Monday Casual


Monday is not the day that I normally hit the ground running in casual attire. Monday call for the fullbore treatment of serious suit, shirt, tie and polished laceups. Both barrels. No quarter. Eat the wounded.

At least that was the case when I worked for a living. Nowadays things can get positively relaxed here at Easy and Elegant Life HQ. Witness the above photo; the only rushing I’ve done was to get seated before the automatic timer took the photo.

It’s still warm’ish here in Central Virginia but, with the arrival of fall, I long to break out my heavier clothing. With afternoon temperatures in the 80’s/20’s and starting off considerably cooler in the mornings, I’m in a bit of a pickle. Hot means white trousers for me. But I’m hanging on to that outdated convention out of sheer bloody-mindedness. On me: a tattersall button down, lightweight wool and nylon tweed jacket (Abboud and wonderful to travel with) and tropic weight trousers in a colour that may best be described as banana-cream. The neckerchief (a large square from New and Lingwood) will be removed as the heat of the day progresses and I see that I’ve forgotten my socks.

Standards are slipping, aren’t they? A variation of this may work for those of you still suffering through casual dress codes.

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Blot, Swat, Bind. Carry a Handkerchief


The truly elegant man is never as nerve-wracked in appearance as I frequently appear to be. At least until the first bit of Dutch Courage hits about halfway through a martini.

Given my ability to manufacture stress and my penchant to wear dress clothing almost exclusively, I tend to perspire at inopportune times. And at times like that I mop my brow, wipe my hatband, dab my neck and get on with things. And I do that with a pocket handkerchief. I carry one always. I prefer cotton, but the ancient linens above are lovely and gets tucked into the hip pocket or the suit coat pocket on occasion. Cotton is easier to give away, or not miss if ruined.

They’re very useful, you know, for things other than mopping one’s brow. They dust off park benches for one’s lady friends. They allow parlay with the enemy in order to let him bow out of the fight gracefully. They bind up a wound if that does not happen. Always be gracious in victory. That’s the motto when the Easy and Elegant Life household takes the field.

In “The Last Crusade” a handkerchief doubles as protection from the sun whilst riding into the sunset.

Of course, the pocket handkerchief may become a pocket square and there are those who wear that way and use them as they were meant to be used. And then there is a reporter friend of mine who carries a bandana as a handkerchief. Along with his ancient tweeds, bowties, round tortoiseshell glasses and commemorative military belt buckles, it suits him. Dandily.

Perhaps the handkerchief’s decline in popularity came from the rise of the ” ‘doo rag?” Or the aversion to re-pocketing a used one? Or the triumph of the Kleenex, disposable tissue? I’m not sure. But it would do for you to carry one. As a man of action, you never know when you might need one.

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Winning the Pink Ribbon


Forgive the reuse of this image, but the issue here is much more important than a snapshot.

This is an awful club to get into, not at all discriminating, far too easy to join and the dues are sickening.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And thanks to Mrs. Blandings for reminding me.

Cancer, of any kind, is communicable. You can’t get it from someone else, but it sure has a devastating impact on everyone around its victim. Do what you can to kill off at least one strain of this terrible disease. Talk about it, donate to the cause, rally around a friend or family member who is fighting like hell or just show your silent support by wearing a bit of pink today.

But above all else, be aware. Early detection is crucial to your survival. Believe me.

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