01 September 2010

The Apologist

I took these photos the other day, but then I found two Brooks Brothers oxfords for ten bucks, and I decided to write about that instead, because I felt news of such a "score" more in keeping with the general thrust of this blog. Then, this morning I felt the need of a new post, if for no other reason than to steer the conversation off the topic of the slippers I bought that seem to be infuriating some off you ( forgive me the occasional guilty pleasure). Anyway, Mrs. G. took the camera to work with her today, so I'm sticking with some pictures already in storage:

Vintage Palm Beach "Zephyr Weight" madras jacket, $5.99, Brooks Brothers blue and white shirt with contrast club collar, made in USA, $4.99, no name silk knit tie, $.99, slide on collar bar (sorry, ADG), $.25
White suede "Worthmore" bucks by Florsheim (getting dirtier by the minute...can't wait for Fall) $1.99, tan Italian gabardine slacks by Ralph Lauren Purple Label, $4.99, navy cotton socks (I dig the contrast of the dark socks with white shoes and light colored pants, forgive me) from Target, part of a three pack for $4.99

The original post for these photos was going to be a kind of last-chance-for-Summer-clothes thing, which in this case I guess really only applies to the jacket. While I won't miss sweating like a hog and having my hair curl up in the Italian guy mini afro it becomes when the humidity is high, I will miss that jacket. Technically, the shoes close their season soon too, I guess, but I'm going wear them straight into November. Forgive me, but I happen to think that white bucks with cords and tweed on a crisp Autumn day are the jam. I'll probably wear them more in the Fall than I did this Summer.

When I wrote my last post, I knew it was going to piss at least a few of you off. That's fine. It' all well and good getting comments along the lines of "you look great", but without some criticism, we're not having much of a conversation. That's why I publish all comments except for spam. I welcome dissenting opinions in the interest of discussion. Really, I do.

But this morning, someone (an anonymous commenter, of course) said my blog had become a parody, which got my wheels turning. Now, I know that if you're going to write a blog and thereby live at least some carefully edited part of your life in public, a certain thickness of the skin is required. So before one of you gives me "if you can't stand the heat...", it ain't that. There have been times when a negative comment really struck home and got me to take a closer look at what I was doing, like the time I instigated that veritable sh*tstorm about the Pop Up Flea, and Tin Tin asked me to take down his link. I let things get out of hand, he called me out, we talked, and now we're pals, and now I know a little better. But parody? Forgive me, I just don't see it. That' a fairly heavy term to lay on someone as I see it, so if someone else is reading me that way, I'd like to know why. I encourage you all to think and say what you will, but if you're going to get to name calling, please be prepared to explain yourself.


Schorsch said...

Hey G,
You've got a very personal style, which I've found always pisses some people off. Maybe they are compensating for their inability to go beyond the bounds of Apparel Arts/Esquire/GQ/JCrew to forge their own style.

I find the above Madras-knit-tie-club-contrast-collar rig dizzying, but I imagine when you wear it, you're flying high, with a spring in your step the nay-sayers will never experience.

Carry on, good sir.

spoozyliciouzz said...

How cowardish is it to criticize someone not even mentioning his own name? That´s ridiculous and i wouldn´t give a damn rat´s ass about that.

You´re totally on track with at least making yourself center of a discussion. If not for taste, for what else can we argue?

I have never found something i didn´t like in here, so sorry, no blame from me. If there is some day, i´ll give it straight away.

Until then: keep it the way it is.

James said...

I feel a some what kindred spirit to you in that I enjoy thrifting. The thrill of the hunt, satisfaction of the kill, I mean the find.Finally the satisfaction of people complementing you on your wardrobe. If you don't get that,read something else. I personally believe if you don't have anything nice to say don't comment. But if you have to, be an adult and make an adult comment.

ji3torqueo said...

Parody is a poor word choice on the part of the anon commentor--in reference to the blog, not the shoes. Your blog has certainly changed over the years, but I imagine your style has a bit as well. I myself would love to go crawling back through the archives of the early AAW days. But "parody?"--It's not like you are purposely imitating some former self and I assume that nothing posted is intended as a mockery to yourself.

I would say though that there are times now where the posts seem more...forceful, aggressive, defensive than way back when. At times it's like you're getting dressed for we the readers and that attitude (or perception of...) is bound to lead to sticks and stones. That push to prove...whatever is of course going to mean someone feels the need to push back-to "put you in your place" as it were.

Unless those types of comments are striking some cord within you, I suggest brushing it off. If they cause you to reflect--well in my opinion those reflections would serve you better if you didn't include them in your next post. Doing such may help avoid yet another dose of anonymous high school cheerleader drama.

Anonymous said...

In relation my comment that the blog has become a parody of itself, first, I write from my work laptop and cannot login into yahoo etc. (totally verboten in our organization). Secondly, you state your wish is to get people dressing more like adults. Where does some of the stuff you have recently posted about fit into that mission statement? Surely sorts and polos are more adult?

Anonymous said...

ji3torqueo - I suggest you read FR Leavis on parody.

William said...

