I remember the when my dad was a young junior executive – I don’t even know if companies havecourse you didn’t know that; nobody watched the show for that many episodes). But in the Real World (the real Real World, not the MTV one), the only thing that people would have said about Mr. Kotter in the Teacher’s Lounge is, “Did I ever tell you about that goofy-ass teacher who is teaching the Sweathogs?
And back to J.R. Sure, he was a manipulative bastard, and sure, he got shot. As an aside, I don’t remember Who Shot J.R., though I do remember that Bobby was dead for a year and they had a funeral and then he came back and it was all a dream but they never told the people on Knot’s Landing – who went to his funeral – that it was a dream, and they mourned his memory until they got cancelled. But – back to J.R. – he was the epitome of power (possibly the guy that Donald Trump emulates) and he was rich an powerful and he got the ladies, as they may have said back then, if they weren’t saying he got the girls or the babes.
And he wore real suits.
Granted, no one wears leisure suits anymore. However, it’s a really good example of stupid things people wear because a lot of other people wear them. If you’re baffled by the popularity of the leisure suit, then be baffled by just about everything else that men wear today that’s not classic.
Because classic is what gets you to the finish line, with the big guys and the yachts and the wives who haven’t let themselves go. Or at least the salaries that allow you to buy a new sofa when the dog does something unspeakable to the old one.
The secret: two suits. Dark gray – charcoal – and dark blue. If you only have two suits, you don’t need to venture into the land of brown or light gray or other colors. A variety of shirts – white, light blue, striped blue-and-white – and a variety of ties – a couple of red or burgundy, yellow or gold.
Shoes and belt should be black. Buy a belt with a silver buckle, and a simple, elegant watch in a silver-tones metal. All of these classic items can be worn before dark and after dark.
And while cufflinks might seem to be a bit of extra bling the plain truth is that they are basics. They hold your cuffs together, for Pete’s sake! Button-down shirts, as convenient as they are – and with the button-cuffs they normally sport – are actually casual-wear. Who knew? They’re a little preppy, but not anything that can be worn after 6 – so why bother until you have the basics covered?
The general rule of wearing men’s jewelry is to match metal with metal. Oh, that’s not what the men’s magazines say – but tell me one CEO of a major company who’s wearing a purple suit with a bomber viking egypt shirt and harem pants…
OK, none. So listen to me, dammit!
Since we’re just starting out, you don’t have a good belt with a brass or gold buckle yet. So make your cufflinks silver. The good news is that sterling silver is considerably less expensive than gold, but just as tasteful. You can choose a simple engravable cufflink with your monogram, or a simple initial. Or pick a classic tubular or sterling knot. There are even cufflink lockets – which will score you major points with whomever you choose to immortalize in photo wrist-reachiness…your spouse, your children, your boss, Jessica Alba…
The basics – but the classic basics. Your foundation, the rock upon which you shall build your wardrobe. Start now, and look good for the new year.
write by Basil