momsdoc

Connoisseur
Just came from seeing Rod Stewart. Even an old 60's and 70's rock and roller, working the stage under floodlights wore a grey suit with a tie (being in costume his bright yellow SC and bright red tie gets a pass). The only allowance he made was it was markedly loosened, in contrast to his band who all had their ties neatly affixed. With the exception of the female members of the band and singers, who had no collars on, nor thankfully much else either.:)
 

Stubbly

Super Member
I think that people are looking at it all wrong. It's not a noose strangling you that once removed implies you are free from the shackles of whatever the hell is oppressing you...
Some men may see it this way, but I don't.

I love ties and love to wear ties. However, for casual occasions, I usually go without a tie.

In the workplace, I wore ties to the office five days a week for over twenty years. Then, business-casual dress codes did away with suits & ties in the office.
 

dr.butcher

Senior Member
Some men may see it this way, but I don't.

I love ties and love to wear ties. However, for casual occasions, I usually go without a tie.

In the workplace, I wore ties to the office five days a week for over twenty years. Then, business-casual dress codes did away with suits & ties in the office.
And...? That doesn't mean you can't wear a tie does it? HR can only pull you up for dressing below the dress code standard, not above it? I mean, they can tell you to put on a tie, but they can't tell you to take one off?

"Loosen that tie man! You're looking altogether too dashing and professional!" said no HR manager ever.
 

Stubbly

Super Member
And...? That doesn't mean you can't wear a tie does it? HR can only pull you up for dressing below the dress code standard, not above it? I mean, they can tell you to put on a tie, but they can't tell you to take one off?
It doesn't mean you that can't wear a suit & tie. However, if you're the only person wearing a suit & tie, you could be mistaken for a pretentious schmuck. This is especially true in the large offices where I've worked, where there have been more than a hundred men dressed in business-casual attire. Some men occasionally wear sport coats, but never suits or ties.

At work, you want your abilities to stand out, not your clothing.
 

dr.butcher

Senior Member
It doesn't mean you that can't wear a suit & tie. However, if you're the only person wearing a suit & tie, you could be mistaken for a pretentious schmuck. This is especially true in the large offices where I've worked, where there have been more than a hundred men dressed in business-casual attire. Some men occasionally wear sport coats, but never suits or ties.

At work, you want your abilities to stand out, not your clothing.
Yes and no. I've been connected with the journalism trade for quite some time, and I've heard so many stories about people scoring hard-to-get interviews because they stood out as the one person there with enough "respect" (not my word) to dress appropriately. I've experienced it myself too. You want to stand out for your work AND your clothing. And there's no negative implications in either of those statements. You can stand out for your work and for you clothing, in good ways and in bad ways.

Without engaging this topic further, or debating whether being the only person wearing a suit and tie makes you look like huge red throbbing circumcised member or not, I have to say that following the crowd is never for me a reason to do anything. Who cares what 100 other people are wearing? There's ways to make a suit and tie quite unobtrusive. If doing what the other 100 people in the room were doing was the reason for dressing the way we did, none of us would be here (AAAC) in the first place.
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
And...? That doesn't mean you can't wear a tie does it? HR can only pull you up for dressing below the dress code standard, not above it? I mean, they can tell you to put on a tie, but they can't tell you to take one off?

"Loosen that tie man! You're looking altogether too dashing and professional!" said no HR manager ever.
Im sure at certain workplaces HR could tell someone to take off a tie or a jacket because it can make others feel uncomfortable. Stubbly is right that it can make people think you're pretentious if you're dressing so much better than everyone else, and that's something people can legitimately complain to HR about. If I wore a three-piece suit every day to my unspecified business casual/casual job, co-workers would first make fun of me, then let me know I'm dressing pretentiously, and after a week or two, someone would file a complaint with HR. I work in a creative field and I could "express my creatively" in a loud shirt and jeans if I wanted to, whereas expressing my creativity in a suit and tie would be sending an inappropriate message.
 

