If Ivy And Covid Had A Baby

Thanks again to the amazing Tom for sending me an article from Bloomberg by Max Berlinger this week about what is happening, somewhat disturbingly, to custom clothes.  The gist of the article is (it’s a paywall and we don’t link paywalls anymore) is that…

A 2022 forecast from personal-styling service Stitch Fix found that half of millennials say they never plan to wear a suit again, preferring to search instead for categories such as “business comfort.” Sales at clothing curator Thread actually went up in the past year, despite “significant declines” in the sales of suits, ties, and Oxford shoes.

Mr. Berlinger goes on to feature some pieces that are now being made custom.  Why?  I have no idea.  The article is very well written.  Slanted, but well written.

I had this professor in undergrad named Dr. Wayne D. Norman with whom I took statistics, and I got two things out of it that follow me to this day.  First, the idea of statistical significance, which serves us to think about in almost every area of life.  It runs like this:  if 51% of  people are wearing hoodies and 49% of people are wearing ocbds, then yes, the majority of people are wearing hoodies.  But is that majority a large enough factor to base decisions on?  Should you decide not to manufacture ocbd’s because the majority is wearing hoodies?  The answer is no, unless you ant to miss out on selling to those 49 people.  So that majority is not significant enough to base a conclusion on, in and of itself.  The second lesson from that class was to look at every data point you receive in its context.  So when I read that the good people at Stitch Fix found that half of millennials say they never plan to wear a suit again, I presume they are not getting that information from the J. Press database.

Stitch Fix is a form of market research combined with online retail.  And don’t discount their information entirely.  Ralph Lauren is offered there.  The way it works is this.  You fill out a survey (online) to find “your style.”   Then they send you ideas of things to buy from their suppliers, Lauren being amongst them.  So yes, this would give you a place from which to conclude something about fashion.  But only from people who (1) are looking for suggestions and (2) are willing to buy online from brands they don’t know and/or are not recommended.  That kinda skews the abovereferenced, does it not?

Mr. Berlinger then points this out:

So, if not a suit, what then? According to the global shopping search engine Lyst, big trends coming in 2022 are NASA-inspired jackets and … moon boots.

Sigh.  It’s April.  Predicting trends for 2022 is a little like me walking outside, looking up and then predicting it will be sunny today.

But there are companies trying to find purchase in this sink of data and predicting-the-present.   One such company is Tony Shirtmakers, out of Maine, which I understand makes a decent OCBD (requests to participate in the review have not been answered).   Their answer, as highlighted in the article, is… The Shacket.

 

This particular piece has mother of pearl buttons. Mother of pearl buttons. And a rounded collar. This is what it would look like if Ivy and Covid had a baby.

 

Cut, sew and ship is… 20 – 24 weeks.  And the shacket costs $450.   Which means that if I order two, Tony Shirtmakers will have $1,000ish of my dollars for half a year.  Forget shirts, go into finance.

I’m not picking on Mr. Berlinger (again, well written article) or on Tony and his Shacket.  If the Shacket were $79 and hanging on a rack, I might pick it up even.  What I am doing is noting how these companies are taking the return to the office and forging from their own database statistics born out of a pandemic and pitching a custom made… Shacket.  It’s smart marketing, but it is marketing.

Which is not to say millennials aren’t doing things differently.  Take a look at this really interesting study from Pew.  Millennials are not doing families the way other generations have.  This makes complete sense.  I rant against the legal concept of marriage all the time.  If I told you, look, take every, EVERY asset you have and deposit it into this bank.   I am talking every asset.  The dresser your aunt gave you?  That.  Deposit that.  And then come back in a decade.  The odds are quite literally 50/50 that the bank will only give you back 50% of your assets, and you will have to pay a $25,000 legal fee to get even that.

I get it.  There is the joy of the promise.  I am just talking numbers.  The legal concept of marriage.

