Ignorance Was Bliss

Discussion in 'Andy's Fashion Forum' started by never behind, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. never behind

    never behind Senior Member

    United States
    Warning - psychotic ramblings ahead.

    Discovering AAAC took my sartorial game from a D to at least a solid B. I thought my game was already a B but 6 months at the forum made me realize my clothes actually fit quite poorly. But I’ve noticed the more I learn the worse I am with perfectionism. I thought I’d moved on recently but a discussion with my Nordstrom guy last week about the pants for a new suit set me off again. Maybe the pants he picked fit better but I thought they were a tad snug and opted for the size up. But now I’m staring at my pants today thinking, “maybe there’s too much fabric on the upper thigh and I need to take the seat in.”

    I know I can go bespoke and get the “perfect fit” but I’d like to retire and maybe help my kids with college. And stay married.

    But I figure 99% of the people I meet won’t notice anything. So how do you guys deal with accepting “imperfections”? When do you know it’s “good enough” vs needing more alterations?

    Gratitude for tolerating my insanity. Maybe AAAC needs a counseling forum.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Will.pennington7

    Will.pennington7 New Member

    United States
    I heard all that. AAAC has definitely helped me to step up my game since I joined (right about a year ago to the best of my memory).

    I refer to myself as a lazy perfectionist. I like things to be a certain way, but won't go to exorbitant lengths to make said things that way. Since joining the forum, I have suits I simply can't bring myself to wear anymore. I think most of my decisions about those come down to how the trousers fit. I fight the skinny suit look with everything in me, and I used to think the baggier the better with trousers. I've since reformed my way of thinking and try to stay in the middle in that regard. (Think JAB tailored fit for reference.)

    With jackets, so long as they are not blousy and the sleeves are within a half inch or so of where they should be, I wear it.
  3. JBierly

    JBierly Advanced Member

    United States
    This can be a bit of a pipe dream. Even with excellent bespoke it takes a lot of time and effort to get it right. Unless you have a difficult fit, really good MTM or OTR with an excellent alterations tailor can be just as good, easier, and less expensive. Nordstroms is a fine retailer but I have always found that there remains some variability in department store tailors. If you find a good one stick with them if you can. Some the large stores are sending their alterations off site so that can complicate things also.
  4. Charles Dana

    Charles Dana Advanced Member

    United States
    San Francisco
    Really good post.

    How do I deal with the issue you raised? Three ways:

    1. Just as you said, I tell myself that "99% of the people I meet won't notice anything" about my clothing, other than, thank God, I'm wearing some.

    2. I compartmentalize. I'm very interested in clothing, obviously, but it's only one of the many things that interest me. And beyond my interests, I have inescapable obligations. Thus, there's only so much time that I wish to--or can--devote to thinking about the finer points of clothing. (If it weren't for mobile devices, I'd probably post on this forum only about four times per week. Which would be good news for those of you who are not thrilled with my silly song parodies.)

    3. I don't waste time worrying about the fact that my outfits are not ideal. Rather, I try to reach for the ideal, but I'm in no rush to attain it (since I know I never will) and, anyway, I am enjoying the journey. That's the key: don't obsess over the destination; learn to love the unfolding journey.

    I acknowledge that, no matter how old I get, I will always be on a learning curve, and I enjoy being on that curve. Let's say that I were to stand still for full-body photos of myself wearing any of my current suits, or sport coats with odd trousers, or casual shirts and khakis. Well, if I then posted those pictures in this forum and asked for critical feedback, I'd get plenty. "The trousers have too much of a break. The shirt is too billowy. The khakis should have slimmer legs. The shoulders of that suit are a little too wide." You'd be right! So as I critically examine myself in the mirror and note the discrepancy between how I know my clothes should fit versus how they actually fit, I tell myself: "O.K., next time I buy [insert any type of clothing here], I'll try hard to make sure it's closer to the ideal I have in mind." And I often succeed.

    I don't shoot for perfection. However, each time I buy an article of clothing, I try to make sure it fits at least a little better than what I've been wearing. I'm fine with not being quite where I want to be as long as over time I'm making progress.

    Being in a hurry is overrated. Unless you know her husband is on his way home from the airport.
    damon54 and Searching_Best_Fit like this.
  5. never behind

    never behind Senior Member

    United States
    Thank you for the thoughtful response. Good point about accepting what you have and just trying to improve the next purchase. I tend to want to fix everything now or just replace it. That last part is too difficult now given all the new stuff I’ve bought over the past two years. I blame you guys. ;)

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Charles Dana

    Charles Dana Advanced Member

    United States
    San Francisco
    Hey! I resemble the above comments!

    Very wise. The middle is a good place to be. Those extremes will bring you down. (The Supremes, on the other hand, will lift you up. It's hard to be in a bad mood after listening to "The Happening.")

    Yep. Good perspective.
    Will.pennington7 likes this.
  7. Flanderian

    Flanderian Connoisseur

    United States
    New Jersey
    It's not about perfection, it's about presenting and expressing yourself in an appealing and appropriate manner. How do you do this?

    1. Get dressed.

    2. Look in mirror.

    3. Looks good? You've got it!

    4. Looks crummy? Try something else.

    All right, I over-simplified in attempting a comic effect (And flopped!) but it truly is that simple. I.e., it's about the finished whole, not the parts. And as we all know (Cliche warning!!!) the whole can be greater or lesser than the sum of the parts. You're not conducting a military inspection of your dress; gig line straight, all buttons buttoned, etc. Your jacket sleeves might be slightly too long, your trouser thigh slightly too large, and your tie a bit too narrow, and the net result might still be that you look great!

    Early on in the game, you're still at the dress-by-numbers level, but keep at it, and eventually you can hum along! :happy:

    Edit: I.e., the objective is not for your clothes to look great, but for them to make you look great.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
    damon54 likes this.
  8. cortman

    cortman New Member

    United States
    I'm beginning to form the opinion that a few key well-fitting areas on a piece of clothing can excuse or make other less well fit areas look better. A few examples:

    * Straight leg pants. I think (and I believe my opinion is generally shared) that pants look best with a decent taper, to follow the shape of the body. Straight leg pants don't do this as much but really only look bad and sloppy when they're much too long or too short. Get a very good inseam fit with just the right amount of break and they'll probably look good even if they are a bit roomy in the thigh or what have you.

    * Shirts. Sailing on dangerous waters here at AAAC :) but I think again a shirt looks good when it has a slight slimming effect- follows the body without being too close. However, a more full, billowy shirt can still look great if the shoulders fit spot on. A shirt that is a bit too much on the slim side can look good if the shoulders and sleeve lengths are correct.

    I guess basically to me it boils down to looking like "Yes, I know this is a more slim/more full cut than may be perfect, but the key dimensions show that I did not just accidentally pick a size too big or too small". Unless we go full bespoke there will always be some areas of a piece of clothing that won't be perfect. I think it's more about hitting the high points.
  9. 3piece

    3piece Senior Member

    United States
    If I think I look better than most people I see In Real Life, then it's good enough.
  10. paxonus

    paxonus Active Member with Corp. Privileges

    United States
    Los Angeles
    Ah yes, the perennial search for style. Entire blogs have been dedicated to this pursuit, e.g., greyfox. I find that I have to remind myself every so often that the next item I buy will NOT be the one that finally satisfies my sartorial urges and will make me look like as dapper as William Powell. I still buy, but am much more selective than I was two years ago. One of the nicest compliments I have received regarding my clothing choices was from the wife of a cousin who told me her husband always wants what I have.

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