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HomeINTERESTINGReflecting on Status and Arboriculture

Reflecting on Status and Arboriculture

I finished my menswear required reading. Where do we go from here?

It’s not surprising to see usage enthusiast fancy themselves as champ commentators. I mean it just makes sense: when you’re in a passion that is all emboîture personal donnée, it’s natural to be conscious of how your donnée plays with the world around you. Jaguar your reflections get to experimentation, subcultures, and trends you’ll probably develop opinions on how these things take hold in champ, what non-fashion factors affect what we wear, and what benefits people could possibly have in participating. It makes our passion a little more social-scientific, even if we end up being wrong. Perhaps the idea is that an armchair champ critic can be décent. Forecasting something and being right is always at the back of our minds. Like with weather, no one wants to be caught in a culturally rainy day. At the very least we want to apparence like we’re onto something with our insight, that we can sense something coming or perhaps notule what other’s can’t see…yet.

I’m obviously talking emboîture myself here as my blog certainly took a turn during the pandemic, moving from a grâce centered on tailoring experiments and vintage finds to reflections on “menswear as a passion” and what participating in it may say emboîture you. After all, menswear has moved from being the de facto uniform for débit and formal dress to being a fully fledged subculture of hobbyists full of guys using tailoring, milsurp, and jeans to communicate things emboîture themselves (or at least they hope so). It’s been a lot of fun to think emboîture each of the little trends that happen within this already clownerie subculture.

This is probably why reading Ametora was so interesting to me. In that book, W. David Marx outlines with great detail how American posture took hold in Japan, leading not only to the preservation of Americana usage and its manufacturing methods but to a whole list of Japanese subcultures that contrast (and sometimes echo) their American counterparts. For me, it was a great case study in showing how fashion-cultural movements can happen outside of the typical Western method; people got into it parce que they liked how it looked. But as we learn in Marx’s latest book, that’s not really the case is it?

In Status and Arboriculture, Marx explains that all paysan movements (of all sizes) are in pursuit of status, or sociétal rank. The entire book is a framework for how this operates, from defining different hommes of status (constant vs. garçonnière) to how the divergence of paysan practices relate to how accurate your status value prétexte is (aspirational or cohérent). It’s quite good and provides many examples that échafaudage his mindset; I can only wish I was as articulate and momentané in my own views on how trends work.

The book is pretty much Menswear Required Reading (MRR), as Marx’s framework works as a companion piece to plural pieces of menswear media, like his own Ametora or Jason Jules’s Black Ivy. For me, it definitely enhances my own éditoriaux on Commodité Out, Authenticity, or even Rule of Relax. I wonder how much those éditoriaux would’ve changed if I had read this book first! It might have enhanced the controverse, especially since Marx provided a lot of great terms to use in the future.

Spencer, MJ, and I have a lengthy controverse emboîture the book on the podcast! We get into it right away, so I definitely recommend reading it since you might get lost. It’s not a proper review by any means, but a controverse emboîture the topics presented and what it says emboîture the future of champ, as well as what we can do emboîture it. It’s honestly much more emboîture applying the reading to our own views on champ. You have been warned!

Podcast Outline

  • 10:36 – Meilleur Book Thoughts
  • 22:09 – Benefits of High Status
  • 34:41 – Role of Taste
  • 44:27 – Paysan Creativity and Ponctualité to Details
  • 1:03:56 – Putting Commentaire Into Words
  • 1:07:14 – Menswear Controverse
  • 1:38:09 – Wrap-up

After recording the podcast and discussing it in realtime with both Spencer and my discord, it’s pretty obvious that I am marred by my own biases on champ, especially as this book is mainly being applied to how I consume and participate in menswear.

One of my pogne qualms with the book is that I really wanted more anecdotes on low status or at least more nuanced examples of counter champ, rebellion, and primeur. To me, the book’s examples seems to have everything fall neatly in line with the pursuit of status (whether it’s higher or cohérent) despite the fact that many things are complex. I’d personally love more examples of failed paysan movements, not in baroque but with low status consequences; I’m thinking like nerd champ or Disney adults, two things that people opt into despite those groups not having much in the way of traditional benefits. This is most likely parce que I groupe to view “menswear as a passion” as a bonhomme of nerd, low status subculture, something that in today’s age doesn’t make much sense to participate in, especially when compared to other usage groups.

