Monday, 28 January 2008

Allowing time for your soul to appear

It might have been a miserable, grey Monday morning in January but looking out of the window this morning to see a quiet misty scene I could not help but think of the work of my favourite fashion photographers, Paolo Roversi. If only the Archway scene could have been a little more Area Homme like!

I have been seeking inspiration and flicking through fashion magazines and my scrapbook drawer one thing is clear: I can always turn to Paolo Roversi. These images may be old but this editorial has stand in memory more than anything else over the last few months and the reason for this is the mixture of clothes and Roversi's trademark photography. Roversi's trademark black and white photograpy using 8 by 10 inch Polaroids. When I grow up I want to be just like him.

As Nadar said many years ago, at the beginning of photography, 'Everyone can learn the technique of lighting. What is very difficult, and what you can’t teach is a feeling for the light, a sentiment of the light.'

Roversi is quoted as saying "When I take a picture using window light, I always think about what a long trip the light is making to reach my subject." I want to be this man.

His pictures are just wonderful... I first saw this shoot via Style Bubble back in October last year and I don't think I'm exagerrating when I say that it stayed with me more than any other shoots I saw last year. Added to the mental scrapbook even though the photographer's name was forgotten!

I do remember now that his photos were the best thing about that otherwise disappointing exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery... good choice Steve!

Thursday, 24 January 2008

In my country we call them cosmonauts

Does anyone else look at these shoes and want to play dress up as an astronaut?

Space shoes

Dean 48 shoes by Swear

The only question I have is: where do you get one of those fish-bowl helmets?

Disaffected youth at their snappiest

Fred Perry is becoming known for its limited edition collaborations with a plethora of designers and artists alike. The mod look outfitter has worked with one and all from David David (more on this later) to Peter Jenson to Jessica Ogden. I was fortunate enough to see a preview of the coming collections and I liked what I saw. Highlights included the Raf Simons collaboration (unsurprisingly) where Simons created 12 styles reworking Fred Perry classics, such as combining a heavy weight polo shirt with trousers from the Raf Simons archive! Away from the show certain parts of the crowd who were sporting Fred Perry really inspired me. The Fred Perry aesthetic is definitely one I want to explore more. The palette is frequently solid, clean combining graphics and monotone shades.

Despite a number of tempting collaboration pieces (no more so than the David David polo shirts) I've not bought any Fred Perry since approximately 1998 when I purchased a white polo shirt with navy detailing. The gents within the crowd certainly looked good and have inspired me to explore the Fred Perry store in Covent Garden next time I'm in the area. Slim ties were paired with micro check shirts and well tailored macs. The early 80s seemed to be a huge influence, the tennis bomber was worn as were the tailored macs which were every inch New Wave!

Unfortunately as always I didn't have my camera so you will have to do with these images!

This is a look that I want to wear to work.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008


So there I was, casually flicking through the A/W (I am NOT American, so it's not fall to me) catwalk pictures looking, as ever, for approximations of The Suit, along the way marvelling at how Jean Paul Gaultier could make me reconsider the bowler hat, sniggering slightly at ze tres French styleeengs of Emanuel Ungaro's models and being extremely underwhelmed by Paul Smith... anyway, back to The Suit.

Ann Demeulemeester was coming close:

Well ish... this does look a bit like a duvet cover I own.

This is a bit more like it. A bit too frilly though and where's the trousers, Ann? She clearly isn't taking this seriously.

How about Yves Saint Laurent then?

Ooh, nice. Not right, but lovely all the same. I don't like the length of the jacket, but otherwise this is pretty much top.

And then it happened. Out of nowhere this one hit me.

DreamOh my. Jesus, the colour is magnificent and those trousers are just perfect. And velvet?! How do they know my weakness??

I'm sorry The Suit, Gucci Suit and I are in love. Please forgive me.

All pictures courtesy of

Monday, 21 January 2008

The fruits of salvaging your wardrobe

As you have read from the post below, I have recently spent a couple of hours organising the chaotic mess of the various clothing storage systems that I had within my room after months of neglect and rather than just acquiring the improved aesthetics and practical advantages I have been reunited with some former wardrobe staples! The best example of this have to be a pair of Sisley (which as a store can be hit and miss depending on the seasons) trousers which were bought back in 2002 which are in perfect condition and fit extremely well. Why had I forgotten them? Simply because although they fit well now I must admit they did become a little tight around the waist which meant they were tossed to the darkest depth of my little wardrobe. I didn't throw them out because I liked them and maybe deep down in my heart I knew that I would wear them again.

