[Editor’s note: At home with a sick son today. Plus ça change…. so please accept this article that I ran across in the drafts I’ve been working on…]
There was a bit of a nip in the air when I went for a morning run today. It is a welcome relief from the infernal heat of summer and, with Mrs. E. back at school, the crisp morning had me thinking of college. Not the colleges and universities of today, of course. I live very close to an urban university known for its “artsy-ness”, where multiple piercings, tattoos and hair dyes are the rather depressing uniform of choice of the student population.
No, I was thinking of those halcyon days when students, and their fathers, wore sports coats. And weren’t afraid of a little colour. So here we go with a sophomoric introduction to adding a colour to your kit.
Astaire was associated with his smartly tailored stage identity and became a fashion icon for his top hat, white ties and tails. Off screen, however, he favoured dressing down in sports jackets and slacks – using a tie in place of a belt.
As actress Audrey Hepburn said: “He had style. His clothes were always very casual, and terribly, extremely elegant, because he had such taste. Was he good-looking? I think so, because charm is the best looking thing in the world, isn’t it?”
Inspired by the weather (which should warm up to about 70 ºF), that quotation and this post, I decided to change out of my expected charcoal grey trousers into a pair of summer weight chinos — casual, comfortable, colourful. The POW plaid sport coat was another way of adding pattern instead of going with the expected blue blazer, which would have worked beautifully with the ensemble. Counting the yellow and blue patterned pocket square, the green and blue belt, green and blue striped socks, the yellow and blue striped tie and the blue and yellow POW mini plaid spread collar shirt, and the larger POW with blue windowpane sport coat, that makes six patterns and four colours. This is a bit over the top, but choose one or two elements and try it. This is why sports coats and casual clothing were invented: playfulness.