Monday, 13 February 2012
Fashion Trends Over Classical Elegance - Which is better?
Why is there such a thing as fashion?
Is it just to help us sartorially less savvy folk dress well and fit in?
Is it solely for the elite to dictate to the rest of us plebs the idea of good taste?
No. It's a sign of boom or bust times in society. Do we need fashion? In a way, yes. If you look back over the last 100 years you will actually see trends form to emulate financial highs and lows. Such as the length of a skirt over the years has had a direct relation to the state of the economy. Shorter skirts were worn during prosperous times and longer skirts during bleaker ones. Length of hair on men was a trend too. The longer it was the better the financial outlook. The shorter it was the worse off we were.
This gets into the psyche off society. And the larger the city the stronger the results as it is easy to shape and influence people when there is a mob mentality. Out in the more rural parts of the country these fads have less meaning and aren't as focused due to lower populations. That's probably why fashions seem to dissipate when reaching out to the country. Not because they're behind the times or can't get the latest fashion idea. It's simply because they have no direct influence or connection to the city styles and so nothing to be manipulated by it.
Fashions are fleeting. Especially in London. When buying your clothes for work or casual events purchase classic items that will still look good in 10 years time. We all have a favourite jacket that seems to look good no matter the decade. Think about it and I'll bet you'll see some classic stylings in the cut and features.
In suits the only things that really change in a big way is the fit and the lapels. The fit can change drastically in short periods but generally the have a blending effect over many years for instance, the 80's and 90's we wore out suits much baggier with huge shoulders and overlarge lapels. Back in the 60's the cut was much trimmer and lapels slimmer. The 50's were looser but had a great classic flair to them. Most other parts of the suit are fine as fashion seems to not effect it that much.
Below are some cases of these.
The 90's brought the 3 button back to life. Thankfully it has started to die its natural death but am sure some Frankenstein of Haute Couture will bring it back to life with a single bolt of lightening. Always avoid in my opinion as if you're tall they make you look taller, if you're short the make you look smaller and if you fat then they just add about 20 pounds. Put it this way, the only people it kind of suits is mid shape guys and even t
Hen it doesn't look that good. Look at the guy in the photo above. Looks like a sack of potatoes in it. And you know he's in shape.
Recently lapels have been high gorge and skinny. High gorge refers to the angle and placement of the the notch as seen below.
But this year has seen the wide lapel come back into the fore. Both look great on the right people and type of jacket. But to be classic and have a jacket lapel style that will still look good in 10 years go for a medium lapel width of 3 1/4".
Skinny lapel width 2" to 2 3/4"
Wide lapel width 3 3/4" to 4 1/2"
Admittedly the lapel width does depend on size too. 3 1/4" is safe for most sizes but would suggest 2 3/4" for chaps under 38" chests and 3 3/4" for chaps over 44" chest. These will look I'm proportion. Unlike the photos below.
Skinny lapel on big chap
James Corden is easy to pick on but the skinny lapel, especially the shawl lapel style, make him look much bigger than he is.
Look at the photos below when he is wearing decent lapel widths and tell me it's not better that way. He looks trimmer and in proportion.
Wide lapel on slim chaps
Justin Timberlake and the model below him are clearly guys who stay in shape, but are also on the trim rather than built side of the matter. Both have big lapels. Now they both look pretty good I think but as a classic look this suit won't be able to be worn in 3 years let alone 10.
Doesn't this just look the part. Not too wide, not too skinny. Just right. And will still look god no matter what the decade.