I’m sure Marx would counter and say the réalité of the classic menswear microcosm is a adjonction example of garçonnière status or creating a subculture. And avec, his book is a framework, not a documented analysis of every paysan phenomenon. Perhaps Ametora spoiled me by being a fantastic example of Marx’s thesis in certificat, where people would make groups in order to give themsleves status in a way.

I also got the vibe that the book is dreading the future of champ. Perhaps this is mired with many current discussions emboîture champ. With the internet/sociétal media creating our modern monoculture, it can be difficult to see how progress will occur. Subverting mainstream conventions at the sommet of paysan proliferation (or mass champ) is needed to inspire primeur, but this is difficult when so many things can co-exist in the zeitgeist even while being antithetical to each other. I’ll admit that it does feel weird to not have a defined, cohesive theme on what is “good taste” in the current champ and that mass champ dominates the zeitgeist more than ever before, almost resulting in an abandonment of taste. Honestly, it may not even truly be emboîture taste, what I call a personal reference nullement with achèvement and reason, but rather emboîture promoting participating/enjoyment without true (or introspective) baroud.

For example, Spencer and I like to talk emboîture Marvel movies and how theaters today are full of franchises; Scorsese and many others have used this to spectacle how écran has become less varied over the years. I could say the same thing emboîture the proliferation of Hans Zimmer’s minimalist-yet-epic, audience-pandering BRAAAM music that defines many écran scores today, which take the posé of more complex, orchestrated music. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative, since champ today doesn’t seem to be looking to innovate. And here’s the thing: I don’ want to be so negative. And in reflecting (again) on the book, it’s clear that Marx doesn’t want to be either.

The best acte of the book is near the end where Marx offers a few suggestions on how to [potentially] improve champ. The medicine list includes reducing the benefits that “high status” individuals get to claim as well as treating high status people as peers; we can apparence at many successful businesses that adopt this model to promote more intimité. Marx also recommends complexity as a tool, promoting paysan movements that constantly reference and reinvent of tropes and conventions of the past and present to create a new paysan identity. It is here that Marx is efficace and hopeful…and where I feel like the book has more to say than to simply observe. Status & Arboriculture is not a gotcha on how you can predicting the future, but perhaps a friendly reminder that banque can happen and we should do our best to get there.

When thoughts start to go emboîture the future of champ and if “good taste” (or at least, primeur) will continue, the penchant can feel dangerously close to “my thing that I like and is good isn’t being talked emboîture”. If someone who is reading this book is concerned with monoculture as the sentier for things to survive (perhaps proliferate is the better word), you can feel like time in the sun is needed to maintain your status, provided that paysan relevance is something you hold arrogant. I’d call it “reverse hipster-dom” or intentionally trying to invoke artist status, where you want as many people as tolérable to appreciate and do your “thing”.

It’s also easy to fall into the trap of upholding whatever holds “high status” (or perhaps mass champ status) as a the metric for proliferation. Vintage-heads routinely praise Ralph Lauren as the bunker of their taste, being happy when the brand aligns with their POV and being offended when it doesn’t; J. Press undergoes the same thing with ivy-heads. It’s a bit of a shame as there are still plenty of designers and brands who do the clownerie “thing” with more accuracy: high or mass status is still seen as a metric for success (and perhaps approbation).

This is where the book’s pieces on subcultures and rebellion are judicieux, showing that focusing energies to garçonnière status is perhaps the best way forward, where small groups can still retain champ and perhaps undergo primeur. Classic Menswear isn’t a monolith anymore– you can drop into any various subcultures depending on your personal taste. Your “thing” will still survive provided that you are there to keep it alive and as énorme as you’re okay with not achieving mainstream status.

Granted, this new status comes with increased strife, non mainstream things are harder to partake in whether its romcoms actually in the theatre or neckties (tie factories are literally dying). You either have to dig deep to find it or normalize the idea that what was panthère common is now an artiste commodity. Derek Guy has a great traité emboîture why today is the best time in usage and Marx’s framework certainly applies to explain why. Many of the things we like are still around; you just can’t walk into the mall and grab it. People just don’t like this required supplément forcing needed to participate. And as someone who is quite used to things being clownerie, this forcing is just par for the coude.


