The Aesthetics of Elegance

I had a thought whilst dressing today. I am contemplating having my wig done — cut a bit shorter for the sumer months. But very short hair on me lends a sort of hard edge, even when I’m wearing a suit and tie. I’m not about to spike it up or artfully dishevel it. That’s just not me. But I have thought about cutting it shorter.

Dismissing that thought for another day, I began to think about my watch and opted for the Hamilton tank on the brown strap. It may have been because the watch has a gold case and my belt buckle on my alligator belt is gold, but mostly it was for the silhouette. It is small and slim and though I love my father’s stainless steel Rolex, it simply is not as elegant an instrument to my eye.

Both of which thoughts provoked the question of the day. Does elegance have a hard edge or must it be tempered? Does elegance lean more to androgeny?

Take classic menswear. I prefer the highly shaped, subtle drape and pleat of the 1930’s suit to the shapeless sack of the 50’s or the broad shouldered 40’s silhouette. The 60’s brought in a leaner look that is fine, but still not as… what? Luxurious, I guess, as the London cut.

I love the look of leather, glass and chrome in a sleek Manhattan Ralph Lauren penthouse. But I also appreciate that eclectic grand tour country house look and traditional toile wallpaper.

(image: Studio Annetta)

I set a very formal table and can appreciate and hope to one day let fly with something that Eddie Ross and Jaithan might conjure from the local fleamarket and Calico Corners. Alas, I’m not terribly handy or crafty.

May I ask for your help? Please leave a comment (with a link, if possible) referring to a room, objet, illustration, photo, painting, plate of food, table, what have you, that you think is exceptionally elegant. Together we’re going to nail this thing down a bit further.


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