dr.butcher

Senior Member
Im sure at certain workplaces HR could tell someone to take off a tie or a jacket because it can make others feel uncomfortable. Stubbly is right that it can make people think you're pretentious if you're dressing so much better than everyone else, and that's something people can legitimately complain to HR about. If I wore a three-piece suit every day to my unspecified business casual/casual job, co-workers would first make fun of me, then let me know I'm dressing pretentiously, and after a week or two, someone would file a complaint with HR. I work in a creative field and I could "express my creatively" in a loud shirt and jeans if I wanted to, whereas expressing my creativity in a suit and tie would be sending an inappropriate message.
I think it depends on how the person handles the situation. I could easily argue I was expressing my creativity through wearing a suit and a tie and make my clients believe it. I work in a creative field as well and refuse to believe that someone can only express their beautiful creative soul in a flower power shirt and bell-bottoms and can only wear the three-piece if they're a wanker banker. Bitchy colleagues who complain to HR that someone is pretentious because they are "shock-horror" wearing a tie and a waistcoat, probably have insecurities of their own. HR too have rules to follow. The suit and tie might sometimes be sending an inappropriate message, but it can't be a universal rule. Besides, isn't going against the grain an essential element in creativity?
 

Stubbly

Super Member
I have to say that following the crowd is never for me a reason to do anything. Who cares what 100 other people are wearing?
There was a time when wearing a tie was following the crowd.

I've worked primarily in "conservative" offices in the finance/insurance industry, where dressing well is appreciated. Over dressing is not. After the switch to business-casual dress codes, just wearing a white dress shirt (with no tie) would draw curious comments.
 

dr.butcher

Senior Member
There was a time when wearing a tie was following the crowd.
I'm well aware of that. There's a quote I think of, I can't find it now but I think it was Prince Charles saying something to the effect of being like a broken watch, that he never changes his style and so he becomes fashionable once a decade, or something like that. I guess I just don't follow the argument. Yes, people dress casual and now some people may wonder why you are dressed up when you put on a white shirt. Which leads us to what conclusion? Don't wear white shirts?
 

Stubbly

Super Member
Yes, people dress casual and now some people may wonder why you are dressed up when you put on a white shirt. Which leads us to what conclusion? Don't wear white shirts?
You're reading a lot into what I write. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

I still wear white dress shirts, even though some AAAC members hate white shirts and make disparaging remarks about white shirts.
 

dr.butcher

Senior Member
You're reading a lot into what I write. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar
It is quite likely that I'm reading a lot into what you write. And yes, I agree, sometimes puffing on a phallic shaped object is really nothing more than puffing on a phallic shaped object.

In all seriousness though, yes, I am probably over-reading this.
 

Balfour

Suspended
Im sure at certain workplaces HR could tell someone to take off a tie or a jacket because it can make others feel uncomfortable. Stubbly is right that it can make people think you're pretentious if you're dressing so much better than everyone else, and that's something people can legitimately complain to HR about. If I wore a three-piece suit every day to my unspecified business casual/casual job, co-workers would first make fun of me, then let me know I'm dressing pretentiously, and after a week or two, someone would file a complaint with HR. I work in a creative field and I could "express my creatively" in a loud shirt and jeans if I wanted to, whereas expressing my creativity in a suit and tie would be sending an inappropriate message.
So true. Love the irony of being able to express your creativity so long as you follow social conventions. My sympathies, although from what I see on SofJB, you seem to do pretty well outside work!
 

Balfour

Suspended
...
Without engaging this topic further, or debating whether being the only person wearing a suit and tie makes you look like huge red throbbing circumcised member or not, I have to say that following the crowd is never for me a reason to do anything. Who cares what 100 other people are wearing? There's ways to make a suit and tie quite unobtrusive. If doing what the other 100 people in the room were doing was the reason for dressing the way we did, none of us would be here (AAAC) in the first place.
Someone who cares about more important things than dressing to a certain standard of formality,* i.e. someone who is sensitive to his environment, the sensibilities of others and being effective in that environment / with those others.

* Note, not 'dressing well'.
 

Balfour

Suspended
I'm well aware of that. There's a quote I think of, I can't find it now but I think it was Prince Charles saying something to the effect of being like a broken watch, that he never changes his style and so he becomes fashionable once a decade, or something like that. I guess I just don't follow the argument. Yes, people dress casual and now some people may wonder why you are dressed up when you put on a white shirt. Which leads us to what conclusion? Don't wear white shirts?
The Prince of Wales would have been talking about not changing his style of tailored clothing. Like many who dress in bespoke clothing, he will not be particularly interested in whether narrow lapels are 'in' or not. He will find something that works for him and his proportions and stick with it. It may be fashionable, or not, depending on trends, hence the 'broken clock'.

