Elements of Classic Style and Culture in the American South
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Styles of Dress
Compare and contrast these three images from The Sartorialist. Each is good example of a distinct style of dress. Notice that with each style a different piece of colorful attire takes center stage.
The first man is dressed in a style that is typically seen on many American men. The tie is the main focal point. It seems that most men in the United States, myself included, own and wear a wide variety of colorful patterned ties. Those ties add some life and interest to the humdrum white and blue dress shirts available at the local mall.
A brightly-colored shirt is the central focus of the man's attire in the second photograph. Notice how the conservative suit and plain necktie take a back seat to the shirt. This is a characteristic of the English style of dress where flamboyant bespoke shirts are available on London's Jermyn Street. The propensity of Brisitsh men to limit their wardrobe to either solid ties, or rep ties pronouncing allegience to a particular school, club or regiment, left room for the rise of fancy shirts as the dominant article of clothing in English dress.
While the English experiment with colorful shirts, the Italians widely experiment with daring suit cloth and vibrant accessories. This Itialian style requires a subtle canvas, popularly known as the Italian Background, upon which to display these showy items of apparel. The Italian Background is simply a plain black or dark blue necktie on a light blue shirt. Notice in the third picture how this subtle background provides balance for the bright blue coat.