Sartorial Stories In The News

The Ernesto

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685

There’s a reason no one is smiling in luxury stores​


Psychologists have discovered that when it comes to selling luxury goods, it helps to wear a neutral or even contemptuous expression.

A series of experiments showed that customers were more likely to judge expensive items as desirable if the people selling them appeared dismissive or uninterested. An unfriendly attitude was found to create a “social distance” which the customer seeks to overcome.

The findings appear to validate what many luxury brands know instinctively. The atmosphere in couture and other high-end outlets is often noticeably less warm than on the high street.

The study quoted an online review posted by a customer at Loewe’s, a luxury fashion outlet, as saying: “I walk into Loewe’s and there is a collective angst against customers. Loewe’s workers won’t look you in the eye, and they even walk quickly away from you when you walk towards them.”

Published in the Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, the research also contradicts less in-depth psychological studies that led scientists to assume that shop assistants smiling is advantageous in all circumstances - the so-called smile principle.

Previous psychological research has found that the “DNA” of luxury is the symbolic desire to belong to a superior class and keep a distance from people with relatively low social status.

Buying an expensive handbag, for example, overcomes the perceived distance created by the unsmiling shop assistant and promises to create it between the buyer and others without.

However, the experiments found that neutral or contemptuous expressions by staff only worked in the case of high-quality goods. They showed that in the case of “mundane” items, a smile or warm countenance helped sales.

The team believes this is because, unlike in the case of luxury goods, there is no advantage in creating a distance between a product and potential buyer.

The scientists at Nanjing University in China said: “Retailers should consider product type when training a frontline employee to manage their facial expressions.

“We suggest that the mundane products retailers follow the smile principle. However, we do not recommend luxury retailers follow [it].”
 

Grand Potentate

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"Why you should trust us​

I’m a style writer, which means I compare, test, and report on wearable items. To prepare for this guide, I talked with friends about their favorite button-up shirts. I brushed up on the difference between button-up shirts and button-down shirts. I learned about dress shirts, Oxford button-downs, and linen shirts (as well as Zoom shirts). I spent a month obsessing over minute features that distinguish one shirt from another. After separating the wheat from the chaff during my personal testing, I put together a diverse panel of testers to give me feedback on the best button-up shirts"
 

Dropbear

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"Why you should trust us​

I’m a style writer, which means I compare, test, and report on wearable items. To prepare for this guide, I talked with friends about their favorite button-up shirts. I brushed up on the difference between button-up shirts and button-down shirts. I learned about dress shirts, Oxford button-downs, and linen shirts (as well as Zoom shirts). I spent a month obsessing over minute features that distinguish one shirt from another. After separating the wheat from the chaff during my personal testing, I put together a diverse panel of testers to give me feedback on the best button-up shirts"

This man understands Aposematism!

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Streetlight

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I’m a style writer, which means I compare, test, and report on wearable items. To prepare for this guide, I talked with friends about their favorite button-up shirts. I brushed up on the difference between button-up shirts and button-down shirts.
Eh? People really seem to have got stupider over the last 20 years, like how every black leather shoe is now an 'Oxford'. Can they really not distinguish attributes anymore?
 
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The Ernesto

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Seems like a no brainer:

Can these women save Savile Row?

https://www.ft.com/content/0516de77-ee67-4d8d-98bc-95890b19c26e


“I wanted to create this really welcoming, beautiful space for women – an unintimidating, cosy environment that was light and bright,” says Daisy Knatchbull of The Deck, the made-to-measure tailoring house she launched in 2019. Based on Savile Row, the atelier has cream and dark-blue walls, inviting plush furnishings and tables strewn with huge white hydrangeas, Diptyque candles and glossy magazines. It’s a far cry from the oak-panelled rooms adorned with gilded antiques and stags’ heads that have colonised this muscular mile of tailoring for gentlemen that has existed for more than two centuries. Sales of men’s suits in Britain have plummeted by 2.3m units over the past five years, according to market research firm Kantar. The shifts in workwear trends alongside the pandemic, combined with high overheads and a decline in tourist numbers, have left Savile Row in a state of perilous decline. Kilgour, Hardy Amies and Chester Barrie have closed their Savile Row stores in recent years (although some retain an online presence). Gieves & Hawkes, one of the world’s most prestigious tailors that once boasted Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill as clients, seems at risk of closing permanently after its parent company was put into liquidation. Could expanding its services to women help save the endangered Savile Row?
 