Now that I have rediscovered them they have been given a second lease of life and in the process given me ample opportunity to wear a pair of b store shoes (pictured) that were acquired months ago but have spent most of their time displayed on my storage shelf. Please take courage from my story. Tackle, organise and hunt within your own wardrobe. I assure you that you will find something that can be worn again, at least with some modification. Let us know how you get on and good luck!
Oh my god, I remember these! Are they really as old as 2002? Well done Steve, but carry on looking... I'm sure there's more hidden away...
p.s. Nice shoes!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Salvaging your wardrobe

For various reasons, I have sworn off buying new clothes (except tights as I have such bad luck with them... and possibly a bridesmaid's dress for my sister's wedding) for the next few months. Given that I'm not the biggest shopper around I foolishly didn't think this would be that hard but having said it out loud it's proving more difficult than I thought that it would be. The Topshop voucher in my wallet calls out to me and I now have surprisingly little to do at weekends since clothes shops are out of bounds. Thank the lord I write for a men's style blog or I'd never survive.

I digress. The knowledge that nothing new is going to appear in my wardrobe any time soon has forced me to reassess its contents. I thought that I'd encourage you to do the same.

Steve's wardrobe. I asked him to take a photo of it for me as it's usually in complete disarray and he TIDIED it!

First you'll need to clear some space and pull everything out – it’s amazing what can fall down the backs of cupboards and get forgotten. We found some great stuff the last time we cleaned Steve's room. You might as well take this time to do a bit of culling too- rediscovery is not always good. If something's horrible, shove it in a bag straight away to go to a charity shop (or if it’s horrible and designer, put it in a different bag to go to one of those consignment shops- you might as well make some cash out of expensive mistakes and you’ll probably never get around to ebaying them. If you're a Londoner try somewhere like the loft The Loft in Monmouth Street).

This is a tiny percentage of Steve's shirt collection. I really don't know where he's hidden the rest.

Now sort! I would probably sort initially into tops, bottoms and accessories, then into other categories later (knitwear, shirts, t shirts etc). Once you’ve sorted then you can start salvaging. Take, for example, a FCUK logo t shirt from about 5 years ago (Steve I’m looking at you here). You might think it’s naff on its own, but could it not be used purely for layering purposes? Hidden under a stylish shirt it has new life. Layering is the best friend of abandoned clothing... t shirts in bright colours that you've got second thoughts about can be subdued.

That shirt with the massive stain down the front could be ripped up and made (as I’ve mentioned in a previous post) into pocket squares with minimal DIY effort.

Take some time to play dress up and mess around with combinations of clothing. Maybe try channelling your own personal style icon... and once you're done, try to put it all away so that you can find everything more easily. It won't stay tidy for long, but you'll appreciate it for one morning at least.

I believe that this is Steve's tie drawer.

For more tips on maintaining your wardrobe (and for a generally good blog!) see this article from A Suitable Wardobe.

OK I admit it...I did tidy. I had to do something other than watch awful daytime TV (as a student it wasn't too bad but it's definitely got worse in recent years!) , re-read magazines and lie in bed trying not to be sick! I also had you chasing me for photos of my wardrobe and it was in a terrible state so I couldn't show it as it was. Speaking from experience I feel a lot better post-wardrobe organising and if that wasn't enough I have discovered long lost clothes (I will post about this point tomorrow), it is amazing what lurks in the depths of your wardrobe...even mine which as you can see from the picture is far too small. It is true, I do have a lot more shirts than the ones pictured in my wardrobe, approximately five of which are on the Hanger of Uncertainty, these are the shirts that I am unsure about, the ones that have been overlooked again and again, the ones that just don't interest me...but ultimately I can't part with them just yet. The items on the Hanger of Uncertainty have one month to inspire me one morning or evening, if they fail to do so and I can't use them in anyway (even when layering) then they will be placed into a bag and taken to one of the numerous local charity shops - all in all this bears strong similarities with Death Row. I have another wardrobe back in Kent which is in desperate need of a clearout. A great number of garmets are hung within those pine doors long past their throw away dates but there are too many memories to be completely objective and I know that this kind of thinking is the life support machine for a significant percentage of clothes within most wardrobes!

