08 August 2013

Freedom in the Restrictions

Having written this blog some five years or so now, I sense a pattern of writers block that occurs each year just about now. Regular readers will no doubt have noticed it here recently. I suppose the paucity of posts can be attributed to a few things. No doubt setting up my "secret shop" has been very time consuming, and besides, the inherent laziness of Summer can't help  but creep in, especially when it comes to performing unpaid work. But there is one reason above all that slows the gears to a grind.

This is, as you know, a blog primarily about men's clothing. I use my own clothes almost exclusively as topics of discussion. While it's true that I have a penchant for the brightly colored so-called "go-to-hell" aestethic, clothing like that will get you only so far. It may make for good photos and fun discussion, but even I can't wear it as often as you might think I do. The fact is, from July until the weather changes to tweed, you will find me in some combination of navy jacket and tan trousers upwards of five days a week. I've written about this "sometimes uniform" before. There's really only so much you can write about it. ADG did a pretty good job recently, as is his wont, and his post caused me to shelve this one. However, a week later with little else to talk  about and not wanting so cram to much business info down the gullet, I've decided to run it anyway.

Pictured above is the line-up that is my Summer dress clothes. Three blazers probably seems like a lot to any sensible person who isn't needlessly obsessed with unnecessary clothing (ask my wife), but I need them all for different reasons. There's the linen one with white buttons, on the left, for the hottest days. There's the gossamer wool hopsack by Southwick, in the center, an indefatigable classic that is actually the lynch pin of my entire wardrobe, and there's the double-breasted, side vented number on the right, the most dashing of the group, for when a bit more formality is desired.  And then there's the tan trousers: classic flat fronts from Brooks Brothers, a very lightweight pair by Alan Rouleau of Boston, a real pair of military surplus, a fuller cut pair with forward pleats in a linen and cotton herringbone, another forward pleated pair in cotton and silk, and on, and on. Why do I need all these different versions of the same thing? Probably no good reason, but here is my justification.

Variety is a good thing, but too much of a good thing can be bad. There is a certain freedom to be found in restrictions. It's a common theory among artists of all kinds that the more limited the parameters, the more there is for expression. By removing all superfluous choice, one is free to hone in on all the little minute details that differentiate dressing well from merely dressing. A combination like a navy jacket and tan trousers is right for so many occasions, and works well with numerous combinations of shirt and tie, from very plain and formal, to bold stripes, plaids, or anything else. You can concentrate more on cut and style, opting for easy American tailoring for one occasion, with flat front trousers and soft shoulders, and more aggressive tailoring for another, opting for pleats, side vents and a stronger shoulder. You can wear this combo as easily with sharply creased slacks and a white shirt as with soft old trousers and a polo. It is all purpose, so much so that even a clotheshorse like me will continue to resort to it with great frequency and little compunction.

There is freedom min the restrictions....even if does lead to boring blogging sometimes.

p.s. don't forget about the 20% off Summer sale in the online Shop this week. 20% off everything through midnight Saturday using discount code SUMMER2013 at checkout. Locals can take advantage of 25% savings in person at the live Shop Saturday, 10 August, from 11am-2pm. 249 Elm Street, 2nd Floor, Somerville, MA (Davis Square)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I enjoyed the thought behind this, your best post to date.