Friday, September 9, 2011

Who would rather be safe than sorry?

       I'm very sensitive to  rejection, and here it is the beginning of New York Fashion Week, and I'm already slighted by my favorite fashion writer.

       Terri Agins, of the Wall Street Journal, was answering a reader's question about finding more interesting clothes. She answered, "The category you're describing is basically casual menswear that goes beyond sport coats and open-collar shirts or sweaters, the safe haven for legions of men."

       Thanks, Terri, you just blew my cover. Of course it's a safe haven. That's why I wear sports coats and open-collar shirts. To be safe.

       The rest of Terri's column gave me some good ideas for varying my appearance. She suggests zeroing in on the savvy sales associates at Barney's New York, Bergdorf Goodman, and Theory. She went on to say, "If you relate to how the men in Italy, in particular, put themselves together, with an easy, casual pinache, you get my drift."

       Terri Agins writes only occasionally these days, and when she does, she always helps me understand what's needed. Of course the last time I had an easy, casual pinache was when I was eleven years old and the girls from Camp Merimeeta came across the lake for a dance with us at Camp Menominee.  Anyway, Terri's book, "The End of Fashion", is a must for students of the subject.

       Maybe I need the invisible hand of a stylist. But any stylist worth her salt probably wouldn't be seen with a guy walking around in his safe haven.

       I'm reluctant to give up my sport jackets because they're actually my handbags. At a recent meeting a client took my jacket to hang it up and asked how I could wear such a heavy thing. That's because it contains pens, a datebook, gum, a notebook, post-its, extra paper, dry-erase pens, letters to answer, letters to mail, mints, a couple of #2 pencils, and a comb. The usual guy stuff.  Man-bags are getting popular again, but I'd probably leave mine on the train. My sport jacket is always with me.

       With Fashion's Night Out past (I took it lying down), I'm ready to venture out and take Terri's advice to visit a few thrift stores to add individuality and that panache to my wardrobe.

       I wonder if they have any sport coats and open-collar shirts.

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