This is sort of another “Middle Ground” post.
The other day I wrote that I felt like dressing up again. And then the temperatures started to reach into the 90’s with a humiture of over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. It is hard to keep up standards in these conditions.
However, dressing up doesn’t have to mean what you think. Choosing the right clothing can make you feel more put together than the next guy. That and a lot of Gold Bond Powder.
I realize that the color of my trousers is a bit of a stretch for some of you. In a creative industry, I can get away with things that the average businessman wouldn’t dream of attempting. But you get the idea. I think the thing that sets this sort of look apart is the formally very formal white collared shirt, worn casually. I hate to perspire through nice silk neckties. I tied it in with white slip-on shoes, but a pair of snuff suede would work just as well. On days I don’t dare wear even my lightest unconstructed sport coat, this is my fall-back for business meetings.
Khakis and polo shirts are reserved for the weekends and after work.
Those are the exact words I used with my tailor as soon as I slipped on my new sportcoat.
You see, it’s been miserably hot and humid here in Virginia. That isn’t surprising. But the heat and humidity make me want to loaf about in Bermuda shorts and a t-shirt.
That’s the problem with trying to find a casual middle ground. You begin to strip away ornamentation (your tie will be the first thing to go, socks next….) and suddenly you find yourself thinking that the sport coat or blazer isn’t really necessary in this sort of environment… And, before you know it, BOOM! Shorts and a t-shirt.
Relaxed grooming standards are the next step. Stubble, long hair. Then a bit of fun. A little color helps. Wrist raff begins to creep in. Paisley shirts may make an appearance for those on the hip path. Aloha shirts, for those who aren’t.
And, as long as we’re sort of all casual and flowy, we can hide a bit of beer belly without all the effort of breaking a work-out sweat.
You see where this is going. And I fell for it, like an egg from a tall chicken (James Coburn, “Charade.”)
But with the severe deconstruction of the sportcoat and the lightweight, open weave, and quarter-lined fabric, this coat is breezy-cool. It weighs next to nothing and lets in a draught.
All of which makes me want to dress up, again.
A very good post about the book, and how to apply its concepts to your life is found on The Lady’s Life. Follow the link!
In Pursuit of Elegance