Roninspoon (roninspoon) wrote,

The cloth makes the man

Anyone who flippantly suggests that men's fashion is simple or unsophisticated in comparison to women's fashion, has just told you that they don't know much about either one. If you think that men's fashion is as simple as wearing Tshirts with jeans and sneakers, or just picking out a single monolithic type of unchanging formal wear, is sadly mistaken.

A few years ago, when I decided to start dressing more professionally, I think I could easily be categorized as someone who misunderstood in the way I have just described. "I'll just buy some suits. How hard can it be?"

Oh brother, you have no idea.

There's a myth that men's fashion is immutable, because the basic elements of the men's suit hasn't changed much in the last century. It still consists largely of a jacket with a tie, shirt and pants. But oh man, the details, the subtlety!

Does your jacket have shoulder pads? Are they large pads or shallow? 2 buttons or 3? Is the lapel rolled past the third button? Does the lapel have high or low notches?

What about the trousers? Flat front? Pleats? Maybe you want inverted pleats? What about the cuff, should it be rolled or not? How long is it, do you like a full or partial break?

And it just goes on and on. Shirt collar points, jacket vents, vests, and pocket flaps, ad nauseam. I mean, seriously, I can talk about shoes for hours, and I'm straight. You should hear the gay guys and metros go on.

I still don't have a lot of suits, because, man, good ones are not cheap at all. But I do have five or so nice suits and a variety of shirts and ties that can make those five look like more. As I learn more about what I'm wearing though, I'm finding it tough locate what I want. You see, men's fashion can be just as fickle and cyclical as women's fashion.

Three piece and double breasted suits are currently out, and what I'd really like to get are some nice vintage cut suits in vintage colors. A three piece brown pin stripe with high lapel notches. A double breasted gray flannel, a white on white seersucker or linen suit for the summer. Maybe even a fedora or a pocket watch too.

I say vintage cut though, not vintage. I looked into vintage suits, and it would seem that men in the 50s were rail thin and short. No matter how muck I like a suit, I'm not going to fit into a pair of pants with a 30" waist or a size 38 jacket. The only way I can seem to find these suits in me sizes is to get them custom tailored, and wow, I'm totally not ready for that kind of expense.


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