23 June 2012

Subdued Summer

Summer is certainly the best time for a man to play with color in his wardrobe. Pastel hues, brightly colored madras, and all manner of jaunty prints and patterns come into there own when the sun is full and the temperatures high. But what about the man who is simply not inclined to all that foppish tomfoolery? For that matter, even the most dandy among us can't wear pink, canary yellow, kelly green and Nantucket red all the time. Fortunately, the tried and true staid alternative is also one of the most stylish:
Navy and white will always do the trick. Seen here are the gossamer jacket I mentioned before, navy and white striped shirt with white club collar (Brooks Brothers, $5.49), navy silk tie with white pin dots (Bert Pulitzer, 1980s vintage, $1.99) and a pocket square made from a cut out piece of an old shirt. Only tow colors at play here, but enough variety of texture, pattern, and scale to keep the eye interested.
Below, some new favorite khaki trousers in 55%silk/45% cotton with double forward pleats, a style that is rapidly replacing flat front as my personal favorite (Polo, $4.99), held up with English made Trafalgar braces ($2.99). I sense a return of early 1990s nostalgia coming on in fashion. Much of it will be awful, as so many "fashion" things are. But I think the good points will include pleated, fuller cut pants, braces, and double breasted jackets. So much better for the man who may be carrying an extra pound or two lately. All that tight and skinny was doing nothing for me. Time for clothes to fit again. The turquoise, dark blue shirts, large shoulder pads, and navy-suit-with-yellow-tie thing will hopefully miss the return bus. We'll see.

Dressing for Summer is fun, but it doesn't always have to be extreme. Navy and white with khaki and brown leather, rendered in soft cuts and light fabrics, does the trick nicely.

p.s. on the feet: brown tassel loafers and pale pink socks. C'mon, I had to work some pink into this somehow, right?


Anonymous said...

last year another anonymous soul asked what the problem was with yellow ties and navy suits. the question remains unanswered.

Giuseppe said...

Low level city hall employee who shops at Men's Wearhouse. The same guy who wears Oakley sunglasses with a suit. Pretty sure I said that sat year. A personal and unfounded bias on my part, true, but I'm sticking to it.

Anonymous said...

so you avoid blue and yellow because you don't want to be mistaken for someone who shops at mens wearhouse? or you don't want to be mistaken for a government employee?

i'm not trying to pick on you, but i'm genuinely confused. it's strange to hear such vitriol over something as basic as pairing two primary colors.


Giuseppe said...

I hope not to be mistaken for either of those things. Something about a navy suit and a yellow tie is just so cheesy looking to me, the mark of a man who only dresses himself in accordance with the most rudimentary of rules, the kind of guy who wears a suit and tie because it is required of him, but he can't wait to get out of it and back into flip flops and cargo shorts, the kind of guy who learned everything he knows about dressing as a teenager in 1994 when his mother got him such a combo for cousin Bobby's wedding, which he then wore to uncle Al's funeral and every other "serious" event since then.

I already said my bias was completely unfounded and ridiculous. What else is there to say?

Young Fogey said...

There's also the 1980s' "yellow power tie" trope. The yellow power tie was in a limited range of shades, and always in a neat pattern (even if the pattern was teeny tiny little paisleys). Such ties are, like the floral ties popular in the early 90s, so linked to their time that they can't help but carry all the baggage associated with those times.

Look for them to show up in future nostalgia booms.

Anonymous said...

All that mother of his ever did was arrange the raping of the daughters of Orange County (and whatever university he attended)