He would not have been talking about dressing like ordinary people or dressing casually versus dressing formally. As regards the former, he has not done this for decades (ironically, his father favours a much simpler and less affected form of dress). As regards the latter, he has always done this (see his country kit), just not in the manner of the people.

And, frankly, it is a little silly to take your cues from Royalty, or rely on what the Prince of Wales does, if you care about being effective in the real world.

More generally, I think voxsartoria summed things up well around six years ago (if slightly polemically). He was commenting on a question posed about trends regarding gorge height:

voxsartoria said:
In all seriousness, I think that Doc's original question is sadly superfluous, since it presumes a cyclical continuation of tailored clothing as the dominant sartorial signature of different periods.

What does 2008 look like?

To me, it looks like this:

99% of men do not know, do not care, do not feel that they need tailored clothes except as occasional costume.

1% of men do know, do care, and do feel they have inherited something from the past worth living.

I suspect that tailored clothes will go the way of the mechanical watch in our lifetime, if it has not done so already in the United States.

There will be no more real cycles, just general entropy and historical emulation and recapitulation, and a dogged, inbred minority of clothing hobbyists.

- B
https://www.styleforum.net/t/62432/one-day-you-too-will-wear-the-low-gorge/0_50#post_992548

I can see within the next couple of decades the suit performing the function of the dinner jacket in the 1980s (if it is not already doing so for many people).

Now, ten years ago I would have cared about this a lot. Now I feel either a faint degree of nostalgia and sadness or dissonance, depending on which side of the bed I wake up on.

Dressing well is, in my view, about being well turned out in one's environment and context. It is not about dressing at a certain level of the casual / formal spectrum. Dressing in an unduly formal way, which puts others ill at ease and makes you stand out for the wrong reasons is not the mark of a gentleman. In some cases, it is more likely the mark of a douche.
 
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dr.butcher

Senior Member

Originally Posted by dr.butcher
...
Who cares what 100 other people are wearing?




Someone who cares about more important things than dressing to a certain standard of formality,* i.e. someone who is sensitive to his environment, the sensibilities of others and being effective in that environment / with those others.

* Note, not 'dressing well'.
Let me get this right, you're saying that someone who doesn't dress the same as "the other 100 people in the room" is someone devoid of sensitivity to his environment?

"More important things" is a value judgement that is entirely out-of-place here. Caring about dressing to a certain standard of formality, and being sensitive to the environment around you, are not mutually exclusive. Moreover, I don't see how there's any way to actually objectively rank them against each other in importance. Being sensitive to the environment around you would affect the way you dress, but not dictate it entirely.

If a person must make a decision whether to follow the crowd's actions or not based on his own moral values, then shouldn't a decision on whether to dress like them or not be based on his own sartorial values, rather than blind acceptance?
 

dr.butcher

Senior Member
The Prince of Wales would have been talking about not changing his style of tailored clothing. Like many who dress in bespoke clothing, he will not be particularly interested in whether narrow lapels are 'in' or not. He will find something that works for him and his proportions and stick with it. It may be fashionable, or not, depending on trends, hence the 'broken clock'.

He would not have been talking about dressing like ordinary people or dressing casually versus dressing formally. As regards the former, he has not done this for decades (ironically, his father favours a much simpler and less affected form of dress). As regards the latter, he has always done this (see his country kit), just not in the manner of the people.

And, frankly, it is a little silly to take your cues from Royalty, or rely on what the Prince of Wales does, if you care about being effective in the real world.

More generally, I think voxsartoria summed things up well around six years ago (if slightly polemically). He was commenting on a question posed about trends regarding gorge height:



https://www.styleforum.net/t/62432/one-day-you-too-will-wear-the-low-gorge/0_50#post_992548

I can see within the next three decades the suit performing the function of the dinner jacket in the 1980s.

Now, ten years ago I would have cared about this a lot. Now I feel either a faint degree of nostalgia / sadness or dissonance, depending on which side of the bed I wake up on.