Anyway, millennials are doing things differently, for sure, and that of course includes dress.  What it does not include is a mass exodus from Ivy Style in exchange for elastic waistbands based on market research designed to sell you a $6,000 leather jacket.

 

 

 

 

47 Comments on "If Ivy And Covid Had A Baby"

  1. Trevor Jones | April 1, 2022 at 11:09 am | Reply

    Longtime Ivy Style contributor, Eric Twardzik, recently published an article also about Tony Shirtmakers, here: https://robbreport.com/style/menswear/tony-shirtmaker-maine-bespoke-1234664899/

    On a separate note, Eric also just wrote a great article about the resurgence of J. Press, here: https://robbreport.com/style/menswear/j-press-history-120-anniversary-1234671539/

  2. The popularity of shackets is confounding to me. I’m 34 and East Coast, lived in NY and DC. I would venture I see shackets…1% of the time on guys. Who is buying them!?!

  3. As an elder millennial, I’m of course disappointed in some of the more annoying traits of my generational cohort, including popular modes of dress. That said, the decline of sartorial care is truly a multigenerational phenomenon. I see an awful lot of dubious choices being made by many an X’er, a Joneser, a Boomer, a silent generation member, and even those remaining of the greatest generation. Besides, I thought we of the avocado toast persuasion were old-hat by now. It’s the “zoomers” that all the “thought leaders” are writing and fretting about these days, the digital natives who intimidate us older adults so very much with their Tik-Tokking and their skull emojis.

    I bought a wonderful — truly wonderful — cotton drill trucker style jacket by Tony Shirtmakers (though it’s just the one Tony, the shirtmaker). It was the absolute highest quality jacket of its kind I could ever imagine seeing, handmade down to the most minute detail, built like a tank. To my dismay, I seem to have outgrown it, particularly around the midsection, over the past couple of years.

    Thanks for the links Trevor Jones. I look forward to reading those.

    “We of the avacado toast persuasion” – I am BEGGING you to let me write that book. – JB

  4. That is one ugly . . . whatever they call it. The little expander pockets would make me appear to have grown breasts. No offense intended but also, no sale.

  5. Charlottesville | April 1, 2022 at 12:29 pm | Reply

    If 49% of young adults dressed even remotely Ivy, I would be very happy. My guess is something like 1%, and that is defining Ivy extremely broadly. Although locally the figure may rise to as much as 10% across all age groups (maybe 30% on Easter and Christmas), my town is a bit of an anomaly.

    Does anyone else think the Shacket looks not unlike an overpriced “designer” version of the LLB chamois cloth shirt? I even have one in approximately that color. I have no doubt that the quality is quite high, and I understand that it is made from wool rather than cotton, but my Bean shirts are quite comfortable and last for decades. JB notes that it is April. I am going to pretend that the the Shacket is an April Fools joke.

  6. Excuse me, I know it’s April Fools Day, but that monstrosity is definitely NOT a shacket.

    A shirt jacket, AKA the utility coat, has at least four patch pockets and can be dressed down or up with a button-down and tie.

    Aren’t the Millennials the generation who started “hipster style?” Apparently dressing like a bearded lumberjack while sipping lattes in a Williamsburg Starbucks is considered ironic, and over the heads of Gen. Xers like me.

  7. Minimalist Trad | April 1, 2022 at 1:41 pm | Reply

    Correct me if I’m wrong, butisn’t that pretty close to what’s called a Peter Pan collar when it’s found on women’s blouses and dresses?

  8. Minimalist Trad | April 1, 2022 at 1:43 pm | Reply

    “butisn’t” = “but isn’t”.
    Sorry.

  9. Millennials. Hilarious.

    They were supposed to be the generation that rejuvenated the spirit of volunteerism, turned our collective attention to the importance of community and community-building endeavors, and engaged in levels of activism we haven’t seen since, say 1967. Instead, they’ve prioritized the values their parents endorsed (and perhaps, too often, lived): convenience, leisure, luxury, and, aesthetically, a blandness so tediously, mind-numbingly boring that — well, there are no words. Exhibit A: the ubiquitous poly-cotton hoodie.

