Easy and Elegant Life

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

The Secret to Wearing Clothes Elegantly.

[Full disclosure: this post was inspired by a podcast on A Suitable Wardrobe. Will was interviewing a guy from Luciano Barbera and I just couldn’t get this image out of my head.]

(Image: Break.com)

I am in the process (and it is a process in my case) of packing for our trip to New York this weekend. In addition to my costume for the party, I will have clothing for days and nights on the town in tow. So what to pack?

A suit and a pair of odd trousers, two pairs of shoes, three ties, four shirts and a sweater. That gives me plenty of options and I don’t mind being “dressed up,” I do it almost every day, even though I don’t have to.

The secret to wearing clothing elegantly is to wear what you’ve got until you feel completely natural in your garments. It is often said that Fred Astaire wore his evening clothes like others wear pyjamas. Well, he danced in white tie and black tie. A lot. Why shouldn’t he feel at ease in full fig?

Another archetypal story is of Sean Connery’s first brush with bespoke clothing. He was told to wear his new suit constantly, even to sleep in it, until it became his suit — his second skin.

Get comfortable in your second skin. Suit up, and if at the end of the day you find yourself with a football in your hands or at your feet, loosen your tie or kick off your heels and tell ’em to go long.

6 thoughts on “The Secret to Wearing Clothes Elegantly.

  1. I agree that it is important to dress elegantly so that it isn’t a chore or awkward. It is the same with entertaining, setting a table, or preparing a dish. If you don’t do it regularly it isn’t as effortless, and therefore not as elegant.

  2. The gentleman in the suit looks terrific! No doubt a very good suit, looks so modern yet sensible and classic, even comfortable, at the same time. Just returned from a delightful weekend in North Carolina at our daughter’s college. The students, parents, faculty, everyone, looked surprisingly healthy, tidy, pulled together, and . . . well, normal. The obesity quotient was low, the facial hair was at least well groomed, the young ladies dressed modestly, and the parents tucked their shirts in. Have we turned a page? Or is this just North Carolina? 🙂

  3. So so so true! I also think that the fabrics make a big difference to what you feel comfortable wearing. I always feel so at ease wearing wool pants even though it seems hot.

  4. Paula, it may just be NC.

    Abby Jenkins, As far as having things stuck in your head, could be worse!

    TJ, wool breaths and wicks. It just makes sense rather than heavier twill cotton.

    SwF, Indeed. How does one get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice…

  5. Whenever I go to NYC I take an empty bag. That way I have to buy the clothes I’ll need to go out on the town. (I hope you visited Belgian’s on East 55th in the city.)

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