Mens Fashion

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
Jin+Guice
Posts: 906
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice »

I've been participating in the ERE mastermind group, which has been a great experience.

My mastermind project is to work on WL 6 skill building, moving towards being able to make more things and engage with the world in different ways.


I know that @jacob's own personal favorite portion of everything I do is this Men's Fashion thread, so I thought it'd be a crime not to update y'all on my fashion research.

I recently completed a project researching buying a tailored suit. Now that I know the basics I need to move to actually making a decision on what sort of suit to purchase. I'll be putting the details in the "buying a tailored suit" thread.

As part of the project I re-researched t-shirt fit for men.

Here are the results (I believe these are also posted up thread somewhere, but I re-did them for myself):

T-shirt Fit:

Shoulder seam should be on the shoulder.

Sleeves should end halfway between armpit and elbow. They should be fitting without being too tight.

There should be no tension line across the pecs (shirt too tight). There should be 2-3 inches of fabric on the side when pinched.

The bottom of the shirt should go 2 inches past the belt, ending around midfly.



I'm still effectively a newb and a plebe in this arena, so I'd love any commentary from ERE folks who are interested/ knowledgeable about this topic. Thanks y'all!

GandK
Posts: 2045
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by GandK »

A great article about conspicuous consumption (and clothing) in men, the signaling that is intended, and how it is perceived by others:

What Do Your Possessions Communicate About Yourself?

As a woman I find myself drawn neither to "big pony" nor "small pony" men, as this article distinguishes them, but to "no pony" men. All the pony signals to me is that they would likely pay more attention to their appearance than to a partner.

(This article is in no way an indictment of this thread. It just seemed most related because of the discussion of men's clothing.)

Jin+Guice
Posts: 906
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice »

I don't think this article contains any false information, but I disagree with some of the assumptions and implications.

Conspicuous consumption certainly exists and it is certainly present in clothing. I've done a lot of research over the past two years on clothing, men's style, men's grooming as well as dating and improving social skills. Ours is a society obsessed with money and shortcuts and this is where the brand name comes in. Brand names start as a shortcut to recognizing quality, but that quality can quickly degrade as those who do not recognize quality begin to purchase that brand en masse for either the assumed quality or for the status the brand confers.

Status consumption is certainly held disdainfully here, but if that's the goal, clothes are a cheap and efficient way to do that, compared with other methods.

When I talk about fashion though, brand signaling is not what I mean. Far before the eye perceives the brand, it will perceive the fit of the clothing and how well the outfit is coordinated. It is extremely possible to have brandname clothing that is both poorly made and poorly fit. Being well dressed is a combination of paying careful attention to aesthetics and craftsmanship.

Which is where I think this article misses its mark. Certainly brandname clothing is used to signal personal wealth. But clothing can also be used to signal an attention to detail and cleanliness. Try dressing yourself slovenly in cheaply made clothing and then put on your best outfit and tell me that you don't physically feel different. When we meet someone our mind will automatically begin to assume things about them based on their appearance. Clothing isn't all of this, but it is a large part and reducing it to a simple wealth signal is misleading.

Is a man's testosterone raised after driving a Porsche bc of the name or bc the Porsche is better designed, looks sleeker and goes faster? My guess is it's probably both, but implying that it is simply a matter of wealth and not a multidimensional phenomenon is, in my opinion, poor social science.

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 13685
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by jacob »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Wed Nov 10, 2021 10:05 am
I know that @jacob's own personal favorite portion of everything I do is this Men's Fashion thread, so I thought it'd be a crime not to update y'all on my fashion research.
Ha!
Jin+Guice wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 11:23 am
Which is where I think this article misses its mark. Certainly brandname clothing is used to signal personal wealth. But clothing can also be used to signal an attention to detail and cleanliness. Try dressing yourself slovenly in cheaply made clothing and then put on your best outfit and tell me that you don't physically feel different. When we meet someone our mind will automatically begin to assume things about them based on their appearance. Clothing isn't all of this, but it is a large part and reducing it to a simple wealth signal is misleading.
I'm telling you I literally don't feel that difference although I understand it at an intellectual level, that is, following a bunch of rules for fit and seeing if others followed the same rules for fit, etc. What I do feel is "category". Dressing [up] in a category I don't identify with would make me uncomfortable. For example, I felt like a clown wearing a suit until my mid-thirties and I'm still transitioning out of hiking boots and t-shirts and into collared shirts/business casual. Otherwise clothes has mainly served to keep warm and avoid getting arrested for indecent exposure.

