Apparel oft proclaims the man

Apparel oft proclaims the man

By Charles Taker

Do clothes maketh the man? To follow from last week’s column entitled “A Gentleman”, the way we dress can undoubtedly influence how others perceive us. One’s sartorial choices are ultimately a question of personal preference. It is important to create your own style; one that befits your lifestyle, expressing who you are and what you want to convey to the world.

One’s personal style develops over time as a person (a man for the purposes of this column) becomes more comfortable in his skin. Over the last decade and a half, I have developed a fondness for English country style; a style surprisingly adopted by many chic Parisians as well. I have amassed a fair collection of tweed jackets with the proper accessories including waistcoats, colourful corduroy trousers, jumpers, and buttoned-down collared checkered shirts. For the English country set, practicality trumps fashion. Tweeds, initially garments of the poorer people because of their durability, eventually found their way into the wardrobes of the upper classes for use at their country estates with different cuts befitting the occasion.

My first tweed garment was a shooting jacket purchased on my very first trip to Ireland in 2008 from a family-run business in Donegal that weaves, cuts, and tailors their own tweed garments. The shopkeeper was happy to sell me the shooting jacket, that fit as if bespoke, until I confessed that I was not a hunter and was simply fond of the jacket style. He was totally nonplussed. These jackets have shoulder vents that allow you to shoot your gun with ease. They were worn for the purpose for which they were intended, not for fashion. I have since bought a few other tweed jackets from him and I seem to have redeemed myself.

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