This was one of those days when not having an office to report to for work means not getting yourself cleaned up until 3/4 of the day’s work had already been done. Better late than never, though. By mid-afternoon it was unseasonably warm, which seemed to call for leaving the sweaters and tweed–and socks–behind.
By the time I had today’s bow tie on, I was in grave danger of losing all sunlight. Since I’m kind of a lighting nazi, it’s a good thing the orange ball of eight-minute-old light hadn’t packed up for the evening. The sun seems to work banker’s hours this time of year.
I pulled out my new Bill’s Khakis Pima Cords. Narrow waled, M3–their most narrow cut, and very, very comfortable, and cuffed like grown-up trousers with a grown-up break. I suppose if I really wanted to stick to my high water thing, I could bundle them up a bit. With all this grown-up-ness, I thought I’d be a little juvenile and lose the socks. Birthday Socks, you might call them. Added a D-ring belt for a little more interest and youthfulness. Maybe I’m wrong about the effect of these touches, but it felt right on my end.
Today’s bow has been one of our favorites, and a favorite of our customers too. It’s a Maxwell rendered in diamond point. Soft wool & silk that won’t scratch your neck. Subtle glen plaid pattern. A bit of a purple-ish hue in certain light. This exact one
will go up on the store late Wednesday is now in our store at a special price, but you can get yourself a Maxwell bow tie in any cut, or a necktie of the same pattern with a square end or a point end.
Come to think of it, the Maxwell–and this cut specifically–embodies the whole young man / old man balance that seems to keep coming up in these posts. (Hey, that’s a clever name. I should start a blog called Young Man / Old Man!) The bow is a bow tie, so it’s old man already. It’s glen plaid. Old man again. But it’s got a little different scale and texture–larger, and with more ‘static’–than your grandpa’s old 3-piece suit. It’s diamond-pointed: an early twentieth century detail, but a mark of youthful individuality and quirkiness in our present setting.
Maybe we’re thinking about this too much. Actually, no. We think about these things for a few minutes when we’re putting our clothes on in the morning (or in my case today, in the mid-afternoon). We think about them on either a conscious or a subconscious level when we notice someone’s interesting ensemble. We think about them whilst blogging. And boy do we blog. But the goal of getting dressed is not to think about clothes. It’s to wear clothes, to present yourself to someone, making an ever-so-swift and quite un-analyzed first impression, to be able to go about your day knowing that the couple moments you spent thinking about what you put on now allow you just to do life without being fussy, uptight, self-conscious, or whatever about your appearance. Maybe a good indication that clothes have received the appropriate consideration and no more is when it feels a little forced to reflect on their appearance, or to articulate what you were “going for” in this or that ensemble. Maybe that’s a good indication that you’re wearing clothes, and clothes aren’t wearing you. If the clothes are wearing you, you’re probably not comfortable, and you’re probably not putting those around you at ease. It used to be that this was the cornerstone of the prevailing philosophy of gentlemanly style. Not a bad thing to remember.
Okay, that’s quite enough for one night. I better quit before I start to sound like a total dork.