Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Summer in the City


It's what, on this side of the Atlantic, could be called the washed out Boden look. Probably borrowed wholesale in some of the smarter London postcodes ( we Brits are nothing if not impressionable) from the east coast of the USA.


Deck shoes and no socks. Distressed chinos. And a faded short sleeved shirt.

There is a message. And it goes something like this: the family has a house in Cornwall ( the Hamptons). We summer there. I am only temporarily in the city. I can't be bothered to change. And that's because really, if you take away the Porsche Cayenne, I'm just a surf dude.

Which, I reckon, is the same as the flip flop tendency. Which, unwittingly, is possibly trying to say: if you take away the Oyster card, I'm actually an Australian.

9 comments:

phyllis said...

So, just to parse this a bit more - does the brand of deck shoe matter in the UK? Here in Boston it's a white soled Sperry Topsider boat shoe and nothing less. Any other other deck shoe is a sign of a true wannabe.

Bring a Plate said...

I must point out that, if "I'm actually an Australian", I would have a thong tendency.

Yes, we wear thongs on our feet over here, which can lead to some amusing misunderstandings with US or UK visitors

Duchesse said...

In the early 1950's, when boys came to call on my sister on a summer evening, this is what they wore- and a few variations: Boxy shetland sweater sweater tied over the shoulders. Lacoste tennis shirts, oxford-cloth button downs (tails out), madras bermudas.
Deck shoes or penny loafers, always sockless. Nothing that looked new or strenuously styled.

dana said...

I'm convinced that Boden is the UK Gap, and they're all really from the same six factories in southeast Asia.

Harry Fenton said...

Phyllis.... I really don't know. I've never asked. As you may have gathered I'm not part of that demographic. Although I am sure they have to be American. Well, we all strive for authenticity, particularly when we are copying.
And thanks for your comment the other day. I thought you would recognise this anglo manifestation.

lagatta said...

phyllis, on a rather unrelated topic, do come and see the Yves St-Laurent retrospective at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

In French, thong or tong refers to flip-flops as well, and to the original East Asian style with a woven grass sole (though the ancient Egyptians wore them as well). Those seem much more dignified, in particular as people from East and Southeast Asia know how to walk in them without them slapping their feet.

Anonymous said...

This is an East Coast look reminding me of the J. Crew summer catalog, selling the likes of prefaded and prefrayed chinos to those who can't be bothered to break in their own pair. And from jcrew.com, a current offering, the Washed Authentic Original Sperry Top-Siders:

"The quintessential boat shoe since 1935, the Authentic Original Sperry Top-Sider® is a durable, incredibly comfortable, nearly skid-proof vintage classic that looks and feels great, on or off the water. We've custom-washed and distressed each pair for a broken-in, vintage look that gets better and better the more you wear them—no two pairs are alike."

If you own a yacht, you would would wear nothing less than genuine Sperry Topsiders, be they leather or canvas.

But the "surfer dudes" are native to the Pacific Coast (California), and sport a decidedly less preppy look.

morty said...

Please someone -I didn´t understand the bit about the Porche Cayenne. I have one and I love it.

Sara - pension comparison said...

In the UK we call thongs flip flops - which I don't quite understand, surely they should be flip flips or flop flops?