Trad Anonymous

After following the forum for some time, I am inclined to wonder whether some of you are really calling out for help. Do you feel sartorially stuck? If so, there is help from others recovering from Trad wardrobe block. We call it TradAnon. The good news is this. We don't treat Trad like a disease. Rather, it is a learned behaviour that can be controlled by intelligent, sensible men. We're sympathetic. We've been where you are. If you stay with the steps (known as Tradjectory) you can permit yourself 2 or, with exceptional self-control, 3 Trad days a week at the office. Weekends remain yours. For those who don't want help, be careful reading further. As Nietzche observed, "Stare not long into the abyss, for the abyss stares back into you!"

Step One: Admit you have a problem.

Look in the mirror. The OCBD, repp tie and sack suit you're wearing look exactly the same as the OCBD, repp tie and sack suit you've worn everyday for years, no matter how many of each you own. The fact that you know what OCBD means is a warning sign. Take a deep breath and say to yourself, "I am a Traddict."

Step Two: Scared Straight.

Rent Falling Down with Michael Douglas and watch it. "No," you'll say, "he's not Trad! I don't look like that." The rest of the world thinks you do.

Step Three: A Game of Darts

No, not throwing projectiles at a board down at the local. Though you may wish to stop there to brace yourself with a stiff gin or scotch. I know that Trads like their booze cheap, but splurge today. Treat yourself to some Banker's Club or possibly even Lord Calvert. You'll need it because you're off to the tailor. No sack suits today. Since when is sack cloth a good thing? Sacks are for potatoes, not men. You're not lumpy, tan-skinned and white in the middle are you? Well, don't answer that.

Walk up to your favorite salesman and say, "My good man, show me a darted suit if you please!" He'll look at you with the respect a gent of your sophistication deserves. Make it easy on yourself and stay with three buttons for familiarity. Look in the mirror and notice that, if you're a like me, your slightly rounded waist has disappeared! If your waist is trim to begin, people can see it now! You look fabulous. Buy and you're well on the road to recovery. You get bonus points for any of the following: double breasted, side vents, stripes in any color other than white.

Step Four: Raked over the Coals No More.

Time to go home and relax a bit. No doubt, you're exhausted with the effort and hungry, too. We're grilling and not on that old charcoal thing that you idolize like some pagan fire god. Use the new Weber gas grill with its even cooking and instant heat control. In the cookbook, pick something from the neglected pork and fish sections. Nothing with barbeque sauce is permitted. Anything Carribean or Mexican is a bonus.

Step Five: Fit to be Tied.

It's time to realize that loafers are not for the office. After all, is loafing really the image you want to project to your superiors? Proper shoes lace up and tie. Get yourself some oxfords. Alden makes these in shell cord, so you'll be used to the fit and feel. The choice of plain, captoe, brogue, etc. is up to you. You're a Trad, so you know enough to avoid rubber soles.

Step Six: Get to the Point and Play the Spread

It's time to confront one of the most ingrained Trad habits, the OCBD. These are great for casual wear, so don't feel like you need to toss your whole closet. But, let's face it, those button on the collar are for playing polo. When at the office, do you want to say, "I'm a cosmopolitan man of affairs ready to close the three-cornered deal with Frankfurt and KL," or "I'll get back to you after the last chukka."

Buy some point collar (endorsed by the OPH) and spread collar (worn by GHWB) shirts. For now, stay with familiar fabrics. We'll take you further when you're ready.

Step Seven: Tie One On

Let's talk frankly about those club and regimental ties. You didn't really serve in the Black Watch, Connaught Ranger, Punjab Frontier Force or any other branch of The Duke of Bumbles Own Regiment for Putting a Bit of Stick About.

In fact, wearing them can lead to embarrasement on your first foreign trip. This, if it hasn't already happened, will be to England. They may be foreign, but at least they aren't French and the food is reassuringly bland. However, the natives will snicker at your fake regimental credentials. This is known as a Tradvesty.

Avoid it by getting some pattern in those ties. Think flowing, natural looks. Avoid hard, geometric and abstract designs. Robert Talbott, a Californian of all things, is your friend.

Step Eight: Tai One On.

