Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Obsession: Part 2


Yes, we revisit my obsession with a dissection of my two favorite mens style and clothing related message boards, StyleForum and Superfuture.

StyleForum (SF): To the best of my knowledge, SF was created as an off-shoot of the GQ forums. The messageboard is split into two main for a, Men’s Style and General. Men’s Style is further separated into Men’s Clothing, Streetwear and Denim, Health & Body, Social Life, Food and Drink, and Buying and Selling. General contains General Chat, Current Events, Power and Money, Entertainment and Culture, and Fine Living, Home Design & Auto.

Men’s Clothing is where gentleman discuss topics of a sartorial nature; the proper length of trousers, waist suppression, fine Italian suit-makers, Sprezzatura, and what-not. I find this subforum particularly useful when I find myself in need of purchasing or wearing a suit. It is filled with useful information and little rules that might otherwise float under my radar. Their What Are You Wearing Today (WAYWT) thread is one of the best on the internets and serves as a great inspiration for someone who might not encounter such highly detailed and meticulously planned fits.

Streetwear and Denim tends to be a little more casual. More predominant in this subforum are discussions based around up-and-coming designers, Japanese clothing lines, trends vs. fashion vs. style, and guys just looking for some basic clothing advice. While Men’s Clothing is very useful, I find this forum more entertaining. My interests in style tend to gravitate more towards subcultural style than classic menswear, so there is a bit more to find. Amidst much arguing over noob posts and continual bickering of age-old arguments, this is where I find most of my inspiration.

The other subforums contain a variety of other information, which can be hit-or-miss. My favorites tend to be General Chat and Entertainment and Culture. General Chat is a way for many posters to complain about work, vent about personal lives, or just chat. Entertainment and Culture provides a place to talk about movies, music, books and other things. I seldom visit the other forums unless I would like to see endless prattling and bickering (Current Events) or lower my IQ (Dumb Threads, a sub-subforum of Entertainment and Culture).

Superfuture (SuFu): SuFu is a place that also provides a great deal of information, but more geared towards those who might enjoy Streetwear and Denim from SF. This forum is even more specialized for new streetwear designers and premium denim. This is my go-to for inspiring fits that are a bit more progressive an innovative. They also have great denim evolution thread that have me pining for jeans that cost entirely too much. In addition to clothing threads, they also have subforums specializing in entertainment and culture, similar to SF. The great aspect of SuFu is the overall emphasis on youth and creativity, a great place for artists and those wishing to stay on the cutting edge.

Unfortunately, the same emphasis on youth is also its downfall. Where SF has an all-are-welcome mentality, SuFu is a bit more exclusive. This is best exemplified by the “rep” system, whereby more experienced posters can distribute rep points to those they feel are contributing material beneficial to the forum. This is all well and good, but these same posters can also “neg rep” and take these points away, which can ultimately lead to a forum ban. This creates an elitist atmosphere, where experienced posters create a monopoly on the conversation. Perhaps this keeps most threads on topic and interesting, but I find the general nature to be a bit childish. For this reason, I tend to lurk and read instead of participating in conversations. If I have something useful to add, I’ll pipe in, but for the most part I refrain.

Honorable Mentions:

Ask Andy About Clothes (AAAC): This forum often serves as a starting ground for many SF posters who migrate over to Men’s Clothing. I find the conversation is much more gentlemanly and restrained, which is a bit of a turn-off. Also they tend to be very fixated on traditional menswear, or what they deem Trad. I do enjoy tweed and Brooks Brothers, but overall I find the forum to be a bit over the top.

Film Noir Buff (FNB): I believe this was an off-shoot of Ask Andy About Clothes, but I’m not sure. This is another great place to research both Trad and the off-shoot, Ivy League style. Again, I have a cursory interest on either subject at best. I visit for some moderately useful information and leave the posting for others.

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