Recently, I have noticed that the surge in men’s interest for style has brought about its fair share of nice surprises in the variety of items and hues offered by good labels, but also the expected excesses…
Of course, the temptation to add always more details hastily labelled as dandy (Lord knows how I dislike this hackneyed word devoid of meaning in the 21st century) is very strong, and irresistible for some without qualms about going far over the top to attract the homo novis on his journey to personal elegance and excellence.
Here are a few examples that caught our attention :
Too many buttons (even if the suit itself is rather well cut)
Too many stripes (even for those who, like yours truly, love their horizontal stripes)
Too many different patterns…
Insisting too much on colour coordination (here: too much blue! Picture this great ensemble with a pocket square and socks that would complement a quite well coordinated ensemble)
Too many dots (even if matched on the right scale)
And do not get me started on low end manufacturers who swear by contrasting gimps and madras-lined collar bands…
Make no mistake, too much is like not enough.
Here is a wonderful opportunity to be reminded that discretion is to masculine style what understatement is to written and spoken eloquence. It is indeed nothing short of paramount, as much in terms of dress as in life in general, to strive to show less to say more, not unlike Chimène ordering Rodrigue to “Go, I do not hate you” in The Cid’s famous fourth scene in the third act, as she is strictly forbidden to speak her eternal love to her father’s murderer – making the few words she speaks all the more powerful.
The only (notable) exception to the “dandy” hype is from the gifted and ubiquitous Tom Ford who can maintain his elegance while indulging in the twisted pleasure of taking pattern mating one step further.
Despite Brummel’s belief (applied to others and not himself, of course) that “If people turn to you on the street, you are not well dressed”, we must still admit that, even with all reasons we should feel otherwise, we do not hate Tom Ford…