fxh

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"Why you should trust us​

I’m a style writer, which means I compare, test, and report on wearable items. To prepare for this guide, I talked with friends about their favorite button-up shirts. I brushed up on the difference between button-up shirts and button-down shirts. I learned about dress shirts, Oxford button-downs, and linen shirts (as well as Zoom shirts). I spent a month obsessing over minute features that distinguish one shirt from another. After separating the wheat from the chaff during my personal testing, I put together a diverse panel of testers to give me feedback on the best button-up shirts"

Also: "Why you shouldn't trust us​


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Pimpernel Smith

Tone Deaf Daddy
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10,809
Seems like a no brainer:

Can these women save Savile Row?

https://www.ft.com/content/0516de77-ee67-4d8d-98bc-95890b19c26e


“I wanted to create this really welcoming, beautiful space for women – an unintimidating, cosy environment that was light and bright,” says Daisy Knatchbull of The Deck, the made-to-measure tailoring house she launched in 2019. Based on Savile Row, the atelier has cream and dark-blue walls, inviting plush furnishings and tables strewn with huge white hydrangeas, Diptyque candles and glossy magazines. It’s a far cry from the oak-panelled rooms adorned with gilded antiques and stags’ heads that have colonised this muscular mile of tailoring for gentlemen that has existed for more than two centuries. Sales of men’s suits in Britain have plummeted by 2.3m units over the past five years, according to market research firm Kantar. The shifts in workwear trends alongside the pandemic, combined with high overheads and a decline in tourist numbers, have left Savile Row in a state of perilous decline. Kilgour, Hardy Amies and Chester Barrie have closed their Savile Row stores in recent years (although some retain an online presence). Gieves & Hawkes, one of the world’s most prestigious tailors that once boasted Charlie Chaplin and Winston Churchill as clients, seems at risk of closing permanently after its parent company was put into liquidation. Could expanding its services to women help save the endangered Savile Row?
Had noticed that T&A had started to do women's ranges on line, a sure sign that they need a bigger audience, also their labels inside the shirt are now a little bit cheaper, just one colour. Think it will be difficult for them to get traction globally for ladies in the haute cauture.

The rent on the Row depending on shop size, is around GBP 100,000 a month. You need to be pushing quite a few bespoke suits to cover that.

I don't see in the current culture, where there can be any major come back for classic menswear. It will be increasingly niche and seen as archaic. The mega rich and new tech industries aren't wearing it. Most industries have gone casual in the last 30 years. And the last two years have also accelerated the trend.
 

Pimpernel Smith

Tone Deaf Daddy
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10,809

Cult Shop: the home of Ivy League style in London​


https://www.ft.com/content/9ec5b7d9-5c67-41a6-85d9-9984534a3323
The shop is a bit more eclectic than just being the home of the Ivy League style in London and the UK. If not, Europe. The modernist art prints add to the cluttered charm.

The John Simons branded stuff can be very good, nicely priced, but the sizing is a bit on the boys side of things.

It's a good few years since I've been there, maybe 2013. I never forget when someone on Talk Ivy said they had been in there, and suddenly this bald headed chap walked in with demonic eyebrows looking for a pair of 501's. After Paul had served him and he had left, he looked at the Talk Ivy poster aghast and said ''You know who that was...Gary Glitter!''
 

Otto

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175
Two things seem to be happening at once, as I see it. The number of people who were previously obliged to wear suits or even some kind of business casual clothing, but who would not have done so otherwise or cared, are no longer wearing such clothing due to the pandemic. This brings the total number of suit-wearers down. I must say that I'm not sad to see such persons leave the sartorial space, since their hearts were never in it in the first place. You can make someone hate something good just by forcing them to do it. But at the same time, I think the number of people who are becoming interested in traditional men's style is increasing. Though not perfect, as we point out here, the channels of Kirby, Hugo, and GG keep going up and up in subscriber count. So we're losing more people than we convert, but the converts are coming voluntarily and are usually serious. With the popularization of terms like Pitti Peacock and iGent, I think the pitfalls of this space are pretty well known as well. Indeed, we have this forum, whose ostensible purpose is to call out the false shepards and sirens who beckon new converts to their tackiness and shillery.
 
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Pimpernel Smith

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TL;DR: No.
For most professions, I think it's gone now, the hybrid working finally killed it. You've got events, etc, where a suit is desirable. But in that article, there's blood on the carpet everywhere in the suit and booted game. And decent shoes are going the same way, at street level hardly anyone's wearing anything other than white trainers/sneakers. Even my accountant comes trotting into the office with his Greve sneakers.

