Friday, February 25, 2011
To paraphrase something I wrote earlier this week in another context, a man in a charcoal suit, white shirt and navy necktie may be dressed impeccably but still be lacking in style unless he adds some of his personality to what he is wearing. In the photo, for example, Luca Montezemolo wears a necktie with the dancing horse of Ferrari to an auto racing event. And though he is otherwise turned out in perfect taste, that emblem adds personality to his dress.
Now there are not all that many opportunities to add personality to classic dress while still remaining tasteful, but with imagination they will suffice. The necktie is probably the riskiest of these, for some will think a tie embroidered with yachting flags declaring one's initials a little over the top (though I enjoy wearing mine). At the other extreme, a penchant for unusual cufflinks is undoubtedly so discreet as to remain virtually unnoticed. Wild socks fall somewhere in the middle, glimpsed as they are only periodically and having plenty of precedent.
Consistently wearing the less often seen can also make a statement. A boutonniere worn daily will over time be memorable. So may the silk pocket square these days when most jacket pockets are empty, or at best filled with white linen. And though I am reluctant to mention it and do not endorse it, so can the consistently unbuttoned jacket cuff button.
Whatever you choose, do add personality to your clothes. But do also limit yourself to one expression at a time, no matter how large a personality you may believe you have.