    What a complete and total and absolute and utter disappointment. For the most part, I mean. Worse than GenXers because they welcomed the lofty expectations and accompanying words of praise (“I guess we are pretty awesome, aren’t we??”). Lots of praiseworthy ideas, values, priorities, and institutions have languished and a spiraled downward because of millennials failure (refusal) to serve as good stewards of the world the G.I. (“Greatest”) Generation created, nurtured, and passed along as a gift.

  10. Also: I know (and I suspect we all know) plenty of people who rise early every morning, drink some strong black coffee, shower (and shave) and put on a suit or sport jacket, tie, and a clean shirt. Where I live, they are the lawyers, administrators, bankers, teachers, professors, councilmen/women, and executives who make this community run smoothly — and well. They are adults. Grownups. They are the establishment. They are the stewards of our communities.

    Their values, including an interest in looking like a GD’d grownup, are here to stay. Probably to the frowny, pouty chagrin of the jeans-and-hoodie crowd. Let them have the I.T. department. Somebody has to fix the computers and, really, who cares what they wear.

  11. Craig Fulton | April 1, 2022 at 2:39 pm | Reply

    Here’s the Berlinger article, folks, without the illustrations, unfortunately:

    Ditch the Suit! And Have All Your Clothes Made Just for You
    People still think of bespoke in terms of the old-fashion two-piece, but there’s a new class of designers making custom clothing more contemporary.Bosses want bodies back in their cubicles, but that doesn’t mean things will look the same as they did before the 2020 exodus. The most notable aesthetic change may be the workplace suit—or the lack of it. The fusty old two-piece was already in decline before the pandemic, destabilized by casual Fridays, defied by Silicon Valley’s power vest, and upstaged by the popularity of streetwear.Covid-19 was just another nail in its coffin. A 2022 forecast from personal-styling service Stitch Fix found that half of millennials say they never plan to wear a suit again, preferring to search instead for categories such as “business comfort.” Sales at clothing curator Thread actually went up in the past year, despite “significant declines” in the sales of suits, ties, and Oxford shoes. So, if not a suit, what then? According to the global shopping search engine Lyst, big trends coming in 2022 are NASA-inspired jackets and … moon boots. OK, so you don’t need to go to outer space to get some attention. For that, all you’ll need is a look that’s utterly your own—as in, tailored just for you. We’re not talking about getting your initials etched onto a wallet or asking the guy at the dry cleaners to let out your pants as an adjustment for those pandemic pounds. No, to obtain a signature style, you’ll need to take a leap into the realm of custom craftsmanship, where you can have something entirely unique made to your specific tastes. And think outside the office! A whole new generation of artisans is applying old-world techniques to make modern clothing, whether it’s a leather jacket or a tracksuit.“Custom becomes more and more important as people become more discerning about what they love,” says Tony Parrotti of Maine-based Tony Shirtmakers. Dressing up can feel good, too. Designer Patrick Henry, who runs the luxury label Richfresh, sees custom clothes as an act of validation after two years of reevaluating our priorities in and out of the office: “If you work hard and you have the financial means to have the best of things, you should have clothes that look beautiful on you regardless of your height, weight, size, or race.”Here’s a list of makers who can help you make it happen.For a leading-man-worthy leather jacket: SavasTrained at Central Saint Martins art school in London and now residing in Nashville, Savannah Yarborough brings an artisanal touch to the rough-and-tumble leather jacket. She offers a range of handsome ready-to-wear and made-to-measure options, but the pinnacle of her brand is the bespoke jacket, starting at $6,000. Yarborough will go over every detail of the proposed jacket in a series of fittings with you, and no detail is left to chance—the leather, the lining, the hardware, and any custom flourishes. Her clients tend to be men in their 40s to 60s who are well-read and worldly and want to evolve their business look. “Think about the guy who is out for a Sunday drive in his vintage car,” she says, “or what he’s wearing to a meeting now that he doesn’t have to wear a suit.” A career highlight for Yarborough was designing a jacket for singer-songwriter John Prine to accept his Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award. “Leather jackets are always an investment, but no one truly understands what a leather jacket will do to a person. People notice you not because of the jacket but because you are walking with