Saturday, March 17, 2012

Tangled Up In Brown

Just a couple of nights ago, I had both the pleasure and the privilege of being invited to two friends' rehearsal dinner before their wedding. This was a particularly thoughtful gesture; my girlfriend is a bridesmaid while I'll just be reprising my role as drunken reveler on the big day. They went above and beyond the rules of wedding etiquette by inviting me, and I'm incredibly grateful for the gesture. Being the skinny fat man that I am, I will never refuse a delicious dinner, especially on someone else's dime. 


In the days leading up to the dinner, however, I wondered: what the hell am I going to wear? I wear jeans 90% of the time (my work dress code pretty much requires it), so I was excited at the thought of actually dressing up a bit. I brought up some pretty bold sartorial choices to my girlfriend, and she had the good sense to remind me that it was still a casual dinner and to maybe not do everything in my power to draw attention to myself. 

She was right, and that's probably the only time she'll every get that in writing. It wasn't a dinner in my honor, so while it behooved me to dress well, being too rakish would have been a distasteful choice. Best to allow the attention to be directed where it belonged: to the bride and groom. Many people turn to black when they'd like to look nice without standing out, but I don't like black at all. In fact, I own no black clothing whatsoever. I did have a smart pair of dark brown dress pants though, so I decided on the following get-up, based on earth tones. Please pardon the poor photo quality; I'm not a good photographer and have never claimed to be:

I figured chocolate brown shoes would be too, well, chocolatey with chocolate brown pants, so I went with my new tan penny loafers:

In a rare turn of events, I decided to wear socks that weren't terribly bold in color (note the fine pinstripes in the pants):

The shirt is a beautiful but subdued multi-colored check, and the sport coat is the one I got back in November 2010 that I've worn nearly every single day that's been under 55 degrees. It was awesome with these pants:

All in all, I think it was a successful attempt at being sartorially respectful but still tasteful. Sometimes a little restraint goes a long way.

But only a little.


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hitting The Links

One of the perks of having an awesome girlfriend is that sometimes she buys you awesome things. I've made it clear from day one that I have a penchant for anything clothing related, and she knocked it out of the park with the cufflinks you see here:

These are totally sweet cufflinks. They're a completely neutral brushed silver, and they're handsome as all hell. What's even more impressive is that she found them on Etsy, meaning that she supported a local artisan and found something cool and a bit unusual, not something from the Donald Trump Collection at Macy's.

Good job, babe. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

KISS Is Not Just A Terrible Band

Let there be no confusion on the issue: I am a whore for pattern mixing. Not to give myself too much of a pat on the back, but I think this is a behavior exhibited and enjoyed by most advanced dressers. Managing to combine a gingham shirt with a paisley tie and a polka dot pocket square is a skill that takes a lot of time and practice to cultivate. Given that I've spent more time cultivating this skill than balancing my checkbook or learning to cook something that isn't Velveeta macaroni and cheese, I'm usually very happy to show it off.

There are times, however, when the concept of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is called for. My girlfriend's workplace had a small open house a few days ago, and I figured that a little discretion was called for when meeting her boss and co-workers. Since I take "discretion" to mean "take it easy on the lavender socks and blue handkerchief with pink medallions," I opted for something a bit more sober and stuck to solids: a white dress shirt, navy blue tie, and grey merino wool cardigan. Dark, slim jeans and chocolate brown dress loafers rounded everything out, though I couldn't help myself with some argyle socks. Whatever. Sue me.

Wearing so many neutral solids at once had the additional benefit of reminding me that no matter what else, fit is king. Period. A simple but impeccably-fitted outfit will always look better than an ornate one that doesn't conform to the body properly. Never stray from that concept.