Sprezz

Russell Street

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Growing up, the shorthand for a person being a total dweeb, just hopelessly clueless, was black soocks with sneakers. This is now somehow a current and fashionable look.
Similarly, how would one portray a hapless Dilbert-like doofus a few short years ago?
  • cowlicked Ed Grimley hair
  • an unbuttoned or skewed collar point
  • those awful clip-on suspenders
  • a tie that
    • had the back blade showing or
    • had the back blade hanging below the front
  • highwater pants a la Steve Urkel
  • big clunky eyeglasses
  • shrunken/outgrown looking clothes
  • clashing colors and patterns
See a trend? It's the modern #menswear igent look. Is this revenge of the nerds or is the joke on them?
 
Is it not just fashion cycles/style recycling? Or are you saying it is something more than this?

Certainly the back tie blade showing and clip on suspenders seems to be the fashion of the moment for some but is this any different than any other affectation that comes along?

Might it just be the level of "tackyness" of the affectations that iGents and Pitti uomo-ists have resorted to in order to satisfy their need to express their insouciance that is drawing you ire?
 
I get cyclical fashions, and rebelling and reinventing, but has there ever been a case where the fashion no-no's of the last solid century ago were so embraced?
Admittedly, much of this shenanigans is just in a small sect of whackadoos and not real mainstream. It's rather countercultural in a way.
 
All of this tends to be concentrated within a subgroup. It used to be everything old is new again. Maybe the mining of the fashion past is centred on something old & bad is new again and good. Maybe going to extremes is seen as the only way to resonate with idiots now.

I get what you are saying. It is not just reinventing past styles but flipping what was once bad into good.

Is it the magnitude of seemingly nerdy traits plus rule-breaking that is being embraced seems epidemic?

Here is one that is so simple yet so wrong, at least to me. The surgeon's sleeve or working button holes as the masses refer to it had a function. You did not see gentlemen with bespoke suits leaving one unbuttoned. This is a more recent affectation to say look, I got's me a bespoke suit 'cause the sleeve buttons work. I have seen others say, "no, it is correct to do so". Less important now that so many RTW suits and jackets have them so you can't tell the poseurs from the posers.

So I have taken to leaving one or two buttons on my pants unbuttoned to stick it to the man, and knowing that if noticed by someone in a public restroom it is probably an iGent and his raised eyebrow is a sign of understanding not a sign of disdain or pervitude.

That's how this madness starts.
 
It is not just reinventing past styles but flipping what was once bad into good.
When I'm awake tomorrow, I'll look into the mention in David Brooks's Bobos in Paradise of how the sacred becomes profane and the profane becomes sacred. It may be relevant.

Even my friggin tailor advocates that unbuttoned cuff button shite. I find it profoundly vulgar, and that's not a word I'm using lightly..
 
I think you on onto something here. Might it be that if one has no sense of the sanctity/profanity in terms of then that conversion is easily done without understanding what actually has been done? People who lived and dressed in the 70's or any decade which has been regurgitated rarely espouse a desire to wear what they did then. Of course age tempers a lot. But some fool looking back says "hey that looks cool, I wanna do it". Especially when they have no base knowledge to start with.

I have had tailors say the same thing and it makes me wonder.
 
Do the too tight clothing crowd also affect the overly long tie blade? That smacks of internal inconsistency (a far bigger crime of execution rather than direction)
 
Both tight clothing crowd and Faktalians sprezz all over the codpiece tie blade style...
 
Do the too tight clothing crowd also affect the overly long tie blade? That smacks of internal inconsistency (a far bigger crime of execution rather than direction)
I am unsure how much overlap there is in this. It does seem to be more of a Euro look than the Thom Browne basic shrink ray.

When I'm awake tomorrow, I'll look into the mention in David Brooks's Bobos in Paradise of how the sacred becomes profane and the profane becomes sacred. It may be relevant.
Found it.
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One theory here is ritual desecration, deliberate subversion. The other is just arrogance. They may go together. A common refrain is that once one knows and has mastered "the rules" of dressing, one may artistically break them. Then they always cite the Duke of Windsor or Fred Astaire. Needless to say, every igent wants to skip the burger-flipping and go straight to the CEO's office.

