MFA is More Than a Uniform and a Set of Rules: A Compilation of the Different Styles of MFA

MFA is More Than a Uniform and a Set of Rules: A Compilation of the Different Styles of MFA

What is this post about?

It was inspired by this comment thread between /u/jdbee and /u/alilja. So I decided to see if I couldn't compile a bunch of threads that MFA has seen in the past year or so to show that MFA is more diverse and open-minded than the rest of reddit thinks.

Why does reddit think this?

/u/Balloons_lol explains it with an excellent analogy:

think of it like this. imagine you're in the market for a new chair for your desk. simple enough. last week, you stumbled upon /r/deskchairadvice1 a while back and saved it, though you never browsed it that thoroughly. well now's the perfect time to ask for some advice.

so you post a link to the chair you wanted (or in some cases, you've already bought the chair) and say “Hey guys, what do you think of this chair for my desk?”

you get downvoted instantly. the criticism are that the color is a dull grey and looks bad, the cushion won't conform to your body as well as a chair 10x as expensive would, you don't get the best possible arch support, it's not made by a japanese guy with a ponytail, etc. suddenly you realize there is a massive subculture about something you put in little to no thought about. “they're just fucking” chairs you say, and your comment goes way below threshold.

then in askreddit you complain about how pretentious these chair people are

we're just unfortunate in that everyone is forced to wear clothing and nobody wants to feel like they're bad at it. so when they ask for advice and realize they actually dress pretty badly, it's our fault. we're the ones who are wrong. no real man would spend this much time worrying about clothes. you guys are fags. hmph.

A General Overview of What MFA Caters To:

trans fashion

streetwear is pretty popular here

americana style and made in america

down vests are hardly part of the “MFA uniform”

camo is cool

yohji vs. rick a.k.a next level fashunz

dress how you want to dress part I and part II

Breaking the Rules:

MFA has often been criticized as stuck-up and snobby for giving out advice based on a set of “arbitrary” and “unbreakable” fashion rules. There's also the idea that MFA “hates” certain items. But that's not true at all. These “rules” aren't set in stone… they're more like guidelines. In the case of beginners, their outfits often need work, and it's easiest to give them imperative advice in a set of rules and/or a list of things that need to be changed. Inadvertently, some come out believing that there is a list of fashion rules you can and can't break, and they don't understand how or why these “rules” come to be. Thus, the myth of the fashion “rulebook” is perpetuated. /u/Syeknom has a great blog post on this.

And as /u/ newgale explains it, “clothes isnt maths, you dont go 'this plus this equals appeal' and 'this plus this equals shit'”. To put it another way, the “rules” can be broken intentionally in an outfit and work well:

this hat guide should have been stickied

doing ties without jackets

the vest.

hey look cargo pants

and light washed denim

The Misc. Style Guides:

Right in the sidebar are these wonderful guides that give insight to a variety of different styles, as well as a link to the various inspiration albums that have been put together over the course of MFA's existence. All of the guides are well-written and thought out, and provide insight into the mindset as well as the style itself. The inspiration albums, needless to say, are inspiring.


designer fashion




heavy metal

british countryside

british subculture

goth ninja everywhere

misc inspiration albums

The Top of WAYWT threads:

This is perhaps the best evidence that MFA caters to aesthetics beyond the 'stereotypical' “peacoat/pointer chore coat + light blue ocdb + khaki chinos/dark selvedge denim + CDB/AE Strand” that is the “MFA uniform”. I think /u/reverendglasseye puts it well:

The Top of WAYWT will showcase the sheer variety of stuff we have out here. It's not all a bunch of “effeminate faggot hipsters with pointy girl shoes.” We range from simple outfits, to reconstructed pants, to this goth ninja/next level look, to shotguns with suits, to whatever this is.

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

Apparently /u/Contrapaul did this briefly last year as well:

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

And there you have it. There's a lot to MFA beyond the “MFA uniform” that everyone complains about. Remember that MFA is a beginner's forum, and so a lot of our new users will be directed to the time-tested basics, and often they'll be given a set of rules to help them learn the ropes. It's like how you need to learn the alphabet before you can even think about reading Pride and Prejudice. Or how in music, you should be able to play a scale before you can start playing Mozart. Teaching the basics of style, in my opinion, is the first great thing that MFA does well. We can help you get a solid footing with a firm grasp on the basics of looking good, and help with simple questions and fit checks.

But developing a good aesthetic and sense of style is something that cannot be spoon-fed. Just like how you haven't gained anything if you rely on having people tell you what to think of a new book; you can't look good if you don't understand how your clothes work together, and you can't improve yourself if you're continually reliant on the opinions of others. This is where the second great thing about MFA comes in. We provide the resources to help people find their own sense of style. The many in-depth guides are a great way to truly understand and analyze different aesthetics, from goth ninja to the simple sweatshirt. We have an incredible amount of diversity, and the WAYWTs and inspiration albums are a great place to find inspiration.

There's lots of good advice given for a variety of styles. That's what MFA is about.

Do what you want to do. See what you want to see. Go where you want to go. Be who you want to be. Be who you've got to be. Be who you're made to be, baby. Male Fashion Advice.

is there anything else you think that should be put in here? send me a PM!

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