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iGent Myths Busted!


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#55 Cormac

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 08:17 AM

It applies most especially to white shoes. One does see ads for "winter whites," that is, white woolen clothing.



Actually, I think the convention - which is indeed of long-standing in the U.S. - applies exclusively to shoes. I give you the leading US etiquette authority of the current era, the puckish Judith Martin (Miss Manners):

“From Memorial Day to Labor Day, you may wear white shoes. Not before and not after. As a command, the White Shoe Edict should be clear and simple enough. Do not violate it. In a society in which everything else has become relative, a matter of how it makes you feel, a question between you and your conscience, and an opportunity for you to be really you, this is an absolute. Miss Manners not only doesn't want any argument about it, she doesn't even want any discussion. For goodness' sake, if you want to smash the conventions of your own heritage, find a rule that is more fun to break.
Considering that she had previously decreed this, once and for all, Miss Manners has been tossing letters she has received on the subject into a box marked "Oh, Stop It." However, it doesn't stop, and the time has come to clean out the box. Once and for all:
Memorial Day is Memorial Day, not Memorial Day Observed. It is on May 30. Confederate Memorial Day has nothing to do with shoes.
Yes, the rule applies to gentlemen as well as ladies. As a matter of fact, even in season, a gentleman never wears white shoes except with sports clothes and during the daytime.
No, sneakers don't count, except on the day they are purchased. After that, they're not white, anyway.
Yes, white shoes that are a part of certain set outfits worn for specific activities may be put on for the duration of that activity. Tennis players and brides and those taking first communion may wear white shoes, but they must change when the respective events are over. (Tennis players should also shower. Brides are always fresh. Miss Manners digresses.)”



This thread reminds me of what writers of dictionary and grammars call the tension between prescriptive and descriptive. Such books tell you what a word means now, what is currently accepted usage, or conventional grammar, etc. But language is constantly changing and there is always a battle between those who want to continue to promote the inherited rules as correct and those who want to change them to reflect the changed reality of daily life. Such debates are how fashion (in language or clothes) is made and we see them playing out on this website and in the world everyday. But as Sator has amply demonstrated the iGents aren't rear-guard protectors of fading traditions, they are the sartorial equivalent of people who make etymological back-formations, or who invent grammar rules that never were and then hector people for not following them. (The kind who correct you for using who instead of whom and get it wrong anyway.)

The iGentry pick and choose from the flotsam of history the bits and pieces of long-ago conventions and fictional pasts that catch their fancy, reassemble them Frankenstein-style into something that never was or could have been, and then wail at our fall from this Neverland paradise. This seems to me to be very much of a piece with a broader social trend of the last few decades. I can think of any number of politicians, social critics, journalists, holiday marketers, and writers who do the same in other topics. ("Ye olde traditional Christmas," anyone?)

Which is why I think it is so refreshing that Sator approaches these debates with such evidentiary rigor. I hold no objection to anyone following whatever set of dress rules they like, or even promoting them to others, but the specious claims of historical authority are just too much Personally, I think Sator is doing a great public service with this mythbusting.

#56 tailleuse

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Posted 04 January 2012 - 08:28 AM

Actually, I think the convention - which is indeed of long-standing in the U.S. - applies exclusively to shoes. ...


I've only seen it applied to shoes, but the cartoon panel I was commenting on showed a cop about to bust two characters in white outfits. I also have seen the term "winter whites" used, although not in a while. Maybe that was marketing fad.

I think white shoes are pretty hideous at any time. So I never have to worry about this rule.



Apart from that, one usually does not see people dressed in summer whites after Labor Day. The idea beginning, Summer is over, it's time for the more serious seasons of Fall and Winter. Even if there's an Indian Summer, people usually don't don all white again.

In following dressing rules, I tend to adhere to common sense and economy.

Edited by tailleuse, 04 January 2012 - 02:06 PM.

Dignity. Always, dignity. (Singin' in the Rain)


#57 Digby Snaffles

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 11:56 PM

This e-mail was apparently sent out by an adjutant in the Royal Artillery. Some "suggestions" for young officers.

Please pass to all RA Staff at RMAS – Ty

Adjutants,
Thank you for supporting Officer Recruiting events this term and, specifically, for sending your Young Officers to host the RMAS Officer Cadets at next week's Expression of Interest Evening and Ex ARTY OBSERVER.

I am taking this opportunity to remind you of the importance of your subalterns presenting the correct image of the Royal Artillery at these events. The individual officers have already received their instructions which include specific details on dress; however, I do expect the regiments to take responsibility for ensuring that these instructions are adhered to.

