Showing posts with label The Times. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Times. Show all posts

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Switch Up Suiting

   Most people tend not to see the suit as a garment for pleasure and leisure, despite the efforts of style magazines, bloggers, writers and clubbers to give it back its sense of everyday (and night) usage. To them, the lack of knowledge and effort displayed by the masses in terms of sartorial standards often leads to a sense of exasperation and a niche kinship with the relative few who feel the same, though this is also an easy path to disagreements about the minutiae and appropriateness of those details that they cherish. For every person voting the sober elegance of Prince Charles as the best dressed man in the free world, there's the more fashion forward inclined who'd much rather throw in with his late uncle, the Duke of Windsor

   Well, to hell with that. Each side has their place and their uses and results are undeniably different. What matters is that they're done well. And I'm certainly in favour of Prince Charles's voting - it's probably about one of the 3 things I've agreed with in Esquire's pages over the last 5 years

   To highlight the differences, I submit two different "event outfits". The grey suit on the top was worn for a professional education fair, which I felt called for a calm three button suit, a City Boy-style striped shirt and a reasonably sedate tie. The only touch of individuality I allowed myself was a tie clip I recently acquired via eBay, and an indulgence I allowed myself that day because it blends in while standing out. The coverage on tie accoutrements of late has been centred on the US as the style press have found the generation of younger guys appropriating old school accessories to be a more American phenomenon. Call it the Don Draper Effect. An acquaintance remarked "I feel faint" when he saw me, due to my apparently out of character (ultra) conservative business dress. Better my appearance than my eau de toilette, I suppose

   Of course, I'm usually in more comment-inspiring gear like the double breasted blue pinstriped suit in the second picture, or the other photos below. I was crawling through an installation at Maddox Arts, and the occasion of an opening always calls for a more lively ensemble, the better to blend in with and stand out amongst the offbeat creatives that also go to see a contemporary's work. A print silk tie is hardly a step away from the business world, but that always depends of the style of design, which is a fairly notable mix of colour and pattern in this case. Throw in a green hued shirt with faint blue stripes, a complimentary watch and a royal blue pocket square, and it's not so likely that I'd be mistaken for an on or off-duty banker at any given moment. And I feel just as free and easy in this as I would in my casual clothes

   Whether they ultimately like the result or not, I think people do notice your ability to scrub up well if you've got it in the first place. And for me, that makes it worth it