Friday, October 29, 2010
A Treatise On Tassels
If you're into reincarnation and past lives, you might say that I'm an old soul. My parents always used to say that I was "insert elementary school age here" going on thirty, and they were probably more correct than they imagined. Case in point: I love wearing tassel loafers with casual wear.
Some of you will snicker and say "Mike, they look silly," or "Mike, you should enjoy your youth and throw on some Chucks," or "Mike, you can't wear those until you pay for a routine colonoscopy with money from your first Social Security check."
Well, Social Security isn't going to exist by the time I get to that age, so I have to get it in now while I can. I do, however, understand the apprehension that most guys have towards them. Most tassel loafers aren't cool in the traditional sense because most men who wear them are either past middle age or are young men who don't know how to dress themselves, so they just mimic what their dads (who, again, are past middle age) do. Hardly a recipe for looking baller at the club.
On the other hand, for a day off where you're moseying about the city, getting coffee, or hitting up a diner, tassel loafers are fantastic. Yes, I like them because it is indeed ironic to be a young guy in tassels, but the tassels themselves add visual interest, and they play very nicely with the blue lambswool cardigan I happen to be rocking the living hell out of at the time of this writing. So what differentiates cool ones from uncool ones?
First we need to talk about vamps. "Vamp" is a term that refers to the topmost part of any loafer. A women's ballet flat, for example, has a very low vamp, barely covering just the toes. Most loafers advertised to younger men tend to have higher vamps, but most tassel loafers are pretty low-vamped. In my opinion, this is what makes them look old man-ish, more "Grandpa" than "chic." Find yourself a pair of higher-vamped tassel loafers and you're on your way to looking like a well-dressed guy as opposed to a schlumpy old man.
Second, don't wear them with a suit unless you're a hell of a dresser and know precisely what you're doing. Sockless tassels with a slim suit can be very chic and Italian-inspired, but doing the same thing with a Brooks Brothers sack suit just looks like crap. Jeans and khakis, kept slim, will work well with high-vamped tassels. If you're a confident, advanced dresser, try them with some loud socks and well-cut dress pants. If anyone gives you a hard time, tell them you're prepping for your golden years.