Easy and Elegant Life

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

Pattern and Colour: Step Two. Casual, Comfortable, Colourful.

[Editor’s note: At home with a sick son today. Plus ça change…. so please accept this article that I ran across in the drafts I’ve been working on…]

There was a bit of a nip in the air when I went for a morning run today. It is a welcome relief from the infernal heat of summer and, with Mrs. E. back at school, the crisp morning had me thinking of college. Not the colleges and universities of today, of course. I live very close to an urban university known for its “artsy-ness”, where multiple piercings, tattoos and hair dyes are the rather depressing uniform of choice of the student population.

No, I was thinking of those halcyon days when students, and their fathers, wore sports coats. And weren’t afraid of a little colour. So here we go with a sophomoric introduction to adding a colour to your kit.

Astaire was associated with his smartly tailored stage identity and became a fashion icon for his top hat, white ties and tails. Off screen, however, he favoured dressing down in sports jackets and slacks – using a tie in place of a belt.

As actress Audrey Hepburn said: “He had style. His clothes were always very casual, and terribly, extremely elegant, because he had such taste. Was he good-looking? I think so, because charm is the best looking thing in the world, isn’t it?”

From British Style Genius.

Inspired by the weather (which should warm up to about 70 ºF), that quotation and this post, I decided to change out of my expected charcoal grey trousers into a pair of summer weight chinos — casual, comfortable, colourful. The POW plaid sport coat was another way of adding pattern instead of going with the expected blue blazer, which would have worked beautifully with the ensemble. Counting the yellow and blue patterned pocket square, the green and blue belt,  green and blue striped socks, the yellow and blue striped tie and the blue and yellow POW mini plaid spread collar shirt, and the larger POW with blue windowpane sport coat, that makes six patterns and four colours. This is a bit over the top, but choose one or two elements and try it. This is why sports coats and casual clothing were invented: playfulness.

8 thoughts on “Pattern and Colour: Step Two. Casual, Comfortable, Colourful.

  1. Chris, I am so excited about autumn and one thing I love is layering. I happen to get cold anyway, so wearing a camisole with thin sweater, and cashmere over etc works great. Cords, jeans, wool pants. This is my time of year!

    Art by Karena

  2. Deja vu- you made me remember the special feeling of donning a new buttery pair of cords with a bright belt and a new sweater for fall. You look dashing.

  3. Chris,

    Love the quote and adore your clothes. Oh wouldn’t be lovely to truly go back to those day’s? A least, we can set the bar higher than the purple hair and tattoos!!

  4. Actually I like the combo you wear in the picture, makes you look smart and elegant, and which is more important has personality.

    I like wear a beautiful mid green tweed jacket in a herringbone pattern, which combines with slacks or jeans with or without a tie perfectly. It is smart, elegant but casual and can be combined in many forms.

    I’m such a fan of sport coats, only that under that I include many close relatives of the jacket;

    I own a pea green Teba (which is a hunting jacket very popular in Spain) that I like to wear with medium brown corduroy pants, light blue dress shirt and a Burberry check tie.

    Other favorite of mine is a twill cotton jacket in a tan color, it is not easy to describe, but if you don’t know what I’m talking about think of a heavy cotton twill fabric, and a classic 3 button two vents cut (but no linings or padding), I wear it with jeans a blue stripe shirt, with and without tie, but I also combined with dark brown slacks;

    My last acquisition for this season is a beautiful Fay jacket in military green. I really love it, it is made in nylon, (no kidding) light weight waterproof nylon, but the cut is a traditional jacket, except for two vertical zipper pockets in the chest that are somehow the brand’s signature, it is a hybrid of jacket and raincoat, that kind of clothing piece only Milanese could pull out of the hat, real mad genius. I’m wearing today with blue navy chinos, a blue seersucker stripped shirt, medium brown tassels and no tie.

  5. Yes, I like the green, I think combines really well in sportwear, but I think another reason is I took a lot of inspiration from the hunting wardrobe, classic english and spaniard classics; much of my sportwear “repertoir” is influenced by this look.

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