Does anyone else notice that a lot of the "how to dress manly" posts seem to really show what a city boy would wear?
I'm not saying that it's wrong, but it's not "manly" to wear a $160 plaid shirt. That's just plain dumb.
Being manly isn't the cost of your clothing, watch, shoes, etc... It's how you wear it, and what you wear it for. I'm a welder, I don't wear expensive clothes or make sure my hair is perfect every day (long hair and longer beard, wouldn't be easy anyway) but I still consider what I wear to work to be "manly" in some of the strongest senses of the term.
To everyone, a "man" is not always clean cut, fresh pressed, white collar, and high dollar. Personally, I don't enjoy when posts tell me to look like some banker off Mad Men. I like my long hair, I like my rough beard, and I'll be damned if someone tells me that it ain't manly to have either. Just the same as when I wear my dirty wranglers and faded work shirts every day.
My point is, many of the articles I read on here are telling people how to dress and act like a yuppie.
Sometimes being a man means being uncut, dirty, and rugged. I wish more articles showed this type of man...
Welcome to AoM. We go through these waves where we get people talking about dress. It has gotten a lot better than the days when they would pile up and say that there was no way you could be a man and wear cargo shorts or flip flops and you should wear a 28 piece suit everywhere, but.....
The site is a little more dedicated to the dress up crowd when concerning discussions on dress. For the most part, I would suggest to ignore it unless someone just gets too out of touch with the reality that the rest of us actually live in.
Perhaps the bias in the discussions stems from the fact that, when doing physical work in "dirty Wranglers," color matching and style cues are not particularly necessary or even desirable.
Let's face it. Every guy knows how to dress when changing his car's oil, or cutting down a tree. But, dressing up is no longer a skill taught to boys during their formative years. And people ask questions about the stuff they don't already know.
You'll notice in my posts I don't focus on the foppish excesses that some do. I know the rules of etiquette for pocket watches, fabrics, understand color analyses, and I regularly snort with derision when someone commits a fashion faux pas like wearing a wristwatch with french cuffs. But that's not everyday life for most of us.
Heck. 3/4 of my wardrobe came from WalMart and Wrangler. That's *real* life.
P.S. Though they often are, a big beard does not have to be unkempt or rough looking. Mine is getting pretty big, now, and still looks impeccable.
I noticed pretty much the same narrow band of dress being discussed.
There was surprisingly little Western wear/ outdoors wear on one end or tuxedos on the other. I do not dress up often and could stand some information on formal wear just as much as I would like new sources for tough, cheap outdoors clothes.
This pretty much sums up what I was trying to say in less words.
Good point. It may be that most of the people here are Urban minded. Or have that style mindset. Personally I like dressing well and my style choice tends toward a particular style of dress. I don't thing you can't dress well in a different style.
My general rule is fitted and collared and tucked in. but then again that is MY view.
I'm not sure what posts you have in mind; the site hasn't seemed especially foppish to me of late. Certainly I don't think we've seen many (if any) arguments that a man is "always clean cut, fresh pressed, white collar, and high dollar," or that being manly is "the cost of your clothing, watch, shoes, etc..."
As for the prevalence of questions and discussion about dressing up, I think Chuck nailed it. "Let's face it. Every guy knows how to dress when changing his car's oil, or cutting down a tree. But, dressing up is no longer a skill taught to boys during their formative years. And people ask questions about the stuff they don't already know."
The dressing and grooming articles about suits, sport coats, etc... are mostly how-to guides for men who need or want to wear those cloths but don't know how, or how to do so well. And most of the threads begin as questions (i.e. what should I wear on a first date? I want to dress better in high school/college/my office without looking too weird, what should I do? What kind of tux should I wear to prom? How should I dress for my friend's wedding? What should I wear for a job interview? Where can I buy good shoes?). Nor are these all city-boy question, since even country boys doing dirty jobs dress up at times, even if it's just for prom, weddings, and funerals.
As for articles with men bring rugged, I think there are plenty, but they don't focus on the clothing worn while men are camping, or changing a flat tire (which I once did have to do while dressed up after a wedding) or grilling something, etc...
I see your point here, but it doesn't hit what I'm trying to say in some cases. I understand the prom/office/wedding/shoes. The reality of it for me is, if it wasn't prom, a wedding, or a funeral, it's boots and jeans man. Manly to a lot of people isn't khaki pants and "going sockless in the summer." The only thing that might change from my field clothes to say a first date would be the cleanliness of the clothes I'm wearing. I was just reading through and the articles that came up really made me say "huh, that's what a man is these days... it's a shame"
Looking at the links you cited I can see your point a little better. Those posts are, however, not typical, and the forums really don't see much of that "wear this specific expensive piece of clothing" approach. You can either ignore the dressing and grooming articles and forum threads, or, if you go through more, I think you'll see more balance.
So, it's your position that the clothes make the man, and not the other way around. It's funny, because I believe the opposite.
So much of your personal presentation is how you present yourself to others...and that includes the clothes, yes. There *is* such a thing as appropriate style, and usually it's more a representation of respect for a venue more than anything else, but fundamentally they're just guidelines at best. I've known people who look "runway model" fabulous in a tee shirt and ripped jeans, and people who look so awkward in a suit that it's pathetic.
In my mind, it's the man behind the clothes that *really* matters.
I like people who are secure in themselves. Leaders, or alphas if you prefer that terminology. Leaders rarely adhere to the "rules" of style...they follow, break, or even set those trends, according to their OWN will.
And, they're the ones who, invariably, make a powerful impression.
You do make a good point about $$$ does not equal dress manly, nor must you be looking like a yuppy. But you do need to show you have a style.
I can see your point. The only thing I can say to that is if you wear clothing that fits, be it jeans and a "cheap" plaid shirt then you shows that you are know enough about who you are to dress your best according to your style.
I just wanted to include a few of the articles I had been talking about. Needless to say I don't agree with the hot shave/barbershop attitude the articles I see ALL THE TIME support, but my biggest part of posting this discussion were the following few links. I'd love to see an "Outfitted and Equipped" say for "First date on the Lake" fishing of course, or "Going dancing in Tulsa." Mostly I'd like to see someone dress like they aren't in a fashion magazine, but a regular Joe.
My biggest problem with this one is, the "Leave this long haired country boy alone" comb, is only $0.01 on the website, but is not for individual sale. It comes free with any purchase on the site, which is insanely expensive.