Easy and Elegant Life

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

No Bells, No Whistles

T-shirts hanging on wooden hangers

I am now the proud owner of a bottom-of-the-line GE washer-dryer stack and I couldn’t be happier about my decision.

This all came about a few weeks after the last washer-dryer decided that it was no longer willing to hold water and after regaling my neighbors with the great flood of 2024 over Easter cocktails (Episcopalians… where you find four, you’ll find a fifth), I was surprised to find that they’d had to replace top-of-the-line luxury washers and dryers several times in just two years and had settled on a stack that did nothing but “wash the clothes.” They, like me, couldn’t be more pleased. Then the three of us debated the pros and cons of owning a vintage car. We generally agreed that touch screen menus are annoying and that turning a key was sort of fun, and that knowing how to handle a manual transmission was a very good thing. Fewer things to go wrong, more options with repair or replacement.

All of which got me to thinking that I’ve finally reached that age. Especially with clothing.

There was a time when I wanted the Norfolk jacket with its half-belt, bi-swing shoulders and bellows pockets. Or a double-breasted three-piece suit with the double-breasted waistcoat. I imagine it’s common to want to shout “custom-made” or “bespoke” when you first start getting your clothing made. With luck, your tailor will gently persuade you otherwise. Perhaps a single button-hole instead of the stacked three in contrasting thread? One needn’t wear the whole bouquet after all… . (Full disclosure: yes I have surgeon’s cuffs on my suits and sports coats, but I don’t leave them open.)

Nowadays I want my clothing to do a couple of things only — flatter me in comfort.

To that end, I hope to actually clean out my closet. That’s hard to do when you’re a bit of an obsessive and amateur historian. Still, to be able to settle into a couple of blazers, a few sports coats, several suits and two dinner jackets along with a dozen shirts and a dozen pairs of trousers would feel really good these days.

Hey you kids, get off of my lawn!

2 thoughts on “No Bells, No Whistles

  1. I’m chuckling at this post. I, too, am “that” age. I have a complicated SUV that has endless media, cameras, and even driver assist. It’s nice, but I don’t use most of it.

    I find myself more at peace rolling down the road in my early 2000s Japanese sedan. It’s solid as a rock and like you say, turn the key, stick it in gear, maybe some a/c and some tunes (from the 6 CD changer), and I’m a happy camper.

    On the clothing front, I’ve been going back and forth, experimenting with simplification. I have tried clearing out clothes and storing them at a warehouse just to see what a simpler wardrobe feels like.

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