I think categories (business, blue collar, hiker, hunter, artist, geek, scientist, ...) is the primary variable. It's a way of telling the world "what" you are. Once that is communicated/selected, each category comes with different ways of ranking how committed you are to that identity. In some it may be fit or cleanliness. In others it may be price or rarity. In terms of signalling, they all operate on a "it takes one to know one" code where the effort in deciphering it reveals how committed one is to the identity or identities. As such, the studies @GandK listed could easily just be a case of like-attracts-like with logo size being some unconscious filter for that.

I'll allow that fit might be universal (something popping up everywhere in a factor analysis) but I also note that oversized clothes is "a thing" and that wearing pants backwards was a thing in the 90s.

Bz5
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 8:10 pm

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Bz5 »

Anyone into NOS flight suits from the Army?

I have seen slovenly people at wal mart wearing all sorts of colors and hoodies and shoes.

So I wonder if a grey flight tarmac suit would actually stand out today.

I want to wear one full time.

theanimal
Posts: 1916
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal »

I had a green nomex flight suit when I worked in forestry. They are very comfy, durable and have plenty of pockets to be useful. If you want to preserve the fireproof aspect, I guess you're supposed to wash them with a special detergent. If not, they can be washed as normal. People might think you're a mechanic or something like that but I don't think you'll stand out too much.
jacob wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 12:19 pm

I'll allow that fit might be universal (something popping up everywhere in a factor analysis) but I also note that oversized clothes is "a thing" and that wearing pants backwards was a thing in the 90s.
I'd say your latter examples are more fads than something like fit and in the case of oversized clothes are a direct opposition to the norm. Fit is something that has gone by the wayside where hardly anything is tailored or custom made and you end up with most people wearing clothes that do not fit them. As it's internalized it doesn't really seem like a set of rules, the same way that ERE isn't a set of rules. Brands play no part in it. It's more like I see someone that doesn't have clothes that fit them (because they either don't have muscles or their clothes are incorrectly sized) and/or clothes that are mismatched. Just like I might see that someone is likely in a lot of debt or that their obsessed with buying all the latest widgets.

chenda
Posts: 2012
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Nether Wallop

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by chenda »

Bz5 wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:10 pm
I have seen slovenly people at wal mart wearing all sorts of colors and hoodies and shoes.
Nothing wrong with a hoodie babe... I'd wear one at whole foods ;)

Jin+Guice
Posts: 906
Joined: Sat Jun 30, 2018 8:15 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Jin+Guice »

@jacob: It's not about adhering to the same rules for fit as everyone else, it's about adhering to a set of aesthetic principles so that the clothes you are wearing look the best on you. The way to shortcut this is to learn the rules of fit; however, one could circumvent the need for this by having a naturally good eye for what looks good on them. Personally I struggle with visual aesthetics, I know what looks good but not why and I don't know very much about clothes, so having a long list of rules is extremely helpful to me. I will admit there are different aesthetics which contradict the fit rules of other aesthetics, which does imply that there is no universal rule. I'm not a master of visual aesthetics so I can't explain this phenomenon, but I will also say that there are adherent to each aesthetic that look good in their clothes and those that don't, which would imply that there is some universal or at least local principle at play. I think perhaps it is like art, where the rules of impressionism are not the rules of abstract painting. In some places the rules may contradict for both styles, but that does not mean there is not some underlying rule for what is good and what is not. The rules are probably not totally separable from the culture that surrounds them, but what rules governing humans are?

