31 July 2010

The Peacock & The Purist

The other day, I got pretty zesty with a three pattern mix. I was into it, so were some of you, others weren't. That's fine. Today, I played the Purist:
Blue oxford button down, navy blazer, and a burgundy and navy repp tie. Really, what could be more low key and classic. Someone even told me I had Republican written all over me today. That's a bit severe...no Republican I know where's a gingham square cut from an old shirt.
Simple and pure from head to toe...'stone' kahkis and penny loafers...no socks of course.

Quite literally, "The Purist", by Sero, for Judd, of Swampscott. Homework turned up nothing about Judd, but in the old days I had this cashmere blend sports jacket in micro herringbone tweed from them... wore that one to death, I did.

Aggressive pattern mixing can be tricky, but it's fun when you get the knack. Still, it's a trick best used with reserve. Keep it in your back pocket, and play the purist in between takes. Bold pattern mixing all the time makes you "that guy", just like wearing bow ties too often can make you "that guy". "That guy" likes to turn things up to 11, but "that guy" can be a cartoon. In order to achieve the level of sartorial aplomb that "that guy" achieves when he's at his best, keep the knob at a maximum of 7...most of the time...which is still about five notches higher than most guys these days, anyway.

16 comments:

Young Fogey said...

I have a tie much like that, an Atkinson Irish poplin, and it's one of my favorites--in season. I won't be donning it until after Labor Day, but that's just me.

Good advice about not always dialing it up to 11 (he says sheepishly). However, the navy blazer does wonders for calming down (almost) any, hmm, shall we say, exuberant sartorial choice.

Even so, there's only so much it can do. Some outfits will be beyond redemption regardless of a blazer (don't worry, I'm letting ADG know I'm giving him grief again).

Michael Q. said...

So true! Unfortunately, displaying any sartorial knowledge makes you "that guy" nowadays. (even dialed at a 3)

Thanks for the great tips on avoiding looking a buffoon/cartoon.

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Well done. You're starting to look like a Democrap.

Rebecca said...

I like the idea of setting the knob at about a 7! You make a great point here - and (except for the pocket-chief and no-sock look) probably COULD pass for a Republican.

Bob said...

I have a couple of ties similar to this and really like them. One problem here in the UK is that they are very close to the regimental tie of the Guards (the ones with the red tunics and bearskins). Its not de rigeur to wear a regimental tie to which you are not entitled so don't wear one in London! On the other what the hell it's a good looking ensemble.

Cowboy Prep said...

I've honestly never thought of using a swatch from an old shirt for a pocket square. Any chance you can show us how you fold it?

waxeater said...

There is a good exposition on this in the chapter "Of the Difference Between Formality and Dandification" in Antongiavanni's "The Suit". He argues many articles can be classified as more "formal" (e.g., a navy suit, black oxfords) or more "dandified" (e.g., hats, patterned odd jackets, patterned ties, brown brogued shoes). Similar to our man's post here, one strategy for dressing is to start with a "formal" outfit and determine how many "dandified" objects to add/swap-in, depending on the occasion. This way, you are more likely to end up with something tasteful, rather than a "peacock look".

ADG said...

There ain't nothin' tricky about aggressive pattern mixing. It's a breeze.

Anonymous said...

My countryman 'Bob' has not expressed himself as clearly as he intended; it is not 'done' to wear a regimental tie to which one is not entitled (rather than 'de rigueur' which means the opposite, I'm afraid).

But not to worry, I think this outfit looks quite good and I don't think anyone would mistake the tie for Brigade.

Fatfriend

Anonymous said...

Second thoughts, rereading 'Bob's' post and registering his misspelling of 'rigueur', he may not be a countryman of mine after all, but possibly an American living in London. My apologies.

Fatfriend.

JRS said...

The tie/shirt/blazer/pocket square mix is great! Well done.

Bob said...

Fatfriend, many thanks for getting my meaning over and noting the misspelling. Late Sunday afternoon posting is not a good time for me especially when I take a moment out from doing some paid work!!
BTW true blue English.

Joshua said...

Conservative is as conservative does. Very well done in this look.

Paul said...

With my recent aquisition of Nantucket Reds my workmates think I blew the dial off the kit-o-meter - but I don't care.

That pocket square from an old shirt - great idea! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Bob,

Sorry, didn't mean to be mean; and sorry I doubted your ineffable Englishness.

It is a great combination of colours and I like the high notch on the blazer lapel; I can't put my finger on it, but I don't believe it's a Guardee tie.

Fatfriend.

Young Fogey said...

BTW, I have really been enjoying your excellent use of the word zesty. Zesty! What a great way to describe an outfit.