Wednesday, August 14, 2013

My Favorite Articles Of Clothing #2

It’s all about the casual.

For those who are nonplussed with this series, I’ll save you any further expenditure of analysis calories by saying that as I live in Portland the look is not just casual, but LOHAS casual. I just don’t have much need to appear all that put together, so perhaps my style could be called creative dishevelment, or random attachment dressing. Feel free to chime in with any suggestions.

But I do like the above shirt. Like the best casual wear, it has enough formal elements with the collar and buttons to give the illusion of a higher presentation. The shirt allows me to feel I am transmitting an earnest interest to engage with the world by choosing not to wear a T shirt, but not to the point that I am calling overt attention to myself.

On my East Coast jaunt I had the good fortune to have a fine dining experience with the talented and beautiful LSS. I wore the shirt tucked into khaki chinos with leather belt and shoes. My eight-year-old thought I looked fabulous. My mom, however, was worried that I would not be allowed entry to this fancy restaurant.

As I was traveling I didn’t have access to the usual suits and jackets and the outfit was the best I could do. Her suggestion was to drape a borrowed sweater over my shoulders to gussy-up my flat presentation.

I told her neither her sweaters nor her husband's would fit. That wasn’t the point, I was told. Like a cravat for the shoulders, the sweater would take the outfit up a notch, rendering a marginal presentation passable.  

This was the silliest thing I had heard, ever. Now in the calm of my home I suspect my inability to get my head around this advice is part of the problem I need help with.

Somehow I was allowed into the restaurant and had a great meal. For the record, there were plenty of people more unkempt than myself. We noted one man trying to pull the sweater trick, a lime-green knit cotton number neatly swaddling his upper torso.

He looked ridiculous.

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