All wardrobe talk has made me think of my perfect clothes storage system. It would have to be Colombo-esque whilst being quite minimal yet extremely personal. I don't think Ikea offerings can satisfy me but In just don't have the funds for anything more so the searching and dreaming continues. I will keep with what I have (keeping it well organised and cleansed) whilst adding a clothes rail which will display my most treasured pieces.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Picture Postcard: Get well soon

Dear Steve,

I know you're feeling a bit like this at the moment...

but hopefully you'll be back to your old self in no time. Something like this was it?

Both pics courtesy of Square America. Click that link. I promise you will love it.
Lots of love,


p.s. thanks for not coming up and infecting me. Sounded nasty.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Holding your nerve

I'm not sure if I've said, but I've given up clothes shopping for a couple of months. This is not, however, going to stop me encouraging others. I will share a tip though: now is the time to sale shop. Actually, that's not strictly true. The best time is probably in about another week or so, midweek. Hold your nerve long enough and you can come up with some real gems from the (don't laugh) Topman sale.

Not tops and jeans really, as there will only be bizarro sizes left (unless you're bizarro sized, in which case go crazy!). Saying that, I have noticed that there are some of those Topman Design white shirts left on the Topman website... Richard Nicoll in S,M and L and Deryk Walker in M and L, both reduced from £50 to £15 which is pretty decent. There's also this one by Carolyn Massey in S and L for £20. Not bad.

Deryck Walker white shirt

But anyway, what you really want to focus on is their accessories section. While nothing's really going to set the world on fire, it's a good opportunity to stock up on bright coloured belts for a quid and maybe experiment with some blue braces?

Blue braces At the princely sum of £1 you can't really go that far wrong. What do we think about this zipper bowler hat though?

Zippy zipEven at £3, this is a bit much for me. Could be good for fancy dress though...

Instead of being up there in Manchester with you I am a patient at Susie's house! Oh well. there is always next week. There are some great finds. The shirts are a particular bargain. They were a bit thin for me, but the this factor aside the quality of them are great and a real bargain at £15! The real find for me are the blue braces. I have been toying with the idea of braces for a while now, ever since I watched This is England really and this desire was heightened further by the Beckham Arena cover. Sales in the high street are an opportunity to experiment with different looks...or as EJ suggests you could always stock up on fancy dress. In answer to your question, yes that hat should only be adorned in instances of dress of the most fancy kind. I too am cutting back on shopping and my bank balance is thanking me profusely but this is only temporary as i intend to buy quite a few things in New York. That said if I am well enough I might pop down to the Jumblist massive sale at 93 Feet East where I could pick up a few interesting accessories on the cheap!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Sander innovates with the help of Simons' mind

On first glance there was a lot that I didn't like about the Jill Sander a/w collection. Aside from the well cut suits I thought there was just too much going on; the marble effect was just too much which made the collection feel very New Wave and my gut reaction was one of disappointment. However, on subsequent viewing it is clear that Simons has again shown that he is one of the most forward thinking menswear designers around. Rather than rehash what he has done in the past Simons always moves forward and enters new territories for menswear. It don't always work but when it does it is very good indeed.

This is my favourite look from the Jill Sander a/w 08 collection, both the collar detailing and cut of the jacket are awesome!

There was too much marbling for me when it was used in everything from suits, coats, totes and even turtlenecks. The below look reminds me more of a farm animal than a great marble column.

I prefered the marble look where it was used more subtly, for example under the coloured suits. I would have preferred it further if it was worn alongside some of the tweed suits. That could have been a very interesting look, a great cocktail of textures.
Simons delivers what I want to wear, here in the form of a suit with a dull but seductive metallic gleam.

Tim Blanks on summarises Simons' true gift and what makes him on the best designers. "In a David Lynch-ian "nothing is quite what it seems" way, the graphic texture of a coat suggested beading when it was actually tweed, and a pleating effect—sometimes horizontal, sometimes vertical—loaned a new definition to the body's movement."

Milan Shows - Bailey's matchstick men are my Ibruprofen

Bailey paints a better autumn scene than Lowry

I must admit that I'm not at my best today. The head is hurting and my body aches after just returning from a night out. As I try and ignore the phantom smell of Sambucca in the air the show pictures on are certainly helping. As it is Sunday (my day of culture...unless I'm hungover like today) and is in tune with the Burberry Prorsum show I thought I would show some artwork but EJ is not a fan of the artist, Lowry. Bailey claimed the artist's color palette—dark, muddied shades from nature—as well as his sturdy insularity, mirrored in clothes that had the low-key eccentricity of lives lived in places way off the beaten track. Bailey's creations like the work of Lowry are far removed from the city of London.