I'll quote the brilliant Ari Samsky, aka Gilgamesh2003, who wrote
I think it's a desperate attempt to create the visual impression that the wearer isn't boring, and somehow to mitigate the seriousness of the suit. The idea is that the wearer isn't wearing the suit "seriously" because he's far too cool to conform. Of course this expresses many different weird anxieties, the worst of which is the idea that the wearer is not sufficiently serious to wear serious clothing...the pretense that one is doing something new struggles to conceal the fact that one doesn't really have a mastery of the old forms.
http://forums.filmnoirbuff.com/viewtopic.php?pid=207737#p207737
As an aside, I recommend reading his other post here.

Essentially, I'm seeing this as the stupid child that hears about the exception proving the rule and using it as a renouncement of all rules, claiming to always be exceptional.
 
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Well delineated. Each decade has its heinous backlash to tradition. The leisure suit in the 70's. The Miami Vice look (Don Johnson not necessarily Phillip Michael Thomas as he wore traditional suits including DB) where you had jacket sleeves pushed back to the elbows. When the core units of suit, odd jacket or trousers are corrupted a la Thom Browne or Band of Outsiders, this is more of an affront to style in general. But it is only a small segment that will embrace such a look.

Today's Sprezz seems to me to leave the key unit intact but tweaks bits here and there. The tie, clip on suspenders, flood pants with massive cuffs, no socks with shoes other than loafers, strange colours for pants but yet maintaining the rules for the basic design of suit, odd jacket and trousers. Maybe it is a more insidious process because it is liable to be adopted by a larger segment of wearers.

I agree that today's society is far more desirous of wanting to go from burger flipper to CEO. If you fail to acquire knowledge about the rules of dress, you are prone to make mistakes.

But using the rules as a check list can be just as bad as it is a very robotic process. Sometimes it may work but if there is no emotion or soul in the process it shows through. The whole is more than the sum of the parts. Aping a look you see on a forum is problematic. You are not that person especially if we are seeing a headless or faceless shot.

Take Chorn and Don Cologne. If Don chose Chorn's fits, I submit it would be a fail given Don's age, shape and the fact that his hair - when he takes off his vintage helmet - looks like some furry creature has established a symbiotic relationship with his head.

It is a fine line between a stylish dresser/ignoramus/Douche. I think it is attitude that helps the observer decide which is which.

I think Ambrosi exemplifies this. He chooses what he thinks is an edgy Sprezz look but he can't change what he looks like which affects how we see his choices. Douche comes to mind each time I see him. Foo is another example. No matter what he puts forward all I see is a man outside of the societal norm because of his physical appearance.

If one stays awake a night second guessing choosing a one button closure for a notch lapel suit jacket or if it works with hacking pockets or not then they have issues that supersede not knowing the rules of acceptable dress. It doesn't matter unless you are worried about what a bunch of men sitting at their computer will think.

Will it corrupt our style? No. These affectations are merely blips.
 
Something Gilgamesh wrote interested me, about taking clothes seriously. I don't see anything wrong with not taking them seriously. A hundred years ago, yeah, but these days? And then we can bemoan the good old days, but at that point, we're railing against circumstance rather than the southernstyles (whose fits, silly as they sometimes are, I enjoy).



On a different note, I was wondering who the most iGenty SFers are. The linked FNB post, and those which followed it, had a pretty broad definition. It seems as though upr_crust would have fallen within it.



I've always associated iGents with blogs and tumblrs, which, outside of B&Tailor (definitely iGenty), I don't really follow. The idea of dedicating a website to what you wear strikes me as incredibly arrogant. For businesses, it makes sense. But for the average clothing enthusiast, that's just shitty.

But then, I think folks like Pingson and An Acute Style and Cotton Dockers...all alright fellows, little to no pretentiousness...have tumblr's in which their outfits feature heavily. But there isn't any sense that they're trying to be anything more than they are...hobbyists who take pictures of what they wear.

And then there is the other kind of blogger. The one that does fancy himself more than he is. Which, in itself, isn't a horrible crime. But it's damned silly; hell, it's silly just to want to be important in the internet world of clothing. A good example would be that blue loafers guy that came to the defense of Gianni Cerutti. The guy gives himself photo shoots. :facepalm2:
 
I think we have to better define IGent as intend to use it a great deal in the pejorative sense when they demonstrate the worst characteristics. But if the root is gentlemanliness, then there has to be a positive side to the iGentry such as discussion of the rules and providing a grounding to those who wish to dress better.

