05 July 2014

When in Doubt, "Borrow"

photo : The Tie Guy
Some days, it's easy to get dressed, and others, I can barely put a combo together to save my life. Sometimes you step in the closet and the pieces put themselves together for you, sometimes none of it seems right. The latter was the case this morning. Mrs. G and I have dinner plans without the Boy and the Girl (a miraculous treat) and as such I needed something that would keep me all day at the AAW Shop, transition well into evening, and not be so pushy as to make Mrs. G uncomfortable. The first two are easy enough, it's that last one that gives me the most trouble, as Mrs. G, like most people, is not obsessed with clothing to a near unseemly degree.

After much hemming and hawing, I finally decided on the old safety net combination of navy jacket, khaki trousers, blue and white shirt, and quiet tie. Sure, it's safe, but I wore a version of that uniform only yesterday, and none of it was pushing my buttons today. So I sat down for a coffee and some wasting of time via Tumblr, and came across the above image from The Tie Guy. Among numerous reblogged photos of young men in too-skinny fashion clothes, this shot provided a look that was clean and simple; modern but not overly "fashion"; nice looking without being a "look". And it occurred to me that I had something like every piece in my own closet.
Grey tropical suit by Polo, $40 via ebay; blue tattersall spread collar shirt by Polo, $5.49 at thrift; Lands' End knit tie, $2.99 at thrift; no name square, $1 in the ladies scarves at thrift

So I decided to borrow the idea, by which I mean steal it of course. I frequently wear a suit in the Shop on Saturdays, because when else am I going to wear one, but I didn't want to be too formal tonight for dinner with Mrs. G. The tattersall shirt and knit tie turn down the formality a good deal, while still working well with what is essentially a business suit. The look is in keeping with my own style and the style of my shop, but is quiet enough to look right next to the cute Summer dress Mrs. G will likely be wearing. I considered brown suede monk straps, but thought that was a bit too "fashion", and so copped out with my standard brown tassel loafers. Summer may be the perfect time for color in a man's wardrobe, but even I can only wear canary yellow, patch madras, seersucker and rumpled linen so often. Besides,  Boston in is the throes of perfectly moderate, mid-70s, 0% humidity post hurricane weather, just right for tropical wool, not hot enough for nonchalant wrinkles. And Mrs. G doesn't have to feel so self conscious about the peacock beside her, because my louder tendency are in check today, which is the whole point of the demented thought process that led to this outfit, and by extension this blog post.

We all want to develop a personal sense of style, but every now and again it's ok to borrow (steal) ideas from other well dressed men, and these days the internet is full of images to use as inspiration. After all, it's in borrowing that we learn, just be sure you use good solid source material in the first place. As I said once before, sometimes its good to be impressionable, as long as you listen to the right people.

3 comments:

JimmySlattery said...

I didn;t realize you shopped eBay and thrift stores. It's the only way I can afford good quality clothes - nice score on that suit

I picked up an RL black suit, modern cut, for $15 plus $10 shipping, Someone had cut the sleeve with a box-knife when unpacking it. A good invisible mender will make it disappear.

BHFO or maybe it's BFHO on ebay is a great source of greatly marked down menswear.

- John

C.L. Young said...

I do the same thing...look to someone else for momentary inspiration. Especially when it seems like all options have been exhausted. That suit is a homerun!
I think a great suit is the only excuse needed to wear a great suit!

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Yep. You can find (good) sartorial inspiration in quite a few places if you look closely. A sharp look by the way.

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.