'The Fever Van' is one of the many views of Salford painted by Lowry. It is, however, a distinctive work. While most of his paintings of the urban scene are predominantly atmospheric, here there is a story at the heart of the picture. An ambulance has drawn up outside a house to collect a fever patient.

The men in Lowry's paintings were dubbed "matchstick men," due to their stick-figure like simplicity. Lowry once said "I am a simple man, and I use simple materials: ivory, black, vermilion (red), Prussian blue, yellow ochre, flake white and no medium. That's all I've ever used in my paintings. I like oils... I like a medium you can work into over a period of time". The palette of this show alongside the leanness of Bailey's cut turned his already slender mannequins into Lowry wraiths.

The below three images are my instant favourites. The only blemish being the beanies. For me they distort the overall look. I would have liked to have seen a more traditional choice of headwear.

The colour palette of the above outfit is going to be my choice of next season. if it wasn't for that beanie this would be perfect in my eyes.

The colour of this jacket makes me want to rush outside and play amongst my imaginary piles of crispy red and brown leaves.

This is probabaly my favourite, I like the mixture of textures here... is that a paisley scarf I spot there? The gloves are beautiful.

Before the end of this post I have to inform the world that I love this jumper. Not the look as a whole because of the accessories are a little off for me, but the jumper is something very special indeed! I want it!

The show certainly isn't revolutionary, there are calls that it looks like a number of previous collection, aw 05 and aw 06, but it does further demonstrate Bailey's talent. Yet again he has created a collection of beautiful, wearable pieces. What are your thoughts on this show? I certainly feel a little better because of it...

I loathe Lowry... and I can't say that I'm a fan of this lot either I'm afraid. While I like browns, this colour pallette is a little too... poo-y, for want of a more elegant word. The shapes aren't particularly exciting and the beanies are just incredibly annoying. Is number 3 wearing a binman's coat?

Friday, 11 January 2008

Picture Postcard: Thank you santa!


Just a quick note of thanks today for my lovely trainers. They quite literally rock my socks.


Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Your obsession got you known throughout the school for being strange

Forgive me for paraphrasing Kylie here but I just can't get it out of my head. When my mind is blank, I'm bored with style and think that I'll never want to buy any new clothes again I remember it and daydream for a while...

Fear the razor
Oh purple suit, I love you so. It's no secret that I'm a fan of the Science of Sleep, but until now my love of The Suit has been kept hidden from even my nearest and dearest. But no more! The Suit and I are meant to be. The colour is so beautiful... not necessarily unusual (I have at least 3 tops in this colour, all bought in the same year) and not so in-your-face as to be annoying. I adore the shirt-style jacket with its solitary breast pocket.

MewCat ears and fabulous French actresses are optional accessories, but come highly recommended.

But have I been blinded by love? Has cupid's arrow made me oblivious to how difficult such beautifully coloured suits are to pull off in real life? No, it can't be true. Just keep remembering those lovely Ozwald Boateng suits in Selfridges and all will be fine.

Gratuitous Gael Garcia Bernal pic (I don't care if this blog is aimed at men, it's my blog and I can do what I want):

After mentioning your fascination with the purple suit in passing months ago I didn't realise that it was such a strong feeling that you were hiding from everyone, even me! I bought the film on DVD as soon as it came out but unfortunately there isn't an added feature solely focused on the purple suit. I agree that the colour is amazing. I actually wore a similar shade of purple today and received a comment from almost everyone at my office. It was a purple wool and cashmere sweater from the Autograph range and a present from my Nan. It has to be one of the best nan bought jumpers I've ever received...and there has been many! Ok, back to the suit, aside from the great colour, the cut and style of it is interesting. I'm not sure I would like it in any other colour though.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Shaded View

Well, following my last past it is obvious that I'm thinking about travel and travel ultimately requires sunglasses (in the vast majority of cases). I never spend significant amounts of money of sunglasses as I don't trust myself with them (the probability of loss or destruction has always been stacked against me) but what was on show during the spring summer 08 collections has made me readdress my calculations...I am far from skilled at maths so my calculations are always wrong....Style Bubble highlighted Linda Farrow Vintage who is seemingly collaborating with everyone in sight (pardon the pun), including two of my current favourite designers Dries Van Noten and Raf Simons.