confidence, and the jacket is second. It should stay with you for many years, grow old with you, and carry your stories.”For an elegant, sporty tracksuit: RichfreshAs we consider a post-office, post-suit work era, designer Patrick Henry proposes an unorthodox replacement—the bespoke tracksuit. The self-taught Los Angeles tailor can make anything from a tuxedo to a T-shirt, but his matching jacket and pant sets (starting at $4,000) in vibrant hues, bold stripes, and eye-catching color-blocked patterns have become a calling card.His client roster is impressive: Dwyane Wade, Cedric the Entertainer, the Weeknd, John Legend, Lena Waithe, Justin Bieber, and Reese Witherspoon are fans, though a personal highlight was outfitting many of the performers at this year’s Super Bowl.“I think customization is important because body types are unusual,” he says. “Before ready-to-wear, everything was made for the individual, so it’s just really taking us back to something that’s not that unfamiliar.”For a city-meets-country shirt: Tony ShirtmakersTony Parrotti began his label in 2014 in New York focusing broadly on men’s clothing, but he narrowed his efforts to his most popular category, shirts, in 2018. Now based in Damariscotta, Maine, the company specializes in both ready-made and bespoke options, ranging from classic Oxford button-downs to breezy short-sleeve camp-collars. His most popular items are workwear-inspired shirt-jackets, also known, regrettably, as “shackets.” Custom shirts start at $450 and have a six-month lead time. Cut in a slightly boxy, throwback silhouette, they come in an array of materials, from plush wool and sturdy moleskin to an airy linen or cotton. “It’s a very conscientious way to add to your wardrobe,” he says, “knowing that a piece is being made only when commissioned and knowing the maker doing the work from start to finish.”For a free-spirited, bohemian belt: Artemas QuibbleSomething of a fashion world secret, the belts made by A. Jason Ross are catching on. He started by providing leather belts to Donna Karan for her collections in 2012 and has since struck out on his own, marrying an antiqued Western frontier aesthetic with the urban artisanship of Brooklyn, where he was based before moving to St. Louis two years ago. In addition to working with brands such as Tory Burch and Rick Owens, Ross has collaborated closely with stylist George Cortina, who’s wrapped the waist of Brad Pitt in Artemas Quibble for the cover of GQ. Ross takes commissions that include adding initials to the leather, creating unique color combinations, or designing buckles—one recent client had one made using the wedding ring of her deceased husband. “Our client is passionate about self-expression,” Ross says. “Often they like that we are relatively obscure and like hidden details.For embroidery with a punk-rock flavor: B. BlakelyBrian Blakely started customizing garments in 2015 when he taught himself to sew his name on a favorite Dickies jacket. His customizing jobs for friends quickly went from a side hustle to a full-time gig—collaborating with Reebok on tote bags, making quilts worn on the Calvin Klein runway.YBlakely has an ongoing partnership with Madison Square Garden, designing custom jackets for performers such as John Mayer, but he also does simple embroidery for bags and jeans that cost around $25. “One of my favorite things about this business is that there is no such thing as a typical client,” says Blakely, who often draws inspiration from old packaging typefaces. “My clientele is incredibly diverse. I may be working one day on a run of jackets for a local tattooer and the next an event for a home-goods company. There’s nothing that is the same about most of these clients aside from their desire to own a standout piece of clothing.”For pants that tell a personal story: BodeThe designer Emily Adams Bode Aujla established her eponymous label in 2016 using upcycled, vintage textiles imbued with the history of American craftsmanship. She’s now opened her own flagship on New York’s Lower East Side and, next door, a tailor shop that makes custom suits and shirts as well as adds unique embroideries and appliqués. One of her most beloved services, however, is her “Senior Cords” program, based on an early-1900s tradition in which college students would add personal symbols and images—alma maters, fraternities, family crests—to clothing made of an affordable, yellow corduroy.In Bode’s update on the tradition, an interview with a customer will reveal significant details from their life, and the resulting garments (trousers, rugby shorts, workwear-style jackets) or other items (pillows, stools) will be illustrated with those meaningful moments.Take the pair of pants she made for Harry Styles: They featured his and his father’s birth years, his goddaughter’s name, and a portrait of his favorite artist, David Hockney. Senior Cords range from $578 to $2,100 for clothing; upholstery is price upon request.