I take your point about seriousness as well as Gigamesh's. Isn't the definition of a dandy such that the dandy takes the seriousness of the rules and the suit and adds flash and whimsy to it? As opposed to, what is his name, Nick Wooster who is a poster boy for sartorial wrong.

From a positive iGent perspective of one dedicated to seriousness &'rules would not Yachtie be that? Very traditional.

There are million examples of the evil iGent on SF and elsewhere.

There is money and graft in blogs now so these clowns are bucking for freebies.
 
Both tight clothing crowd and Faktalians sprezz all over the codpiece tie blade style...
WTF is a Faktalian?
Today's Sprezz seems to me to leave the key unit intact but tweaks bits here and there. The tie, clip on suspenders, flood pants with massive cuffs, no socks with shoes other than loafers, strange colours for pants but yet maintaining the rules for the basic design of suit, odd jacket and trousers. Maybe it is a more insidious process because it is liable to be adopted by a larger segment of wearers.
Indeed, it's easily adapted for sure. In fact some of this may be so popular because it is just a trick to make the same old clothing look different. However, the fact that it is not radical is what bugs me. In the same way that over-the-top gore is laughable while subtle psychodramas can be disturbing, the general familiarity of the pieces causes ire because it is recognizably wrong. It's enough to latch on to and annoy you and not enough to totally dismiss.

I'm not familiar with Ambrosi. I'll have to look him up.
 
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See the PC thread, there are a couple of pics of Ambrosi. Clip on suspenders, tie blade, peak lapels reaching to heaven....

Disposable Sprezz. Now even a low class Douche can acquire the accoutrements and play along.
 
Something Gilgamesh wrote interested me, about taking clothes seriously. I don't see anything wrong with not taking them seriously.
I think he meant substantial or adult as opposed to dour. One can be traditional and staid and toss in some whimsy if there is a bit of taste and restraint involved. Chorn himself is a good example of this, as he is open about going against the salaryman look with little things like lighter blues, linen, plaids, patch pockets. This is more understated than red pants and no socks and a dick tie.
...all alright fellows, little to no pretentiousness...have tumblr's in which their outfits feature heavily. But there isn't any sense that they're trying to be anything more than they are...
There is something to the fact that an igent is (mis)using the clothing for his aggrandizement, whereas the hobbyist or afficionado is in it for his own enjoyment. Very Kant in that the igent uses clothing as a means to an end and the healthy person uses them as an end.
 
See the PC thread, there are a couple of pics of Ambrosi. Clip on suspenders, tie blade, peak lapels reaching to heaven....
Oh, did not recognize the name. To be literal, this is sprezzatura exemplified. He must have extended great effort to look like a halfwit that just blindly slaps his clothes on in the morning.

I mean I am somewhat self-aware in my desire for a certain appearance of nonchalance. One doesn't want to look too twee or so neat and tidy that it looks like it is school picture day or one suffers from some sort of compulsive disorder. With all due respect, this is why I can't get behind uprcrust. But it seems that this is a very quick adaptation and one actually does become a bit unconcerned and view the clothing as a second skin needing no further fuss. It's not like I deliberately have that pocket flap half tucked in.

Anyway, this stuff is like distressing jeans or furniture or any other faux degradation. It is easy too go to far and have it look terrible. Not enough is just enough.
 
Oh, did not recognize the name. To be literal, this is sprezzatura exemplified. He must have extended great effort to look like a halfwit that just blindly slaps his clothes on in the morning.

I mean I am somewhat self-aware in my desire for a certain appearance of nonchalance. One doesn't want to look too twee or so neat and tidy that it looks like it is school picture day or one suffers from some sort of compulsive disorder. With all due respect, this is why I can't get behind uprcrust. But it seems that this is a very quick adaptation and one actually does become a bit unconcerned and view the clothing as a second skin needing no further fuss. It's not like I deliberately have that pocket flap half tucked in.

Anyway, this stuff is like distressing jeans or furniture or any other faux degradation. It is easy too go to far and have it look terrible. Not enough is just enough.

