Easy and Elegant Life

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

Shop and Drop


I’ll bet that you’re going to be hearing a lot about “shopping your closet” this spring. It makes sense. Most of us have more than enough clothing, even those of us who long to have more made… . And almost all of us have fewer funds to spend on having more made.

The thing is, if you’ve been buying quality clothing, you’re in pretty good shape. Your suits may not be cut along this year’s model, but you probably have accessories that are. And that can “update” your look for nothing.

Take the example above. The suit is relatively new. To me anyway. It was purchased second-hand through an eBay vendor. I need to have the collar shortened, and may have the trouser leg narrowed a bit. But those are pretty minor tweaks for a good tailor to make. Inexpensive fixes to ensure that the suit fits me as well as it can having not been made specifically for me. The shirt is an ancient Ike Behar purchased somewhere around 1990? The collar is fraying and it rarely sees the light of day, being reserved for household chores, but it worked for the next shot. The tie was my father’s and is slim enough to be fashionable once again. It is a raw silk Hathaway from the early 80’s. The shoes are Allen Edmonds Sanford model and were the first pair of black shoes that I bought when I was entering the job market in 1988. They have been refurbished at the factory three times and are as comfortable as a pair of gloves at this point.

Being stylish isn’t the same thing as being fashionable. But you can be au courant as long as you stick to your look.

While I was sussing out today’s clothing, I came across three pairs of gabardine trousers that I haven’t worn in over a year. Gabardine is wonderful stuff for spring, comfortable in the warmer afternoons, and yet substantial enough to stand up to the cooler mornings. A high-twist version in a blue double-breasted makes a great addition to your travel wardrobe. It can be highly formal when paired with a white spread collar, French (double) cuff shirt and a solid tie (or silver glen plaid or houndstooth), or loosened up by playing with patterns and colours. Split the coat from the suit and you can pass it off as a navy blazer if need be. At any rate, the trousers are going to the thrift store where some job applicant may pick them up for a song and feel that much better prepared for his interview. Spring cleaning feels useful this year. So shop your closet and drop off anything that you just don’t wear anymore. Somebody will appreciate it.

Speaking of the economy, please don’t forget that tomorrow is April Food Day. Brother…… ?

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