Monday, January 30, 2012
I know of only a couple men in the United States who wear suits with big plaids from time to time. That is no surprise. Originally meant to blend into the countryside for shooting and other outdoor activities, they are worn away from the office (in some places they were once known as racetrack suits, as in something to be worn to the horse races). And, with the general decline in suit-wearing, suits for casual pursuits are not the kind of thing likely to find a large market at the local department or high street store.
Large plaids are nonetheless something for the advanced dresser to consider. Because they are not offered at that local department store they are unlikely to be seen on every block along Fifth Avenue. And, despite the strength of their patterns, they do not stand out as much as might be feared because the pattern elements meld together from even a few feet away.
Note how the various patterns blend into a semi-solid in the first photograph taken from a distance of eight feet (the bordeaux wool socks would normally be hidden from sight). In the closer shot, the suit, ancient madder necktie, and silk square are considerably more obvious.