We saw a lot of statement coats at Pitti this year. Shockingly, this isn’t new.


My early and very chilly walk with the dog. Temperatures were hovering in the 20’s (about -5C). The horse-blanket lined heavy wool overcoat I’m wearing was made by Sandon & Co., LTD (of 7-8 Savile Row) in 1958. It certainly took the sting out of the windchill. (Forgive the unshaven chin. I didn’t think it wise to exfoliate just before that walk….

A statement coat will garner looks from the parka clad and North Face ultralight crowd, so be prepared. However, when it comes to staying warm, there’s no reason not to have a bit of style showing.


Victorian valentine

“Let’s just stay in this year.”

Famous last words. So you’ve agreed to “not celebrate” Valentine’s Day this year. That doesn’t mean you get a pass. It just means that you get a home court advantage, guys.

Let’s start with a definition. “Celebrate: to do something special or enjoyable for a special event, holiday, occasion, etc. To praise someone or something: to say that someone or something is great or important.”

So… Let’s start with you. Dress up. If you’re staying home, wear your middle ground clothing. Trousers, shirt, sweater, loafers. Shave. Wear a bit of scent.

All ready then? What’s your dinner plan? This calls for preparing your best recipe. The one your valentine loves. Don’t cook? Order take out. I specifically  write “take out” because chances are your favorite restaurant doesn’t deliver and this isn’t the night for Chinese, Pizza or whatever.  Call your restaurant the day before, find out the specials for Saturday the 14th and put in your order for two. Tell them what time you’ll be there to pick up.

There, that isn’t too difficult, is it?

You’re not done yet. Time to set the scene. The table, for instance. Time for the fine china, silverware, candlelight….. Don’t have the good stuff? Ask a married friend and take very good care of it.

Program your music. Spotify, Pandora and a host of music sites makes this a breeze.

Match your food and wine pairings and don’t forget dessert. Champagne is generally a safe bet and goes with everything from the appetizer through the chocolate course.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

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.



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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