Photo by Salt Water New England

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Letter to the Editor

 

Letter to the Editor:

Here is a thought for your readership to consider.  I actually like it when some fine traditional product I have and love becomes mainstream, even if it is because it is accomplished by a lower cost knock-off, because it reduces self-consciousness over wearing or using things that are widely recognized and perceived as elitist.  Of course this assumes that the traditional products remain available and maintain their standards.

10 comments:

  1. The hipsters in Austin have taken both reds and critter pants mainstream. It is weird to see them with high top sneakers, plaid shirts, and a man bun. On the positive side, I am seeing a renaissance of Fair Isle sweaters and Shetlands.

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  2. I tend to favor items without visible/noticeable branding and logos; the items that "if you know, you know." So I am not a fan of items that I love become mainstream; the point of them is to be deliberately not mainstream and understated. I don't like trends, so finding things that I love have become "trendy" (Stubbs & Wootton slippers, for instance), diminishes the pleasure I take in them. I realize that this makes me sound stuffy, but oh well!

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  3. I wish more people would dress with more care and raise the bar for themselves in that way. This letter courageously admits that sometimes one stands out in a crowd when they're dressed to a high standard, and that sometimes that's uncomfortable or undesirable. I certainly get that. I live in Portland, where I've seen men in their 60s wearing cargo shorts and t-shirts while attending an opera performance. (That it was a summer matinée is no excuse.) It can feel a little attention-grabbing in this fiercely casual town to go out in something as pedestrian (but "fancy" in some places) as a sport coat. That said, I also like what Sarah wrote above that when it comes to certain logo-free items, "if you know, you know." Those of us with an eye for style notice these things. I'm resolving to wear my better items more frequently and boldly, expecting that the more these things become a personal uniform, the more like a comfortable second skin they become, no matter what others around me are wearing.

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    1. Yes. If you know, you know. I can tell at a glance if an.OCBD is a Mercer or a Gitman. I wear Mercer and do not feel uncomfortable in a group of others wearing OCBDs from Bean or Lands End. To them and to everyone else in the room we are dressed alike. Ditto for my Aldens and their Rockports, all just loafers to the room. However, when OCBDs or loafers drift out of the mainstream, I will stand out, not because of their quality but because of fashion. I dislike that and wish jacket and tie were still mainstream.

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  4. I wear what I like (pretty traditional NE Waspy menswear) and don't worry about it. Dressing presentably in the the 21st century (Michigan and most other places) sets one apart like it, or not.

    Kind Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich

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  5. One might argue that it's because OCBDs, penny loafers, chinos/khakis became mainstream at one time they have managed to survive until today.

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  6. Nothing stuns me more than having an acquaintance or friend turn up for an event, a church service, or a dinner in slacks or jeans when I am wearing a skirt and blouse and then snarkily asking me why I am so dressed up. That attitude leaves me speechless. Guess I must be missing an unwritten rule of the new etiquette.

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  7. Except for brief periods, I have never dressed differently than I do today. I'm not interested in fashion, so I don't care whether items in my wardrobe are currently in fashion.

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  8. I think when this happens, it cheapens the once special, coveted article for those of the "old-guard" who have worn it for decades and are in touch with quality and taste. I've seen the gamut of some of these items made mainstream and I want to cry. --Holly in PA

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    1. There have been laws preventing that sort of thing, to prevent people from dressing above their station. They were called sumptuary laws.

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