Transition is usually a tough word for a tough time. When someone talks about being in transition, it is usually euphemism for getting fired or let go, dumped by a steady flame or recovering from some sort of loss. So it goes with this ambivalent state we are in now with regard to what to wear. From now until Easter, the peacocks simply don’t know what to strut. Whether you play by the rules or break them (No white before Easter) if you walk out of your door in seersucker before the bunny hops, you will have lingering self-consciousness that you are being judged by the style police. I don’t care how confident and rebellious you are, or at least I am, this is a predicament.
Let’s be clear what type of clothing we are talking about here. Few men question the seasonal appropriateness of a suit, unless it’s grey flannel. Nor do we bother with our shorts and tees. When we question the clothes is when we go casual and by casual we mean when we forego the tie. We do not mean schlubby cut offs, t-shirts, and flip flops. We mean sportswear casual as in sport jacket with a collared shirt, trousers (not jeans) and loafers or bucs.
Yesterday here in Charleston yours truly faced this transition dilemma. It’s March, the sun is out, there’s a slight chill. Wool and tweeds are too heavy. Corduroy seems hot and dull. I wanted a little color, but couldn’t justify anything too bright. I went with a navy v-neck sweater over a button down and green chinos and Gucci loafers. I thought I could pull it off. That is, until I went outside and into the glare of the unforgiving daylight. Everything looked passable except the chinos. The green was a shade too light and I looked like an Easter egg set loose from the basket. At just this moment I spotted a fellow heading into the corner store I had just exited. He was wearing a very similar look but he had switched it up. His sweater was a darker shade of green and his chinos were navy. He hit transition head on while I missed the mark and felt a bit awkward.
It is never easy to discuss hard rules for fabric and color when we address the entirety of this great big country. North to south and east to west, climate controls what we wear, but there are a few basics we can all agree on and this is a good basic primer to begin with.
Navy Blazer or a darker plaid sportcoat.
Cotton or light wool/cashmere sweater (v-neck, crew or cardigan) in richer colors (navy, red, hunter green, burgundy) not pastel or bright.
Chinos in Navy, khaki, or other dark color. Save the Nantucket red for later instead going with a darker shade or burgundy.
Shoes, dark leather or suede loafer, bluchers or bucs.
Feel free to chime in below with your own interpretation.
and register to win a bow tie.
You know the drill. Advertisers want to know your business before they give us business.