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Blasts about the Past

Posted by Dirck on 23 July, 2010

I was looking at a blog lately appeared in the world, and find a fellow traveller in on the path of sartorial excess– a very easy road to get onto, given the current level of average male dress, but a hard one to hike for reasons of public distain and kit costs. Seriously, I’d love a pair of good-looking boots for the coming winter, but I can’t think where to lay hands on the $2000 they might cost.

In a one entry, the enigmatic Nemo runs across the notion that only an elderly man can dress well– in it, an actual nigh-centenarian spotted on the beach prompts him to buy a Panama hat (a delight on a hot day, let me tell you), and in a post-script, a acquaintance long out of contact upon seeing him again declares “…with your dandy get-up and your fountain pen, have become a gentleman in his eighties.”

I count that as a win, frankly. I’ve mentioned previously that I’d be quite content to dress in the mode of David Niven (b.1910), particularly the mid-20th century version thereof. There is that money thing getting in the way, along with a general difference of shape… but I digress. Nemo’s confrontational acquaintance seems to think that dressing in such a fashion is a terrible thing. I suppose, when in the 1960s people were flinging off their jackets and hats, the fact that it was all de rigeur rendered the style of men’s dress oppressive, but in this modern age where do as thou will has become the sumptuary law, the choice to embrace the past is just as valid as the choice to embrace the t-shirt.

Of course, just because one is old does not mean that one will dress decently. Everyone can make their own choices, no matter how disastrous.

Today’s pen: Waterman 52 (yesterday’s being brand new, I thus choose the past today)
Today’s ink: Pelikan blue-black (looking very much like what appears in my wife’s grandfather’s army paybook, c. 1943)

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