  12. “What a complete and total and absolute and utter disappointment. For the most part, I mean. Worse than GenXers because they welcomed the lofty expectations and accompanying words of praise (“I guess we are pretty awesome, aren’t we??”). Lots of praiseworthy ideas, values, priorities, and institutions have languished and a spiraled downward because of millennials failure (refusal) to serve as good stewards of the world the G.I. (“Greatest”) Generation created, nurtured, and passed along as a gift.”

    There’s so much to unpack with the inevitable crotchety comments like these that pop up on Ivy Style.

    I’m reminded of how much John le Carré hated the Americans from the Greatest Generation he came in contact with, derisively lumping them all together as crew-cutted Mormons; bitter that the U.S.A. emerged, by no small part, via good fortune of geography, as the only first-world industrial power who hadn’t seen any of its cities blown to rubble during two world wars, and kicking off 80 years of Pax Americana. But le Carré paused not a moment to consider the British Empire was also fortunate to be spared some of the conflicts that roiled the continent thanks to a body of water, and had the good fortune to be an island nation with lots of timber in centuries when that was wonderful for projecting naval power. No, Rule Britannia was simply a birthright.

    The Greatest Generation in America found themselves at the helm of a new Western hegemony after Europe destroyed itself, and credits itself with winning WW2 to an extent that underplays the roughly 9,000,000 dead Soviet soldiers Stalin deployed as a resource to be expended, with little concern for how those troops, often gangpressed into service, might die.

    Oh, the titular hagiography of the Greatest Generation. “Good stewards of the world”? The CIA is the reason America’s global reputation has made an unrelenting March south ever since the late 1940s. The G.G. (and Boomers) at the very least looked the other way as the U.S. government worked hand in hand with the Saudis, pacified by cheap oil, as the latter exported their notably evil Salafist/Wahhabist strain of Sunni Islam to places as far flung as Chechnya and Indonesia. Did the same as the U.S. government overturned more democratically-elected foreign governments than there is space to mention, here.

    We could have, given our shared victory over the Axis Powers, following our own revolution against foreign rule, continued to be anti-imperialist (if you ignore our actions prior to WW2 in the Philippines and that United Fruit Company Massacre incident). But we — and not under the watch of millennials — failed to heed Nietzsche’s warning about hunting monsters with othe Domino Theory as our rationale for not doing so.

    Kissinger, for his near-innumerable faults, has repeatedly told anyone that would listen that, given Carolus Rex, Napoleon, Prussia and the Reich rolled troops into Russia via the flat borderland of Ukraine, continued eastward expansion of NATO would result in war. Yet every president save maybe Trump,from Clinton on, has pushed for more of it. I don’t think any were millennials.

    I can’t think of any millennials in charge of U.S. companies that off-shored the majority of the nation’s manufacturing.

    I can’t think of any millennials that guided American banks into trading derivatives of derivatives of mortgages, kicking off a global recession. And I can’t think of any millennials on the board of the Fed that decided to devalue the collective savings of the American people through QE and other market operations to bail out those banks so they could still pay their executives large bonuses.