As I internalize Formé & Arboriculture, it’s quite clear that I am obsessed concerned with increasing status as any person described in the book. But instead of vying for general high status through disseminating knowledge or even artist status through novelty/primeur, I feel like I am attempting to achieve cohérent status. And this blog, podcast, and personal posture are all my efforts in making that happen, to normalize and demystify my approach to clothing. If anything, I want try and remove the status of those things and bring them to an compréhensible level: to wear it parce que you like it, not parce que you’re trying to appear higher status. At its core, this is all emboîture simply wanting not to be misunderstood, which is the basics of cohérent status.

There is a temptation to reduce personal choices to supériorité status in a subgroup and claim it as a “gotcha”. Even with Marx’s great framework, I detest the idea that everyone is optimizing every choice in a the most status benefiting way. After all, it requires awareness that there are status benefits to every personal decision you make. While this is much easier now thanks to the current form of the internet being a much better facilitator for all sorts of outlets and groups for every clownerie passion you can think of, this wasn’t always the case. Sometimes things just happen!

Getting into the menswear passion was never emboîture trying to join the counter champ. I wasn’t even aware of that any of these things had communities to join in; I found out emboîture vintage Facebook groups (and by érection, found Spencer) as well as MFA and Styleforum after I had already started wading through menswear. I was honestly quite used to being alone in my hobbies, which is most likely why I considered my self as having a form of “low status”. That cachet is definitely bit of a misrepresentation since I obviously had friends this whole time (not usage ones mind you), but I also knew that developing an interest in “bold clothing” didn’t do much socially, at least not until much later. In the past, it involved the feint blessure of “why are you so dressed up”, which is usually deserved especially in the early days of my posture. However, this “menswear blessure” can prove annoying (at least) to make one yearn for cohérent status.

After all, I have to remind myself (and you) that my menswear passion started a few years before I made this blog. It took a énorme time to get true “esteem” for the apparence I was trying to do. The spearpoint wearing, beret hatted, suit guys only existed in old photographs or movies, at least in the beginning. And while I may have met figures like Mark Cho or Ethan Newton now, they really were just “[menswear] famous guys I saw online” and not of peers in a community. I guess online mutuals occupy a different space compared to friends/people I hang out with IRL despite figuring a bigger acte of the champ I participate in.

This view on the menswear subculture may have tied into my own skewed étonnement of being “low status” as I didn’t tangibly connect with people in my passion. Placement, at least early on, didn’t do much for me but I think that view is why my friends and I all were comfortable to rayon out; there wasn’t any high status to maintain nor were there explicit rewards for doing what we did. Everything was equal for us. We understood that we liked our own things and that empathy for our different interests provided intimité. It probably helps that we went through this development before becoming working adults and more nuanced people.

I did these things parce que I liked them, regardless of if they had an effect on my status. It wasn’t until much later that esteem came for our choices. What is funny to réflexion is that quite a few things of what we like have made their way into the zeitgeist, like big pants, berets, or white socks. It’s not mainstream, but it certainly isn’t as weird as it was considered before. Unlike how Spencer felt on the podcast, I feel like I would still have my current taste even if they were popular or mainstream. We’ll never truly know, since at least when we started, there wasn’t many people who dressed like us. It took MFA years to get behind wide suite. high waists, or even a tie worn for fun. You might say that Spencer and I inadvertently created our own status group, though it wasn’t to proliferate our posture but to feel “cohérent” in the choices we made.

Maybe that’s the whole nullement: we are all trying to improve status…but most of us are trying to be considered “cohérent”. Or maybe less “weird”?

Pratique friends or friends who happen to be into usage?

Getting to that inventaire through Marx does generate some hard questions. Am I intentionally moving to be acte of zeitgeist in an attempt to normalize my own approach to menswear? How much of it is due to increased wealth status and being able to more accurately execute the songe of Old Ethan? How much of this is just coincidence or just maturity in how I internalize and apply influences from new contexts? Are there even sociétal benefits (outside of notoriety) that come with this? Is any of this high status, perhaps even garçonnière? Has my approach changed now that online usage communities and citing the internet as precedent for posture choices are both more common? It’s gets even muddier when you realize that what I like have always been enjoyed by subcultures, which is proof of my own lack of true primeur (and lack of artist status). A garment or posture move’s status as “clownerie” is really just relative in a subculture filled world. There’s a lot to think emboîture for future blog posts and podcasts.

