24 November 2010

Minimize The Pretension

Ascots are so damned hard to wear. I have a few, but I hardly ever wear them. Truth is, they are the very height of pretension in America in the times in which we live. Wear one with a suit, you're a chump. Wear one with a blazer, you're pushing it. But I like them (I think) so I keep trying. Maybe the answer lies in comfortable casual.
With s striped button down and cotton crew neck sweater, you'd hardly even know it was there, would ya?

Brought down further with dark denim, grey socks and brown shoes. Though it may be to the chagrin of many of you, I think it's time to admit that brown dress shoe/grey sock/dark denim as a combination has reached full "classic" status.

As a side note: those $20 Wranglers that I wash all the time are looking pretty stylish...and they don't have a years worth of filth on them, nor did they cost hundreds of dollars. Imagine that?

So anyway, if you're going to wear an ascot, do yourself a favor and minimize the pretension by keeping it casual. Do yourself an even bigger favor and eliminate the pretension by not even wearing the damned things. Ascots are useless and obnoxious.

But I do like to wear one, from time to time...

26 comments:

Karena said...

I do like the idea, it looks great!

Happy Thanksgiving

Karena
Art by Karena

OldSchool said...

A civilized alternative to showing one's undershirt.

By the way, when do we get the long-awaited post on how to iron a shirt?

Justin said...

I work as an assistant manager at a ubiquitous drug store chain, and I'm required to wear a tie. My supervisor wears the clip on the company issued to him, but I've been rocking the ascot and not only is it safer (can't get caught in the baler, for example) and prettier (women in their late 50s seem to love it) I also feel like I'm sticking it to the man in my own little way.

Anonymous said...

Full agreement. I have two that I like to wear once in awhile. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Roger said...

What do you mean by 'pretension'? To me they just have an association with the middle-aged aristocracy or upper-middle classes.
Probably an unfair one since they can be a decent bit of neckwear when it's colder. Neckloths were worn across the class spectrum and the ascot or 'cravat' is just one in nice cloth.

Do you wear your jeans with turn-ups that high or is it to display your shoes for the photo?

Anonymous said...

I wish my wife would let me rock an ascot.

Anonymous said...

Those jeans look great. I agree that one does not have to wear unwashed mega dollar jeans to look good. A pair of classic , well fitting Wranglers does the trick. What style of Wranglers are they? I might have to pick up a pair myself.

Giuseppe said...

Roger,

I do trun my jeans up a bit on the highwater side, though in the shoe picture they are hiked up a bit. With blucher mocs, I don't turn them up.

As for pretension: it may be unfortunate, but the ascot is just too rarely seen except on upper class twits, or wannabe upper class twits. They can still be worn by a regular guy, but you gotta be careful.

Anonymous said...

I do own a few of them from Andrews ties and I've not get any negative comments from it, everybody love's it, I guess the fact that not too many guys wear them.
My opinion is that guys need to be more educated about menswear, and get out from their comfort zone ( jeans, T-shirts, sneakers)
I born in the 70's and that was the golden year of fashion, every person was stylish back then, even the newscaster was killing it with the Rep Ties and the wide lapels.
Keep the good work men you're doing a good job bro!!!!!!!

Tim said...

I've always felt a lot more comfortable wearing an ascot (cravat/day cravat. here in the UK) than a necktie.

Amongst the people I tend to spend time with a necktie is invariably associated with suit n' tie office work, or a court appearance. Whenever I wear one I feel like I'm in a uniform. I'd also feel that I was making a faux pas if I wore a necktie in my places of employment where my bosses usually go without.

An ascot I feel comes without these associations, and is just a nice subtle bit of flash. It also allows me to keep an open collar button without feeling like a medallion man or showing my undershirt.

As a bonus, at this time of year an ascot serves a useful purpose in keeping cold breezes out of my shirt when it's not appropriate to wear a scarf.

My only regret is that thrift stores seem to be bulging at the seams with quality neckties, whereas an ascot is a rare find.

tintin said...

Hardly an affectation, old chum. A fortnight ago, whilst tucking into a brace of pheasant with the ravishing Lady Ramsey at Rules, I happened to drop my serviette.

