06 January 2015

Winter White (or, the Vintage Look, sans Vintage)

Allow me to apologize for the blatant cell phone photography. Not up to my usual standard, but until I get this blog up to something like full speed again, we'll have to take what we can get.

Back in October, I happened to stumble across a pair of cream colored heavy flannel trousers in a thrift shop, for less than $10. Nice as they were, I didn't really have any need for them. If we're being totally honest, in modern times the idea of having a "need" for something like cream flannel pants is downright ludicrous anyway. Still, not two weeks after finding them I was to attend an event at Ralph Lauren in Boston for the release of the more than a little preposterous coffee table book "Rowing Blazers", and the invitation specified "regatta attire requested", whatever that means. So I now had an excuse. Score one for justification.

So with the event now behind me, what to do with the silly pants? Wear them, I guess, in January. And so unfolds my first foray into winter white.
Up top, things are somewhat quiet. A heavy cashmere navy blazer (trade), stripes tie by Robert Talbott (trade), and contrast collar shirt by Kenneth Gordon ($5.49) would be classic if a bit unremarkable with a charcoal flannels and dark brown tassel loafers. But instead, cream flannels, because I have them...
The pants are hey-day era Polo, with a high waist, deep forward pleats, brace buttons, full cut legs and big cuffs.
If you're going to wear pants like this in the modern world, you'll have to adopt something of a spirit of "go big or go home". To that end, dirty white bucks, with cream yellow socks,seemed the only logical footwear choice. Going "all the way", as the kids say, I topped the whole thing with a Polo polo coat, floppy tweed cap, and vintage inspired sunglasses. Sometimes it's fun to go to the hilt. Of course, it helps if you work in an environment where this sort of thing is somehow acceptable. 

True, I have argued against the dangers of treading the fine line between wearing vintage and dressing in costume, and this time it's likely that I crossed that line. Funny thing is, even though this outfit screams of the 1920s, and every piece of it is second hand, none of it is actually all that old. I guess that speaks to the real meaning of "classics" in menswear.

In the end, the cream flannels may have been too much of a conversation piece, even for me. The last thing a gentleman wants is everybody talking about his pants, or something, right? On the other hand, go ahead, I dare you.

5 comments:

Heinz-Ulrich von Boffke said...

Very sharp as usual!

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.

Anonymous said...

I really like this look! I've been thinking about attempting "winter whites"--though maybe not with flannel, which I have not found at a low enough price for my penury.

I was thinking that maybe if I paired them with a more casual shetland or something up top, it would sharpen up the sweater without crossing the line into too precious?

David V said...

Tip Top! If I had them I'd wear them.

David V said...

And Happy New Year and welcome back!

Well-Dressed Mongrel said...

I got a similar pair of trousers, which I'd struggled to find an occasion to wear. Pulled them out on New Years Eve. I looked pretty fly, if I do say so myself.