    Institutions have spiraled downward on the watch of millennials? Which, pray tell, are these institutions which millennials have inherited? Baby Boomers, still, as we post comments here, constitute a majority of Congress.

  13. What is “othe Domino Theory”?

  14. That whole sentence needs to be revised.

  15. Many of us use phones and autocorrect does not always behave.

    As my linguistics professor relayed to me, the point of language is to communicate. Did you really struggle to comprehend that sentence because of a fumble between “the” and “other”? Best not engage with anything substantial when citing the prevalence of the zip-up sweatshirt as a significant example of societal decline.

  16. And how should that sentence be revised, in a comments thread with no edit feature?

    Will you lower my composition grade this semester if I don’t repost it?

  17. @K.E. I was going to try to muster a response to S.E.’s absurd and largely misinformed tirade against Millennials, but you beat me to the punch. You said everything I would have said – and more – and you did so much more articulately that I could have. Thank you.

  18. Well! The generational gauntlet has certainly been thrown down! From where I sit, avocado toast in hand, both S.E. and K.E. are entirely correct in their assessments. They’re not mutually exclusive. The preceding generations (save the X’ers) have saddled us with crises they don’t have the will to clean up, and the younger generations can’t bring themselves to value any institutions other than their curated social media posts.

  19. Wait…
    There were expectations on gen xers? Do us gen xers ever get told anything????
    Or are we expected to do things without being told about them whilst being forgotten about.
    You want to see some of what my gereation has done, watch the 2022 superbowl halftime show. No let down there. Just some gin and juice.

  20. @JB — Haha, yes! Please do a book with “We Of The Avocado Toast Persuasion” as the title. I’m imagining a Vile Bodies-type novel for the 21st century, but maybe you have a different idea for it. 🙂

  21. I would also add this about the discussion of Millennials, and what we (collectively) have or have not yet accomplished that we were supposed to have done according to (largely) Boomer predictions (i.e. see Strauss-Howe Generational Theory). Although there are not yet universally agreed upon parameters for the Millennial generation, I think most historians and demographers agree that they likely started being born around the beginning of 1982. Where the generation ends is harder to know at present, some generational scholars have posited that the cohort likely ends anywhere between 1997 to 2001 or 2002. For the sake of our argument here, let’s take the inclusive position and end the generation in ’01 or ’02. Put this way, the oldest Millennials were graduating from high school in the year 2000, and the youngest Millennials were just old enough to remember the 2008 financial crash, and were graduating from high school in 2019 or 2020. By these parameters, the generation is only now fully occupying the “young adult” segment of the population, ranging in age from 40 years old to just 20 years old. Few of us wield any real institutional power just yet, and a significant portion of the generation isn’t yet old enough to be having any real impact on the course of affairs. It will be at least another 20 years or more before anyone can render an informed opinion about the accomplishments – or lack thereof – of the Millennial Generation.

  22. @Nevada Does one not at least influence the other? If preceding generations squander a nation’s good fortunes and morally degrade its institutions, then lecture the subsequent about their imagined benevolence, I can’t imagine that inspires the latter to service, particularly as the former retain the reigns of those declining institutions as both continue to age.

    But more importantly, We’re also now at a massive transition between the industrial and digital age. The world shaped by top-down, mass communication that Herman and Chomsky described in ‘Manufacturing Consent’ is past its twilight. The peer-to-peer model of the digital age has and will continue to erode faith in institutions, particularly as those institutions promise abilities and results beyond their competence and appetites. And I would note, this does not just impact millennials. (How many of the folks who stormed the U.S. Capital on January 6, 2021 were born before 1982?)

