Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sartorial Icon: Thomas Crown

One of my favorite films is the Thomas Crown Affair (yes, the 1968 version).  The recent '90s version is entertaining, but the original has far more character, which is often the case in my opinion.  The risqué scene where Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway seduce each other over chess is far more entertaining than the ubiquitous state of undress one confronts in today's films.

What do you get for learn from the man who has everything?  Perhaps, we learn a look is more about an attitude of confidence than mere attire.  His confidence comes through whether sporting a bespoke suit or ball cap.

Interesting waistcoat.

 Pink shirt, Persols & Pin in the collar.

Blue with Prince of Wales.

Mr. Crown is a man about town.  I advise you to note well the nuances of his personal style and the prominence of his comfort as well.  Sure, he's just a character, but it's been said that "All the world's a stage, And all the men and women merely players."


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Classics: Aviators

Many styles come and go, but few persevere.  I prefer the classic aesthetic.  Few sunglasses have endured as the classic aviator has.  Above are my current pairs.  Having always loved the look, my first pair was procured on a budget during my college days.  They were quickly misplaced.  Keen to keep with the sartorial statement, a second pair was purchased a few years ago on a whim.  I was pleased with my now second (read replacement) set of American Optical aviators.  I was until Randolph Engineering sent me a pair this fall to see - and eventually keep.  They are the genuine article.

At first glance, the differences are hardly noticeable.  The moment you put them into service the distinctions are apparent.  RE frames are curved slightly, contouring to the natural curve or your visage.  This makes them infinitely more wearable on a consistent basis.  They are far more comfortable and block more light because of this simple distinction.  Take a close look at the image below and you see the difference in build quality.  Hinges are important on glasses as they are constantly stressed when used.  The folks at Randolph include a useful cleaning cloth, hard case and maintenance kit with each pair or glasses.  It's a nice touch, but it affirms theirs are built to be repaired not replaced.  That is something to be commended these days as most goods aren't durable.

My AO glasses were quickly weighed, measured and found wanting.  In sum, if you want to look good like the gentleman below you should purchase AOs.  My AOs have held up and have much use left in them, but they aren't as sturdy as their competitor.  If you are, indeed, the man shown below, put your money down and get the best.  Once you go RE, you wont go back.

I didn't purchase the glasses, but I gladly would have. The review is truly my own findings without any input from the manufacturer.  In fact, the glasses are so good I've worn them too often and am in the process of purchasing replacement lenses.  These glasses are a staple in my wardrobe.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Leg Up - Thermoregulation

I've seen the issue come up lately and wanted to say my two cents on the matter.  Being Manly did an excellent post on men's shorts over a year ago.  When considering looks alone, pants claim the trophy.  Exculpatory factors do exist in my world.  Respectfully, I must disagree with my The Rt. Hon. Vir Beatum and the conclusion most make, which is to not wear shorts.  The arguments for the aesthetically disagreeable nature of shorts by comparison to long trousers are quite accurate.  Also, one must wear shorts correctly, taking into account time and place.  I prefer the look of a woman's legs to any man's.  Having said that, compliments have been extended on my own legs by members of the opposite sex (and come to think of it, one awkwardly memorable comment from male friend).  So then, were these ladies being polite or do women find men in shorts attractive?

In short, much of my life has been spent in the dreary cold climates of the middle Western states of America.  Yes, I wore shorts as a boy, even suits with shorts.  My blood is of Irish, German and French lineage.  The Irish being the vast majority must have something to do with my personal thermometer - as it is always ready for a cold and damp climate.  I'm very nearly perennially excessively warm, even when others are chattering their pearly whites and fighting to keep extremities from hypothermia.  Perhaps this make me exothermic? In any case, I endeavor to keep from perspiring without added external variables like weather.

For undergraduate studies, New Orleans was my home.  More sweltering places are few and far between.  Yes, here I frequented the Bermuda as was the necessary convention to beat the heat.  Frequently, oppressive humidity and heat taught me great love for the short.

Today, I am settled in the District, formerly swamp land, with all due tropical meteorological significances. It is once again necessary don the short pants for sake of thermoregulation.  When on days like today the temperature approaches triple digits with similar figures of humidity, the short is a savior.

Length is an entirely problematic.  These days the term shorts seems to be a misnomer...

These are not short.  Equally problematic are the too short shorts...

This really flatters no man.  Then again I wont be telling these Gents to bare less leg...

Navy SEALs at Buds from Valet Mag

 Tom Selleck as Magnum PI, the character was a Navy SEAL 

Then again:
As Bond could wear just about anything (from here)

These are perfectly acceptable forms or resort wear in my opinion, but let's keep this length for destination holidays.  As for the adequate length, shorts should sit above your knee when standing while concealing your undergarments, especially when sitting.  Evidently, Mr. Selleck makes the cut.  The fit should be close to the body so as not to sag off the frame.  See below for length and fit.

My personal choice from J.CREW

JFK and Jackie (from here)

I resolve to wear shorts, of proper length, at the proper time and with the proper majesty.  Ideally, few will notice I have them on if I've played my part well.



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