Dressing well is, in my view, about being well turned out in one's environment and context. It is not about dressing at a certain level of the casual / formal spectrum. Dressing in an unduly formal way, which puts others ill at ease and makes you stand out for the wrong reasons is not the mark of a gentleman. In some cases, it is more likely the mark of a douche.
I think you've entirely misread me. I wasn't talking about casual versus formal, or fashion trends, and I wasn't "taking cues" from royalty either, and it doesn't matter who made the quote. I was using it to illustrate my point that the choice to wear a tie shouldn't be entirely connected to whether ties are in our out of fashion.

If you'll indulge me to be silly and once again and "take cues" from royalty, I think it was the Duke of Windsor in his Family Album that spoke about dressing appropriately for any given situation, which is more or less what I try to do and something I think is in agreement with the crux of your whole post. That said..... I don't think that the rest of the people in the room are always the most appropriate cue. Sometimes they are, and the general dress at a certain location, function, etc., should dictate what you wear. But you're talking about it like it's a hard and fast rule. Sometimes the other people are wrong and you have to be the one person to go out there are dress the way you think is most appropriate, even if no one else is doing it.
 

Balfour

Suspended
...
Without engaging this topic further, or debating whether being the only person wearing a suit and tie makes you look like huge red throbbing circumcised member or not, I have to say that following the crowd is never for me a reason to do anything. Who cares what 100 other people are wearing? There's ways to make a suit and tie quite unobtrusive. If doing what the other 100 people in the room were doing was the reason for dressing the way we did, none of us would be here (AAAC) in the first place.
Let me get this right, you're saying that someone who doesn't dress the same as "the other 100 people in the room" is someone devoid of sensitivity to his environment?

I'm afraid I relied on the words you actually used, and I quoted, rather than the words you use now.
 

Balfour

Suspended
I think you've entirely misread me. I wasn't talking about casual versus formal, or fashion trends, and I wasn't "taking cues" from royalty either, and it doesn't matter who made the quote. I was using it to illustrate my point that the choice to wear a tie shouldn't be entirely connected to whether ties are in our out of fashion.

If you'll indulge me to be silly and once again and "take cues" from royalty, I think it was the Duke of Windsor in his Family Album that spoke about dressing appropriately for any given situation, which is more or less what I try to do and something I think is in agreement with the crux of your whole post. That said..... I don't think that the rest of the people in the room are always the most appropriate cue. Sometimes they are, and the general dress at a certain location, function, etc., should dictate what you wear. But you're talking about it like it's a hard and fast rule. Sometimes the other people are wrong and you have to be the one person to go out there are dress the way you think is most appropriate, even if no one else is doing it.
I think the wider thread (and indeed the question of whether to wear a tie or not) is bound up with how formally or casually people dress. This is less about fashion, and more about a progressive long-term trend to dressing more casually (if you were to draw a graph tracking 'formality / casualness' in dress it would be downward (towards casualness) over the longer term since the 1960s, despite occasional bumps reflecting short term trends).

I do have sympathy for the problem you pose in your second paragraph, at least in certain contexts. For example, a funeral (do you still wear a dark suit and black tie, even if you know lots of people will be dressing down; for me, I still dress for the occasion). But I don't think that dilemma really translates to the workplace.
 

dr.butcher

Senior Member
I'm afraid I relied on the words you actually used, and I quoted, rather than the words you use now.
I'm not sure I understand what this means, but let me ask you this: you're against bolo ties and nekerchiefs and the likes, in what situation then is a long tie inappropriate? If the majority of people are your work wear sneakers with their suits (and of course no tie) and you wearing a tie makes them uncomfortable, are you required to bend to please them? And does not doing so automatically mean you are insensitive to your environment?

I had a girlfriend once who said it was totally embarrassing that when we ate out she got a steak and I ordered a non-meat option (I'm a pescatarian). Should I make her, and possibly other diners who may or may not be a part of our group, more comfortable by just eating a steak and not being so fussy? Was I being insensitive to the environment around me?

And taking it from the opposite angle, is there no room to be true to yourself, everyone else and their uncomfortableness be damned? You're not harming them and it's only their own neuroses that cause them so much pain by the way you dress and or act. If someone dresses in a way that makes them feel comfortable whether that's a bow tie or cow print pants, why not go for it?
 
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