There are many different forms that heritage takes. There is national heritage, religious heritage, family heritage etc... These various heritages come to life in the form of food, language, behaviors, activities, holidays etc... There is of course also an aesthetic dimension to heritage. This comes in architecture, visual art, beautification techniques of the body, ways of wearing one's hair and of course clothing and style. Clothes are fabric of course, and they are enjoyable as well. Yet, they are not only a surface level pursuit. There is a heritage and a story in most styles that have been around longer than 4 minutes. Our style is no different.
Our style, this being the corner of Trad/Ivy/Prep, is very much a European descendent style of the new world. It has a deep, rich Anglo characteristic and background. Some of our fabrics like seersucker and madras find their origin in distant lands which then come to our new world by way of the British Empire connection. While our style may find it's roots in the Anglo world, and not necessarily the continent, the style came into widespread usage in the new world at a time in which European descendent America became less Anglo in nature and more pan-European (continental) in nature. This style, while being grown from Anglo roots, came to adorn the pan-European American man en masse. Of course it is not only the European descendent man who wore this style. Americans of non-European descent famously wore and wear our style and it elevates them just as it elevates us. Our aesthetic heritage is one of elevation of our civilization's everyman. Nevertheless the pan-European adoption application and image-manifestation, grown from originating Anglo stock is of key importance to our story. It cannot be ignored, minimized or taken for granted. It is the story.
If all men, of all backgrounds dressed in our style, and really did it, what would change? If all men around us were brought under and into our aesthetic heritage, our new world pan-European aesthetic heritage, how would we conceive of ourselves? In what kind of different ways? Men would take themselves more seriously and they would understand something about being a man, presenting himself with his best foot forward, his best face forward. And in taking himself seriously he may take other men more seriously. He may take not only his friend more seriously, but also his enemy more seriously. Everything would become more serious. Serious does not necessarily mean roses and wine. It is however not the eternal joke we all live in, living like monkeys, in a world of less and less dignity - or even attempted dignity. A world of serious men is more the world as it should be.
I wonder what perceived grievances, hostilities or perceived enmities may gradually fall away or lessen if all men who live among us were brought (willing or unwilling) into our aesthetic heritage. I wonder what may change for the men of our civilization if we all were speaking with each other from a shared aesthetic territory. And not an aesthetic territory which is lowered into the gutter, all of us dressed in rags exemplifying our worst characteristics. If all men of our civilization, of all backgrounds and stations in life, were raised up and faced each other at an elevated place, a place of affirmed dignity - how would things be different?
I firmly believe that the lowering of our society into ugliness has led to many often ignored disastrous effects. They are not always so clear. It's not clear to most that in lowering men's expectations of themselves, that in letting style expectations of formality slip, men become more like animals than man. Yet, it's true. Men feel like lesser men, they don't feel grand, they don't feel serious, they don't feel as if they are men even. They feel like perpetual children. They may not be able to articulate it, but it is there. When you live in a sweatshirt every day, you don't feel any important gravitas, you don't feel the kind of dignity you were created to feel. You are in a degraded state.
Many talk about how poverty leads to criminality. If this is true, is this same theory true to style and man? Aesthetic poverty leads to a degraded and low spirit. When you are in a degraded and low spirit you lash out, you are more likely to act as if you are worthless because you feel worthless. You are also more likely to try to lower others to your level. We live in a mass civilizational crisis. Our entire civilization is stuck in this spot. Everyone clawing at everyone else, to lower them as rapidly and severely as possible.
Since the early 1900s, we have seen much of the Western world, one piece here, one piece there slowly start to drift toward a rejection of civilization. A shrinking from our greatness. After the 60s we see an elevation of the savage, the savage nations have secret wisdoms we do not know - or goes the general hippie style thought-trends in the post 60s. An embrace of "the East" in faux spiritualism. Mass adoption of tattoos is a sort of drive toward the savage tribesman. We have seen this slow lowering of the collective civilizational spirit. It is as if we peaked and now we descend. We live amongst the descent. We were already born in the tragedy. Anyone reading this was already born in the tragedy, it just all happens so slow and is so big. There have been bright lights here and there of course, protestations from time to time. The emergence of our style as adopted by new-worlder is a good example of this, a flickering light reaching toward something more. Nevertheless it doesn't change this fact of the ultimate lowering.
Yet not all is lost. It is never lost. We must always hope. Sometimes people think I am "depressive" but I am not at all. I am hopeful, I believe in so much, if I didn't I wouldn't have this project. I wouldn't do most of the things I do. You don't have children if you are depressive and negative and lacking hope. I have 2. Of course, I have hope and I believe ultimately that the Good will win.
So what do we do? We continue on, we maintain our heritage, we keep this aesthetic heritage alive which is about much more than just fabric. In dressing the way we do, we are walking representations of a civilization and a way of life. We are statements of something grand. This aesthetic heritage, which says something much more beyond what meets the eye is something rich, deep and says something about us, about who we are, where we come from and where we are going. It is an aesthetic heritage which can be held up by those who dressed in this manner from the age of 2 and also by the man who adopted it at the age of 40. It is an aesthetic heritage which can be entered into by any man of our civilization, no matter his background or his situation of life. He can enter our aesthetic heritage and become a pillar holding it up, and in doing so he holds up much more than just a piece of fabric.