09 November 2011

Dangerously Close to the Edge

It's no secret I like to push the edges of what is correct and appropriate in the broader realm of "classic" menswear. That's because I enjoy clothing, I have fun wearing it, and I'm not actually ever required to dress better than jeans and a t-shirt. I've been known to don an outfit that many find to be far too much, and frequently at that. I admit this freely. Yet sometimes, I come to the proverbial edge of the sartorial cliff and actually manage to stop myself from jumping. To wit:
Rugby has a "make your own cardigan" page on their website, and this is the number I nearly bit on in the last few days. Rugby is a brand I generally steer clear of, not so much because of any outright disdain, though I'll admit to mild disdain. No, it's more because I'm not 22 years old and rail thin, and I take myself a little more seriously than proper carriage of the brand would require. And Lord knows, few things are as unforgivably affected as Ye Olde Skull & Bones these days. Still, the idea of this sweater still appeals to me, forgive me. I see it with dark jeans, oxford shirt and brown pebble grain shoes. Or bright colored cords, bow tie and toggle coat, with a tweed cap. But, alas, I'm not 22, and this may in fact be too "young" for me.

If only it were wool instead of cotton...if only it had wooden buttons...if only it didn't have leather elbow patches....if only it weren't Made in Sweatshop...if only it weren't $148...if only I didn't know better...

See? I am capable of the occasional bout of self control after all...until the thing goes on sale, probably.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love the monogram.

Giuseppe said...

Please, don't encourage me.

Patrick G. said...

I checked it out on Monday and it was $88. Still didn't see a patch I liked.

Titus said...

Hmmm. Only on November 2.

Giuseppe said...

It was $88 when I first saw it too.

My kids love pirate stuff... That would be me excuse. No worries though, I'm not going to buy it. But it is fun to pretend sometimes.

Jason said...

Wearing my suit on the T today with my nice brown wide brim fedora, I felt a little too dressed up and thought to myself, as I was listening to the Misfits on my ipod, I thought, "I need more skulls in my attire." Perhaps it was being under the influence of The Misfits, perhaps it was the girl giving me eyes, or perhaps I just didn't feel badass enough. Either way, that skull cardigan still rules! Too bad it was made in a sweatshop.

maven said...

Well... I really hate that look. I know that skulls, etc. are all the rage, but I think that we all need to step back a bit and ask ourselves why they appeal in our society. I frankly want more Life not more Death.

Sorry, I know that is not what you were looking for.

Giuseppe, you and the others on here are much too good for that cr**!

gentleman mac said...

Live vicariously through your son.

Giuseppe said...

Point well taken, Maven.

Don't forget, I spent a long time in rock bands, hence my nostalgia for Ye Olde Skull & Bones.

David said...

I was once on the line about that very same cardigan. The fixation with skull and bones in our society usually stems from an inherent teenage rebelliousness, however I personally see it as a personal symbol representing memento mori, also as a nod to my ancestors.

Enzo AGC said...

G - Its not made in a sweatshop, quite the contrary actually. Having worked at Rugby as a designer for 2 years and having actually visited their manufacturing facilities in Hong Kong/China, I can tell you that the working conditions of far east RL factories are as good, if not better than many American facilities. This statement doesn't apply to all Asian factories but to be an "RL approved" vendor takes an insanely high level of compliance.

I'm really getting tired of all this "because its made in China its crap" garbage. The truth is that the majority of the people that feel this way have never been to clothing factories - domestic or abroad - and haven't a clue of what they're talking about. The very idea that something is made well or not based on the geography of the factory amounts to nothing more than the same racism you dismissed in your early week's commentary of the young boys.

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

The skull and bones thing will be embarrassingly dated in the next 3 or 4 years, I'm guessing. Like the show Moonlighting, it probably won't hold up too well over time.

Anonymous said...

Keep plugging it. I'm sure they'll send you a free one soon enough.

Jho78 said...

Re: Misfits

Yes.

Giuseppe said...

Point well taken, Enzo. Thank you for refuting me in a clear and adult manner.

YWP,
True enough, that's why I let it go.

Anon.,
I don't really think I plugged it. I guess you forgot to read the "words" part of this post.

Young Fogey said...

Enzo,

I dislike products made in China not because I have anything against the Chinese per se, but because I am repulsed by what the Chinese government does both to its own people and to ours. Although now Communist in name only (CINO?), they are still brutal autocrats running a dictatorship. The Chinese, keeping their currency artificially low, and with the collusion of our own corrupt politicians and unethical businessmen, are the direct cause of the closure of tens of thousands of factories and the loss of nearly three million US jobs.

I don't want to buy Chinese products because I don't want to support our enemies.

VC.HCl said...

Another Chinese hater huh, well guess I need to use this very country as an example. In the early 1900s eastern European Jews flooded into East Coast of US, without education and ability to speak English, a lot of them ended up in what we now call"sweatshop labor" and majority of it is clothing(J Press is part of the big flow but it is on high end of business). Also post World War 2 Japan employees used to work long hours and get under-payed. Now it is China, only according to our friend Fogey, it is because Chinese government is dictatorship and push its people to do it...
Really reminds of the time when US blames Japan-made cars and EU steel. I think this attitude is the reason America is in this big mess.
Chenlong

Giuseppe said...

It's not so much a matter of hating China as it is paying $148 for it when they clearly made it in China for the cheap cost of labor. You have to question what it is you're really paying for.

VC.HCl said...

Truth is Chinese labor is no longer cheap, with the newly passing labor law that mandates the minimal wages, lower end of the clothing business has been forced out of China and into Vietnam. If you get the chance to visit the facilities, you will be impressed. I am not sure if this sweater is worth 148$, but it wouldn't be much less. We are talking about a rapidly changing nation. What was true yesterday could be quickly changed.
Chenlong

Young Fogey said...

Chenlong,

You have fallen into the modern trap of equating disapproval with hatred.

This equation is almost always wrong. Furthermore, it is wholly inappropriate, because it delegitimizes disapproval. It says, "you can't possibly have a valid reason to disapprove, so it must be an irrational reason, therefore we can ignore you and your alleged argument."

Perhaps you didn't understand because you're not a native speaker of English, but what I wrote--"not because I have anything against the Chinese"--means "I do not have something against the Chinese." It can be rephrased as "I don't hate the Chinese."

Horatio said...

On to the other points.

Your citation of US history is irrelevant, because unlike China, the US did not manipulate its own currency to unfairly compete with the US.

In contrast, the Japanese case is relevant. Once upon a time, the Japanese dumped their products into the US (i.e., they charged less than what it cost to make the product). This served two purposes: the acquisition of market share and the destruction of American businesses in the same market. Case in point: televisions. Why is it that there are no domestic manufacturers of TVs in America, the land where the TV was invented? It's because the Japanese were willing to take long-term losses for longer-term gains.

The Chinese seem to be playing a similar game, and with great success: since China's ascension into the WTO in 2001, more than 56,000 factories have closed in the US, which works out to fifteen per day (source).

Not all of these closures can be ascribed to the Chinese, of course, but it is clear that most of them can. The problem is that "free" trade only works when both sides play by the same rules. China, quite rationally, is playing to win, regardless of the "rules." The loss of our manufacturing base is their gain, and they are actively pursing policies to that end.

They seek to harm us for their own benefit.

Isn't that more or less the textbook definition of an enemy?