Easy and Elegant Life

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

Barking Up the Wrong Tree?

One tie.

Admittedly, this is an article written by women who are dedicated followers of fashion, where we are trying to define a classically inspired timeless wardrobe.

But still I wonder. If the purpose of dressing is to present your best self, is this the sort of thing that people are looking for? This is casual. Very casual, in my opinion.

Are we barking up the wrong tree this Christmas? Would the women in our lives prefer that we dress like lumberjacks? (In my case a 45-year-old lumberjack?) And what would we prefer that the women in our lives wear to the holiday festivities? I love cocktail attire. But I may be a dinosaur. What do you think?

11 thoughts on “Barking Up the Wrong Tree?

  1. Oh, no, no no! I prefer what I call casual elegance. A tie is not an absolute, however everything else must work perfectly.


    Art by Karena

  2. You are spot-on. The fashion gals in that set-up are only interested in the current trend and not this particular style. The [sub]urban Lumberjerk look is already played out, and thankfully, the emasculated males who go for this farce will be on to the next thing soon enough.

    Stay true to what you already do well! You are right about this.

  3. It depends on what you are doing, if you are hiking, camping, working a vineyard, or sailing; but for everyday wears I say “not fast there tiger!”

  4. Women who work want casual off-time…except for dressed-up parties. These looks are dressy casual in a woman’s eyes.

  5. I think it’s a mixed bag. I get that those of us who have to dress up on a regular basis like to tone it down a bit when we are “on leave”. But I’ve always thought that Christmas could and should be a more elegant time of year. After-all, there isn’t as much time (or weather) for hiking and we tend to be in-doors more often, which lends itself to dressing things up a bit.

    That said, I’m always a sucker for a little black dress (although that’s not much for hanging around the house). I’m also a big fan of a plaid midi-skirt with sweater. But at the end of the day, I want the ladies to be comfortable, so I’ll leave the final decision up to them.

  6. Much too casual for my taste. Also, too trend conscious. For a holiday party, these are all a “fail”. I’d prefer to see a gentleman in a shirt, tie, dress slacks and shoes with a blazer or cashmere pullover sweater. For myself, a cocktail dress in the evening and an elegant sweater, skirt or slacks and pearls for an afternoon event or a more casual evening event.

  7. Ugh. My guess is that even genuine lumberjacks try to look presentable for social occasions, and not as though they raided a box of random Goodwill donations for a party outfit.

  8. Fashion, well maybe, if you are in your early 20s and going for a drive to the beach…not to a Christmas party. Style though, heck no. These fashions reveal a lack of sophistication and a dearth of ability to put a whole package together that would add grace and beauty. Elegance demands that both strength and dignity shine through, but these outfits make the wearers look like they are effeminate metrosexuals who are dominated by the women in their lives. They don’t look like men, they look like sissy boys (or girly men as Schwarzenegger would say). I certainly have no desire to share that appeal.

  9. Uh…well, my first impression is that these girls are trying to make an impression on us by showing us their familiarity with the latest catalogs. That’s not the assignment, as I understood it, or maybe I’m just wrong and they really like this mall-windowposter dressing. In any case, any guy wishing to stick out just a bit can easily do so by doing what has already been posted here: go more classical. Have fun with colorful tartans, cashmere, playful bowties, or even a contemporary ascot. Wear a belt and a blazer. Be the season, second only to being yourself. Nice try girls, but I can see all this aplenty in the mags. Try thinking for yourself next time and not worrying about what we’re going to think about what you think.

  10. Even though I get the lumberjack reference, I agree with the criticism mostly because no true ‘jack (or anyone trying to rock an outdoors look) would be caught dead in skinny leg trousers. The resuting mashup of confused (or, thank goodness passe’?) urbanite metrosexual seemed painfully reaching, especially for a supposedly casual, comfort-infused evening event.
    But hey, what does this almost-50 year old guy know about fashion? It’s just not elegance, nor elan.

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