3 minutes reading
In the morning golf, wearing knickerbockers, typical plus fours matched with tube socks; a business lunch and a tennis game with pants, V neckline shirt and cap total white look in the afternoon.
The night is devoted to music: he sips a southside, not afraid of staining his suite which – with its smooth cut – stands out also in the most lively of parties.
He is a gentleman, he walks confidently with his pipe and his enchanting and catching gallantry. Ambition, self-awareness and audacity are the ace in the hole for a man who wants to feel free to dream, to establish himself and to… wear. Day or night, formal context or party, there is only one rule: rigid clothes you can’t wait to take off are strictly forbidden.
«He took out a pile of shirts and began throwing them, one by one, before us, shirts of sheer linen and thick silk and fine flannel, which lost their folds as they fell and covered the table in many-colored disarray. While we admired he brought more and the soft rich heap mounted higher — shirts with stripes and scrolls and plaids in coral and apple-green and lavender and faint orange, and monograms of Indian blue.»
But shirts and ties were not all… what about the three-piece suit? The undisputed star, born in the 1920s. It was love at first sight for men because it allowed them to forgo “canonical” clothing and personalize their look expressing their personality at best.
Winston Churchill, who had a passion for three-piece suits, wore a flannel pinstriped suit on “protocol” occasions during the Second World War. We saw lots of three-piece suits – from the most elegant to the most casual – on Leonardo di Caprio in “The Great Gatsby” – but also on many other actors in “Midnight in Paris”.
Similar to famous Victorian ones, these “Mr suites” were exclusively tailored, woolen or in lighter and softer textures – and extremely popular. Each piece was a lesson in style: the jacket was designed in order to exalt the body shape, wrap around shoulders and make the wearer’s physique leaner; it could be double-breasted, with three or four buttons.
The most casual version comprised of tweed trousers – maybe zuava – and other classic items golfers still wear today, with shirts and woolen gilets, possibly diamond-patterned. There is no lack of pinstripes, usually coupled with walking shoes with the top a different color from the bottom.
However, if we want identify a high society “uniform” of the time, the suit par excellence, the trademark that “smells” of richness and wealthiness, that breathes freedom after the Great War – that’s a tuxedo.
Nothing to fear, nothing to hide. Accessories combined with a gentleman’s outfit also go to show this: gloves and handkerchiefs, usually of the same color, silk pochettes, a hat: in felt in the Winter with a lifted or a lowered brim, in straw in the Summer, like Borsalino or Panama, or the more sportive flat cap. Oxford bicolor lace-up shoes at your feet.
In Oscar Wilde’s words: “Dandyism is the assertion of the absolute modernity of Beauty”