You'll need to dose yourself with some booze by this point. Have a Mai Tai and at Trader Vic's if possible. Yes, it's got fruit juice (lime) in it, but it packs a wallop. Your Trad predecessors loved Poly Pop. You do not, and should not wear an Hawaiian shirt. A trip to the Trader's is dressy.

Step Nine: A Good, Stiff Belt or Brace Yourselves.

No, not another Mai Tai, but don't hold back on my account. It's time to get you properly belted. Those ribbon jobs are fine for the weekend, but when suited, they're just fighting with your tie and enhancing your waistline. Get a good leather belt. Maybe even something that came from a reptile. This should match your shoes. Alternatively, get some braces for your breeks.

Step Ten: I'm Too Sexy for My Shirt

Right Said Fred could not have put it better. All of those solid shirts can be a bit dull. Time to swing London style and get yourself some check shirts. Blue, green, white,red, pink, yellow, lavender, lilac are all acceptable, preferably combining at least three of the above. Wear it home with that dashing new patterned tie and your darted suit. The misses will be so impressed that she'll want to "inspect your stitching" upstairs in the bedroom. You may use either hers or yours.

Step Eleven: Acknowledge the Existence of a Higher Power

Now you are ready for the final epiphany, there are higher sartorial powers, residing in Olympian places like London and Naples, then the Press Brothers establishment machine. Make pilgrimages to seek them out. Clad yourself in their vestaments and worship.

By now, you know how to safely handle your Traddiction and you are laughing. This is for one of two reasons.

1. You know that this post is just good-natured joshing.:icon_smile_big:
2. You have dispatched a crack team of Men-In-Trad to make sure I don't bother anyone again. Ever.:cry:
 
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crs

Super Member
A Questionable Gentleman said:
Rent Falling Down with Michael Douglas and watch it. "No," you'll say, "he's not Trad! I don't look like that." The rest of the world thinks you do.

Didn't Michael Douglas wear a short-sleeve shirt with a tie in that movie? I wouldn't consider that Trad at all.
 

Laxplayer

Honors Member, <br>Varsity Captain
crs said:
Didn't Michael Douglas wear a short-sleeve shirt with a tie in that movie? I wouldn't consider that Trad at all.

No, short sleeves are not Trad, although I do like the tie and glasses. I don't consider the Uzi very Trad either. :icon_smile_wink:
 

mpcsb

Inactive User
A Questionable Gentleman said:
By now, you know how to safely handle your Traddiction and you are laughing. This is for one of two reasons.

1. You know that this post is just good-natured joshing.:icon_smile_big:
2. You have dispatched a crack team of Men-In-Trad to make sure I don't bother anyone again. Ever.:cry:

Whew, LOL - there for a minute you had me worried there might be an Inquisition, and heresy charges, followed by burning of darts - LOL.
 
mpcsb said:
Whew, LOL - there for a minute you had me worried there might be an Inquisition, and heresy charges, followed by burning of darts - LOL.

Oh, certainly no Inquisition on my part! Now, the Men-In-Trad are rumored to do the bidding of an ultra-orthodox sect requiring strict observance to conservative dress and known as the Tradiban...
 
Laxplayer said:
No, short sleeves are not Trad, although I do like the tie and glasses. I don't consider the Uzi very Trad either. :icon_smile_wink:

[/qote]

You're right about the Uzi. Surely no self-respecting Trad would be caught wielding 9MM. .45 ACP should be the Trad round of choice for an SMG. Preferably, though, the baddies would be given what for with bird shot from a Damascus twisted steel side-by-side.
 

Karl89

Super Member
Is Stuart Smalley Trad?

Gents,

Can I ask a question without getting flamed? I like elements of Trad and am not hostile to it so please bear that in mind.

Why does it seem (to me at least) that many Trads need to constantly self-congratulate themselves and assure themselves that they are endeavoring in some sort of noble cause?

Is it bc Trads feels under attack? Not properly appreciated? A nostalgic wish for a bygone era? Why all the pathos? It seems very untradly.

Give me a few minutes head start before throwing the empty Dewars bottles at my head.

Karl
 

familyman

Super Member
Karl89 said:
Gents,

Can I ask a question without getting flamed? I like elements of Trad and am not hostile to it so please bear that in mind.

