Cool (Weather) Dressing

Off to a cocktail party celebration of the Fan District Association’s 50th anniversary. Canali DB navy nailhead suit, Leviner Wood Custom cocktail cuff shirt, Drake’s tie, worn with black Venetian loafers. The loafers and tie dressed things down a bit. Click through for more detail.

I don’t understand something. Why have we given up?

Is it that we have, as a society, made so much money at every level of the socio-economic scale as to only want to wear “comfortable clothing”? Clothing defined by inadequate construction, constricting cuts (or no-cut-at-all denim bags and sweat suits) and all-around sameness as to be indestinguishable from the man next to you? Is this the 1950’s taken to its logical extreme? Whatever you do, don’t stand out. Even in a good way?

Or are we trying to look cool?

Because cool looks different at 40 than it does at 20.

Pat Boone autographing his signature white bucks.

Boone trading in the boy next door for the rebel without a cause look.

And finally… the rebel without a clue.

When do we decide that we want to grow up and present ourselves as adults? The folks at the cocktail party got it (well the vast majority did) with the men mostly in lounge suits and the women always doing us one better in cocktail length dresses or satin trousers and miles of heels.

I hope with the change of weather that we’ll see more grown-ups dressing well. Even if you’re in a casual environment, you can step up your game. Here are a few key pieces to keep on hand for the coming months:

A pair of loafers or moccasins without lug soles. Bonus points for those of you who choose brown suede. Or a pair of sleek chukka boots. Anything beyond the boat shoe. Unless you actually sail, in which case wear your boat shoes, nautical flag ribbon belt and foul weather jacket with pride of ownership.

Corduroy trousers. Not five-pocket “cords”, but real trousers. Flat front and hemmed, pleated and cuffed, it doesn’t matter. Four, six or eight wale (the number of ribs per inch), I like wide-wales, but choose what suits you. Good colours are olive green, brown or gold. For those of you who play with your look: red, kelly green, even white are fair game. Moleskins, if you can find them, are also comfortable and good-looking alternatives to worsteds.

Cashmere sweaters: one in a conservative navy blue, grey, or black, the other in a brighter, lighter or jewel-toned colour.

Tattersall shirts. Or checked shirts. You own enough white and blue button downs. Lightweight flannels and Viyella are fine choices this time of year.

Tweed. A car coat, a sportcoat, a driving cap, scarves… It’s rugged and practically indestructible, but dresses up or down.

Regardless, as tempting as it is to wrap up in jeans, sweatshirts and sneakers with a ball cap over the uncombed hair, please keep fighting the good fight.

Thanks for reading. Thus endeth the screed.

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