Friday, April 17, 2009


Man 4/16

There is an old story about Beethoven that he always deliberately placed a wrong note in everything he composed, because nothing was ever supposed to be perfect. Not sure where I heard it told, but it rings true enough for me.

This man was perfectly attired. He looked like he could have been the younger brother of Michael Caine – circa The Ipcress Files. Anyone who knows men’s fashion knows that Michael Caine movie and its widespread influence.

Let’s start with the Burberry raincoat. After all, if you’re channeling Michael Caine and dressing like a closet British dandy, you have to start with the classics. Black raincoat with the telltale Burberry check lining for everyone to see.

Next up, the suit, shirt and tie. The suit was a charcoal grey window-pane check that was made up of the subtlest of blue lines. It was a standard issue two button and finished with cuffs on the pants. The shirt was light blue but betrayed a barely detectable check pattern upon a closer look. No French cuffs though – thank god. And his tie was the modern take on the GOP power tie. It was thin maroon and lavender stripes on a standard width but the fabric was a silk sheen. Immaculate knot, of course and everything buttoned-up.

So, where’s the closet dandy come from? Good question. His socks. I love interesting socks that make sense, not for the sake of being shocking, but just compliment the look. His were a grey with these dark block patterns – almost Mondrian inspired, except one of the blocks was this bold purple.

The shoes were a standard good black leather split-toe lace-ups. Well cared for, and expensive I’m sure.

The Michael Caine part? Oh yes. Well, picture Michael Caine from that movie. Now, crop the hair shorter and perhaps slightly receding. Color everything white, grey and a sprinkle of black. Add a well trimmed goatee. The glasses here would be modern and more architectural. Rectangular, a composite metal frame, and the arms have die-cut blocks to suggest a modernist influence.

So, what’s the immaculately dressed man carrying? Interestingly enough, a messenger bag from Porter. A black canvas messenger bag that has two large pockets in the front panel. A shoulder strap and two carrying handles. Well, we know he has good taste, and we know he has money to spend. Porter is a little left field. Maybe it’s his way of saying that he’s more hip that his attire lets on.

For the entire ride our man was reading from his Kindle 2. I’m not sure that the leather cover was the standard issue Amazon version. It just didn’t seem to be his style.

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