Permanent style: When style becomes costume

Men who are very interested in their clothes are part geeky, petty academic and part creative, artistic aesthete. Everyone needs the former to drive them into reading and investigation, to be interested by the history and traditions of men’s attire. But everyone also needs the latter, to have the kind of mind that created these traditions in the first place.

Of course, this applies to more than just fashion.

Permanent style: When style becomes costume

Vanity sizing for men < PopMatters

On the recent Esquire pants-size exposé:

Retailers’ facilitating the illusion that we are thinner than we are is a by-product of their chief goal, which is to force us to try on every item of clothing we are considering buying and let the endowment effect work its behavioral magic. Trying something on invests us in completing the purchase to a much greater degree—we’ve gone to all that trouble already and want something to show for our effort—and it also habituates us to the idea that we already own the thing we put on, and to not buy it feels as though we have lost something or had something taken away from us. So the sizes are just very vague guidelines to help us know which items to take to the fitting rooms.

Come to think of it, the endowment effect is probably another reason smart parents tell kids not to touch anything when they go in the store.
Vanity sizing for men < PopMatters


Adam and I visited the wonderful public radio program (and podcast) The Marketplace of Ideas, and they’ve just posted the show.  A lot of in-depth talk both about our philosophies of dress and about the behind-the-scenes of Put This On.

My favorite idea from this interview: style qua semiotics.

Why Elite Shoppers Eschew Logos

It’s signaling, folks. Really interesting stuff. Geoffrey Miller talks about this in Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behavior, which I recommend highly. In my review I summarized Miller on the three basic ways we signal through our purchases: conspicuous waste (in this context, perhaps fine fabrics, oversized garments, layering, duplicated accessories), conspicuous precision (luxury watches, perfect cut & fit, subtle hand-stitched details), or conspicuous reputation (recognizable logos, patterns, etc.). Few books have affected my everyday thinking so much. (via putthison)

Why Elite Shoppers Eschew Logos

Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture (review: 2/5)

I heard about Everybody Hurts: An Essential Guide to Emo Culture in Believer Magazine a while back. It’s funny at times, with some good illustrations. I enjoyed being able to point to parts of the emo taxonomy and say “I know someone like that… and that guy… and that one…” And for the emo consumer, there’s a pretty good round-up of what you should be listening to, where you should buy your clothes, etc. The writing is really chatty, though, and I couldn’t help but feel that they were stretching to make a target word count.