Identifying true masterpieces may take insider knowledge, but looking at a painting and knowing if it is relatively good or not (abstract art not withstanding) doesn't take a masterful eye. In the same way, just by paying attention to what the people around you are wearing, it is not difficult to discern someone whose clothes look good from someone whose clothes do not and someone whose clothes are interesting from someone whose clothes are not.

I agree with what you're saying about group signaling and not wanting to wear the clothes of a group you don't identify with. I also think people resent being told what to where, so those who are forced to wear suits do not like it, especially if they are being inadvertently being forced to wear the clothes of another group (like tech people who want to wear t-shirts being forced to wear suits). Once you have chosen what style to wear, you can still but together clothes that look good together or are interesting.

Even if it is all just signaling and posturing (which I don't feel that it is), I'm not sure I understand the argument against wearing good clothes. We all have to eat. It's possible to meet our nutritional requirements quickly and cheaply, but most people would prefer they way the food tastes to be considered as a major component as well. With not much effort it's possible to learn to make food that both tastes good and is good for you. The same is true of clothes. You are forced to wear them by convention, so why not put a little effort into choosing the style you would like and acquiring clothes that look good on you and are well constructed, when you acquire new clothes.
GandK wrote:
Fri Jan 14, 2022 9:35 am
All the pony signals to me is that they would likely pay more attention to their appearance than to a partner.
This is interesting to me, bc the women I talk to express that, aside from an interest in fashion and sometimes a desire for some decent arm candy, they are more interested in well dressed and well groomed men bc the see it as a signal that they put extra care and effort into all areas of their life, including their romantic relationships.

Bz5
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 8:10 pm

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Bz5 »

You are right. Nothing wrong with a hoodie. A hoodie never hurt anybody. They just lay there, flaccid.

chenda
Posts: 2012
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Nether Wallop

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by chenda »

Bz5 wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:50 pm
You are right. Nothing wrong with a hoodie. A hoodie never hurt anybody. They just lay there, flaccid.
My winter 'uniform' which I wear every day is a bright pink Colombia hoodie which is ruddy comfortable. And you are right, it sits on me flacid. Mostly.

GandK
Posts: 2045
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2011 1:00 pm

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by GandK »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:45 pm
This is interesting to me, bc the women I talk to express that, aside from an interest in fashion and sometimes a desire for some decent arm candy, they are more interested in well dressed and well groomed men bc the see it as a signal that they put extra care and effort into all areas of their life, including their romantic relationships.
If single, I would certainly not date a man who smelled like the south end of a north-bound goat. But neither would I want him to smell like he was a walking advertisement for Old Spice... I like the plain old smell of Guy. (I suspect my sense of attraction is dependent upon being able to smell it properly.) Likewise, if I could tell that my suitor hadn't groomed his hair since last Pancake Day he'd be struck off, but so too if he had so much product in his hair that he could get struck in the head with a softball and the ball would crack. And like a lot of Anglo-Americans, I was raised that - Christmas sweaters notwithstanding - a person's clothing should never be louder than they are. If Dude showed up in a hot pink designer button-down (hoodies do get a pass), I'd assume he either had something quite serious to compensate for, or that his own culture or personality was so unlike mine that we'd be a very bad match.

Finally, although I admit my sample size over the last 30 years is not large, my experience with dating various men, with parenting, and with just generally being a human leads me to believe that you can never assume attention to detail in one area of life will apply to other areas. Everyone who does not have OCD is careless about the things they... don't care about. We each only have so many hours a day. If I saw hyperfocus in an area I did not personally value, like fashion, I'd assume other areas that I value greatly are likely not being attended to simply due to time constraints.

These would all be my first impressions, anyway.

