Mens Suiting Is Drab

Discussion of fashion elements and looks that are traditionally considered somewhat "femme" but are presented in a masculine context. This is NOT about transvestism or crossdressing.
moonshadow
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by moonshadow »

I mean, can you just imagine a guy like Carl, sitting at the big table up on the top floor, going over figures, P&L reports, and other such metrics, wearing one of his fluffy tops, waistcoat, pocket watch hanging from the side, long beard, even longer floor sweeper skirt fluffed out to a good flare.

Imagine such a person (man or woman) speaking before a public gathering, running for office, etc... What a colorful and exciting world it would be.... where personal expression and art combine.

Sitting in court, having your taxes done, applying for a building permit, etc would be a lot more fun if everyone dressed in such a manner. :mrgreen:
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by Grok »

I was thinking about other possibilities for personal expression.

It would be nice if the range of mens jewelry could be expanded in the office setting (or in general). One early opportunity may be buttons, using materials such as brass or mother of pearl. That could be a way of sneaking in a bit of bling, appearing as something functional as opposed to purely decorative. An alternative to a suit jacket might be a waistcoat, which, if it has lapels, might sport both fancy buttons and lapel pins. Additionally, I think that-being shorter than a man's (trousers) suit jacket-a waistcoat could look good with a skirt.

My ideas may sound a bit tame. But I expect the office setting/work in general to lag in terms of personal expression. Again, the conservative bent of business.
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by Grok »

moonshadow wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:07 pm
1950sComputer.jpg

Sadly, women who wear the styles depicted in the photo above in the office today are doomed to a lifetime of "secretary" at best. It seems a tight fitting "power skirt" is what's required to roll with the big boys in the board room.

Pity, the longer, fuller skirts just look so graceful. In my opinion, the skirts illustrated above display the zenith of the skirt as a garment.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...

Office fashion in general is DRAB today.. all of it, male, female, skirts, pants, I doesn't matter... all boring.
The most elegant outfits aren't seen if the office setting. I am thinking of what women wear to those rare special occasions, such as evening gowns and wedding dresses. In the office setting, the expectation seems to be for formal but not overly beautiful.

Which might make it easier to make people fit in/conform?
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

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Daryl wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 7:40 am
Man, I cannot see Dan Levy without wondering if I am watching a rerun of SCTV. Very sharp outfits in both pictures though the second one makes me wish the fashion world would get off this obsession with hanging men's lower garments from the hips rather than waist.
Hi Daryl
Thanks for your comments. The second shot didn't come from any element of the fashion world. That is just me at the end of a long and very hot day at the office in 2014.
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

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Grok wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 6:28 pm
The most elegant outfits aren't seen if the office setting. I am thinking of what women wear to those rare special occasions, such as evening gowns and wedding dresses. In the office setting, the expectation seems to be for formal but not overly beautiful.
I am not sure that the notion of elegance even exists any longer in the modern lexicon. It's all been swept aside in the cold hard face of neo-conservatism, brutalist efficiency, and casual grunge. Perhaps the last vestiges may be seen at weddings, and occasionally funerals, and every so often attempts at it at high-school proms [1]. Other than "events" such as those, there is never, ever, occasion to don anything other than common grunge -- denim, mainly, and t-shirts. Such is the world that has been made for us.

I'm flattered by Moon's remarks about me and my style, but what he misses is that I am vastly more at home in the engine-room making steam and keeping the engines running than I am at the Captain's Table. I am an anomaly. But I miss -- profoundly miss -- occasions where elegance might be encountered, because I never do now, and haven't in a long time indeed. I recall being invited with my late ex- to assorted galas where the "stops got pulled out" -- and I was fully allowed to be "me"; but that was a time long in the past.
Which might make it easier to make people fit in/conform?
A relaxation in the Rules might be a good starting point.


[1] I have more than a few hilarious notes from real life where I've been around teenage girls in their prom gowns and who have had no clue how to handle them. One thing I know is that they positively hate it when a guy in a long skirt sweeps past without missing a beat and recedes into the bar. My late ex- commented on that phenomenon a number of times as the place we used to hang out at was also a local function facility. She'd dawdle behind a bit to take in the scene just to see how things unfolded -- and then tell stories.
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by denimini »

moonshadow wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:07 pm
Office fashion in general is DRAB today.. all of it, male, female, skirts, pants, I doesn't matter... all boring.
There is a reason for this but I can't remember what it is.
I think it goes like; portraying an illusion of stability and conservatism .......... often being audacious and reckless with business and financial behaviour, particualrly with other people's money.
Anthony, a denim miniskirt wearer in Outback Australia
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

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denimini wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 2:31 am
moonshadow wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:07 pm
Office fashion in general is DRAB today.. all of it, male, female, skirts, pants, I doesn't matter... all boring.
There is a reason for this but I can't remember what it is.
I think it goes like; portraying an illusion of stability and conservatism .......... often being audacious and reckless with business and financial behaviour, particualrly with other people's money.
I've heard that too.... yet in observational fact, the better dressed the person you're dealing with is, the more likely you're going to get screwed... :wink:
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by Sinned »

During my employment at frst direct, I once attended a Project Meeting of a project involving both organisations at HSBC's data centre on the outskirts of Sheffield and I was wearing trousers, a button shirt open at the neck and a jumper ( pullover, whatever ) and was advised later through my boss that my attire was unacceptable for such a formal meeting and jacket and tie was required from thence on. My attire was considered too informal. So attending such meeting in a skirt would have caused a few heart attacks, I reckon. I hadn't discovered skirts at that time.

