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Showing posts from February, 2013

"Isn't kicking up my personal style a notch or three going to cost a lot?"

Short answer, no.  It does not necessarily have to cost you an arm and a leg to begin dressing like an adult in possession of some education, grooming, sophistication, and (good) taste.  As I've mentioned here in recent posts, physical and online sales, thrift, and consignment shops are a great way to start revamping your wardrobe in the move away from over-sized t-shirts, grubby sweats, and cargo pants without breaking the bank or maxing out your credit card.  

With time, practice, and a plan, you can assemble a fantastic and unique wardrobe of shoes, odd pants and jackets, shirts, neckties, and a suit or two that will serve you well for a long, long time with proper care and maintenance.

But here's one important suggestion that won't cost you anything.  Zilch.  Nil.  Nada.  Nothing.  And it contributes immeasurably to kicking up your personal style a notch or three.  Ready?  Here ya go.

Unearth those dormant manners, table and otherwise, that your mother and father hopefull…

Sartorial Food for Thought. . .

The late Jack Klugman (as Oscar Madison) and Tony Randall (as Felix Unger) as The Odd Couple, the TV version of the roles made famous a few years earlier onstage and in film by the late Walter Matthau and Jack Lemon.
Sometimes, you have the oddest thoughts where you immediately remark to yourself, "My God!  That's right!"  In his day, TV's Oscar Madison was considered a lovable though  inveterate slob.  Yet, he usually dressed miles better than most guys do in our own time 40-odd years later.  Even when he wore plain old khakis, a gray sweatshirt, and tennis shoes.  Guys?  What the hell happened us?

Pulling together a casual style ain't all that difficult.

Yours truly and Onyx the Cat (by my right foot), enjoying the Sunday New York Times magazine section.  The duds shown here are all by Land's End and L.L. Bean.  The shirt was a birthday gift several years ago, the tan cords were purchased on sale in the fall of 2009, and the footwear came from an After Christmas sale in December 2012.
Let's dispense with all of the talk about neckties, tweed jackets, wool flannel dress pants, and silk pocket squares for a moment and get comfortable.  It's still the weekend after all.  But hold it!  We're still talking pulled together and acceptable.  So don't reach for your sweatpants, the over-sized t-shirt with salsa and beer stains down the front, or that ratty baseball cap from your college days.  Stop!  There's an easy way to look nicer, more presentable, and like you give a damn while retaining acomfortable and relaxed feel to things.  Here's how.
Land's End, L.L. Bean, J. Crew, and Eddie Bauer.  The profusion of cl…

Let's take off those hats, guys. . .

Guys, if you insist on wearing some kind of hat, or the now ubiquitous backwards baseball cap (and who would have thought in the early 90s that the trend would still be with us twenty years on?), it's time to relearn basic hat etiquette.  Ok?  

At the very least, remove your hat or cap when you come indoors, and when you sit down to the table for a snack or meal.  Only crass rubes and bumpkins on the back of turnip trucks eat with their hats on (and their elbows on the table), and sadly the observant individual will notice quite a few in restaurants of all kinds, from Taco Bell to the (now, sadly defunct) Tavern on the Green in Manhattan.  What happened?  Surely our mothers raised us better than that.

Remember, part of our personal style, our presentation, what we communicate to the world about who we are, and the kind of upbringing we've had, has to do with basic courtesies like these.  Let's make every effort to practice them in all settings, not because we must, but beca…