I admire your study of these issues. The whole subject - using the inanimate to subconsciously influence the animate - is fascinating.

white belt
Posts: 1012
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by white belt »

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:45 pm
Even if it is all just signaling and posturing (which I don't feel that it is), I'm not sure I understand the argument against wearing good clothes. We all have to eat. It's possible to meet our nutritional requirements quickly and cheaply, but most people would prefer they way the food tastes to be considered as a major component as well. With not much effort it's possible to learn to make food that both tastes good and is good for you. The same is true of clothes. You are forced to wear them by convention, so why not put a little effort into choosing the style you would like and acquiring clothes that look good on you and are well constructed, when you acquire new clothes.
I'm largely in agreement with Jacob. I don't think it's an argument against wearing good clothes. I think it's an argument against dedicating excess mental/physical resources towards something like clothing if it's not something one finds interesting.

My issue is that people seem to associate "good" clothes with price rather than actual quality. I appreciate your attempts to quantify what "good" is. There will always be tradeoffs between durability, stylishness, cost, etc. Trilemma perhaps?

I'm not sure trying to draw generalizations from individual female preferences is all that useful. For every woman that says they despise x, you can probably find another woman who loves x. A better method is to determine the kind of partners you are trying to attract, then backwards plan from there to get an idea of what signals would attract those partners. Follow a similar strategy for any signaling situation when it comes to deciding what clothing to wear. Obviously this can be tiresome for everyday situations, which I think is why people tend to come up with default outfits for default situations (e.g. this is a church outfit, a date outfit, a visiting in-laws outfit, etc).

My default advice on men's fashion is to perhaps mostly focus on getting in better shape (leaner) since the default in the US is being overweight. Clothes will usually look better if you are leaner (unless you're underweight, then you they might look better if you gain some weight). Wear clothes that fit (for most guys that means tighter than you're used to, for hipsters that might mean looser than you're used to). For guys, the bar is just so low when it comes to clothing; just wear something that's along the spectrum of acceptable for a specific situation. Don't try to blaze trails unless fashion is an important part of your identity because the payoff just isn't there when it comes to signaling (in fact, it might end up being counterproductive unless you have a strong aesthetic sense).
Last edited by white belt on Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

theanimal
Posts: 1916
Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:05 pm
Location: AK
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by theanimal »

It is apparent that there is still some talking past each other as there are two different meanings attributed to men''s fashion. I think the concept of fashion is being overthought. There isn't an advocacy for different clothes, you can wear the same style. More how you wear them. I think it'd be best to illustrate with more pictures..

This is what is being advocated. Clothes that fit! Clothes that match and simple color combinations. Brand doesn't matter. You can do this with anything you pick up from the thrifstore as long as it fits. The fit is most important.

Image

Image

Image

Image


This is the other style. High emphasis on brands. High emphasis on uniqueness or features that show that you are different. Loud colors, weird combinations/patterns/make up of the clothes. Constantly changing. This is high fashion and is NOT what is being advocated.

Image

Image

Image

Image


Then this is how most men wear their pants, notice the difference between this and the first examples. It's like they don't have any legs.

Image



For the second route (high fashion) step 1 is to find out what's in style and then buy the most well known/expensive brand that goes along with that.

For route one, step 1 is to get in shape (get muscles), get clothes that fit and that pair together. That's it. The brand doesn't matter. You're wearing the same clothes you'd wear normally, these just actually fit. I learned all I know about men's fashion in about 1 hour of reading casually. I dress better than anyone I associate and get complimented for it regularly. Sure that serves my vanity but it also gives people a positive perception of me.
I'm wearing a dirty t shirt, jeans and boots most of the time. It's not anything fancy. People treat you better as well in public. Perhaps it's not a surprise that advocating for something that boosts yourself socially is falling on deaf ears in a forum full of INTJs. :lol:

Blackjack
Posts: 68
Joined: Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:36 am
Location: Front Range, bikescore 99

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Blackjack »

I’m gonna talk about an edge case (well, maybe not edge case if you are anything like a normal American). I notice that you only chose guys with smaller legs in describing your first fashion route. If you are a more average American size now, or are a bit bigger but working on getting more fit, then I think it’s gonna be less “pleasant” of a clothing fit to wear this style / exact fit of clothing. I’m not sure what the actual fashionable solution here is. Obviously fashion in general likes “thin” figures and body shapes, but I think we need to address it in a better way than saying “just get fit and then wear tight fitting clothes”, as for many people that may be a 5 or 10 year journey (I think it took me 3-4000 hours to get “fit” in the ways I wanted to, and maybe I’m exceptionally slow but from watching the people around me I would just guess I’m average) and I also don’t think you should need to prioritize fitness to feel good about wearing clothing.

