Are Ascots "Stuffy"?

Jan Libourel

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I was just glancing through Los Angeles magazine. In the "Men's Spring Fashion" section there was a picture of a $305 Louis Vuitton scarf with some garish images of panthers on it. Evidently Vuitton is using this "Blue Panther" motif on a lot of stuff this season. Vuitton's name was printed in huge letters across the back of the scarf. The accompanying caption read:

"Silk scarves were fastened Boy Scout style around the models' necks at the Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Margaret Howell spring shows. More youthful than a stuffy ascot [sic], neckerchiefs add a touch of elegance to a casual outfit."

The scarf is shown rolled around the neck and tied in a square knot. The wide blades with the panthers on them are hanging down. I am unsure whether they are to be tucked into the shirt or left to hang free. If they are to be concealed, there seems little point in paying a premium for the images of the panthers. In either event, I don't believe this is how Boy Scouts wear their neckerchiefs. At least they certainly didn't in my day.*

What got me though, as an ascot fan, was the characterization of ascots as "stuffy." While one may, perhaps with some justification, condemn them as "foppish," "pretentious, "peacocky," "faux patrician" or whatnot, I have always regarded the ascot (the casual kind, not the sort you wear with morning attire) as a lighthearted, breezy, casual garment with a touch of "go to hell" to it and certainly not "stuffy." I would consider a regular FIH necktie to be much "stuffier," by and large.

Anyway, what are your thoughts on this, gentlemen?

*Looking into this matter, I find that the scouts now wear their neckerchief under the shirt collar like a necktie. Formerly, they wore it around the neck, which seems like a much more sensible place for a neckerchief. The neckerchief is not knotted but secured with a slide. It is not rolled but forms a triangle on the scout's back. The two ends of the neckerchief hang down a considerable distance on the scout's chest, so I presume that Vuitton's panthers are likewise meant to be worn exposed
 
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Ascots are worn outside the shirt where-as cravats are worn inside the shirt (that is my understanding). I believe ascots are stuffy.
 
Kind of anachronistic, no? The other problem is that contemporary examples look silly and i do think wearing one successfully has to do with how you look including your age

Which of these look good:

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Just by way of clarification, in American usage "ascot" can denote two similar but distinct kinds of garments: the formal ascot, such as is worn with morning dress, and the much more common casual ascot, which is known in Britain and probably some other Anglophone countries as the "day cravat" or simply "cravat." In America, the term "cravat" is or was (I haven't heard this usage since I was a very young man) simply an elegant variation for any kind of neckwear, usually a necktie. The American usage of "cravat" is historically more correct, as is not infrequently the case in American vs. British word usages, e.g., "vest."

I had tried to make the type of "ascot" under consideration clear in my original post, but evidently I didn't succeed too well.
 
Just by way of clarification, in American usage "ascot" can denote two similar but distinct kinds of garments: the formal ascot, such as is worn with morning dress, and the much more common casual ascot, which is known in Britain and probably some other Anglophone countries as the "day cravat" or simply "cravat." In America, the term "cravat" is or was (I haven't heard this usage since I was a very young man) simply an elegant variation for any kind of neckwear, usually a necktie. The American usage of "cravat" is historically more correct, as is not infrequently the case in American vs. British word usages, e.g., "vest."

I had tried to make the type of "ascot" under consideration clear in my original post, but evidently I didn't succeed too well.

Maybe posting a picture of what you are considering would be useful
 
All the ones you posted are the sort I was referring to in my original post.

Oh, ok. Then I stand by what I've said. Seems to me that if one can pull it off it is fine but the look tends to favour those who have a unique look and certainly works with a mature man. Grey hair is a plus. Looks too poncey on a young chap. Label king could pull it off because he was over the top.

Picture In Stitches, JustinKapur or Caustic Man wearing one. Just saying
 
Looks too poncey on a young chap.
Is this because of style associations or health/youth associations? Old styles only working for older people even though the style outages the person makes little sense. However the fact is that the ascot is like a scarf, gloves, sweater etc. in being handy for warding off chills. Young bucks are expected to be rakishly immune to inclement conditions, or more tolerant of style over comfort, whereas the elderly are sicklier and more sensitive and just don't care what you think. On top of this, the modern man is devolved into not using clothing for temperature regulation and instead wearing a t-shirt and jeans or cargo shorts year round and tweaking HVAC to suit him. The "old" way of dressing sensibly made more sense.
 
Is this because of style associations or health/youth associations? Old styles only working for older people even though the style outages the person makes little sense. However the fact is that the ascot is like a scarf, gloves, sweater etc. in being handy for warding off chills. Young bucks are expected to be rakishly immune to inclement conditions, or more tolerant of style over comfort, whereas the elderly are sicklier and more sensitive and just don't care what you think. On top of this, the modern man is devolved into not using clothing for temperature regulation and instead wearing a t-shirt and jeans or cargo shorts year round and tweaking HVAC to suit him. The "old" way of dressing sensibly made more sense.

Take any anachronistic item that was popular once but today belongs to a bygone age and it might look better on someone older. Or someone who looks like Clark Gable.

Items that look peculiar on young men:

Tibor's fedora

A 12-year old wearing a ascot

Foo dressing like a 60 year-old

We dress for effect primarily and function secondarily.

it is a bell curve, at the extremes things look better on the young/old
 
Take any anachronistic item that was popular once but today belongs to a bygone age and it might look better on someone older. Or someone who looks like Clark Gable.

Items that look peculiar on young men:

Tibor's fedora

A 12-year old wearing a ascot

Foo dressing like a 60 year-old

We dress for effect primarily and function secondarily.

it is a bell curve, at the extremes things look better on the young/old

i also dress like a 60 year-old!!! or 70....
 

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