WEARING ALL SOLIDS
by David Isle
Some men seem to live in fear of wearing an outfit that’s too “boring.” They put on their dark solid suit, their solid white dress shirt, and at the last moment, worried that a solid tie will make them look like some politician, reach for something “exciting” that will “show their personality.” Calamity ensues.
Combining solids gets a bad rap because it calls to mind the commonly seen combination of a flat dark worsted suit, a white poplin shirt, and a shiny tie in a primary color. But there is a subtle sophistication in solid colors as well. Just ask Graydon Carter or Cary Grant. Wearing all solids leaves you plenty of room to create something interesting using line, color, and texture. 

Start with a suit or jacket with a surface that gives you something to look at. This could be the weave of the fabric – sharkskin, birdseye, and herringbone are good for suits, while a basketweave, barleycorn, or larger herringbone work well as sport coats – or it could be a mottled color, as is the case with most flannels. 
A light blue shirt will work well with almost any suit and tie combination. But the number of shades of light blue available is alone enough to allow plenty of variation while wearing all solid colors. Explore these options. You may like a warmer baby blue, or you may prefer a cooler, more purple-ish blue.    
It will be tempting to choose a tie in some garish color to make your outfit “pop”. Resist this urge. If you put a shiny neon sign in the middle of your chest, the whole thing is ruined. But just because your tie doesn’t stop traffic, that doesn’t mean your tie has to be boring. It may be a relatively rare color like burnt orange or forest green. It may be a wool or a madder tie, both of which complement flannel particularly well. It may be a a knit, or a grenadine.
It’s been said that it should take ten minutes to realize a man is well dressed. I think it’s possible to spot a well-dressed man in less time than that, but the point is that an elegant outfit may seem simple at first, but reward further attentions with the revelation of subtle pleasures. It’s your gift to the people you spend more than ten minutes a day with.    






  

WEARING ALL SOLIDS

by David Isle

Some men seem to live in fear of wearing an outfit that’s too “boring.” They put on their dark solid suit, their solid white dress shirt, and at the last moment, worried that a solid tie will make them look like some politician, reach for something “exciting” that will “show their personality.” Calamity ensues.

Combining solids gets a bad rap because it calls to mind the commonly seen combination of a flat dark worsted suit, a white poplin shirt, and a shiny tie in a primary color. But there is a subtle sophistication in solid colors as well. Just ask Graydon Carter or Cary Grant. Wearing all solids leaves you plenty of room to create something interesting using line, color, and texture. 

Start with a suit or jacket with a surface that gives you something to look at. This could be the weave of the fabric – sharkskin, birdseye, and herringbone are good for suits, while a basketweave, barleycorn, or larger herringbone work well as sport coats – or it could be a mottled color, as is the case with most flannels. 

A light blue shirt will work well with almost any suit and tie combination. But the number of shades of light blue available is alone enough to allow plenty of variation while wearing all solid colors. Explore these options. You may like a warmer baby blue, or you may prefer a cooler, more purple-ish blue.    

It will be tempting to choose a tie in some garish color to make your outfit “pop”. Resist this urge. If you put a shiny neon sign in the middle of your chest, the whole thing is ruined. But just because your tie doesn’t stop traffic, that doesn’t mean your tie has to be boring. It may be a relatively rare color like burnt orange or forest green. It may be a wool or a madder tie, both of which complement flannel particularly well. It may be a a knit, or a grenadine.

It’s been said that it should take ten minutes to realize a man is well dressed. I think it’s possible to spot a well-dressed man in less time than that, but the point is that an elegant outfit may seem simple at first, but reward further attentions with the revelation of subtle pleasures. It’s your gift to the people you spend more than ten minutes a day with.    

 

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