most conspicuously the charismatic bad guy Boyd Crowder in the series Justified rocked that look with tweed jackets.

    justboyd405-crop1main.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  9. barnabus

    barnabus Practically Family

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    london
    I wear a collar and tie every day for work, but confess that I have quite taken to the buttoned-collar-no-tie look for 'smart casual'.

    I was also a huge fan of Boyd Crowder btw, but that's not why. Here in the UK, the tieless look seems more prevalent. And as was noted earlier, sometimes things do seep in to your consciousness a bit.
     
  10. GregGale

    GregGale One of the Regulars

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    177
    Dr. Martens boots (brown)
    Levis 511 in rigid dragon
    Any brown leather belt
    Basic white T-shirt (the kind that has old-school, short sleeves)
    Eastman Star Sportswear A-2
    (Can I have my Ray-Ban Aviators too? :) )
     
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  11. ton312

    ton312

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    Navy Blue T-shirt
    Unbranded 21oz straight
    Chuck Taylors (preferably leather)
    Aero Steerhide CR-Black
    Aero Steerhide BL-Brown
     
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  12. barnabus

    barnabus Practically Family

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    london
    You start off like me:

    Navy blue t shirt (or grey)
    21oz Unbranded (121 skinnies in my case)

    But then for me it all diverges, as I'll go for my Barbour International and some boots. Probably a pair of my Caterpillars (as I'm a bit of a cheapskate).
     
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  13. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    @HadleyH1, some ladies and gentlemen are blessed with a good physique and a stunning personality allowing them to turn up anywhere in anything (even a jeans and t-shirt), and no one will mind in the least. They can pull it off.
    Unfortunately, I have to make rather more effort than that otherwise I look like an escaped Neanderthal, a homeless person, or some combination thereof. I'm living proof of the adage that clothes make the man, literally. And that's not to mention the back waxing!
     
  14. HadleyH1

    HadleyH1 One Too Many

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    1,240

    No,don't say that! :)

    Clothes are fine but not essential at all...

    Clothes only go this far and not further.....believe you me! not further. ;)
     
  15. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Elton John has a man comes in twice a week to shave his back, because he's a] very hairy, and b] can't take the pain of a waxing. True story!
     
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  16. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I think when I first noticed it hitting the mainstream in a big way was when Tony Blair and David Cameron started doing - the latter combining it with rolled-up shirtsleeves when he wanted to convey the 'working man' look. You'd think either of them, let alone both, would have killed the tieless look stone dead, but no..... The oddest way of wearing it to my eye is the Frankie Boyle look - threepiece, really nicely tailored suit, but open collar shirt and no tie...

    I speuct, in terms of doing up the top button, Peaky Blinders did have some influence.
     
  17. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    @HadleyH1, it's again, very kind of you to say so. Unfortunately we live in a world of first impressions, and looks-wise, I always feel like I've got to try to do my best just to keep up.

    Your comment that clothes are not essential (I know you didn't mean it literally), reminded me of a time when I was a poor student (in every sense of the word!) and attended a university fancy dress party dressed as Winnie the Pooh. That is to say that I painted myself yellow, threw on a girlfriend's tiny red polo shirt and nothing else. People threatened to call the police and I had to leave. Needless to say, this was the age before smartphones or else I would have permanently ruined my life. I can laugh about it now, but it wasn't my smartest moment.

    You look great in a hat BTW.

    @Edward, I get my back waxed at the start of every summer as a ritual so that I don't have to feel self-conscious about it at the pool or beach. I think it's ok for men my age to have chest hair. One of my friends gets his everything waxed regularly. I cannot imagine the pain of scrotum waxing, but he's obsessed with lifestyle magazine levels of personal grooming.

    As for the topic...
    I've always found politicians unbuttoning top shirt buttons and rolling up sleeves to be highly patronizing. It's so obviously affected working class style that I can't believe focus groups still go for it. 'Dad being cool' territory right there.

    It is a look that works for rakish young men in slim fit suits. Good luck to them, it'll pass.

    It's also a good blue-collar look. I'd do it with the right shirt and jeans, but not a suit of any kind. With a suit I feel I should wear a neck tie if only so that I can loosen it and unbutton the top button because I dont have anyone to berate me for doing so. I'm no one's office slave.

    With a linen or tween suit on casual occasions I feel like I'm not dressed without a cravat.

    But I don't have to wear any kind of suit everyday, and those who do can be forgiven for trying ways of standing out from the herd.
     
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  18. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    That makes the eyes water.... I believe I take after my mother's side in that I'm not especially hairy. My dad is extremely hairy - I swear he has a silver line down his back. The only time I shaved anything below my neck was once when I was going out on my Duke of Edinburgh hike and got it into my head (I was seventeen at the time) that if I shaved my chest it would grow back thicker in the open air. All it did was itch.

    I agree entirely. I'm always surprised it's still done, what with it being so transparent - in some cases more than others. (Of course, there are also those who have been critiqued for wearing a tie when it's not naturally them and is calculated too!).

    The cravat is a look I'm surprised nobody has sported in a while. UK chain The Tie Rack used to sell them before they went bust, otherwise it's a very niche thing. It would be a logical accessory for fashion to push with the open neck fast becoming the new normal, even while pocket squares are more common now than they have been for some time.
     
  19. HanauMan

    HanauMan Practically Family

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    Location:
    Inverness, Scotland
    Talking about cravats, I donate five hours a week at a local charity store where I deal with donated books. At the moment there are some fine cravats, bow ties and even a cummerbund which have been donated by relatives of deceased men. Or else somebody is going down the five items of clothing route and getting rid of surplus items.
     
  20. Big J

    Big J Call Me a Cab

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    @Edward, Elton John can afford to have a guy come round twice a week to do it for him! There's a dearth of salons that will do this for men in Japan, and I was lucky enough to find a salon run by a nice lady, who once assured that I was happily married and not confused as to the 'services' this salon was offering, has been happy to wax my back for years.

    It's interesting that cravats haven't staged a comeback. They seem ripe for it. It's a great look that's (these days) distinctive and dressy.
    The phrase I hate most in any language is 'smart casual' which is almost impossible to define (if they really mean 'no shorts, beach sandals, jeans or sneakers, they should say so). At those times I nearly always go for slacks, a blazer and a cravat, or either a linen or tweed suit with same, depending on the season. It's a look that says that I'm not in my 'work' suit, but still kind of fun and playful, and my insecurities demand that I'm over-dressed rather than embarrass myself by looking scruffy.
    I get a lot of my information about culture back home second-hand. It was my understanding that shows like Mad Men are credited with rekindling interest in pocket squares, which is a good thing IMHO. I always admired Connery's sharp look in those early Bond movies. Pocket squares are a very nice touch these days.
    I'm pleased to see them.

    Speaking of politicians, Japanese politicians go tieless as a matter of course in summer, but the habit of wearing work men's uniforms to give a press conference on any disaster or visit affected areas, still elicits snorts of derision.

    @HannauMan, very decent of you to offer your time and effort! I hope you are able to find some nice items for yourself. It's sadly that time when original owners of such items are passing away, and children/grandchildren wouldn't wear these items themselves, which is kind of sad.
    In Japan, the last generation of postwar women who wore kimonos everyday is passing away now, and there are literally mountains of handmade silk kimono coming onto the second hand market for relatively low prices. It's sad to see them chopped up to make tote bags and whatever, although I do know some younger ladies who scoop up such bargains to wear when the want to dress up for events and outings. It's very nice.
     

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