Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Big Question

Why all this fuss about Trad?

Honestly, the amount of time, effort and expenditure put forth on obtaining the items and discussing them on the various message boards by a group of mostly American and English whack-a-doodles is astonishing. Especially when you consider how many of us there are posting - maybe 200, total?

Talk radio shows figure that one listener in 20 actually calls in; even fewer get through, since many of them wish to read a prepared statement on why Henry Kissinger is a nine-foot tall shape-shifting reptilian creature from another galaxy hell-bent on keeping the price of bobby pins right where it is, dammit.

Who knows how many lurkers on the MBs put in place some version of what they see and read about.

We've had all sorts of internecine battles on the subject, and like all good historical disputes the actual topic under discussion has never been universally defined. (Thus causing the disturbances.)

It gets rather heated at times, which is better than lobbing bombs or bullets but still pretty silly in the great scheme of things.

So what the hell is it we're arguing about?

I'd offer this pared-down list of characteristics of a Trad style (or Ivy, or TNSIL, or insert your term here):

Buttondown collars on the shirts
Relatively skinny ties - 3 1/2 inches at most
Undarted jackets with little or no padding in the shoulders
Flat-front trousers, with or without cuffs
Sensible shoes, occasionally crossing the line into elegance

Like the 12-bar blues, this is a basic template. Feel free to improvise, to the extent of creating something almost wholly unrecognizable as Trad, yet Tradly.


Cool Cal said...

I have to admit, I myself find David Icke to be the most amusing bathroom reading, and keep a copy of one of his crazed tomes near the toilet for the odd giggle.

"Got any reptile in you? Want some?"
-- Reptilian/Illuminati/Shapeshifter pick-up line

3button Max said...

interesting analogy to 12 bar blues...I like that..

Anonymous said...

OK - new to the whole idea of trad dressing. I'm glad to be out of the cycle of finding what's "in" only to have it outdated by the next issue of GQ.

Question, then - doesn't the idea of Trad also include elements of brilliant color combinations? Yes/no? are those Weejuns coming? I wore Weejuns when I was a kid and would like to get a new pair at an outlet mall for the $60 or so bucks they sell them for. What do you think? Worth it?


Patrick said...

Cory, the brilliant color combos generally come under the "Go To Hell" banner. I suppose you could argue that to be a subset of Trad, but it seems like a lot of bother.

The Weejuns, apart from the usual scuffing of the soles, remain comfortable and very new-looking. I might get a chance to wear them to the shore, in which case I might just walk in the surf with them to see what happens. Certainly worth an experiment at $60.

Odymon said...

Personally, my style is late 20th century slob; consequently, the only patterns that are added to my 80's era solid color Izods are either bodily fluids that my kids have so graciously provided for me. Otherwise, I have nothing further to add to this discussion.

Oh, and by the way, Patrick's hair has ALWAYS looked like that since the 7th grade.