16 June 2010

Caught Stealing

Style is an evolving thing. It frequently requires some creative stealing. The older I get and the more I learn about this stuff, the more I steal from other stylish men. Nothing wrong with that, so long as one does ones best to use a combination of taught, learned and stolen elements as something of a sartorial arsenal, with due deference all around, of course. Today's due deference goes to long time Affordable Wardrobe reader Dave, on the subject of the lately much-vaunted Converse Chuck Taylor All Star:
You may have noticed that I've been wearing my own pair of low cut Chuck Taylors in natural canvas quite often lately. They round out the essential Summer shoe wardrobe, along with boat shoes and white bucks. What with being the prime care taker of two wee children all day long, I find the comfort of sneakers to be quite welcome. Chuck Taylors pull this off and let me remain true to my style. Then I get this email from Dave applauding my choice of footwear, but with an added bonus. Dave has hit upon the brilliant, yet oh-so-simple, idea of swapping the cloth shoelaces for leather rawhide:
I read that email after breakfast, and by lunch time I had switched my laces. Just like that, those old Chucks are almost, you know, a shoe. For a while, I felt a bit guilty about nabbing this idea from an appreciative email. But really, if I had seen this on the street, I'd have stolen it just the same without the benefit of being able to give any credit where it's due. Good one, Dave, real good.

Said shoes in said state are the perfect finish to smart-casual humidity chic, like some creased but wrinkled khakis and a shirt in mini Black Watch plaid, two buttons open at the neck, possibly too much chest hair.

Ribbon belts are cool because they sort of give a guy the color and pattern of a necktie when a tie would be too much. Note the admittedly affected touch of the belt cinched at the side. I may be able too keep things relatively simple when need be, but I've never been good at leaving well enough alone.

Dave, if you're reading this, I hope you don't mind. But seriously, what a great idea. I love it. Any of you others steal this, remember to buy Dave an imaginary beer, or something.


Odessa said...

Relax, bro...you're trying too hard lately.

Petter said...

Looks really cool!

Giuseppe said...


khakis, a plaid shirt and cloth sneakers? I thought that was pretty mellow by my usual standards.

Anonymous said...

sometimes a sneaker is just a sneaker. It really isnt necessary to 'elevate" them. Is it?

James said...

I respectfully disagree with Odessa. To relax is to become complacent. ADG says it best,"Onward".

Anonymous said...

great idea man, but hate to break it to you Mr. Lauren had that look in their window for spring. I jacked the style immediately.

David M. said...

I saw this yesterday, very similar. I think laces are a great way to change things up.

Odessa said...

No...sideways belt and rawhide; cool if you like it...I guess I just like your more classic, less tricked-out looks.

Young Fogey said...

On the one hand, Giuseppe has great style, and we acolytes have much to learn at the feet of the master.

On the other hand, some of his sartorial choices are "too much" for us, and we find ourselves objecting, for one reason or another, to what we find excessive.

As long as we're quoting ADG, it's all good. If you find this choice or that to be affected, maybe even dandyish, then don't wear it, but try to appreciate what G is doing. Ask yourself, why does he make the choices he does?

For instance: Ribbon belt? Summer fun. Buckle to the side? Not everyone's cup of tea--but it's a little something different, a small incongruity that most people will miss, but the observant will catch, and react to.

Like his choices or not, G has more style and pizazz in one outfit than most guys have in their entire wardrobes.

Mxolisi Ngonelo said...

I like it sure enough. You have just got to love the beat up sneaker look. That's worn in for you.

Good look Guiseppe.

_ said...

Although I'd opt for a boot lace (ala Red Wings) instead of raw hide, I love what you are doing here. One of the problems with an overly-Trad wardrobe is that you can end up looking pretty bland. I think that's one reason so many people opt for flip flops and cargo shorts with an Affliction T-shirt instead of something more traditional. It's these little details that gives the look some verve and keeps you looking stylish and traditional.

Young Fogey said...

BTW, I think those rawhide laces are going to look great once they've gotten the new knocked out of them.

BEESTLYproducts said...

dave is a genius.

Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Honestly, I don't know what you're thinking wearing those atrocious shoes. Bloody hell.

The problem isn't "too much chest hair," the problem is hairy legs and grimy sneakers.

james at 10engines said...

like the laces.

Unknown said...

Already swapped out the laces on my navy blue Chucks...love the idea!

matthew said...

"too much chest hair"...

no sir!

i know, i know, there is this ridiculous notion circulating right now that men should be folicle-free and as smooth as my 1-month-old daughter's hind end, and there are a few girls who prefer their man-boys as such, but a real woman wouldnt argue with, but would prefer, her man to be a MAN. (want to argue, still? argue with Jude Law:

i have found that in the summer months, there is no problem with showing chest (unless, of course, you're verging on man-cleavage. then its a problem)

ok, you might not have Jude's six pack, but as long as you're relatively fit, go for it! we're not talking about a look that Zach Galifinakis should try here.
but you're a fit man, so go for it! unbutton that 3rd button!

and P.S. i love the laces, and will be thinking about a variation of this look that will elevate my gray low top chucks.

Young Fogey said...

The received wisdom of unbuttoning buttons:

One during the day;
two at night;
three if you can see the Mediterranean.

Or so I hear. I only go for one--personal preference and all that, doncha know.