I can't imagine spending an inordinate amount of time putting on an outfit Sprezz or no Sprezz. But I think that fits in with your previous comment re: Gilgamesh & Chorn on how seriousness reflects mature decisions rather than dourness. You know what you know and you wear what you wear based on what you know. Should almost be a relflex. Riffle through the closet. That suit, that shirt, that tie, maybe not, yes that one. Socks, belt, shoes. That is it. Heaven forbid that I sit and ponder: now what shall I wear inside out today....
 
And that is where the try-hard sprezz fails. The try-hard shows through. It's why they never look comfortable in their clothes. Well chosen stuff that fits one's style (presuming one has such a thing) should look innate, as if they were born dressing so.
 
Various B&T sprezz. Some work for me. Others don't.

Works for me:
tumblr_n6qhxv0WMd1s41qhqo1_1280.jpg


Doesn't work for me:
tumblr_n6kvjac6S31s41qhqo1_1280.jpg


Works for me:
tumblr_n5swjvFtOR1s41qhqo1_1280.jpg


Just terrible
tumblr_n5hvawFwGk1s41qhqo1_1280.jpg


Works if it wasn't on purpose. Fails if it was.
tumblr_n3n1flPHVG1s41qhqo1_1280.jpg
 
I'm in total agreement. The mild disarray is supposed to be passable as an accident. How the hell does one not notice that an end of their tie, the wrong end at that, is dangling half a foot below the belt?
 
It is the clear aping of what one sees on the interwebz that is so off-putting. What, we are to believe that across continents men suddenly all came up with the idea to let their ties hand between their legs on purpose. Preposterous.
 
Ok, I starting a new Sprezzing: when I begin dressing upon my return to work in August, I will pay no attention to if my trousers get hung up on my boot pull tabs. In fact I will make sure it happens.
 
Just terrible
tumblr_n5hvawFwGk1s41qhqo1_1280.jpg
I love the coat pattern though. I really need more pracical stuff and less tricky but gorgeous, but stuff like this is so enticing.
Ok, I starting a new Sprezzing: when I begin dressing upon my return to work in August, I will pay no attention to if my trousers get hung up on my boot pull tabs. In fact I will make sure it happens.
One leg or both? I'm not sure how I feel about channeling LL Cool J with one...
0091ab7e2ff5de7059a7e255254f8967.jpg
 
In my experience, getting both cuff hung up on the pull tabs is quite easy. Especially after driving - I suggest a truck for even better success. Just hop out and you are Sprezzed and ready to meet your public.

LL is trying too hard. The probability of getting the pant leg up that high is infinitesimal
 
What does my not owning pants have to do with that asshole's horrid outfit?

If you did wear a jacket/tie/trousers all the time, or even occasionally, I think you'd understand the desire for something a bit outside the box. Sometimes it's unreasonable, but it isn't unreasonable all the time. It may not be something you get until you've been in the trenches, so to speak.

You take a very Manton/Foo approach to CM :hide:
 
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If you did wear a jacket/tie/trousers all the time, or even occasionally, I think you'd understand the desire for something a bit outside the box. Sometimes it's unreasonable, but it isn't unreasonable all the time. It may not be something you get until you've been in the trenches, so to speak.

You take a very Manton/Foo approach to CM :hide:

Look, don't get all rigid and defining on me. I didn't say I hated all his outfits. As you said, some were good and some were bad. But this particular on was just a menagerie of horseshit. And if I EVER left the house with my tie blade dangling between my legs like a second cock, and then was stupid enough to take pictures of it, I'd fully expect to be shouted down from the rafters. I'm happy to notice that you never pull horseshit like that. And for good reason as well.

Seriously I do not understand how that tie thing is possible unless it's a midget.
THIS!!!!!
 
Short man + long tie = ultraSprezz

Plus some Italian ties are longer than British or American made.
 
Seems like all of a sudden, poof, numbnuts are doing it everywhere.

I am sure with interwebz resources it can be traced back to iGent zero, the source of the infection
 
How high are his pants hiked up? Camel toe. I think he pulled his pants up so he could do both the back blade display and the sack length tie drape
 
I never understood the back blade longer than the front. I, however, do like the color combo.
 

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