Not for nothing, but my wife was out of town this past weekend and rather than do the list of chores she left for me I drank some beer and dug through your archives, reading every post from 2009 and 2008 (i've read AAW daily since Janurary of this year). You sir, are an inspiration to cheap skates who appreciate the finer things in life without their unnecessary price tags in tow. 'Parody' is far, far off and was probably thrown out there like so many 'anonymous' insults are in cyberspace. Keep doing your thing, we need a 'thrift' perspective to read amongst all of the new and flashy menswear blogs.


Josh said...

I gotta say I loved your last post. Maybe it is considered bragging but I thought your tip about searching in bunches but it was incredibly helpful!

Frankly I wish you would post more "how to find great stuff" tips.

Giuseppe said...

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Dressing like an adult doesn't mean wearing a coat and tie every waking moment of your life, does it?

Kevin said...

I thoroughly enjoy your posts, in my RSS feed and so have never felt compelled to comment here, but I must make a stand. This is no parody, there is a pure joy of experimentation evident here, just look at this post for evidence of that - what a classic, elegant, yet youthfully exuberant look! I wish I could find this kind of style in my mountain town thrift stores, but I can't. Keep at it, you make every reader think (though some less than others apparently).

NCJack said...

Agree that poster needs consult dictionary, re: "parody"

You've always been true to your mission: to point out that one can dress well (and with some flair) on limited means. Fail to see where post in question fell short of aforementioned mark

Hope to make next "Flea"

ADG said...

You and only you are forgiven for the collar clip thing. I'm buying you the real deal.

Ryan said...

Wow. You guys really take this stuff too seriously.

Anonymous said...

While I frequently think some of your selections are a bit over-the top, I respect the fact that you consider what you put on every day. Most people look down upon people who put effort into their everyday wear, and I find that to be absurd.

While parody isn't the best word choice, I do find that your posts have been a bit lackluster recently. The same looks, and plays on classic looks have been popping up.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

I love the madras jacket, shoes, and trousers. But the shirt/tie combo is a bit much, IMO. And did you know you left a gold pin in the collar of your shirt? Not sure if it was intended to be there. Otherwise, you're doing a splendid job.

Giuseppe said...



Anonymous said...

Anonymous discourse is the heart and soul of the internet. To disparage it is to overlook the value of it. On the internet, any anonymous commentator is judged entirely on his words and their merits. It isn't even possible for pretentiousness, reputation and perceived social standing to influence a conversation because they are not accessible. Consequently, a discussion must be held entirely on the merits of the points that are being made. Holding anonymity against a commentator implies that the pretentious of identity SHOULD play a role in a discussion and that a discussion has less value if they are absent.

How could you become upset when no points were made beyond the accusation and no discussion took place? Just take it as a general expression of disapproval and get over it.

I've read every entry here for 8+ months, have never commented before and probably never will again. I have no intereste whatsoever in building and maintaining an "e-persona" for myself.
It irritates me whenever bloggers criticize anonymity on the internet. There's something wrong when people run a blog do not comprehend just how essential anonymity is to the culture of honesty and naked criticism on the internet.

TheOldRoad said...

Re: Anon: The same looks and plays on classic looks? Sh*t! Play's on classic looks have been my whole deal!

G: Don't worry about it. If people feel like it's a parody, they don't have to read it. Those of us that love it, and read it regularly, will continue to do so regardless. Sure your style, approach, and general coverage have shifted, but hey, isn't that the whole game?

Young Fogey said...


You're ugly and your mommy dresses you funny.


You have what few men possess: style. You aren't just another buffoon in Dockers and a crappy polo shirt, and I think you threaten those overgrown boys who could no more pick out an adult outfit for themselves than they could perform brain surgery. They want everyone to look as awful as they do, and their panties get all bunched up when you go into sartorial overload mode. Heck, they wet their drawers when you do no more than dress Trad!

P.S. to Anonymous: I meant the other one.

lloyd langston said...

i'm pushing 60 and i enjoy your blog very much. ebay and thrift allow us to try new things without breaking the bank. i once wore bowling shoes with a suit to a real estate closing and got real joy out of the strange looks. hell, if they did'nt like my shoes they could hand me back my check. of course they politely took my money, shook my hand, and kept their comments to themselves. keep up the posts. a "grown man" wears what he damn well pleses , and lets the world think what they may.

Anonymous said...

About this "parody" thing... A late reflection. Please, don't even think of ceasing writing on this blog! I must confess that it was your blog mostly (though not only), that inspired me to finally grab my wardrobe by it's balls ( ;-) ), go thrifting, savvy shopping, and proceed with a change that I wanted for quite a time. And it wouldn't happen if I stopped on the "front-line" blogs filled with stylish Italian outfits from best Napoli tailors, that cost more than I could ever earn - as a college student - in two years straight. ;-) Of course, it's all absolutely beautiful stuff, but only leads to minor depression, if you're getting caught in "dressing good -> money -> lots of money which you don't have" circulus vitiosus. And seeing that you can actually look great and maintain class along with solid degree of personal style, without breaking a bank, was major inspiration and mind-liberating experience, sartorial-wise.

Thank you.