THE NOVELY OF IT ALL
I was sitting in one of those too-cool downstairs pubs in Soho listening to an author read an excerpt from his most recent book (one of my favorites, as it happens) — a book whose genius is so subtle, so well-executed that when you finish it you wish you could ingest it so that savoring it could be both a mental and physical activity. (It was a very good book.)
But all I could focus on was this author’s blazer. Well, suit jacket-cum-blazer, if I’m honest.
It was light grey and paired with a button-down shirt and jeans — you know, the uniform of the not-too-casual-not-overly-stylish-but-still-wanting-to-make-an-effort crowd.
And this light grey blazer jacket was well tailored — side vents, double stitch, tight-weave fabric — but it irritated me so.
‘Why?’ you ask. Because. Because he was trying to fool us into thinking that this suit jacket was a free-standing blazer when in reality it was hanging on him bereft of matching trousers. Because — didn’t he know! — this jacket will begin to fade from overuse and the matching trousers will before long no longer match at all. Just imagine a well-worn suit jacket, broken in perfectly and comfortably, slightly fraying at the cuffs and rubbed at the elbows and seeing that jacket atop a crisp, center-creased, flat-front pair of trousers that still have the pockets stitched together. It would never work! He was consigning the trousers to consignment shops for “gently worn” high-end clothing.
But. I secretly, and despite all sartorial sanity, loved him for doing this. ‘Look at me,’ he was saying. ‘I have written a brilliant novel, made huge sums of money, have a flat in poshwest London, but haven’t forgotten my everyman sensibilities.’
Vive la resistance!