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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In Light of a Few Comments

The brown whipcord suit is being given a new home. Thank you for confirming what I have suspected. I’m a hopeless pack rat. Somehow I ignored that suit when I went through the closet early in the year.

Today’s effort, as I return from visiting my tailor, is decidedly more urbane. It is a double stripe navy three button by Hackett. Hacking pockets, pickstitching, maroon lining, surgeon’s cuffs, a button fly and side straps on the double reverse pleated, yet narrow, trouser. This suit has a lot of custom touches (and was the gift of a friend. Many, Many Thanks!) I might lengthen the sleeves, if possible. But I don’t mind showing a lot of linen. As long as it’s not too bad.


I’ve heard that the trend toward the modern man in the grey flannel suit can be attributed to AMC’s “Mad Men” and to a backlash against anyone who may be thought to be “dressing like a banker.”


Why wasn’t there a general outcry railing against casual dress codes when the dot-com bubble burst? Because most men are very comfortable being grown-up fraternity boys in sweats and jeans.

Still, I was awfully serious looking until I changed into the brighter tie. And these bright green socks…


Just because I’m grown up, doesn’t mean that I’m serious all the time. Add a little whimsy, now and then, to your kit. If only to put a smile on your face.

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