Why does it seem (to me at least) that many Trads need to constantly self-congratulate themselves and assure themselves that they are endeavoring in some sort of noble cause?

Is it bc Trads feels under attack? Not properly appreciated? A nostalgic wish for a bygone era? Why all the pathos? It seems very untradly.

Give me a few minutes head start before throwing the empty Dewars bottles at my head.

Karl

Not much different than the main forum. Read all the threads that hammer on the jeans and t-shirt wearing population that surrounds us. We simply choose to pick on those that choose darts and pleats as well.
Yes, I put someone wearing Brioni and a wide spread collar in the same group as a person wering an AC/DC tee and ripped black jeans. They are all to be scorned. :)

(ok, not really, AC/DC RULZ!)
 

crs

Super Member
Karl89 said:
Gents,

Can I ask a question without getting flamed? I like elements of Trad and am not hostile to it so please bear that in mind.

Why does it seem (to me at least) that many Trads need to constantly self-congratulate themselves and assure themselves that they are endeavoring in some sort of noble cause?

Is it bc Trads feels under attack? Not properly appreciated? A nostalgic wish for a bygone era? Why all the pathos? It seems very untradly.

Give me a few minutes head start before throwing the empty Dewars bottles at my head.

Karl

It may, in fact, be a little un-Trad to talk about it, but there's nowhere else I can discuss and learn about such things. I was having lunch with my best male friend about a year ago and I asked him where he got the shirt he was wearing. He shrugged, said, "Dunno, my wife bought it." So even people who dress OK don't necessarily shop for it or have an interest in it. I wouldn't call it a cause as much as a somewhat obscure avocation. Like, you meet someone at a social gathering, and the person seems normal, and then you discover during small talk that he has a hobby somewhat outside the norm, such as, to use a brother-in-law as an example, bird calls. And you think, at first: "Too much information!" And later you think, "Why he seemed so NORMAL. What childhood trauma led him to such a peculiar endeavor?" So we cannot discuss the Trad elsewhere, and fortunately much of our dress does not attract attention to itself among those who are not clothing-conscious.
 

rojo

Super Member
Karl89 said:
Gents,

Can I ask a question without getting flamed? I like elements of Trad and am not hostile to it so please bear that in mind.

Why does it seem (to me at least) that many Trads need to constantly self-congratulate themselves and assure themselves that they are endeavoring in some sort of noble cause?

Is it bc Trads feels under attack? Not properly appreciated? A nostalgic wish for a bygone era? Why all the pathos? It seems very untradly.

Give me a few minutes head start before throwing the empty Dewars bottles at my head.

Karl

Karl, your grasp of national and world politics and ability to defend your positions is always impressive. In light of that, your continuing perplexity over the trad topic can be described only as an astonishing blind spot.
 

Karl89

Super Member
Rojo,

Could be you are right. But sometimes it seems that the Trads need to pat themselves on the back a bit much and turn what should be a nice discussion about classic American style into a near cult like experience. Maybe its only natural bc Trads feel under siege.

I write this wearing madras shorts and a Polo shirt.

More stiff upper lip less pathos. Now that's Trad.

Karl
 
Well, all of this smacks of serious discussion! I will say, Karl, that the tone of the board becomes so serious that I thought a little satire was in order. Perhaps I should have written the piece in reverse. Instead of TradAnon, twelve steps set out humorously for how to be Trad.
 

Brownshoe

Super Member
Karl89 said:
Rojo,

Could be you are right. But sometimes it seems that the Trads need to pat themselves on the back a bit much and turn what should be a nice discussion about classic American style into a near cult like experience. Maybe its only natural bc Trads feel under siege.

I write this wearing madras shorts and a Polo shirt.

More stiff upper lip less pathos. Now that's Trad.

Karl

I think a lot of what reads as "pathos" to you is actually pretty tongue-in-cheek; we get painted with the "you take yourselves too seriously" brush pretty often, but I don't see it. More like gallows humor in a Men's Wearhouse world.

Anyway, a stiff upper lip is no more "trad" than any other emotional profile--let me sing another chorus of "Trad is Something You Wear, Not Something You Are." A personality test/background check is not a prerequisite for wearing J Press. The idea that we on this board subscribe to such a notion is, I believe, largely a misunderstanding.

