02 March 2011

Get Into The Fray

Call it "Yankee thrift", call it "old world", call it "cheapness", call it what you want. I firmly believe that many things get better with age, and that visible wear and tear is far from a good reason to part with a perfectly serviceable and favorite piece of clothing.
These old khaki's ('essential chinos' by J.Crew, $5.49) are far and away my favorite pair. Worn to death, they're fraying...

...at both hems...
there's even a hole on the butt caused by my wallet. Toss'em? Nonsense! I prefer to deal with this by trimming off the stray threads, starching them and then ironing a tight crease into them like never before. After all..

There's no reason they can't still play well with a blazer, oxford and repp tie, is there? Worn clothing worn dressy might just be (dare I say it) "American Sprezzatura". I know, I hate that newly coined (by me) phrase as much as you do. No I don't, I love it.

A little wear and tear gives the right clothes some extra character, like the wrinkles on a kind face. Consider that before you throw something away. Just make sure the wear and tear is your own. "Pre-distressed" clothing is for suckers and chumps.

Get into the fray.

p.s. The Italian jackets are sold. Next time I drop such a hint, email me, like our lucky winner did.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

"'American Sprezzatura.' I know, I hate that newly coined (by me) phrase as much as you do. No I don't, I love it."

This is the funniest thing I've read all day. I mean it.

Rebecca said...

Personally (and on behalf of my husband) I subscribe to "the fray".

Fredo said...

"Just make sure the wear and tear is your own."

...or the person who owned it before you thrifted it.

David M. said...

How about "Sprezzatura Americano"?

Britt Sudduth said...

You are so right G. When you see those stray threds, that's when they start to get really comfortable! Thanks for your insight!

Britt

Anonymous said...

I think you have hit upon the exact phrase for classy Americans! It works better for men, though, than older women...who tend to look like bag ladies if they get too frayed! Classy Old Lady

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

An underside patch (cheap and they iron on) will preserve fray for years, and arrest its progress.

David V said...

You, Chris Cox or Tintin said that because khakis fray they won't spend a lot on them.

If anything was learned in the first decade of the 21st Century it is that "American Thriftiness" is a good and noble thing.

Joy C. said...

You're legit!

Roger said...

It's somewhat like the phrase shabby genteel used in England; that sort of 'normally well-dressed, but knocked about at the edges' look.

True to the philosophy of AAW...

Anonymous said...

Your khakis look great.

I really must get some more argyle socks.

Fatfriend said...

Wise words, Wardrobe. Stuff needs to be a bit knackered, especially Barbours and cords.

mjp said...

I've bought a couple of pairs of good shoes off eBay, and it was worth it because they've been broken in a bit, and they were a tiny fraction of the original price. But in general, I would agree - make your own patina!