Well Worn. Worn Well

The pictures and words are free. It's what they inspire you to do that's gonna end up costing you.

Anonymous asked: Thank you for setting everyone straight on the jacket button issue. I actually had some strug life iGent walk over to me at a party and tell me I needed to button my jacket.

In the words of Jim Jefferies: “(If a grown man gives you unsolicited instructions about your clothes) punch that cunt in the head until your hand breaks.”

Anonymous asked: Doing things because that's the way that they've always been done makes perfect sense when you work in a position, industry, or office that values doing things the way that they've always been done. (E.g., lawyers only ever wearing plain white shirts to court.) Obviously this isn't relevant for most iGents, who don't have real jobs and use these rules merely as a way to project their purported knowledge and sophistication. (Also worth noting each photo you linked is a very informal situation.)

As with all my long-form responses and rants, I speak from my point of view, which is comprised of my personal experiences. I make no claim to have all the answers, nor do I suggest I do things the right way. I simply state what I do and provide (incredibly) subjective reasoning behind why things may be the way they are.

All that said, you’re completely right about decorum and obligation as they relate to cultural norms and workplace etiquette.

However, I deliberately used the term “ethos” in my summation to categorize my button-less ways as one piece of a larger personal puzzle. While I realize ethos is a broad term that applies to far more than personal guiding principles, I usually only use the word when I’m referring to some personal compelling dogma. That is, something that encapsulates your being; the sum of your parts more so than the individual pieces.

I see occupation simply as a piece of who you are. It’s a circumstance or a setting, but I certainly don’t see it as a guiding force. Sure you wear a suit and tie to the office, but does mean that you’re always seen as a suit and tie? Certainly not.

So while circumstances may dictate certain levels of decorum or extenuating circumstances, the decisions by which you live your life should not boil down to moments in time if for no other reason than times change and moments pass.

(Author’s not: There’s now officially NOTHING less punk rock than philosophically debating the decorum of buttoned jackets.)

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, men wearing jackets unbuttoned when standing… mass hysteria!

I’m often reminded that I hold many tendencies and preferences that are at odds with prescribed iGent decorum. While many of my most egregious infractions of this holier-than-thou institution are rooted in my stubborn refusal to depart reality – my refusal to wear a tie when everyone else at the party will be in jeans; not taking the time of day into consideration when selecting a shirt color; my never having masturbated to shell cordovan shoes – there are certain things I do without much thought or will “to rebel.”

One of these subconscious tendencies that really seems to befuddle people is my penchant for wearing my jackets unbuttoned when standing.

For those of you just joining us, there is a less-than-unstated rule that says a gentleman should always have his jacket buttoned with standing. Conversely, he should always unbutton his jacket when taking his seat. That is, unless he is wearing a double-breasted jacket, in which case he should leave the jacket buttoned.

Just typing that synopsis shot an anachronistic chill up my spine. There is nothing less punk rock than talking about buttons – except maybe talking about how and when they should be buttoned. Ergo, if you subscribe to the above “on principle” alone, you’re probably willfully reading this post on Internet Explorer.

Then there is the argument that wearing a jacket unbuttoned will make the wearer look fat or in some way “more frumpy.” While this argument has more merit to me (after all, the jacket is made to be buttoned), it still presupposes an outcome that I have yet to experience.

If a jacket fits you well and flatters your natural proportions, it will not visibly add weight to your frame when worn unbuttoned. In case you don’t believe me, see here, here, here, and here.

What you will note, however, is that each of the men in the above images look incredibly at ease with their jacket. They seem more approachable, more light-hearted. I won’t assume this is the sole reason that I wear my jackets unbuttoned most of the time, but there is likely a direct correlation between my perceptions of an open jacket vs. how I wear my own clothing.

And really, that’s just it:  Wearing a jacket open just feels more natural for me. Maybe this stems from laziness, maybe it really is a bad habit, but fastening up in the name of “etiquette” is the last thing I think of when donning a jacket.

At the end of the day I can appreciate why some men choose to only wear their jackets buttoned. However, I say to this thorax-cloaking class, why? It’s likely that the reasons you wear your jackets buttoned – “I can’t pull off the unbuttoned jacket;” “I think it looks better;” “I feel more comfortable.” – are (more or less) the same as my justifications for not.

“It’s the way it’s always been done” is about as terrible an ethos as there is. Question authority, burn the temples, kill your heroes, wear your jackets unbuttoned.

Abercrombie & Fitch bespoke pants for “H.M. Ullmann,” 1911

Abercrombie & Fitch bespoke pants for “H.M. Ullmann,” 1911

mypantalones asked: Dude, many congrats and blessings.

Thanks, man. She’s way, way better looking than me and puts up with my shit. We’ll just assume she’s only with me for all that blogger money set to roll in any minute now…