Raf Simons and Linda Farrow Vintage Collection - Image stolen from stylebubble

I particularly like the Raf Simons pieces (although not the green framed ones in front here) because they are a lightyears away from the Bob Dylan-esque wayfarers that everyone seemed to be wearing last summer (when the sun actually shone in London...which I think was on a Tuesday near the end of May).

Oh I'm looking forward to the rest of the month...I will be very active during the next couple of weeks discussing Paris and Milan as much as possible, pointing out EJ's family on the runways along the way.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Globe Trotting Dreams

It might have something to do with it being a cold, dull and bank balance hurting January (why is this month dragging already and it is on the 7th?) but I have dreams of escape. In addition to reading the Sunday travel supplements quite closely and exploring Expedia these dreams also mean I am looking quite enviously at beautiful luggage. In my daydreams of far away places I couldn't possibly travel with the dull and only just about practical suitcase that I have now. During a recent visit to Selfridges (during the pre January sale madness) the highlight for me was the luggage area, the smell and touch of the luxurious leather being a sensual almost carnal pleasure. Aside from the delights of departments stores (Liberty has a fine collection) I have recently become aware of Globe Trotter. After a trip to Laduree to buy presents in the form of delicious and ever so cute Macaroons, I went past the flagship store within the Burlington Arcade (too shy to venture in, but I did enjoy the slow walk past the window) which was designed by former Japanese rock star and celebrated architect Taisuke Higuchi and houses a complete collection of cases. These British classics have been around since 1897 and have been the choice of royalty and politicians. Unlike many other luxury luggage brands such as Louis Vuitton, you can practically get any colour you want and you still get the great construction that is obtained from being hand made. Shame about the extortionate price tag associated with such things but this is my dream after all...

Conran Globetrotter Case

There is a chance that I will be leaving Europe for the first time in my life as I look across the Atlantic and the prospect of New York where I can escape and take advantage of the exchange rate in early February...I'm quite excited...OK...very excited.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

The real measure of a man is in the hands of your tailor

One of my New Years resolutions is to buy more less (I used to be the ultimate consumer personified) but what I buy will be quality. Less is more. This should ring true in every man's wardrobe. The need for hundreds and hundred of garments is superfluous to style- style blossoms in a concise, well thought out wardrobe. my disorganised wardrobe is a graveyard of impulse buys, faded and worn out favourites with the occasional long lasting piece and it is precisely the latter which I want to grow. Of course I'm not ruling out all impulse buying (life would be so dull!) but I have set myself a target and my reward will be the ultimate clothing investment...a bespoke suit. This is the ultimate sartorial choice with obvious advantage, the fit of course is perfect, flattering your good points and disguising any less liked elements of your figure. However one of the most attractive advantages for me is the level of control that it gives you, the consumer.

On bespoke tailoring Hardy Amies remarked 'It is often forgotten that we execute orders: we do not sell clothes. If you went into the Boutique you would buy a suit, but if you walk upstairs you order a suit. At the fittings you will be able to express your desires as to the position
and finish of many details. The whole process should be a harmonious co-operation between designer, tailor and customer, with the salesperson as a sort of referee'. Following this quote I have visions of a surreal wrestling match (of course no use of the tailoring scissors is allowed) between the tailor and customer with the salesperson complete with whistle in mouth. My strange mind aside, I am excited by the prospect of having a degree of influence an input, on the creation of a garment that should last a long time. The whole piece should be a reflection of your style, from the initial pattern down to the button detailing.

I enjoy reading the perspective of the tailor on the English Cut which is complimented with insightful articles for example for those of you who want to know more about what bespoke is or for those of you who feel bespoke is out of your reach. This certainly isn't the cheapest sartorial option (expect to pay around £2000 for a two piece suit) but I am a strong believer that it is the best clothing investment that one can make, it should be a staple in every stylising man's wardrobe or at least on their wish list (how long is your wish list?)