  23. Barry Carter | April 1, 2022 at 6:01 pm | Reply

    If I were in the market for a shaket, which I most assuredly am not, I would hardly think one worth $450.00 no matter what any influencer(s) suggested.
    I’ve been wearing the Pendleton and Eddie Bauer versions for decades and they are perfectly fine utilitarian garments admirably suited for layering on cooler casual days. I may be a luddite, but I am reminded of the old aphorism, “A fool and his money are soon parted”.

  24. G. Ellery Cobbold | April 1, 2022 at 6:34 pm | Reply

    Please post more often, K.E.

  25. Proud Gen X’er here, and while I too can rant about “Millennials,” I will say this: Millennial men saved Men’s Style. Sure, not all or even most Millennial men did so, but a critical mass gathered online about a decade + ago and started reviving the idea that men can and should care about how they look.

    So they got that going for them. Which is nice.

  26. Another blasted millennial here. Reading the comments ranting against millennials on so many posts here, and against hoodies in particular, is always funny to me. You all realize hoodies were being worn in the 1950’s, and a hoodie even makes an appearance in Take Ivy? While I don’t personally wear them, I don’t think they’re as terrible as the old folks here make them out to be. Quarter zips, though…

    And for the record, millennials have grown up in the midst of wars, a terror attack, a couple of major and minor recessions, crippling inflation… all before many of us were 30. And it wasn’t millennials who did all that 🙂

  27. @K.E., while I can’t get on board with everything you’re putting forth, and I don’t know whether we’ll exactly agree on the nature of the moral rot you refer to (we might, we might not), your point that it’s hard for the younger generations to care about institutions that have either failed them or have been closed to them certainly rings true.

  28. All this generation bashing is fun, if you enjoy generation bashing. Seems to me it’s a lot like comparing kings and dictators, it’s merely a matter of personal perspective on the differences between being born into something and taking over something, or malevolent versus benevolent, the receiver is sole arbiter.

    I think we should focus on the TRULY important, such as this…when one decides there is a need to defend their wife’s honor on live television, should they slap or merely approach then finger wag and point? Also, do we like Mr. Rock’s labeled dinner jacked or not? I probably would have gone with burgundy and more of a shawl. Y’all’s thoughts?

  29. “If preceding generations squander a nation’s good fortunes and morally degrade its institutions…”

    Yes. Conceded. There’s no denying this. The Boomers proffered a lot of terrible architecture, clothing, art, literature, and music. Plenty of blame to go around.

  30. “Quarter zips, though…” – Tarik

    lol.

  31. There’s another point to be made here. In five or ten years young people are apt to look at films starring Jimmy Stewart or William Powell or Cary Grant and think, “Why can’t I dress like that? I’m tired of looking like a slob. I’m tired of looking at slobs. There’s a better way.” As a wise philosopher once said, “Change is the only constant.”

  32. “In five or ten years young people are apt to look at films starring Jimmy Stewart or William Powell or Cary Grant and think, “Why can’t I dress like that? I’m tired of looking like a slob. I’m tired of looking at slobs. There’s a better way.””
    One can hope, Frederic, but don’t bank on it. One could have wished “In five or ten years” five or ten, or twenty or thirty, or forty or fifty years ago, and we would still be where we are, looking at slobs.

  33. Per the 2020 US Census, there were about 71 million Boomers, 65 million Gen X’ers, 72 million Millennials, and 65 million Gen Z’ers.

    Is it reasonable to draw broad conclusions and enforce distorted stereotypes about such large populations of people? Is it accurate? Is it worthy of an argument played out in numerous posts here?

    Hell no.

  34. Well,except people do it all the time. Including smart people with PhD‘s in disciplines like, say, sociology. And economics.

    And, oh by the way, savvy people who work in advertising and marketing have been “drawing broad conclusions” and dealing in “stereotypes about such large populations of people” for decades.

  35. Generations aside, the shirt depicted in the article is one of the ugliest I have ever seen. The worst feature is the lizard eye pockets.