We love the clothes. We love the history. We like to kid around. And I would wager we all would find the idea that this "trad" stuff is some kind of badge of moral/social/whatever superiority patently ridiculous.

At least I pray to God we would.
 

mpcsb

Inactive User
Brownshoe said:
...We love the clothes. We love the history. We like to kid around. And I would wager we all would find the idea that this "trad" stuff is some kind of badge of moral/social/whatever superiority patently ridiculous.

:icon_smile_big: Heresy, heresy - LOL :devil:
 

Financier

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Brownshoe said:
And I would wager we all would find the idea that this "trad" stuff is some kind of badge of moral/social/whatever superiority patently ridiculous.

I think most posters here would agree with you, but there seem to be a few exceptions.
 

Towner

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Brownshoe said:
I think a lot of what reads as "pathos" to you is actually pretty tongue-in-cheek; we get painted with the "you take yourselves too seriously" brush pretty often, but I don't see it. More like gallows humor in a Men's Wearhouse world.

Anyway, a stiff upper lip is no more "trad" than any other emotional profile--let me sing another chorus of "Trad is Something You Wear, Not Something You Are." A personality test/background check is not a prerequisite for wearing J Press. The idea that we on this board subscribe to such a notion is, I believe, largely a misunderstanding.

We love the clothes. We love the history. We like to kid around. And I would wager we all would find the idea that this "trad" stuff is some kind of badge of moral/social/whatever superiority patently ridiculous.

At least I pray to God we would.

ACQ,

A very witty post indeed. I must say that it elicited a few laughs. Once more, I'll concur with Brownshoe's aforementioned sentiments-----well-stated Brownshoe.


Towner
 

Towner

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
Towner said:
ACQ,

A very witty post indeed. I must say that it elicited a few laughs. Once more, I'll concur with Brownshoe's aforementioned sentiments-----well-stated Brownshoe.


Towner

AQG,

I just realized that I addressed you as ACQ in the last post. Very sorry. I'll blame it on the antibiotics I am taking for bronchitis. If that doesn't suffice, I'll blame it on the narcotic cough suppressant. Again, sorry for the oversight.

Towner
 

JohnMS

Senior Member
Why Trad?

I grew up in the 1970s and all that went with it (speaking from a clothing standpoint). I recall in the late 1960s (being about 7 or 8 years old), going with my brothers to buy such things as Gant buttondown shirts, Weejuns, and the like. I looked up to my brothers a great deal in their manner of dress, even back when I was that age. I recall going to school in 501, shrink-to-fit Levis in first grade and feeling so out of place with all the bell-bottomed pants. I only wore what I did because I wanted to dress like my brothers and because I liked the style.

As I entered college after spending some time in South America, I remember finally realizing that I was at the age that I could buy whatever clothing I wanted (albeit with limited funds). Trouble was in 1983, I found it difficult in my area of the country to locate buttondown dress shirts. Sure there were some small clothing shops that carried them, but they were very expensive at the time.

My oldest brother, who went to high school in the late 1950s, happened to have saved his shirts, pants, suits, etc. from that era. I was able to wear his shirts throughout my college years. I didn't try to look retro or anything, I just always liked the OCBD shirts and couldn't find them very easily at the time.

Once out of college, I started my first job. I remember a co-worker having a sack, navy blazer. I loved the blazer's look and looked all over (this being late 1980s) and couldn't find one...THIS before knowing of Brooks Brothers. I really, really wanted one of those blazers, but still never located one.

Why all this background? Sure, trad reminds me of my childhood. It reminds me of how nice my brothers looked, back when attending high school and college meant wearing shirts with collars, penny loafers, and generally looking nice. The main reason for my wearing trad clothing is that I like the way it looks on me. I happen to like how other styles look as well, but it makes me feel for some reason I'm maintaining my family style. I'm holding to my roots and I'm somewhat dressing in clothing that will look just as good 20 years from now as it does today.

Better trad? For me, yes, but I'm of the opinion that each person can wear what they want and it's for them to decide. I'm not diehard trad I suppose as I can't stand to wear striped ties (please don't hurt me verbally for that comment).
 
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