Finding your own style is about communicating through clothes what you want to project about yourself. We might think of Tom Wolfe’s white suits or Andy Warhol’s Brooks Brothers button downs and jeans as examples of iconic style identities, representing respectively Wolfe's immaculate, clinical detachment from his subjects and Warhol's insouciant delight in the visual library of the everyman. At the same time, a style identity ought to be about comfortable self-expression. We shouldn’t be dressing up for a part, playing someone we’re not.
Statesmen and scientists, ministers and musicians, authors and artists, there was hardly a human pursuit without a representative in the caricatures of the late Victorian political and society magazine Vanity Fair. From its founding by Thomas Gibson Bowles in January 1869 until its demise at the dawn of the Great War, Vanity Fair’s forty-five year run produced more than two thousand lithographic illustrations.
One of the ways to step outside the rushing whirlwind of fashion is to have a solid connection with our past and our future. We like to imagine we are resistant to the culture of disposable fashion, but it’s hard not to be pulled by the gravity of the moment.
Shine those julep cups and print out the lyrics to “My Old Kentucky Home.” The first Saturday in May brings with it the running of the The Kentucky Derby, the fastest two minutes in sports. Take spring, throw in a racetrack, and you have full permission for some sartorial flamboyance.
There are few more enduring legends in Western literature than that of the Holy Grail. The Grail was the cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, then later by Joseph of Arimathea to catch the blood of Christ on the cross. Centuries later, the worthy Sir Galahad, son of Lancelot, was inspired by a vision to seek the Grail.
If you have nice shoes, and I suspect you have many, then you have shoe trees—or ought to. Trees are meant to preserve the form and function of a shoe. We have all seen pictures of the old, uncared for pair of wingtips, toes pointing to the heavens, crying out for rescue from their uncaring master.