Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Outfit for a Monday: French Cuffs and Jade
Having a brother-in-law is essentially like gaining an older, wiser brother that I occasionally thought would be welcome when I was a child but never really fully understood how much I could want or enjoy. Although David certainly reserves certain acerbic but ultimately good-humored zings for me, most of the brotherly taunting and hassling is reserved for my younger brother. Both of us, however, have reaped many benefits from his keen eye for men's wear design, and his penchant for keeping a replete and refurbished wardrobe, regularly rotated. This past weekend, Adam and I both received a handful of French cuff men's shirts; while Adam is grateful for all of his bounty, I am generally more pleased with looking formal, even in a casual setting.
David and I often comment and joke about the imbalance between women's and men's fashion. It is rather easy, acceptable, and in fact encouraged for women to embrace and adopt masculine aesthetics, while the reverse, men donning feminine detailing or accessories or wardrobe items, is sequestered in the bombastic high-fashion circles, if it manifests at all. He regrets that I can wear cuff links or a pocket watch or pocket squares, and that he would potentially raise some eyebrows if he tried necklaces and bracelets, let alone pumps or a skirt, even in New York. If born in another era, David would definitely be rocking a myriad array of powdered wigs, austere walking canes, and jaunty pointed boots. Though his opportunities to harness internal sparkle and glamor are more limited, he certainly seizes them, always discerning and rotating, permitting Adam and I to glean from the discarded.
Simple white button-down blouses always look elegant and pulled together on the female form; thankfully, those of quality cotton, are also breathable and comfortable in the summer months. A French cuff, coupled naturally with the requisite cuff links, lends a slightly more structured and architectured feel to the basic white blouse and slacks look, without appearing stiff or overly formal. David advises that men only wear French cuff shirts with a jacket; again, women have more free reign, and can bend that rule whenever.
I found these jade and gold cuff links at a small antiques shop to the west of my town, while out on an adventure apple picking; green appears in many of my accessories, as it is a tricky shade for my skin tone and often makes me look ill in larger volumes.
For an added flair and bit of intrigue, I wore these golden, dangling chain earrings. This pair is different, but not too long or hyperbolic, more subdued than many in my collection, so they complemented the simple white blouse and my clean slate gray chinos.
To maintain my masculine vibe, I opted for my comfortable and trusted leopard print tuxedo, or smoking, flats. Residing proudly in my closet for over a year, I think these continue to be one of the most versatile pairs of shoes I own; I wish I had a second, because I am already sort of anxious at the prospect of their growing worn and weary.
Tuesday morning soundtrack: Mature Themes Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti