Here’s a hypothesis: The dramatic increase in popularity of websites dedicated to men’s style and the ability to discuss all thing’s men’s style on the internet has caused many of us to become hyper-critical nincompoops who are too ready to pick apart still images for “style errors” that otherwise would go unnoticed in the real world.
On one hand, none of us would be dressing (and thus feeling) better if it wasn’t for someone at some point saying something like “hey man, why don’t you try this suit over here that’s a size smaller.” But sometimes this critiquing of every pic to hit the web is borderline OCD. For example, head this way for Esquire’s recent take on Daniel Craig’s tie knot. They got a lot of pushback on their Facebook page where they included this:
And to think. They didn’t even notice that minor collar gap. The horror.
And then there’s fit. Someone isn’t sure about how a suit fits and they submit a photo to a forum. A slight wrinkle in the sleeve leads a couple guys to go off on shoulder pitch, construction, and all of a sudden the submitter is thinking that the suit is a no go, when in reality it almost certainly looks fantastic. The ideal look of how a shirt fits, or pants break, or a suit drapes is starting to become so unattainable, you’ve got to wonder if these guys who are so quick to point out errors on someone else can even get out of the house in the morning.
We move in our clothes. Nothing is moving in a still image. Every minuscule negative detail jumps off the screen ripe for being scrutinized, literally framed for attentive viewing. Of course pictures are useful for determining fit and checking out the details of someone’s getup. But has the critiquing of those two elements gone too far? Is there a risk of becoming a style version of a grammar nazi? At what point does it become less about getting it “right” and more about someone making themselves feel superior?