Thursday, December 2, 2010

In the beginning

I am going to start with somthing that many writers of men's style blogs have already covered. I'm doing this because it is important enough to deserve repitition. It is the question of "style". Style is not fashion, it is not even being fashionable. It is classic, I hesitate to use the word "timeless" but I think it's appropriate enough. Style is the use of the tried and tested methods and items of clothing that have endured for decades or longer. These have been designed with proportion in mind, refined to flatter the body and most of all to express oneself.

Style, I believe, is also more than merely clothes. It is a lifestyle, an attitude and the manner in which you do things. I included the picture above because I feel it is a great example of this constant expression of style. It is essentially just a picture three friends joking and laughing but they manage to appear stylish (even Sammy Davis Jr. whose rather large laugh would in other cases make him look clownish). You can then pay closer attention to the picture and the clothes that they are wearing. Dean Martin's extended three button shirt cuffs, Frank Sinatra's puff of pocket square and Sammy Davis Jr.'s double breasted dinner jacket and shirt studs so close together that I suspect that they might be buttoned in pairs. These are all the signs you need to know that tese people know style. Putting on a suit or a dinner jacket isn't, in itself, stylish but add a hastily stuffed pocket square and it elevates the whole look to something more.

I live in Ireland which is not, shall we say, the most sartorially inclined or open minded country on this planet. We have no history of style or master tailors. Suits, when worn, are almost never adorned with anything. The short sleeved checked shirt, ususally with a chest pocket (which has it's place), is over abundant. I too often get asked why I "dress so fancy" or if I'm "going to a wedding" when I'm merely wearing a suit. I don't even need a tie for these questions to arise. I occasionally feel like I'm on the wrong side of a war but one must persevere.

So, in summary, style is not merely clothes or suits or attitude. Style is most definitely not fashion.

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