Also if “fit” includes lifting very heavy weights with your legs for an individual, I think that jeans / t-shirt aesthetic ends up looking kinda goofy (my personal case) and needs some drastic tailoring to even start to pull it off (or you can buy $150 specially pre tailored jeans from fitness apparel companies). I still don’t know what the “more proper” answer is to that question, as where I live people just wear expensive workout clothing when they “dress up”, meaning Patagonia / arcteryx / lululemon/ vuori / etc, so it is just culturally appropriate here to wear joggers in all semi casual situations unless you need dress pants.

Obviously this is all “fine detail” arguing and I think we agree on principles of “good fit”, just that the details of what “good fit” is and which clothing choices should be made and how closely things should fit is a function of individual body type and local culturally acceptable clothing choices.

Miss Lonelyhearts
Posts: 172
Joined: Tue Oct 08, 2013 12:53 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Miss Lonelyhearts »

If you have a nonstandard body type, one route is to buy whatever you can afford in a larger size, then have it altered. In big cities at least, there are many capable tailors. Here’s the one I used to go to: https://g.co/kgs/YBhyHc

7Wannabe5
Posts: 7701
Joined: Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:03 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

I think it must be true that most American men do not know how to dress themselves very well, because it has been my experience that most men look better with their clothing off. Of course, my perspective may be biased, because it is entirely possible that I just possess a fairly strong filter that only allows men who will likely look better than average when naked into the realm of men whom I do indeed eventually view while naked.

I think the early 1980s was the era in which American Male Fashion became more burka-like, because in my youth, there was less need to rely on my imagination/intuition, because young men were often to be seen wearing nothing but a well-worn pair of cut-off shorts.

Image

OTOH, I also like the look of a nice wool overcoat on a man, To me, a nice wool overcoat signals "Relax, you will be well taken care of while in my company."

Image

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 13685
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by jacob »

Bz5 wrote:
Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:10 pm
Anyone into NOS flight suits from the Army?

I have seen slovenly people at wal mart wearing all sorts of colors and hoodies and shoes.

So I wonder if a grey flight tarmac suit would actually stand out today.

I want to wear one full time.
Sort of: viewtopic.php?p=176444#p176444

Fits right in with the people of Walmart or Home Depot.

white belt
Posts: 1012
Joined: Sat May 21, 2011 12:15 am

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by white belt »

7Wannabe5 wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:24 am
I think the early 1980s was the era in which American Male Fashion became more burka-like, because in my youth, there was less need to rely on my imagination/intuition, because young men were often to be seen wearing nothing but a well-worn pair of cut-off shorts.
This is probably just a function of age and trends. These days, young men (e.g. under 30) do wear more form fitting clothing, to include tight shorts that don’t extend much past the mid thigh. This seems counter to the trend of the late 90s to early 2010s that called for baggy shirts and shorts. The fashionable length for male shorts has almost entirely come back full circle over a ~50 year cycle.

Edit: I’m not surprised men dress more poorly as they age (see all the “Dad” fashion memes).

chenda
Posts: 2012
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:17 pm
Location: Nether Wallop

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by chenda »

white belt wrote:
Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:33 pm
Edit: I’m not surprised men dress more poorly as they age (see all the “Dad” fashion memes).
Its also an increasing visible sign of social status. In less affluent communities men are often grandparents by the time they are in their 40s and tend to dress and even act like old men.

Bz5
Posts: 101
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2021 8:10 pm

Re: Mens Fashion

Post by Bz5 »

I dunno Jacob:

Image

More military. Maybe a walmart near a PX

Post Reply