Sunday, March 6, 2011

WIW: Houndstooth and Pastel

A peacock is bright and memorable. But we remember the peacock for his feathers and nothing else. We don't think of his legs, beak or head as the source of his beauty, only his feathers.

The peacock can teach us a valuable lesson: one of restraint. The peacock has one feature that stands above the rest: his feathers. The same should apply to the stylish man.

If a man is to wear an outfit with a single garment that is wild and perhaps gaudy, he should show restraint with the rest of the outfit. One crazy garment will draw the eye while two or more crazy garments will poke it out. Pairing together too many gaudy articles of clothing and creating too many focus points will give the wearer an appearance of trying too hard. Keep it simple and you will go far.

For example, today I wore a rather crazy 1940s lounge jacket. No doubt I could have paired it with trousers that are just as wild and looked like a clown as a result.

However, I used pastel colors and toned down garments to counterbalance the crazy monochrome jacket while adding some color.

click images to enlarge

Note that the jacket has a fairly large houndstooth fabric pattern. Not only that, it is in black and white.

The simple pastel colors found in the hat, shirt and socks help counteract that wild pattern and monochrome color scheme, turning the sensational into something more pleasing to the eye.

Throw in a pair of vintage Florsheim shoes and you get a very nice casual outfit.

Like the peacock, show some restraint when putting an outfit together.



Does this type of shirt have a particular name? I recently re-watched "An American In Paris" and Gene Kelly wears one similar - I think - when he goes to ask Leslie Caron out at the perfume shop. Maybe it's the way he wears the collar on top of his lapel. thanks and keep up the excellent work.

Will said...

The shirt is a regular button up shirt with a long tip collar.


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