Owl convo re: men’s fashion

Snake virtue signaling is to flaunt symbols of status and prestige. Wearing a Harvard shirt, for example.
As I mentioned in the OG snake post, it appears to be a requirement that the shirt be two sizes too large.
Owl virtue signaling is to flaunt informal markers of character.
In America we respect “genuine” people, so owl melons will wear the costume of a genuine person.
The form that takes may vary.
When I dressed up as an Episcopalian for my sister’s wedding, that was about halfway between the two.
On the one hand, I’m signaling upper middle class. On the other hand, I’m using symbols that require a bit of discriminating interpretation (e.g. tie with flowers on it).

mens formal fashion is definitely one of those areas replete with esoteric rulesets
you can definitely do a lot with subtle signalling if you get into it. i find it an amusing game to play, personally

It’s still easier than men’s informal fashion 😕.
Formal fashion I’m pretty good at now. It’s a stretch, but I’m at the point where I try to break at least one of the formal rules on purpose just to show off.
For informal fashion you have to read pretty much the entire culture around you at once.
Back in my day you had to dress halfway between a black kid and a white kid.
I still don’t get it.
Black fashion is easy. As long as it looks expensive, flashy, and looks like sewn-together garbage, you’re golden.
It was always the asymmetric nature of black fashion that repulsed me.
I can handle things that aren’t symmetrical in small doses now, but as a kid it really bothered me.
Everything I made in Lego tended to be symmetrical, with the interesting exception of buildings and natural environments.

Anyway, the problem I have with casual clothing is you’re supposed to be signaling impulsivity while also sending clear class identification messages, and also look good.
I basically gave up.

i would say nonchalance instead of impulsivity, but that might be a class marker ocming through

It’s the same root thing.

there’s a debateable statement. what makes you say that?

Oh, in both cases it’s signaling a lack of mortality salience.
I.e. Why worry? I’m too great.
I’d describe them as two forms of blitheness.
Lack of anxiety correlates with material success, high status, etc.

a fair insight. i see them as opposite sides of an “excitable/inexcitable” spectrum but i think you have a point

More to the point: dark triad, R-selection, etc.

more so far black fashion than white, but yes

Right, in white fashion you have to do this weird halfway-to-black thing that I don’t understand.
And I blame it on rich whites idealizing blacks as noble savages.

ehhh, I’m not so sure about that, but i think i see where our experiences have diverged
is “preppy” much of a thing in the midwest?

It started with the Boomer fascination with spontaneity and ended with upper middles listening to gangster rap.
Yeah, we had preppy here.
Polo shirts tucked into jeans or khakis.


But the polos had to be weird-looking, either Fubu or some European soccer club.
I’ve never like polo shirts since then, it left a bad taste in my mouth.

So no real preppy style then

I guess not. Must have been an offshoot.
Oh wait, I imagine it was just a couple decades behind what you’re thinking of.
If I had to guess, I’d say preppy style in your area looked like out of a men’s fashion magazine.

vineyard vines, boat shoes, brooks brothers…etc
still pretty common across the south and east coast

Yeah, we didn’t see much of that around here until 10-15 years ago.
Ann Arbor probably being the exception.
And some really trendy parts of Detroit.

there a big fraternity culture at U Mich? I would imagine that was the difference

Yeah, huge frat culture.

that’ll do it

But also money and class.
You have to remember, we still have DVD rental stores here. Michigan still has a foot in the 90s.

i want to say that sounds almost wholesome, but i imagine it doesn’t quite feel that way in practice

Nostalgia helps.
One nice thing about being completely forgotten is you can have a Chinese place named “Takee Outee” and no one bats an eye.
My other favorite anecdote is the Area 51-themed gym.

this is what they took from you, white man

I wish I could remember what it was called so I could show you.

want your GAINZ to be OUT OF THIS WORLD?
*space helmet not included

About Aeoli Pera

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3 Responses to Owl convo re: men’s fashion

  1. Deer camp yachty says:

    I thought casual clothing signaling was two purposes:
    1. “I am one of you and belong here”; e.g. don’t wear golf clothes to the deer camp.
    2. At a general party of all types, the clothes signal which subjects you are familiar to talk about other than jobs. Money is icky and nobody wants to be the guy that can only talk about work. E.g. camo ball cap and team jersey worn with cargo shorts gives a solid couple subjects for a stranger to glom on to.

    Looking good is mostly about finding a tailor and taking a photo of your clothes in B&W; to avoid the monotony of minor variations.

    • what says:

      Both purposes could be simplified into individual niche, which in itself signifies familiarity and individual interests. Status and allegiance would fall under niche, and it catches more territory thinking of the nature of fashion as a general statement of self-organization, taking care to show an appropriate amount of individuality and giving enough attention to know the kind of occasion one is taking part in. Which is just a restatement of your comment.

      Casual clothing as a show of carelessness is, as the term casual implies, a part of being casual. I don’t think it’s a conscious, or even unconscious, choice, specifically a status symbol, to not prepare yourself for possible danger. Depends heavily on the environment, but generally there isn’t much danger around. Going along with the care/harm moral values, not carrying around tools for defense could, in an environment where trouble is everywhere, be a show of confidence, but it would in an environment of little danger be a statement of everything being alright. Carrying a tool of defense in such a context would signify being, yourself, a danger to others. Either you are a danger, or there is danger, which goes against believing in everything being okay.

      Why worry? Everything is okay. Following that, feeling that one is invulnerable would never be refuted, therefore feelings of invulnerability self-justified, and anything going against the notion a threat. Blegh. Pitbulls and all that. I guess it would be a status signal regardless, but I’d better describe it in the current times as a conformity signal. Is it R-selection or a consequence of an R-selecting environment?

      Whether a culture expects a certain level of preparedness, when and if it was or is still expected, the level of danger a person expects to be in, would give a better picture of what kind of statement being unprepared would make. The higher the class the more one pretends to be safe.

      Bringing personal bodyguards to a family get-together would be startling.

      It’s too complicated!

  2. Deer camp yachty says:

    Yeah, I live on the Land of the BBQ Gun (open carried). If you aren’t carrying a knife you aren’t dressed. I didn’t think I mentioned being armed; but, concealed carry is generally concealed.

    It is bad form to drop your pistol on the table when drinking. Handing it to your spouse to put in her purse isn’t something I’ve seen; but I can’t imagine anyone mentioning it. You’re supposed to have the decency of working out a comfortable holster before the party.

    The military has 4 typical levels of dress:
    Class A: jacket and tie – high faluting work
    Class B: pressed shirt and slacks – office work ( business casual)
    Class C: utility uniform – dirty/safety work clothes
    Physical training uniform – exercise clothing

    As far as I can tell; civilian casual has a lot to do with what you are doing while being casual.
    Standing around drinking (class B)
    Catching things on fire and sweating outside (class C)
    Sailing (PT)

    So yes, you are supposed to know what kind of thing you are going to before you go; sometimes I ask my wife.

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