I'll wear a sports jacket or blazer with a tie, but that's as far as I am going to take it in the office. And at the moment I'm not going to do that everyday just for meetings, conferences and representing the client.

Interesting they mention chore jackets, I've been sporting RRL engineer jackets with button-downs and a couple of Buzz Rickson's (not without controversy) for work these last several weeks and these are lined-up for the rest of this week, obviously the Vietnam jacket I won't be wearing around the office, just arrival and depart:
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Edit: As a caveat, I've still got the office staff working from home. So it's only me and intermittent visits.
 
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Grand Potentate

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But at the same time, I think the number of people who are becoming interested in traditional men's style is increasing.
i absolutely disagree with this sentiment.

Indeed, we have this forum, whose ostensible purpose is to call out the false shepards and sirens who beckon new converts to their tackiness and shillery.
this i agree with
 

Otto

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175
i absolutely disagree with this sentiment.
Well, remember that this is not in absolute terms. More people are leaving than coming overall. But the number of people coming seems to be increasing over time. How else do you explain the success of the channels that I mentioned? Even shoe polishing and repair channels have become really popular, which is another gateway.
 

Grand Potentate

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It waxes and wanes. I think we probably don't have the burst of the late aughts going, but I think there is a noticeable uptick since a few years ago when Foo went Patagonia vest on us.

Well, remember that this is not in absolute terms. More people are leaving than coming overall. But the number of people coming seems to be increasing over time. How else do you explain the success of the channels that I mentioned? Even shoe polishing and repair channels have become really popular, which is another gateway.

I think it’s all just bullshit online metrics. I don’t see any of this actually happening in real life. People keep dressing the same shitty way they always have.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Well, remember that this is not in absolute terms. More people are leaving than coming overall. But the number of people coming seems to be increasing over time. How else do you explain the success of the channels that I mentioned? Even shoe polishing and repair channels have become really popular, which is another gateway.
The plight of classic menswear retailers and tailors would speak otherwise.

The writer was, and still is getting absolutely roasted on Twitter. This was my favorite one that just resurfaced:


He basically says, you should dress up for the office because you're a worker drone. Wrong on many levels, aesthetics and PPE reasons aside, you dress to display the gravitas and authority of the position, power too.

Sly bit of ad copy inserted here: ''Today, for example, I’m wearing a black-and-red check Brooks Brothers non-iron, button-down shirt, a pair of black Levi’s 559 five-pocket jeans, Stance socks and black Adidas Samba AV sneakers.''

Those BB non-irons, unless you get the super-thin/tropical/summer versions, are like wearing cardboard.
 

Dropbear

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I’ve heard anecdotal reports that in offices that have transitioned to just one or two days in-person, people are dressing up more than when they were there five days. Probably because there’s less ironing and prep work, so they can wear their ‘good clothes’ more often.

But that doesn’t mean they are racing out to but new suits.
 

Thruth

Big Winter Daddy
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21,488
Here is pic from the death of suits article of a chap at Poole sewing a jacket. Maybe a doghouse doghouse jacket? What jumps out at you?

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You can't measure up someone in their house but you can in a hotel room on a US junket? Savile Row shops were contracting out way before COVID.

The workplace was becoming less formal and suits falling out of favour for a while and it is no longer the default office outfit. It has been marginalized but that started in the '60s.

I am sure bespoke has been particularly hammered by the decline and COVID. Some shops have shuttered. My tailor is still in business and still makes suits, and bespoke tailors in Canada can be counted on one hand. But he does run of the mill alterations too.

But what else do you see? Grand Potentate Grand Potentate sees shlubs everywhere he looks. Not surprising because the general public has always dressed like schlubs. Most men who wear suits are schlubs. Often even if they are expensive suits. I see schlubs everywhere I look too but I am in a backwater Saskatchewan town where Hugo Boss is the top level brand sold. But the visiting Hong Kong "bespoke tailors" still travel to the 2 main cities here, so there is still enough trade to make it worthwhile. The 90 year-old haberdashery closed his shop because his lease was up, he could not climb the stairs anymore and his son is doing better next door with Euro Modo, which you can guess is not targeted at his dad's clientele.