There will be subsequent posts about my blossoming love for bespoke but right now I want to declare my overwhelming desire to scrimp, save (and maybe even steal) for a two button, light grey bespoke suit. Within two years or so I want to walk away from Savile Row after my final fitting knowing that my suit is almost ready for me...
Don't believe a word of it folks- he's rubbish at saving money. I predict he'll continue losing it in Reiss, COS etc every few weeks, then just raid the inheritance in a year's time.

Friday, 4 January 2008

No place like home

Until the last year or so I simply would not entertain the notion of buying a pair of coloured shoes, ie the shoes were either black (the preferred choice) or brown or white/cream (if they were trainers)...I was much more simple back then maybe.

Sparkle sparkle
I am beginning to find style inspiration from extremely unlikely sources and it seems that I'm not the only one. Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz might be inspiration for a number of girls growing up (not pointing fingers but I'm sure EJ had a desire to be Judy Garland) but it seems her choice of red footwear which were bright red (thanks to the technicolour film that was used) has made me green with envy. You may recall that I liked the idea of wearing a pair of bright red formal shoes with a grey suit (as shown by Mjolk) and now I have seen the Facehunter pipping me to the post and wearing his patent red boots with a mocking nonchalance (but well, the best I've seen him turned out!) alongside very similar muted tones which I myself had in mind.

Why so glum, chum?
If you, like me and the Facehunter, have been inspired by those 1939 ruby slippers there are plenty of offerings to choose from; Swear currently have a reduced option (which is extremely low in stock) but I prefer another pair and these can be found at b store. Why not add some colour to your feet?

I will leave you with my favourite quote from the film uttered by the Wizard of Oz himself "Frightened? Child, you're talking to a man who's laughed in the face of death, sneered at doom, and chuckled at catastrophe... I was petrified."

EJ - Well surely if you're going to channel Dorothy then you need to get those red glitter shoes we saw in the window of Topman? I can't find them on their website, although these ones are tackilious. I never really wanted to be Dorothy... maybe the cowardly lion instead. (p.s. you are still the campest straight guy I know). But seriously, I love the red shoes. I wonder if the saying about girls who wear red shoes applies for men too?

Steve - Good Morning EJ. Those Red metallic lace ups are a little too metallic for me but they certainly are Dorothy alike and thanks for reminding me about those Topman ones, they were pretty awesome. I definitely think that if the old saying is indeed true then it is universal. In response to your little remark about my perceived campness...I am proud to be the campest straight guy you know, that is quite the accolade. I will call you later as it seems you have run out of credit....someone needs to get a contract! Happy Saturday everyone!

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Balzac and the Lanvin Hi Top

"The brute covers himself, the rich man and the fop adorn themselves, the elegant man dresses!"


Words from one the greatest fiction writers of all time - Honore de Balzac

What are your thoughts on this statement? I'm not too sure if the brute does cover himself, I've seen many a brute seemingly reluctant or unable to cover themselves! I'm not even too sure which bracket I'd put myself in. Of course most of us strive to be elegant but there are occasions where adorning oneself is preferable. Surely the Lanvin Hi tops which everyone covets so much (even the ladies - hands off our shoes I say!) blur the boundaries between adornment and elegance? I'm not too sure that Balzac was aware that Alber Elbaz and Lucas Ossendrijver would create something that damaged his observation.

In all seriousness though I don't think that the divide between elegance and adornment is that clear. Of course there are numerous examples of each that can be found throughout the archives of the Sartorialist, Facehunter and friends but there are equally examples of combinations of the two.

Apologies for the strange post. I am tired and this might have made me mad. I promise more interesting posts will follow and I won't mention these hi tops again. I am currently working on a number of Bespoke articles after being inspired by the recent Esquire. Off to bed with me. Tomorrow I will supplement this post with examples.

I think that the difference between elegance and adornment is one of depth- adornment for me suggests something specific (a nice brooch perhaps.. something sparkly and expensive, hence the snipe at rich men), whereas elegance is more all-encompassing, something embued in everything the wearer wears, does and is. I think the difference to focus on, however, is between dressing and adorning... once again I think that the word dressing suggests a real care and thoughtfulness behind what one puts on (as opposed, specifically, to covering which is just shoving on whatever can disguise your nudity) while adornments may be nice in themselves, but the rest of the outfit may not be as thought through. I suppose the trick is to dress well, then adorn yourself as you see fit.

I must say, I bloody love that picture. It reminds me of photos of convicts (for some reason they had to show their hand in photos back in the bad old days), while his open shirt reminds me of The Death of Chatterton.


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