Back in the 90s, my Dad had a subscription to GQ. This was in the end days of GQ being a publication for professional men interested in adult topics, rather than a pop rag full of twenty somethings in clothes that don't fit. I read it back then, and even though I may hate to admit being influenced by a magazine, I was. All those now famous Polo ads from the heyday were there, and the clothing photo spreads featured some pretty great stuff. Sure, the models were young, athletic, and handsome, but the clothes fit properly and it was obvious that the demographic was grown ups.
I'd see an outfit like the one pictured above. The model would probably be photographed descending a flight on stone steps on the front of an old official looking building, briefcase in one hand while checking his watch or hailing a cab. Or maybe he'd be in the park buying a hot dog from a street vendor while an attractive young lady in a business suit admired him from behind a newspaper. The caption would read something like this:
Dashing and simple, you can't go wrong with a good grey suit and blue striped shirt. Suit by Polo Ralph Lauren, $1295; shirt by Brooks Brothers, $149; tie by Robert Talbott, $125; belt by Coach; shoes by W.S.Foster and Sons.
I lusted after those things then, and I did my best in my teenage way to fake it with bargains and thrift shop purchases. In retrospect I missed the mark by a mile, but I was a kid and still just learning. I stuck with it, kept what was good and discarded the rest, in terms of both clothing and knowledge. All these years later, I finally have the Polo suit, the Brooks Brothers shirt, and the Robert Talbott tie, albeit for a lot less money. I sometimes buy hot dogs from a street vendor, though I'm not sure how many attractive young ladies in business suits are admiring from behind a newspaper.
Perseverance is a virtue.