Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hands in pockets...

Why has every single menswear aficionado on the internet suddenly gotten up in arms about casually putting a hand in a trouser pocket? I don't understand this. One even described it as a "sick habit" in response to the below image.

Funny, as the first thing I noticed was the white satin bow tie and fashionable stubble. Both are more unbecoming to a dinner suit than one hand in the pocket.

Now, maybe I'm just a twenty-something who doesn't know the first thing about life, but I fail to see how it is all that offensive. Clothes are ultimately still meant to be worn, not treated like pieces of valuable art. Doesn't matter if it's $300 Jos. A. Bank or $3000 Savile Row bespoke suit. We move in them. We talk in them. We keep our wallet, keys, and phone in them. Last I checked, no one stands in them like mannequins all day so people can appreciate that perfect quarter inch of shirt cuff showing. If they do, they have worse problems than behaving casually!

Don't get me wrong. To be sure, it's not a good habit to do all the time let alone with both hands firmly in there. But ultimately we live in our clothes. Surely we can forgive the sin of occasionally putting a hand or two in our trouser pockets. Part of the beauty of tailored clothing is how it still looks nice even when we aren't taking fit pics for the "What Are You Wearing" threads on menswear forums.

What are your opinions on this?

Pierce Brosnan has at times been criticized for this habit. At least with double vents the fabric bunching is limited to the sides instead of raising up the back as well.

8 comments:

  1. Agreed. Ideally, even the most expensive clothing should look and be lived in and enjoyed.

    Best Regards,

    Heinz-Ulrich von B.

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    1. That, to me, is more authentic. Kind of like using a shirt pocket for glasses or a pack of smokes (not that I recommend taking up smoking).

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  2. Some of the best did it near-constantly, and not just in pants pockets either! http://bamfstyle.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/jfk-main1.jpg

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    1. I think I've seen other pictures where he nonchalantly places just one hand in his jacket pocket as well. It reminds me of an episode of "Keeping Up Appearances" where Hyacinth advises Richard to do the same, as it "looks executive". XD

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  3. Pierce Brosnan indeed does this all the time. I don't notice it so much when he's wearing a double-vented jacket, but in Remington Steele when he switched to wearing more fashionable non-vented jackets, very often double-breasted, they bunch up and look awful. People like Brosnan should never wear anything other than double vents.

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    1. Agreed. I prefer double vents for both that reason and the fact that it just looks neater. I'm of the opinion that double breasted jackets should always have double vents, even if you don't use your trouser pockets. I don't mind single vents on single breasted American style suits and sport coats, such as ones with a sack cut. It's a more casual look.

      Speaking of inappropriate vent styles, I recently caught an episode of Mad Men where Don Draper's white dinner jacket had a single vent. Yikes. As with notch lapel DJs, it's not as if they didn't exist (I've actually seen one from the '50s on Etsy that had a single vent), but given that Draper is usually pretty well dressed, it seemed out of place.

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  4. I think this comes up with a lack of understanding of the fact that suits are worn for a multitude of occasions. In a more formal setting, it isn't appropriate to put one's hands in one's pockets. A job interview; making, or receiving an introduction; making a presentation; many moments during a reasonably formal party. The former are all examples of times not to place one's hands in one's pockets. However, standing on a train platform? Standing around chatting? Ordering a coffee? Strolling down the hall? Put your hands in your pockets if you like. Relax already.

    The misunderstanding is that placing one's hands in one's pockets is a breach of style. It is not; it is a breach of etiquette. It is, however, not always a breach of etiquette, just as the use of vulgar language is not always a breach of etiquette (e.g. when having a few drinks, and playing cards, with close friends, at one's own, or one's friend's, home, perhaps). The misunderstanding is likely derived of two phenomenon: (1) the transition of the perception of the suit as every day business dress, to a special occasion garment, in the minds of many, and (2) the way the suit is treated as sacrosanct by many conservative style fanatics, most of whom gather in corners of the internet to congratulate one another, somewhat regularly.

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    1. Good point about bad style versus bad etiquette. There are definitely times where it shouldn't be done. Though I am part of one of these menswear forums, there is groupthink that hurts them and their credibility at times. For example, black can never be worn with brown under any circumstances. Then again, I believe black suits are not the best choice and that could be considered groupthink.

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