A bit of length & and a snuff of volume
All the stuff that today’s outerwear fashions lack so sorely. From Gianfranco Ferré fall/winter 1996 collection. Picture by Judson Baker, scan by Alessandro Calascibretta. Somehow made me think of a piece of fashion advice by Hans Vos, which I read in Zo hoort het - 181 vragen aan de stijlmeester (2000), a collection of his style columns - originally published in Dutch Esquire and in the style section of NRC Handelsblad in the (late) 1990s. Witty and erudite answers to silly, clueless reader’s questions, think GQ’s Ask the Styleguy. Anyway back on topic, long before the whole ‘dressed-by-the-internet’ #menswear fashion victim phenomenon Mr Vos wrote a response to a reader who asked why he felt silly after getting all dolled up in the better men’s shop.
Y’all will recognize, the whole shabang: nice Italian suit from a great cloth, beautiful shirt with spread collar and double cuffs, pair of sophiticated cufflinks, superb tie and a fine pocket handkerchief, pair of brand new brogues, ridiculously expensive over-the-calf socks from fine wool and a good overcoat. Only to feel deeply unhappy when leaving the establishment with aformentioned duds packed in glossy shopping bags. Why-o-why? Answer: that bad feeling is a good thing. When all is beautiful, when all is good and fine, when all is proper - then everything is W-R-O-N-G. The sales clerks turned him into a doll, a tailor’s dummy, a shop mannequin. Some feel great when lookin’ like that, this kind of people is beyond saving and must be avoided like the plague (that they are). But what to do when you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of leaving a shop after buying something great but feelin’ shitty about it? One: in the future, never allow yourself to be talked into a buying frenzy by
staff sales clerks. Two: wear the new shit (seperately form each other) with the old shit. Mix it up - mess it up. New blazer? Pair it with old baggy trousers and shirts. New suit? Pair it with old shoes and an ancient coat.