on style and the preserving man

There are three interesting gods in the Hindu troika – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva.  Brahma, the creator of life, Vishnu the preserver and Shiva the destroyer.  The man setting out on a style journey needs to keep all three close to heart if he is going to make meaningful progress in not only building a stylish and versatile wardrobe, but also all of the many other elements which work together to build the holistic notion on a man’s style.

In “on style and the reducing man” we wore the robe of Shiva, systematically tearing away the ephemera of the wardrobe and looking for the core elements that speak to me and which support the wider elements of what style is trying to accomplish.

When we left, the bones of the wardrobe were in place:

  • 7 x suits, all two piece, two button, single breasted (2 Blue – Navy, Navy with blue/grey pinstripe,  3 Grey – Charcoal, Mid Grey, Mid Grey with light blue windowpane,  1 Black with grey pinstripe and 1 Fawn)
  • 5 miscellaneous jackets (1 x dark brown leather,  1 x black drill cotton, 1 x dark tan light cotton, 1 x black woolen coat 1 x black woolen thigh length overcoat)
  • 2 x suit vests for trouser vest combinations (Navy, Mid Grey)
  • 9 pairs of business trousers ( Navy, 2 x Navy with pinstripe*, Light Grey, Medium Grey, Grey with pinstripe, 2 Black and 1 Fawn*) *these are the second pairs of pants from a two-pants suit.
  • 11 Business shirts (2 solid colour – 1 white, 1 pink,  2 Awning stripe – 1 tan, 1 pink, 4 Bengal/pin stripe – light blue, tan, red, navy, 3 plaid (Brown, light blue large check, light blue small check). A number of these were of dubious fit.
  • 23 short sleeve casual shirts (!) Again, a few of these are a little roomy and will need to be sent to the charity shop if I lose any more weight
  • 7 long sleeve casual shirts
  • 1 pair black business shoes, 1 pair brown casual boots, 1 pair running shoes,  pair walking sneakers, 1 pair converse sneakers (why? God knows)
  • 80+ neckties
  • many, many T-shirts (largely from gigs over the last 10 years)

I had no wearable socks, I had no wearable casual pants, my shoes were shit and I had a disproportionate number of cubano-styled casual shirts.

As Martin Luther King jr once said “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence. Well, style uplifts humanity. So I set to work.

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