The primary purpose of this site is to provide some basic style and fashion information to men based upon standards that have stood the test of time, while remaining free of any commercial biases or interests. This site came about accidentally, as a result of the response I received to a side comment on my main blog, mostly from young women distressed by the cluelessness of their male contemporaries. So the intent here is to lay down some basic principles about classic dress, rather than to go on indefinitely. It will probably make more sense to read this in the order written, which means going back to earlier entries if you come to this subsequently. Questions are always welcome.
I am far from a fashion maven, and have little interest in ephemeral trendiness, relying rather upon decades of experience and observation of what constitutes a good look over time. At the outset this site will be decidedly simple and without any flash, although subsequently there may be some enhancements and pictures or illustrations to elucidate various points. All of this implies a certain formality, which may be true, but we will also touch on more informal appearance as well, in terms of a relaxed casual elegance instead of looking like a slob.
We live in an age where it is no longer possible to tell the rich from the poor by the way they dress. This is a relatively new phenomenon historically, beginning only in the twentieth century. Prior to our own time, the class to which a person belonged was obvious by the way they dressed. From a socioeconomic standpoint this may not be such a bad thing to the extent that the miracles of markets and mass production have enabled billions to be adequately dressed. Nevertheless when you look at fashions over the ages, what you see is only the upper end; rarely do you see ragged people in hovels. Nowadays since it is common for young technology billionaires to dress down, there is no longer that much correspondence between appearance and wealth. But that also means you don’t need to be a millionaire to look good, without dressing down. Today it is not income but good taste that separates the class from the mass. Here we are focused on the former.
From old photographs we can see how well people in crowds used to dress before going out in public well into the last century. Now we are in a decidedly informal age, and this is about standards and rules in a time without any. So why bother? The first answer is that when there is an overabundance of options there is effectively no real choice as things are too overwhelming. However, if you limit yourself to certain parameters, within those guides you can produce a fine, and still often original look, much in the way that many of the greatest symphonies were written within the constraints of the classical form.
Second, the reality is that when you are well dressed people take you more seriously and treat you differently. I know this from first hand experience, time and again. To cite one example, I once got a ticket dismissed with a less than solid excuse when the judge clearly reacted to my appearance in room full of people otherwise for the most part poorly dressed. She paid more attention to me and treated me more politely mainly because was wearing a three piece suit. So putting yourself together with some thought can pay off.
Finally, when you dress well you tend to feel better about yourself. Your appearance will often correspond to an uptick rather than a downer in your circumstances or life. I’ve also gone through indifferent, sloppy sweatsuit periods, It doesn’t take all that much time to put yourself together well once you’ve developed some awareness of how you look, and the extra mileage you get is well worth it. Just remember that whatever you are wearing is making a statement about you whether you like it or not, even to people not at all style conscious. Of course there are different looks at different times. A power suit has an impact on men, but most of the time how you’re dressed says something to women, and since most men are attuned to the opposite sex, how you’re dressed is going to govern the impression you make. These are general observations, but this site is concerned with a particular “classic” look, and that is what we will focus on now.