Traditional American menswear is rife with rules and regulations, and yet it seems that foremost among those rules is an artful disregard for all of those rules...within reason, of course. With old Ma Nature breaking the law and giving us a humid 90 degrees in late April, I opted for a suit, worn with enough minor infractions to send the more fastidious among us to the padded room.
The recently acquired Brooks Brothers tropical wool tan suit. Maybe it's too early for a tan suit, but I don't care. It was hot and sunny today. And besides, this one's wool, not cotton, so I'm pretty sure they'll grant me a zoning variance on this one.Worn with a bow tie and a blue university stripe button down. I have a pretty good feeling that it's a no-no to wear a university stripe with a suit, but I think it gave this outfit a nice hint of a casual vibe...not a bad thing when everyone else is wearing toddler clothes.Add a surcingle belts with embroidered ducks on it. Most certainly not a suit-appropriate accessory, but who cares? Casual vibe and all that, remember?And last, but not least, penny loafers with no socks. Penny loafers with a suit!?!? Shocking. Sockless with a suit!?!? Unforgivable! And yet, I think this outfit was perfect.
American men are generally taught to embrace a rigid conformity in all forms of dress, be it business or casual. Every guy wears a blue suit with a white shirt, every guy wears jeans and a ball cap on Saturday. It's too bad, really. A man shouldn't be discouraged from trusting his instincts and showing a little flair and personality, when he can get away with it.
Just because you're wearing a suit and other traditional items doesn't mean you have to be a stiff. It can in fact be a vehicle for your own individual personality.