I’m a bit glazed over today (cut the thumb whilst adjusting my razor… list as long as my arm to accomplish before tomorrow… unseasonably warm again… ), so I thought that I would put down a few of my random thoughts. Yes, these are really the things that preoccupy me on a daily basis.
1. It’s Abraham Lincoln’s 200th birthday. The 16th President of the USA once said to Congress that they would be remembered for what they did with honour or dishonour. I hope that a concept as old-fashioned as honour carries the same weight today as it did then. Its antithesis, ignominy, must never be applied to your memory. Never surrender the moral high ground.
2. Well cut and fitted trousers and a polo sweater are incredibly versatile and a good alternative to your casual Friday standbys.
3. I am “neck forward” (and skinny necked in my opinion) in tailoring terms and so hate to have my neck exposed. I prefer to wear a tie or neckerchief rather than expose my undershirt under an open collar. That said, for those of you uncomfortable with the idea of neckwear, the scarf is your most elegant alternative in cooler weather.
4. Just because your suit is a little out of date doesn’t mean that it cannot be worn today. IF you bought a high quality garment, had it meticulously tailored and didn’t go for a fashionable cut. Moderation wins the day here. That and limiting the trips to the drycleaners who will cut the life expectancy of even the best suits in half.
5. In reviewing the article on Sarah Jessica Parker (channeling Diana Vreeland) in Harper’s Bazaar, I was struck by her innate stylishness (great cover!) Why are men so lacking in that department? We tend to play it safe (not a bad thing per se), which is what got us into the whole golf shirt/khakis/boat shoes mess to begin with. I’m not calling for flamboyance, simply more conscious elegance. I’ve seen men with spotless, high-end German sportscars go out looking like Peter Falk in “Columbo.”
6. Rugged does not mean unkempt. I bet Teddy Roosevelt was well-tailored even charging up San Juan Hill.
7. When did we forget how to read and think critically? Or is that just me?
8. In retrospect, when furnishing my first rooms, the most successful were minimalist. I only decorated with original pieces and in very neutral tones. I think that is a good direction to take when starting out. Save and buy the best. Think of your (future) home as a collection and you as the curator. One of the Murphy’s residences was all white with a glossy black piano with a large steel ball bearing as art.
10. I’m not Italian. I tried wearing white jeans with a tweed jacket the other day. Winter white is wonderful. On women. Save it for your Aran sweaters.
11. Why is it that people only seem to dress in really big cities here in the US? (Witness The Sartorialist, today.)
12. Fred Astaire, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, A.J. Biddle, Gianni Agnelli, _________________________? I miss the Men’s Vogue “Life Studies” articles. Real stylish men, really inspiring.
13. For all the grousing about there being too many blogs, the volume of sheer brilliance out there is staggering.