Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Graham Lawless of Davies & Son was wearing one the other day, and the sight made me realize that we rarely see windowpane checked city suits like the one in the Esquire illustration these days. That is opportunity lost, in my opinion. Any time a man can break out of the solids and stripes routine without going beyond the pale, so to speak, he is better off for it.
The Pale of course was the part of Ireland that was directly controlled by the English kings after the Norman settlement. It was surrounded by a staked fence or palus and, within what is very roughly now county Dublin, English language, laws and customs reigned. To go beyond the Pale was to leave that form of civilization, just as wearing a bright red suit (and I saw one of those in Madrid a few years ago) would be to step outside the accepted norms for business dress. But I digress.
The elusive windowpane business suiting is a relatively discreet overcheck, though one that might be better worn in a more sophisticated city than in a place where it might be too noticeable. Like the far more common glen check, its non-directionalness combines well with equally non-directional neckties. Foulards of all types work well, for example, as do textured solids.
The challenge with windowpanes is finding them but they are out there. Harrison's of Edinburgh has several in its 13 ounce/370 gram P & B Fine Classics range for example: light gray on dark gray, light blue on navy, a very handsome dark red on charcoal and a couple shades of blue on gray.
Consider the windowpane.