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

Sunday, 31 August 2008

Conventional dressing


From The New Republic - I like this because it doesn't just deal with how the women are dressed:

Like his niece, Ted Kennedy, who delivered the most moving (at moments heartbreaking, given the circumstances) speech of the evening, was dressed in navy blue. If, as Diana Vreeland once quipped, "pink is the navy blue of India," then navy blue is the navy blue of politics. All the prominent politicians of the evening--Joe Biden, Jim Leach, John Kerry, Kennedy--wore navy blue jackets, white or blue shirts, and white-and-blue patterned ties. Their ensembles were so similar one began to suspect they had, like a clique of junior-high girls, called each other the night before to coordinate outfits. (Kerry's take, however, was rather more patrician: cornflower blue tie; matte where others' fabrics were meretriciously shiny.) The reasons for all the blue are obvious. It's patriotic, and it's also the party's color. Perhaps more relevantly, navy seems safe and stalwart in this aforementioned time of war and economic insecurity: the color is free from the suspicious slickness of black, and the dowdy, Beta-male connotations of brown. A real man throws on a navy blue sport coat when he cleans up and goes out. Navy blue is a color that will--to quote another commentator from CNN's very deep bench, who was himself quoting Groucho Marx --"play well in Peoria."

Politics or not? YOU decide

I had this idea that with the US election coming up I'd have a post a week where everyone can talk Obama/McCain, but there's a feeling that you want this to be a politics-free zone.

I'm a great believer in democracy so I'll go with the popular vote. Punch your hanging chad in the comments below. One comment, one vote.

But if you're in New Orleans, just get in the car and go NOW.

Ain't she sweet

The strange world of me


I have a deadline. The deadline is actually tomorrow but I managed to get an extension to the end of next week. The deadline is for the book of The Thoughtful Dresser and I have been stuck in London all summer finishing it, and a cold, wet and windy summer. It's not been good or memorable.

But I have done something I have never done before, I have now almost completed buying my Autumn/Winter wardrobe. I broke with the habits of a lifetime and instead of going into a shop and saying, 'Ooh! I like that', I sat down and thought about what I needed, looked to see what was coming in to the shops and then went and got it. Yesterday I bought knee length boots, the day before, ankle boots, the previous week, winter coat. I bought scarves on eBay, a coat-dress at Jaeger and I've ordered a bag which will be in mid-September. One more item and I'll be done. I bought stuff when it had just arrived in the shops, and the sales were still on. They had not sold out of my size.

The clothes are all hanging in the wardrobe, unworn, under protective anti-moth covers, so it makes them feel old before I ever wore them. A little of the joie de vivre of life has gone, the impulsive purchase. I have far greater confidence in the capsule collection of clothes I've chosen. I have some marvelous investments in there. But it feels old. I feel old.

I realise that what I really want is to be rich enough always to wear new things. Change keeps the heart light.