The worst holdover I’ve ever seen in life is the Giorgio Armani-inspired, dropped gorge jacket lapel, popularized in the early 80’s. It STILL refuses to die, as so many secondary and tertiary suit manufacturers have had it in a death-grip for so long, they simply don’t know how to let go. When I see men wearing these languid lapels--and I do still see them--I am almost overcome by pity, and have to fight the urge to reach into my pocket and hand them a dollar. But, do not forget that often the most insidious thing about a trend that goes too far is not always the trend itself, but the adverse reaction people have when they finally wake up: they run too far in the opposite direction (e.g.; the ‘morning after’ reaction to Armani’s super-low button stance was all of those marvelous four and five-button single-breasted suits of the nineties—some of which are also still with us). The current high-gorge lapel, which is the reaction to Armani’s low gorge, is sneakier. I personally like them. The high-gorge lapels Leonard Logsdail makes for Larry Kudlow, to me, look fantastic. But that isn’t to say that men won’t collectively wake up one day and say, “Ok, why is my lapel gorge up near my earlobes?” So you have to be careful.
Another murky trend isn’t just hanging on; it’s taking a turn for the worse. Flat-front suit pants (I am mentally incapable of using the exalted word ‘trouser’ for anything without pleats) reminded me of the seventies, and I hoped the trend would pass quickly. Now suit makers at the highest end, both in Naples and New York, are making suit pants that resemble tight, low-rise, five-pocket jeans, sometimes complete with rivets. Seldom have I seen a sight so wretched. It is an outfit desperately in want of cowboy boots & spurs, and, unless you are invited to a hoe-down requiring jacket and tie, I’m not sure where else one could safely wear such a contraption.
With much time and contemplation I have found that, if one wishes to be a well-dressed man, sometimes the best first step is to memorize this simple phrase, “‘Balance’ isn’t a bad word.”
Words by Barry Pullen