Dress Guidance

Please find below some sartorial pointers for your subalterns on hosting duties and indeed all your officers (M&F) who may wish to consider the more general dress points found below:

- A good, clean well pressed suit with a Gunner Zigzag tie for the men and (F) suits with the Gunner brooch (worn on the left lapel) for the ladies.
- Only the middle button of a 3 button (M) suit is fastened. It is a coat not a tunic. If your suit has a belt, so be it, but a slim elegant leather suit belt and not a Harley Davidson Buckle Belt is to accompany it.
- Long socks that do not show your flaky, spindly hairy twiglet like shin and absolutely not a selection of ghastly cartoon characters. There is nothing evenly remotely funny about having Poundland crackers fight for your custom as your tailor.
- Black (after 7 pm) brogue/Oxford type shoes, polished and in good repair or a good quality slip on loafer are fine, but anything resembling 4WD with a heavy tread and a big fat square toe won’t do justice to your well cut suit…you wouldn’t put ketchup on a Dover sole. As a rough rule of thumb, if your footwear is in anyway similar to that seen on a Balkans’ coffee shop waiter then Q4 applies.
- The shirt must be pressed and if wearing a suit (or blazer) then it shouldn’t have a pocket and MUST fit correctly at the neck. Pockets carry Cross pens as used by NASA scientists and whilst we are a technical/combat arm we aren’t there yet. Black, red or other dark ‘Emo’ colours are to be swiftly and safely consigned to the Camp Esperanca deep hole recycling facility.
- Double cuff shirts are not mandatory; however, the quality of the shirt is the main factor. If you must wear a silvery/grey Gary Lineker number then make sure it is a really good one and wear it with confidence. If however, it looks like a nylon prop from the OPTAG dressing up box then recycle it (safely) and go traditional with a Jermyn Street number.
- The tie should be correctly tied, close to the collar and checked regularly. The knot must not be big fat Grange Hill special or be seen adorning the neck of a semi finalist on the Apprentice (M&F). The tie should just reach over the waist belt, not 6 inches above or below.
- You are to be freshly shaved when attending any evening function and enough has been said about sideburns. Make up (F) should not be over excessive and most importantly, hair should be tidy and presentable. The whole ‘train crash survivor’ clambering up the embankment look. is unattractive and inelegant.
- Oh yes, diving watches/laptop/GPS type watches furiously scrunched up against your shirt cuff look awful. Try and use a thin elegant dress watch – even Sekonda has some relatively pleasant ones.. The same type of gShock watch is cracking for CS95 but should not be worn with SD, black tie or mess dress.

These are elements of dress guidance and they are not hard and fast, Edwardian or even particularly contemporary but they just set a rough line on where our YOs should be heading. We are a broad church and we should not exclusively ape the armed wing of Boden, Primark, Fat Face or New and Lingwood, but I am constantly amazed by what some think is acceptable dress. It is not just the quality but the untidy scruffy manner in which it is worn –this must sharpen up. I would rather discover a Gunner officer through his witty, polite and engaging conversation than clocking his cloning through his dress, but please disseminate this lick of polish onto our fantastic, brave and impressive cohort of young officers.

Whilst light hearted pse pass on these tips– if in doubt follow TRHs Princes William and Harry for civilian clothing direction (all apart from that one off tea cosy incident).



#58 NJS

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:36 PM

it is a pretty poor outlook if Wills and Harry are held up as models of sartorial splendour. To me they look and sound as though they have been pulled off the street as look-alike princes.
<b></b>NJS<b></b>

#59 NJS

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:36 PM

it is a pretty poor outlook if Wills and Harry are held up as models of sartorial splendour. To me they look and sound as though they have been pulled off the street as look-alike princes.
<b></b>NJS<b></b>

#60 emptym

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Posted 26 March 2012 - 03:38 AM

Very interesting thread. Thanks for it.

#61 Vraivio

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 10:00 PM

I've just shared this fascinating article on Styleforum. It will be interesting to see if proper debate rises up.

Sator, thank you for this. It's given me plenty to think about.

#62 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 08:56 AM

Have a link, I could not find it
Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#63 Der Zuschneider

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 05:01 PM

I don't even know what is an iGent. It sounds like cheap customer wanting 5000$ suits for 300$. I think this is garbage.
www.berlinbespokesuits.com

#64 culverwood

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:05 PM

There is a debate of sorts about this post currently on AAAC.

#65 Sator

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Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:16 PM

Yes, I got a message directly from Andy Gilchrist himself informing of the thread!

I am surprised that this thread has taken all this time to get noticed "abroad"

#66 J. Maclochlainn

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 04:15 AM

Decided to be nice :Big Grin:

Edited by J. Maclochlainn, 14 February 2013 - 07:21 AM.

Silly Cognoscenti, Drape is for windows!

#67 Sator

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 10:59 AM

^ I saw the message before you cleaned it up.

I'm not even going to look at all that hoo haa. I've said what I have to, done my research and presented the findings.

#68 carpu65

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:22 PM

Hi Sator,is nice to see you occasionally.
I have nostalgia of good times when you were often here (with all those issue of Tailor & Cutter and Man about Town).
:hi:

Edited by carpu65, 14 February 2013 - 12:25 PM.

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#69 Sator

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Posted 14 February 2013 - 12:35 PM

I've been so busy with other things! I've got piles of old issues of Tailor & Cutter and Man About Town ready to be scanned.

I keep saying to myself I will find time to scan them! I will...one day...

Must do it soon!

#70 Qirrel

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:53 AM

This might be of interest to you all: (From Der Schneidermeister, 1929)

(The author is describing the clothing typically worn by well dressed men in the West-End, as per his own observations.)

"The predominant suiting colours are dark blue, dark brown and gray."

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