Chambray shirts and the blue-collar divide


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Pity those shirts aren’t the thing any more. Then again, if blue chambray meant blue-collar, then I could only wear one as a poseur.


So it turns out I’ve been a slob sartorial genius my whole life?


Timberland boots didn’t come

from lumberyards to city streets

The urban popularity of timberlands work boots comes from their ubiquity in the American prison system.


Harrumph. Comfortable workwear can still be cut from the propper fabric, tweed.

Oscar, while you shine out like a shaft of gold when all around is dark, I have a disappoint.


Whatever that is dangling from the woman’s work ware around dangerous, fast spinning machinery seems like a really unpleasant accident waiting to happen.


Maybe it’s just me (I suppose it is) but seeing that picture with the dangling pocket made my flesh crawl: loose clothing around massive power tools is a big no no. Don’t want to get sucked into that lathe ma’am. Take 10, get a cuppa joe and the darning kit from the break room so you can get that fixed right now.


what Taco said


Couple of Benjamins and a bit, and you are all set, via Mr. Lauren -


I think the one I had as a teen was military surplus. Wouldn’t even fit me now.


Was it Cryptonomicon where Stephenson makes an impassioned plea that properly fitted, the business suit is more comfortable than any “workwear”? Generally, I find that to be true, if you can afford the care and cost of the suit.


I am inclined to agree.

A fully bespoke / custom fitted wool suit can be had for ~$650 in USA/Canada including measurement stateside, tailoring in Hong Kong, shipping, and duty/tariff, if you shop carefully enough. It sounds like a lot of money, and it is to me too, but most off-the-rack suits (other than perhaps some very expensive luxury brands) are ill-fitting on everyone.

I find a well broken in pair of blue jeans is only slightly more comfortable than a custom suit, and that is at least partly because I don’t care what happens to the jeans since they are more easily replaced.


Interesting history and details, and I’m glad he didn’t indulge too much in the “why are hipsters wearing these when they don’t do ?” argument, which tires easily. Fashion (and not just high-fashion, but fashion as in “you picked up something and put it on today - why?”) is always shifting and drawing from the past to absorb old trends. We do somewhat fetishize “authenticity” now, but that is far from a “hipster” trend - you see that all over the spectrum.

Even the iconic business casual shoe, the brogue oxford, got its roots from work wear - people who had to work in farms in England and Scotland would punch brogues into their shoe leather to improve water drainage. Eventually the brogues became ornaments, and were popularized as a bit of a backlash to the aristocratic high formality of pumps and wholecut boots. Basically a bunch of English proto-hipsters popularized the style that we now think of as the default.


I’d say this is largely true - any clothing that fits well will be a lot more comfortable than an ill-fitting substitute. Most people think suits are uncomfortable simply because they’ve never worn one that fits well. I like my jeans and work wear (and yeah, actually work in them), but I’m also fond of my made-to-measure suits and dress shirts. A lightweight summer wool suit with a breathable shirt and good shoes feels light, airy and effortless - quite comfortable in the right circumstances.


I don’t have to wear a suit often (thankfully), but if I did I would try one of those online places that do the “custom” suits.
There are a couple and I’ve heard good things about them.
However, most of the time, people get off the rack suits that are ill fitting because they bought the wrong one. Most guys are like me and don’t need one other than to have on hand for interviews, weddings, funerals, xmas parties, etc…
They need to go to a proper men’s department like at Nordstrom or Bloomingdales, Men’s Warehouse, etc… especially when they are having a sale and get FITTED for a suit.
A man needs at least one good suit, two good cotton shirts (one white and one powder blue cut for your build and sized for neck and sleeves) two ties (one striped, one pattern) a black belt and black lace up shoes.
Add a nice pair of trousers to that and a jacket, and you’re ready for anything.


fuck that shit


When you become an adult, at some point one needs a suit.
Just keep that in mind.


I’ve found it to be the other way around. When you finally become an adult you can say fuck that shit.


My grandfather worked in the Nashville Vultee factory during the war (this photo from Nashville is part of the same series as the one accompanying this article*). He told us about a woman who was working there getting her hair (which was supposed to be tied back) caught in the belt on a drill press (which should have had a cover) – it scalped her.

*(and that photo happens to be from the Ft. Worth plant)


I’ve read that wingtips, in spite of how they may be worn, are not dress shoes. I wouldn’t wear 'em with jeans, myself.