Not seeing the forest for the trees

This drape experiment has got me thinking. I feel very Meh about this coat but the general population seems to like it. Why?

I like pagoda shoulders. I like a good rope on a sleeve. I like a polished-marble clean chest. I like pocket jets that match the coat.


Because they are the most difficult things to execute properly.

Where I see virtue, normal people see, well, I don’t know what they see, but it’s clear we don’t see it the same way. But this is normal. People like things that are difficult, that are rare, that show virtuosity. We go sit through 2 and 3 hours of opera and most people are only waiting for a few notes to come out- how much of Che Gelida Manina do they really hear? They’re waiting for the tenor to belt out that high C and everybody leaps to their feet and claps. Because that high C is hard to get and hold. And it’s easy to understand that it’s special.

The coat I feel most meh about is generally liked and the coat I prefer is generally disliked. Maybe I am judging only on Technical Merit and completely ignoring Artistic Impression. On the other hand, the other night I drank a bottle of wine which sells for $150 at the liquor store. Sure, it was good, but could I, a non-expert, tell the difference between it and a $30 bottle? No way. Should wine-makers abandon their high standards because only experts understand the virtue of an excellent bottle? Is it a fair parallel? At least the wine tasted good so had some merit. Many people think the Prince of Wales coat looks bad. Would it be pure snobbery to say that they are not aware of the technical superiority, or is that just a bunch of tailoring claptrap and a coat should just look good and be comfortable, regardless of how hard it was to make?

Probably the latter.

3 Replies to “Not seeing the forest for the trees

  1. Jeffery:

    I suspect that much of the difference in reaction is not actually the cut, but rather the cloth of the two coats. The clean cut POW shows off the sculptural nature of the tailoring and can be too austere for some. The drape cut looks like an old friend because of the cloth. I would bet that if the two cloths were reversed the popular acclaim would also reverse.


  2. I am confused, are you talking about two jackets? I thought the marvelous looking POW that you are wearing in front of these movie-premiere looking walls are is your “drape experiment”?

  3. Thanks, and yes- the rust-colored jacket is the drape experiment, the clean-cut jacket mentioned (AKA the hated POW jacket) was in last November’s post called Finished Jacket. Two very different cuts which generated very different reactions, mostly, I think, because people are put off by the very strong rope shoulder in the POW jacket.


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