Saturday, October 27, 2012
Paco’s male fashion tips for Inside-the-Beltway professionals
“The proper study of mankind”, said the poet Alexander Pope, “is man”. I agree, and I think this includes even the small change of man’s life, to wit, the drapery in which he ensconces himself during his forays into the work-a-day world.
I cannot help but observe the sartorial felonies and misdemeanors that are committed by male subway riders each and every day. This is troubling. Not only because it tends to distract me from the far more pleasurable occupation of observing the many pulchritudinous female specimens who travel by Metro into Washington every morning (and back to Virginia in the evening), but because of what it says about the continuing decline of good taste and of that healthy level of esteem and respect that my fellows ought to show for the outer man. Herewith, a few criticisms and suggestions:
1) Sir, that is a handsome dark gray suit you are wearing. I admire the cut and the fabric. Are you perhaps unaware that you are wearing brown shoes with it?
2) I saw a gentleman yesterday, descending the steps of the parking garage at the Vienna Metro. He was wearing a beautiful slate-blue suit with pinstripes (and black shoes). How unfortunate that he chose to top the costume off with an old, crumpled, olive-colored fishing cap.
3) If you’re wearing a suit, the proper baggage for transporting documents is a briefcase. Why would you want to wear a backpack? It rumples up the back of your suit jacket, and the straps crush the shoulder-padding, eventually creating a permanent rut across each shoulder. And you’re not hiking to D.C.; you’re riding the subway. Well, I don’t want to be too critical; a little positive reinforcement can go a long way. So, thank you for at least not wearing your Smoky the Bear hat.
4) Ah, a thigh-length trench coat! That sort of thing looked good on Nancy Sinatra 40 years ago; however, sir, permit me to make an observation: you are not Nancy Sinatra, and it is not 40 years ago.
5) Now, that, my friend, is a fine looking navy-blue suit! But, er, whatever possessed you to wear a necktie of Phosphate-Mine-Retention-Pond-Green?
6) Let’s see…that’s certainly a decent enough gray suit, and the maroon tie complements it well. But what’s with the Australian drover’s coat and outback hat? The whole effect is a tad heterogeneous, wouldn’t you say? I mean, perhaps if you’re attending a cattle auction or something similar it would be appropriate. By the way, is there one being held in Washington today?
7) Ha ha ha ! No, really, sir, be serious. Why are you wearing clip-on suspenders and a belt? For that matter, why are you wearing clip-on suspenders, at all?
8) You know, I think I once saw a photograph of Woodrow Wilson wearing a single-breasted suit jacket with four buttons, just like the one you’re wearing now.
9) As a fan of hats, far be it from me to condemn another’s choice of headgear. But don’t you think the combination of suit and newsboy cap is more in line with, say, a racketeer’s personal driver in the prohibition era?
Update: Gregory, in the comments, has some interesting views on the subject.