  36. Charles Dana | April 2, 2022 at 1:11 pm | Reply

    It’s true that the Millennials haven’t stirred up the degree of worldwide mischief that the Greatest Generation and the Boomers have.

    But don’t be too hard on them. They’re still young. They’ll get up to speed.

    When it comes to causing mischief, humans always manage to get up to speed.

    P.S. Concerning how K.E.’s “Domino Theory” sentence might be revised……How about this:

    “But we—and not under the watch of the Millennials—ignored Nietsche’s admonition to be wary of hunting monsters, clinging to the Domino Theory as our rationale for plunging ahead.”

  37. Charles Dana | April 2, 2022 at 1:19 pm | Reply

    And yes—I do wish it were possible for us to edit our own comments after the fact instead of having to cross the grammatical Rubicon once we hit the “Post Comment” button.

    If we could do that, we could avoid posting some embarasingg typograficle errors and untidy sintacks.

  38. Q: How do you know if S.E. has been conjugating?

    A: Everything is in the past perfect.

  39. In addition, whiskeydent and S.E., “savvy people who work in advertising and marketing” as well as sociologists and economists, and educators and media types, conceive of, initiate, develop (story board), and perpetuate narratives and stereotypes for their own nefarious purposes, i.e., for the money and/or just for jollies. Like opinion makers and oddball fashion designers for example.

    You and I are not their intended target, because we know better. Their target is the young, uninformed, misinformed, and impressionable.

  40. That reads a lot better, Charles Dana. At first, I was wondering if “othe” was supposed to be a Goethe reference, which might have been dropped.

    Nietzsche is a subject for another time.

  41. SE and KE
    I am one of those “savvy people,” and I would be tossed out of a client’s office if I pitched a strategy built around an opinion — backed up by little or no in-depth data — about 67 million people.

  42. Well, you’re in luck, then. Plenty of data to choose from. Just one of many sources:

    https://www.pewresearch.org/topic/generations-age/generations/millennials/

  43. SE
    This is getting comical. Look at the chart of favorability toward China:
    Millennials 32%
    Gen X 23%
    Boomers 21%

    Do you realize that means 68% of Millennials, 77% of Gen X, and 79% of Boomers have a negative or neutral opinion of China? This is why the article uses the word “tends.”

    Now, does it tell us anything about the behavior of the groups? For example, does it indicate Millennials are more likely to travel there? But what if Millennials are less likely to have the time or money to go, while Boomers are more likely to have the means to get there? Could it be there are actually more Boomers willing to go there?

    But wait. What percentage of these three groups have a history of traveling overseas? If it is similar to other consumer purchases, the top 10% of US travelers will do 80% of the traveling. Who are these frequent travelers? Maybe their generation has nothing to do with anything.

    If I’m the ad agency for a major airline, the answers to the questions matter. It would be a start — just a start — in trying to figure out what portion the American public they want to target advertising for their flights to China. And then you have to figure out what to say to them.

  44. Thanks whiskeydent for illustrating so well just how much — and how so very little — statistics can tell us. I’m up for joining in on whatever derisive snark may be directed at, frankly, any living generation (except Gen X, they’ve done nothing wrong), but context-free stats are the bane of every generation’s existence — most just don’t know it.

  45. @SE , I run an IT support team in a mayor university and wear a suit and tie/sports jacket every single day bar on Fridays when I wear chinos, loafers, cricket sweaters and sometimes a Baractuta Harrington. On the whole I have noticed that I dres better than 95% of professors, lecturers and professional services people. There are always exemptions to the rule, but I have to agree thee quarter zips are horrible

  46. Great collar roll and great video.

    https://madlyodd.com/he-said-this-in-1968/

  47. It seems Nietzsche was appropriating John Quincy Adams. https://www.theamericanconservative.com/repository/she-goes-not-abroad-in-search-of-monsters-to-destroy/
    Perhaps this quote goes back even further?

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