I leaned under the table to pick it up when I noticed Lady Ramsey was sans knickers. I shot up in my chair, pulled my asscot off and offered it to the lady. She promptly blew her nose in it, thanked me and handed the soiled silk paisly back.

While I thought the asscot would make a wonderful interim panty - - I could only be grateful when later she sat astride my leg at Whites and sang Celtic songs to me while feining a gallop on my thigh. Must have been the texture of my Turnbull and Asser cavalry twills that was so appealing.

Happy whatever it is you people across the pond do today.

yankeewhiskypapa@gmail.com said...

The ascot is fully underused and under-appreciated. I have to disagree with the host though, concerning the idea that only upper-class twits (and the wannabe versions of them) wear ascots. The upper class "twits" rarely, if ever, wear them... save the occasional titled oldster. You will find the majority of the silkened neck in the arts and the curatorial/classics crowds. You will also find them at private clubs, where they are often the sole allowance for dress-code compliant alternatives to the tie.

The others who wear them are the cold-necked, who correctly and smartly wear them in silk, wool, and other fabrics that look dashing, and keep out the cold.

It is true that a silk scarf or ascot around the neck serves as parody, stereotype, and costume to many, and you might do well to ignore the murmurs and giggles from those wearing jeans and tight black undershirts to social functions.

Mr. Drysdale said...

Excellent look...clearly channeling Sir Jethro deBodine

Johnny Thomas said...

I was once fired from a Yacht Club where I was a bartender because the General Manager disagreed with my penchant for ascots...the commodore's wife loved it!

TRVS said...

I wear them all the time, and I'm a girl. I love the structure of the ascot, it's great for tying a bit of color/pattern/print around the neckline not to mention the glamorous warmth they provide. If I can do it, Anon 6:52needs to claim his right to this lovely vintage fashion accessory. Just keep Tintin at bay, if that's possible.

ADG said...

Tintin did not shoot-UP in his chair. But that's another story. Ascots...I have them and I wear them...when it's cold and I want something around my neck. And I've tried them every possible way. But the endgame is this...when wearing an ascot, you are gonna channel some stiff jawed Thurston Howell III shite whether you intend to or not.

So like slippers and Belgians...strap 'em on and let the world eff off.

TheSkinnyGuinea said...

I want all you Trad thrifters to get up on your feet
Put your ascots together and strongwings on your feet
And give me some of that old moonstomping! Are you ready? Start stomping!
Yeah yeah yeah yeah Yeaeeaah Yeaeeaah Yeaeeaah Yeaeeaah Yeaeeaah...

David V said...

I see tintin has been dipping into the sherry again.

Anyway...cotton bandannas make a nice ascot/day cravat.

Vernon said...

The ascot is great; the jeans are not because they connote a low socio-economic culture background/group.

Vern Trotter

Giuseppe said...

Gotta mix it up sometimes, Vern.

How do you explain the existence of $500 jeans?

Young Fogey said...

"Ascots are useless and obnoxious."

Just like me. Must be why I wear them ;-)

To rehash: they're great for keeping the throat and upper chest warm, and they add a bit of pizzaz to an outfit. I've picked up a few at my thrifts, and have seen a couple more in colors unflattering to me. I also nabbed a women's scarf in gray with white dots that makes a nifty ascot. Ascots can also do double duty as pocket squares.

As ADG mentioned, the secret to wearing an ascot is the same as the secret to wearing anything else: equal parts confidence and diffidence. Either you wear your clothes, or they wear you.

And as hinted at by tintin, they are also good for wearing about the manse.

James P. Walsh said...

I love to wear an ascot. They were worn a lot in France in the 70's / 80's. It adds a bit of dash to anything from slacks to jeans.

Anonymous said...

Roll your pants down - you look like a fashion victim.

P said...

Ascots are very useful; in a pinch they make great blindfolds.

Jonah said...

Why is socio-economic culture background group relevant?

Anonymous said...

Finally someone who gets it. The day cravat is an item of casual wear. Nothing more formal than a sport jacket (Blazers call for a tie as do suits)dress down as much as you like and limit the exposure of silk to a minimum. I high second button is always good, and that silk definitly can keep the drafts out. I have half a dozen, wore one on a plane a few weeks ago after changing out of my suit: kept my spread collar shirt, slim khakis, and cashmere v-neck sweater. Coupla smiles form the Stews...