I am not a particularly creative person. My right-brain functions are sorely underdeveloped (nb.: alas, the same could be said of my left-brain functions, but one thing at a time). I take comfort in structure, routine, pattern, and certainty.
June is the most popular month for weddings, which means you may have to attend one in the not-so-distant future. Thankfully, as a man, dressing to be a wedding guest is fairly straightforward. Suit, tie, and polished oxfords are standard, but those categories are broad and include some bad ideas. Here are some tips on how to get it right.
When I was a grad student, the weekend had little significance. Studying literature, I only needed to be in meetings occasionally, and I dressed accordingly: the choice between jeans and chinos, linen or flannel or Oxford cloth was a whim. I wore a jacket some days, but only for variety.
I once read of an interaction between an antiques collector and the writer Bruce Chatwin, who as a young man worked in the antiques department of Sotheby’s. The collector had seen Chatwin pull out of a pile of worthless rubbish the one article that had any character and value. “I see that you have The Eye,” began the collector. “I too have The Eye.”
Wide-eyed newcomers to the mad, mad world of #menswear often ask for clear rules for deciding the quality of a piece of clothing, usually without much success. One easy first step on that sartorial learning curve is that shirts whose collars have stays sewn inside them are invariably low quality.
It wasn’t long after I graduated college and landed my first job that I treated myself to a small collection of fine leather shoes. Being new to fine footwear, I didn’t know the extent of the horrors that the streets of New York City could inflict upon my shiny prized possessions.
It’s Monday morning at 6am and I read the dreaded 30% chance of precipitation in the weather forecast. In my mathematical mind a 30% chance of precipitation is the same thing as a 70% chance of no precipitation. I am a glass half full kind of guy so I reach for my newest, shiniest oxfords to wear for the day.
For all the handwringing we do over how our suits and sport coats fit, it’s good to know that some things aren’t as difficult to size. If getting a suit to fit right requires understanding jacket silhouettes and having an alterations tailor, getting a sweater to fit right only requires knowing your size and having access to a sink.