I keep reading that once a man establishes his style, it never leaves him. And I’ve often wondered if I’ll be that way, though I’m still young enough to have changed my dress style every few years. Check back with me in a few more years.
He was in his 60’s maybe even his 70’s. He had on this camel hair winter overcoat, which had this spread fur collar and large lapels. The fur was brown and it looked like he had this lion’s mane stretching from his shoulders down to his chest. And he also had a fedora on his head. A navy blue with the brim turned out. Honestly, he reminded me of Al Pacino’s character in the movie, Donnie Brasco. Look up the movie poster, age Pacino another 25 years, and that’s your guy. Similar hat, similar winter coat.
The rest was pretty indicative of his style as well. Grey polyester slacks, yes, real polyester. There was a blue blazer underneath that winter coat, paired with a faded white shirt. No tie, no jewelry. But, one more detail that could only be him – black rubber rain shoe covers fitting snuggly over his black wingtips. The laces were just peeking over the covers, and the wingtip pattern was discernable at the very top of those covers.
Underneath the fedora was a head with close cropped white hair. His big nose complimented his big ears. What was interesting were his thin lips. Well, they were in a half-sneer, half pursed clench for the entire ride. Showing his straight yellow teeth, and giving one a sense that he was searching for something intensely. His square glasses probably added to his look. These rounded-edge square bifocals of a light brown color.
This man was reading the New York Times – main section, all with a facial expression that made it seem his life depended on it. He wasn’t marking anything or doing the crossword, just reading briskly, yet that expression clearly indicated something else. He raised his eyebrows every so often, and the serious reading lines on the forehead. It was like watching a ventriloquist reading the paper. No sound comes out of his mouth, but the lips are open the entire time in a forced smile – or in this case, a sneer.
There was this worn plastic shopping bag in between his legs. It was a New York City library bag that was orange on white, with the names and addresses of area libraries in reverse type. Perhaps he was a serious reader after all.