Incidentally, at the end of that project I sent an email to my counterpart in Sheffield with the final, I thought humourous, line, "So long, and thanks for all the fish.
I received an email in response, "Thank you, but what's fish got to do with it?"
Sometimes I despaired at the ultra-formality and humourlessness of organisations and people. Now, I couldn't give a sh*t.
I believe in offering every assistance short of actual help but then mainly just want to be left to be myself in all my difference and uniqueness.
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by JeffB1959 »

moonshadow wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:07 pm
I think this looks nice.

1950sComputer.jpg

Everyone here should know by now I'm not a fan of tight fitting pencil like skirts popular in today's office...

Sadly, women who wear the styles depicted in the photo above in the office today are doomed to a lifetime of "secretary" at best. It seems a tight fitting "power skirt" is what's required to roll with the big boys in the board room.

Pity, the longer, fuller skirts just look so graceful. In my opinion, the skirts illustrated above display the zenith of the skirt as a garment.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...

Office fashion in general is DRAB today.. all of it, male, female, skirts, pants, I doesn't matter... all boring.
Heck, I could do that 50's look, and love it too!
I don't want to LOOK like a woman, I just want to DRESS like a woman.
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by Grok »

Sinned wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 9:32 am

Sometimes I despaired at the ultra-formality and humourlessness of organisations and people. Now, I couldn't give a sh*t.
I believe that you made a reference to The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy.

I am 64 years old. Given the conservatism of the office setting, I expect to be long retired by the time we see men is skirt suits.
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by STEVIE »

Grok wrote:
Tue Feb 16, 2021 11:59 pm
I am 64 years old. Given the conservatism of the office setting, I expect to be long retired by the time we see men is skirt suits.
Hi Grok
I'm 63 and have been wearing skirts every day in the office for about ten years.
Admittedly not a "suit" but given the wider situation for men in skirts that is hardly surprising.
The conservatism of business dress, just like wider society will only be broken down when challenged.
When a wider change will come, the Gods only know
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by Coder »

I feel like if everyone dressed like they were at a gala, that style of clothing would become the norm and thus "drab". The same for office wear - at some point what everyone wears becomes the norm. If we all dressed differently (well, at the university they sort of do) there would always be a different style to encounter. Although even there the norm trends towards slacks/khaki/jeans and a polo/button up shirt.

Grunge however... while a style (which I don't like) is different in that it's a debasement of clothes - ripped, dirty, baggy - and I think it's intent is to send a message about the wearer - and perhaps a message to the outside world as well.

As for suits - I dislike them. I've tried suit jackets, had to wear them on a few occasions, even tried a skirt suit (returned!). In all cases I felt too stuffy, made up, and fake. Now, I could totally wear a corduroy or textured tweed jacket with patch pockets, maybe even other fabrics, but any of the boring styles forget it.
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by crfriend »

Coder wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 10:20 pm
I feel like if everyone dressed like they were at a gala, that style of clothing would become the norm and thus "drab".
I would beg to differ. Elegance is easily recognised; so is "Drab". If somehow elegance once again came back into style it would be just as easily recognised. "Drab" is the bare minimum allowable to escape the classification as "grunge"; in other words, it's the most meagre "price of admission".

Here, it's worth nothing that my definitions tend to be a notch or two above the "normal" (debased) definitions. The "grunge" category includes anything ripped, threadbare, or intended to send a "gansta" vibe. "Drab" includes the vast spectrum that we see on the street today that does not immediately catch our attentions other than "grunge". 99.5%+ of "modern fashion" thus lands in "drab" simply because elegance is largely, if not entirely obsolete. Elegance involves the topmost rank, but is so rare that many of us outside "formal affairs" such as weddings and funerals are never exposed to it any longer, and even in a supposedly "formal" setting one will find folks who do not know how to carry such styles or opt for "dressy drab" instead.

Moon's shot of the 1950s (likely early- to mid- 50s) data-processing setup showed what office attire was like at the time. Today, it looks semi-formal; at the time, it was merely "office attire"; off-hours dress would have tracked function, and this was a time where "Cocktail Hour" called for a certain level of style (and the pictured one wasn't that), and "Evening wear" was several notches above that. Such distinctions no longer exist in modern times -- it's pretty much all "drab" now. We're poorer for it.
Now, I could totally wear a corduroy or textured tweed jacket with patch pockets, maybe even other fabrics, but any of the boring styles forget it.
That's your exposure to academia -- the classic image of the Professor is the one in a tweed jacket with patches at the elbows. Put him in a skirt and see what happens.
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by Coder »

crfriend wrote:
Wed Feb 17, 2021 11:57 pm
Now, I could totally wear a corduroy or textured tweed jacket with patch pockets, maybe even other fabrics, but any of the boring styles forget it.
That's your exposure to academia -- the classic image of the Professor is the one in a tweed jacket with patches at the elbows. Put him in a skirt and see what happens.
Nah - I had these thoughts about style when I was in high school. I guess what I'm trying to say is that the standard black/blue/grey suit and associated style just doesn't fit me.
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Re: Mens Suiting Is Drab

Post by Grok »

I am thinking about what I call Office Formal.

For a man, this could go one of two ways:

1. Formal looking, yes, but also dull and uninspired/unispiring. As though a man uncaringly threw on a uniform.

2. A return to style. A skirt suit might be a catalyst for this, because it is different.
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