13 April 2009

Keep It Simple

It's a lot of fun to wear clothes that you know are a little bit crazy. Mixing brightly colored argyle, plaid and stripes all in the same outfit takes a lot of skill and practice, but it can be fun once you learn how to pull it off. And though we all like to bemoan people staring at us and having a reaction to our form of dress, I (and my readers) must admit that we secretly love the attention.

But, as with all things, an opposite, a foil, must be present for contrast and meaning. Envelope-pushing style cannot exist without classic simple style. One must be adept at both to pull either off with any degree of aplomb. To that end, today's ensemble:
J. Press 3/2 sack blazer, $7.49; Harvard "Coop" grey slacks, $3.99; pink J.Press oxford shirt, $3.99; Mr. Sid necktie, $0.99. Very Cambridge.

No outfit is a better example of the perfect American style than navy blazer, grey pants, button down shirt and simple, clean tie.Add wing-tipped shoes and argyle socks for a pinch of insouciance.

But don't dare call this get-up boring. Color and pattern are not the only elements of a man's wardrobe that lend visual interest. Don't forget texture and small details:
A drop of scrimshaw doesn't hurt either, though this detail does play better on the East coast. If you don't live in a sea-faring town, at least make sure to tell people that your scrimshaw was purchased on vacation near the beach, preferably in New England.


Joel Cee said...

Very, very nice indeed! I love the scrimshaw tie bar. I'm vacationing in Boothbay Harbor, ME in July-I'll have to look around for something like that up there.

Nice to see somebody using a tie bar at all. Since ties started coming with self-keepers several decades ago, tie jewelry has mainly died out. I picked up 3 Cambridge U. crested tie bars on a visit to Britain years ago, one in blue (Emmanuel), green (Queens) and red (University) that I rotate according to the color I'm wearing. Does that one-up me on you in being "original" Cambridge?

Good to see the reference to the Coop, too. I used to love their record dept. when I lived on the North Shore in 1969-72. I collect vintage jazz and swing, and they had European labels with stuff that you couldn't get anywhere else. I drank today's morning coffee out of the Harvard mug I got there during a visit in 1982. I never visited their clothing shop-that was before I got into trad. I wish I had. I was sorry to see (either on your site or another recently), that the Coop as was is no more.

Anonymous said...

"Simplicity" is the key word when one distinguishes "style" from "fashion".

Young Fogey said...

Great outfit! I particularly like the added visual interest, yet complete harmony, of the socks against the pants and shoes.