Friday, September 17, 2010

An Open Letter

To the man in the blue suit and brown shoes,

I saw you six years ago. This was downtown; you were waiting to cross the street near Burrard St. and Georgia St., and I was walking by on the other side. I doubt you noticed me, but I continue to remember you and the inspiration of the moment.

Of all the downtown workers that day, you looked amazing - a picture of ease and confidence. The color of your suit and shoes were most rich and subdued. I do not remember much else of that day, and in hindsight can only speculate that you dressed with utmost thought and handled yourself graciously. And though my memory is failing me, you continue to serve as an inspiration: that one can be seen, but not seen.



Monday, September 6, 2010

On Belts

I wish to discourse on belts. Let me begin by saying that black belts are to be paired with black shoes and black shoes alone. It seems most people have this down, though I fear it is because they only wear black shoes.

Having said the above, it is a bit of a surprise that I have not given belts much thought as they do keep my pants up. I was reminded of this critical role when I was asked to remove my belt at the airport security check. The agent did not take kindly to my remark that my pants would fall if I did so. But I digress.

I last left Paris with a pair of beautiful burgundy shoes but somehow passed on a matching handstitched belt - a decision I would like to have back - that would have been the height of my wardrobe. Instead I have made do with a generic department store purchase which somehow has held its own in my wardrobe. Life has a way of working out.

(On the topics of French goods and making do, there are those who can make do with Hermes belts made of the finest skins by the best hands in leather work. Life need not be fair.)

To end, a note: travel clothing store Tilley Endurables, a bit off the beaten sartorial path, has been my source for casual belts of late; and an open question: where can I get a great woven leather belt, as it seems everyone has one yet mine still eludes me?

Historical Treasure

Sears catalogs as historical reference. Flipping through this series published by Shiffer was enlightening, a glimpse into the clothing available to the average American. Seeing it described as fashionable is pause for thought, but then again the designs did change with the times.

I grew up questioning my parents on why they had to keep every season's Sears catalog. I am eating those words now.

So Long Summer; Hello Fall

There is a chill in the air and soon leaves will be on the ground. That is no place for tan shoes and linen clothes - they have had their time. Instead, it will be boots, and woolens in all their glorious forms. Gloves and scarves will take the place of sunscreen and sunglasses. Here is to the season ahead.