Must one be foreign-born or live high above a major metropolitan city to be elegant? Mr. de la Renta was photographed here on a visit to Spain in 2008. R.I.P.

Photo: di matti

 

These are the things I wondered about on my morning walk with the dog.

When I think of Mr. de la Renta, the adjectives that pop to mind are: elegant, well-dressed, dignified, graceful… you get the idea.

The same would hold true of Ms. Herrera, seen here in a rare dressed-in-black moment.

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Whilst elegance is an external expression of an internal state, it simply won’t do to neglect your daily appearance. Perhaps we should all dress for the paparazzi, regardless of our lack of fame and fortune.

 

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(Click the pic to see more from Viola Milano)

I’m not seeing much to inspire me these days. There are rare exceptions on Tumblr (from whence came the photo above) and Pinterest. But I am intrigued by the emergence of pattern as a “menswear trend.” Combined with the use of color, it can be quite striking (in a good way.)

Most men (perhaps excluding Southerners?) are afraid of color, and with good reason. A misstep and, as The Architect is fond of reminding me, you look like you’re ready for the PGA Tour. I think that color and pattern can be used to cheerful effect. But it does ask that you think out of the box — or in this case, color outside the lines — of grey, blue, tan, black.

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I styled this custom jacket at my tailor’s shop the other day and was very pleased with the result. I would have taken it one step further by adding in a lavender stripe shirt, but he hadn’t one lying around (custom tailors don’t stock much of anything, except neckwear and a few accessories.) Green, purple and yellow. That’s a lot of color. But with a pair of grey trousers and a brown shoe, it is perfectly acceptable Friday-wear and great for weekends when a jacket is required.

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Image: Addspacetoyourlife.com

I had something else to ramble about today, but I’ve been on a bit of an organizing kick. I couldn’t stand my car any longer and took it for the Super Clean Interior, Wash ‘n Wax treatment at CarPool. That happens about once a quarter in good years. The crew today at the Libbie Place station was particularly attentive (yup, clean cup holders AND shifting sleeve thingy…) It was wonderful to slip inside, shift into first and head out into the sunrise.

And then I noticed the door pockets were stuffed with mints, maps, sunglasses case, cords, cables, CD’s, and something kinda melty at the bottom. Ugh.

I decided to do something about that as soon as I got home. So I got a bag, filled it up with the detritus, sorted it, threw away the melty thing, realized I could live with selecting a CD for a week’s listening, and could get by with one package of mints. I was pleased with my decluttering. The necessaries would go into the glove box and I would feel all James Bond again.

Until I opened the glove box. The manual for the car took up much of the space. Along with every inspection report, insurance policy update, and papers from each repair, I carry a flashlight, notepad, pen, Swiss Army Knife, hand sanitizer, and some tissues. All that went into the bag, too. The bag now came inside to be dumped on the desk and reorganized. I got rid of a lot of stuff by filing it in the appropriate place, but there were still a lot of loose things to corral.

Off to Amazon, where I searched for organizers, hardshell cases, etc. . Wow! There are all kinds of cool and expensive things. I was really drawn to the Moleskine Medium Black Shell, but wasn’t sure about dimensions.

Moleskine’s Large Multipurpose Case was intriguing, too.

Amazon Basics Universal Travel Case for Small Electronics and Accessories was also on target. But would it fit?

In the end I realized I had an extra Grid-It Organizer, which handled most everything, including some antiseptic, waterproof bandages, Benadryl, and quik-clot!
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The extra cords, earbuds, and the like went into an old travel grooming kit.

I still need to cut down on a few things, and might order that multipurpose pouch, but I’m pleased with the start I’ve made. It feels good to declutter and organize and the car looks even better for it. (I even tried defogging my headlights… maybe a few more applications…)

Besides, I did get rid of the melty thing.

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