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Doubling Up
20 Oct

Doubling Up

A fellow once joined a discussion board to post about a peculiar problem: he always wore out the elbows of his shirts first. I don’t know what he was doing (perhaps his sleeves were too short and he stressed them at the elbow whenever he bent his arms?), but his odd quandary helpfully reminds us that we each have a particular wear problem. For most of us, it’s the collars and cuffs of shirts, which certain dandies relish wearing as they thin away, and the seats, cuffs and crotches of trousers.

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An Imposter For Our Times
06 Oct

An Imposter For Our Times

An impostor, with the truth of an incredible palate, uncannily able to recognize different wines and vintages after only a handful of years in the wine world.

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Five Against One
22 Sep

Five Against One

International tragedies have a way of making me sympathetic to the works of Hugo Jacomet. Perhaps his works somehow anticipate the direction the world moves.

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Book Review: Cool Town
08 Sep

Book Review: Cool Town

We listened so often we memorized lyrics like the secret readers in Fahrenheit 451, at least the lyrics to the songs Stipe enunciated. Famously elusive, mumbled and indirect, many of his songs were like codes, with meanings no more than roundabout guesses. All that and more came back hearing that snatch of song, and reading Grace Elizabeth Hale’s incredible Cool Town: How Athens, Georgia Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture. In it she not only clearly and thoroughly tells the fascinating story of the Athens scene around University of Georgia that gave rise to R.E.M. and so many other acts, she captures and conveys the liberation, joy and sweetness of youth.

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The Least of All Casualties
25 Aug

The Least of All Casualties

I’m thinking, for some reason, of the late Adnan Khashoggi and of a host of dead playboys and nabobs, shrouded in the finest custom shirts money, so much money, could buy.

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Nature Is
11 Aug

Nature Is

Something large is crashing through the brush in front of me just out of sight. I wait half-expecting it to emerge but, keeping the mystery, snapping, thudding, it never does.

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To Do Well That Which Should Not Be Done At All
28 Jul

To Do Well That Which Should Not Be Done At All

For a surprisingly large set of men, particularly Frenchmen, who care about beautiful shoes, an artificial patina is, with apologies to Mr. Bungle, the sweetest taboo.

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A Lifetime
14 Jul

A Lifetime

One of the joys of custom clothing, they used to say, is that is supposed to last forever.  Any English teacher would immediately ask, who are “they”? The reassuring voice of others that lured us down this path, the sybarite chorus of lazy fashion journalists and bored copywriters, repeating every few articles or press releases the same tropes about a kind of clothing that had become both incredibly rare and, generally, deterrently expensive a few decades ago.

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