I walk through a shopping mall to get to my downtown office. There are no high end RTW menswear shops. But there is no shortage of suits at low-end and mid-market shops. Maybe it is the special occasion, celebration suit. Every fast fashion online shop like Uniqlo, Asos, Zara, et. al., have suits. Lululemon makes a blazer now for fuck's sakes. Indochino, Suit Supply and Kent Wang still do online MTM. Spier and MacKay recently added and continue to expand their RTW and MTM suits, jackets and trousers. Someone is buying this gear. The final year dental students held a formal last week and most of them bought a new suit or new dress. Celebration suits. Fashion brand suits. Favouring sausage casing cuts, flood pants and no socks. Out of all the male attendees there were probably 5 who demonstrated sartorial chops. Out of maybe 50 or 60 males. I wore a suit because it was a formal = a prom for young adults.

But, I've put suits aside in favour of a jacket and trousers phase for a good while now. With a tie. Three days a week I am in streetwear and denim because I am wearing scrubs and PPE all day. Downtown, it is a jacket, tie and trousers and there are not many meetings or events that makes me want to wear a suit. When I meet the Minister, he is usually in a navy blazer and a sport shirt sans tie unless he is in the legislature.

So I have de-suited. It is a phase. I went through a no-tailored clothing phase before this when I exited senior leadership. I returned to tailored clothing in the midst of COVID because of my side hustle. I am sure I will return to wearing suits more often down the road. I am solely responsible for my style choices. I don't wear tailored clothing to footie matches like Fwiffo Fwiffo and I never wear it at home like Monkeyface did.

TL/DR. I am a poor sartorial barometer.
 

sirloin

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I see more (not many!) young guns wearing suits than ~5 years ago. Might not stick etc. Who knows.
They don’t look like the type who would ever step into a old dusty shop - but ordering on a slick looking website with nice photos and a story or directly via IG, thats what they already do.
 

Grand Potentate

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But what else do you see? Grand Potentate Grand Potentate sees shlubs everywhere he looks. Not surprising because the general public has always dressed like schlubs. Most men who wear suits are schlubs.
its less a matter of schlubiness and more the weather i think. its hot here all the time. the people in offices wear suits, sure. if i go into a professional building i'll see a ton of suit wearers. short of that the only time i see suit wearers at night is if its the people who are coming directly from work or its some kind of funeral. i was in a ruth's chris on the weekend recently and i saw more hawaiian shirts than even sports jackets.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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10,809
Here is pic from the death of suits article of a chap at Poole sewing a jacket. Maybe a doghouse doghouse jacket? What jumps out at you?

View attachment 43218

You can't measure up someone in their house but you can in a hotel room on a US junket? Savile Row shops were contracting out way before COVID.

The workplace was becoming less formal and suits falling out of favour for a while and it is no longer the default office outfit. It has been marginalized but that started in the '60s.
In the UK and here in the Netherlands it started later in the 90s. My accountant when he started in the early 90s, it was still all pinstripe suits and if you didn't have any you'd be told to get some or hit the road. Now all of that's gone. In my sector it started to go in the mid 90s, it some organisations the directors still wear suits, likely sans tie, but below they don't.

Then you have the young professional, likely in a big consultancy, or Big Four type organisation - they'll be getting their suits from Suitsupply. And it shows as they're the house style i.e. tight fitting, too small and yes, undistinguished cloth, the scuffed tan shoe look. It's ubiquitous here, among a certain stereotype.

The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, get's his suits from Oger. They're one of the few men's outfitters ''tailors'' doing well here in the Netherlands. Where they make their money is selling to footballers - they create several complete looks/outfits and go and visit them at home and then they buy 10 of them for top dollar. They're not suits, it's off-the-peg street wear.
 

Thruth

Big Winter Daddy
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In the UK and here in the Netherlands it started later in the 90s. My accountant when he started in the early 90s, it was still all pinstripe suits and if you didn't have any you'd be told to get some or hit the road. Now all of that's gone. In my sector it started to go in the mid 90s, it some organisations the directors still wear suits, likely sans tie, but below they don't.

Then you have the young professional, likely in a big consultancy, or Big Four type organisation - they'll be getting their suits from Suitsupply. And it shows as they're the house style i.e. tight fitting, too small and yes, undistinguished cloth, the scuffed tan shoe look. It's ubiquitous here, among a certain stereotype.

The Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, get's his suits from Oger. They're one of the few men's outfitters ''tailors'' doing well here in the Netherlands. Where they make their money is selling to footballers - they create several complete looks/outfits and go and visit them at home and then they buy 10 of them for top dollar. They're not suits, it's off-the-peg street wear.
It's fast fashion at all price levels. Bad baby poo tan shoes with curled up pointy toes are still ubiquitous indeed.
 

QuandoDio

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The suit died in the UK - or at least became moribund- during the financial crisis, when it was 'death to all wanker-bankers'.
 
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