Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

An Odd Vest


Towards the end of my run today, I ran into a friend (and his dog) who inspired my clothing choices for the day.

You see, it seems warm with the projected high to be in the mid 50’s Fahrenheit, but it’s rather blustery. Somehow I had a headwind both going out and coming back.

My friend, Greg, is a dapper man, as befits an organist and choral conductor. Today he had on his favourite sportcoat, which is a dark tan with a very lofty hand and overlaid with red, green and blue plaid and heay enough to be worn without a topcoat on these in-between days. He had a scarf tucked into the collar, which was not wrapped around his neck, but tucked under the closed front quarters of his buttoned coat.

“It’s a good day for an odd vest,” I thought to myself, since the scarf reminded me of one. As envious as I am of Greg’s sportcoat, I don’t have anything like it. But, with the solid vest, a solid shirt, conservative tie and grey flannels, I figured I could get away with an outrageously checked Harris Tweed number.

You may realize that the camel hair vest is cut on the long side. That is an unfortunate result of the modern tendency to wear a belt instead of braces. The vest must be long enough to cover the belt and shirt when your trousers slip under your belly and down to your hipbones when wearing a belt. I do think that it throws the balance off, but I’m living with it as my MTM budget has dried up for a bit. I’m shopping my closet. Another reason why I’m winding up with so many casual combinations. A lot of this stuff is from high school and college. Or to put it another way, the 1980’s.

It’s all too country, I realize. But I don’t actually work in an office in the city. It used to be that you could get away with tweeds on Mondays or Fridays. The thought being that you were either returning from, or going to your country place. This being Thursday, I don’t have that excuse. With the recent spate of bowtie wearing and today’s country casual, I suppose you could argue that I am feeling decidedly frivolous. You may be right. But the vest allows me to keep the heat in the house down, whilst not letting down the side. Some city houses can be as draughty as country estates.

6 thoughts on “An Odd Vest

  1. My husband wore his vest today too! In fact he looks very tweedy today–I will tell him that he should save this look for Friday, as per your point above.
    However, he’s in academia, so perhaps he can carry it off on a Thursday?

  2. I think you look wonderful! As if you could star in a wonderful mystery movie — as the dashing detective visiting the country place to dig up a few clues!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

  3. What a great outfit!
    I always thought it was tweeds on Friday – with the assumption, as you state, that you going to the country on weekend. Tweeds on Monday is new to me, however I yield to your greater knowledge on the subject.

    I was also under the impression that a very elegant flat tweed was acceptable in the city in the morning assuming you would change before lunch but perhaps that was just for women who did not work. (am I mistaken on that?)

    Anyway, I think you should still be able to wear tweed on Fridays.
    As far as I can tell, it seems everyone under thirty believes they can wear scruffy jeans and tee shirts on Fridays to the office (hopefully that horrid trend will change with the tightening economy!). Of course, it does depend on the office you work for but I don’t think many would notice that you are ‘dressing down.’

  4. It’s not too country at all. As long as it is appropriate for your destination and work, you’re going to look great. The slight sheen on the vest (and your beautifully polished shoes) looks wonderful with the texture of the coat and trousers. All in all, a wonderful warm winter day outfit.

  5. I have to say that you look good. The vest really works with the mid gray trousers and the odd jacket. Compliments!

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