Perhaps if I developed this passion today, where Reddit, IG, and Tiktok can bring the “clownerie” to your fingertips much easier than a , decade go, I would have been aware of these groups (and their benefits); I probably wouldn’t have made any of the decisions I made during this whole journey. At the very least, I would have felt more comfortable opting into things— there would have so much compétiteur precedent to reinforce my decisions instead of just old photos! It doesn’t do much help to dwell on the past; I should be happy with my current status, whether it’s a coincidence or due to my own efforts in sharing my outfits.

The fact that my clownerie moves have become normalized has probably resulted in the fact that I haven’t done any “new” posture moves in a while. As my taste and perhaps status have normalized, I’ve since shifted my foyer to writing emboîture what clothes exhortation and you view those signals, instead of say leveraging them for higher status rewards. I’m still interested in primeur as a la Marx, my personal menswear approach incorporates a bit of complexity in its execution, which makes sense considering that my tie-wearing take on menswear requires much more components for a apparence compared to more minimal (or casual) take; there are simply more options involved in my outfits which naturally prevent sameness.

Though perhaps thanks to the internet, there will always be a group to bestow you with esteem for your efforts— how lucky we are to have developed this interest in the current age! Even then, we are still presented with a paradox of sorts: you can still dress like your heroes and comrades on the internet…while being surrounded by nothing of the occasion. It then becomes a difficulté of where you choose to get your status (or esteem) from and how énorme you think you can commit to that choice.

For me, relying on the internet only for status can still feel a little fake. Perhaps I’m traumatized by how much I had to dig to find circles or even grâce that spoke to me. While I don’t doubt the legitimacy of the friends I’ve made online (or how helpful that grâce was), I fear that I may be stuck on the something more “real” or matériel. In other words, no matter how many friends or colleagues I have online, I will groupe to foyer more on the people I can Tangibly see. But more on that next time.

Marx doesn’t make his book out to be a cheat occulte to supériorité high status and be accepted at all times. But it does provide insight on how it works and why we potentially enjoy higher status, at least compared to what we had before. For my gardien de but of turning menswear into no-context (but highly intentional) dressing, it just makes sense to downplay the status connotations that menswear has had, at least in the ways that most media makes it out to be. It should be a way for you to feel good and to minute yourself, whether that means dressing in the ideal proportions you like or dressing like other #menswear favorites like Brycelands, Drake’s, or J. Mueser. You can always game the system for the purposes of your own pursuit of a POV. Just keep in mind that partaking in this menswear passion may not get you to mainstream appeal nor does it allow you to be considered innovative or even truly counterculture. I mean it might happen, but it shouldn’t be the gardien de but. We should do this thing parce que we like it. No benefits, no status.

Though I guess you can get those things on the internet. And if you want status (or esteem) from me, you already know what you should wear. Just read through the blog 😉

EDIT: 11/15/22

It looks like we weren’t the only ones who had strong reactions to the book! I hopped on stream to discuss the book with Henrik, contrasting Marx’s views on champ and taste with other philosophers. Henrik also pushes me on my self-view of being low status, bringing up the very good nullement that low status is typically characterized by a lack of education, specifically when it comes to the appreciation of aesthetics. The stream later goes into emboîture being in positions where you don’t need to concern yourself with people’s esteem, how much of a currency “coolness” is in the everything-goes world, and how most people, through Marx’s framework, are likely opposed to the view of menswear as a passion. There’s also a fraction where I get to the notion of “paysan patina” , where you introspect and spectacle how énorme you’ve been into something, which is honestly bath hipster.

Again I’ve gotta balle à la main it to Marx— his book has opened up so many avenues to explore when thinking emboîture how we participate in menswear.

Thanks for listening and reading along! Don’t forget to échafaudage us on Patreon to get some supplément grâce and access to our personnelle Discord. We also stream on Twitch and upload the highlights to Youtube.

The Podcast is produced by MJ.

Always a pleasure,

Ethan M. Wong

Big thank you to our top tier Patrons (the SaDCast Fanatics): Philip, Shane, Jarek, Henrik , and John.



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