I’ve dressed the same way ever since seeing Audrey Hepburn in Love in the Afternoon. Her simple, sleek style becoming my own.
Pair that with a cousin who wore faded Levis with a man’s white button-down, adding a navy blazer beneath a Barbour jacket a boyfriend bought me.
Penny loafers sealing the deal.
The navy blazer that myth or fact states, was born in the mid 1800s to the British Royal Navy, before making its way to Cambridge as the uniform of all young Englishmen.
America got hers in 1930, by way of Brooks Brothers, still a feature every season since. A smart wardrobe staple whether you’re a business man, or just a girl who likes an androgynous touch.
Levi Strauss, a Bavarian who in 1850, sold work pants, or waist high coveralls, as they were called, to miners during the height of the Gold Rush… voila…the blue jean is born.
I have two pair over 20 years old, patched, sewn, restored and resuscitated, making them the envy of all who now buy them that way.
Save your jeans, I say, and treat them like grandparents whom you love and respect.
I do have a newer pair when the distress ones aren’t quite as appropriate, but the look is the same, one a little ratty, but both, quite natty, a great word to pair with classic...(of a person or an article of clothing) smart and fashionable: a natty blue blazer and designer jeans.
The white button-down, the kind your dad wore, another Brooks Brothers exclusive, patterned after Polo Players selling in 1950 to all men of distinction, then to all men and boys, who just needed a clean, white shirt.
Mustn’t forget those women of distinction.
The Barbour Jacket, created by a Scotsman named John Barbour, siring J. Barbour and Sons LTD of England in 1894, making them out of oil cloth to be worn in inclement weather. Hunters, soldiers and Susannahs, 121 years later, still would never be without a Bedale three quarter jacket in their closet.
Did I mention how great it looks, and can be worn right over that blazer without making you look awkwardly overdressed?
Less is more when you can leave for the day, layered, comfy and chic, which takes us to…
the penny loafer, or slip-on-shoe, in 1936 first called Bass Weejuns I wore in high school, still owning a pair with pennies properly installed.
Slip-on flats, my shoe of choice, along with kitten heels, a cross between a stiletto and pump, that can dress up or down any outfit. Add Converse Sneakers and you’re set to go…
The Converse Company began in 1908 making boots, seguing into sneakers. When Charles ‘Chuck’ Taylor, a semi-professional basketball player joined the company in 1921 as a salesman, he urged them to make a better shoe…hence, The Chuck Taylor All-Stars are born.
High Tops, Low Tops, laces or without, nothing is more compatible with your jeans, button-down and blazer than…
a pair a’ Chucks.
You don’t need tons of money to dress well and comfortably if you choose classic, investing a few bucks rather than falling for a fad ending up at the Goodwill.
Let’s leave it at that.