27 January 2009

Plain and Simple

When in doubt plain and simple is always best:
Tweed, oxford, denim and suede....grey, white, blue, brownWith a tiny pinch of pink silk.

I call this a classic casual look, although by today's standards I could wear this outfit to an audience with royalty. But to me, an outfit like this is the perfect thing for running around the city with a toddler during the day time. I feel well put together, but comfortable, and not so precious as to constantly fear having my clothes destroyed by said toddler. Plus, the extra pockets afforded by a sport coat are always welcome when I've got a child with me. They're good for carrying napkins, lollipops and juice boxes.

The blessing and curse of good men's clothing is that it never changes. This can lead to boredom, but constraints often give birth to creativity. Given the simplicity and staying power of the classic items, there's really no reason for any man not to look well on a regular basis. "I was just out running errands with the kids" is not an excuse for laziness of appearance.


Anonymous said...

The last paragraph is a minor masterpiece.

Anonymous said...

26 Jan:
complexity and contradiction
27 Jan:
constraints and creativity

The constraints imposed by classic style may appear to create a surface simplicity which masks the underlying complexity that demands creativity in order to combine seemingly contradictory elements in order to form a harmonious whole.

Anonymous said...

Look kids, a parent minding a child and not wearing sweat pants or athletic wear. It can be done!

Cyclo2000 said...

lovely jacket, that.

Charles said...

The gray herringbone and white shirt is sometimes tough to pull off (IMHO). Looks good with a tie and charcoal trousers, but open neck I'd opt for a blue oxford which would lead me to trading the jeans for khakis. Pink could look good with both the jeans and jacket. Honestly, in a casual setting, I'll go for the brown herringbone almost every time.

ms. mindless said...

i love that sport coat and the overall look. especially that pink pocket square. very snappy.

now, i've got a question about color matching in men's fashion. i have asked my fiance to explain this to me, and he has, but i want another opinion. if i were to wear a black and white tweed jacket or pants, i would wear black shoes. and i think most other women would as well (that is at least what i have observed). why is it proper for men to match black and white tweed (which i suppose is gray at a distance) to brown? is there a logical explanation, or is that just the way it is? i can understand if that is just a rule, with no real reason, i just want to know. and i know that you will have an expert answer!

Kim said...

Actually, one thing I do like about living in the South is that you will see people dressed like that on a Saturday morning running errands (probably without the silk, though!) I actually have the girl version of that outfit and wear it frequently. It probably helps that the jacket works more as a coat in our climate.

Carry on.

Jean Martha said...

Love the shoes!!

Pigtown*Design said...

Hear hear to the last sentence. My brother-in-law wears sweat pants and crocs, while his brother dresses like you, even when he's just puttering around their estate. no one sees him, but he makes the effort, nevertheless.

Michael B. said...

Ms. Mindless:

Imo, this is an outSTANDing example of how a small accent piece in an outfit can tie it's seemingly disparate elements together:

It's the pocket square that makes the ENTIRE ensemble work.

A pocket square that used whites, blacks, and blues would have worked for the jacket, shirt and jeans, but would have left the shoes out of the party.

The pale pink works really well with gray (the black/white h-bone tweed does, as you intimated, look gray from a distance)and brings those reddish toned shoes into the whole really well.

One other point: I think the post speaks more to the way we like to coordinate the "attitude" of each piece making up the overall look.

Hope this makes sense.

If so, hope it helped. :)

Michael B.

Pigtown*Design said...


what a bummer.

Anonymous said...

Listen to longwing and try this with a blue OCBD. You'll be amazed at the improvement.

Giuseppe said...

Ms. Mindless,

Seems like Michael B. beat me to it with an answer to your wquestion, and I agree with everything he says. I'd only add that I tend to the of a herringbone like this one simply as grey, and not black white, when pairing it with things. Thtas why it can be worn with either black or brown shoes, or striped shirts and patterned ties. Don't be afriad to try your ladies blazer with brown suede boots sometime, if you have a pair.

Michael B,

Thanks for catching on about the pink square

Longwing and anon,

Blue works well too, but white was clean that day.


I don't evem wear crocs or sweatpants when I'm gardening.

Preppy and MOTR,

if we can each convince one other parent to dress well, then they each convince one more......

Anonymous said...

That blazer leaves everything else behind it in its wake - beautiful tweed in a classic herringbone pattern... Like your man says, the simplest pieces work every time, as they can be worn with anything and on any occasion.