Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Name is Tweed. Harris Tweed.

In response to the New York Times Styles column that triumphantly claims "Late 19th-Century Dress is Back in Fashion," I can only say-- it's about time. I write today only to quote the authoritative article, and perhaps to modestly suggest that I was a little ahead of the curve on this one:

Not long ago, big brass-buttoned military coats looked a bit extreme. So did high-button, high-lapel vests and slim tweed trousers. And so did guys who tucked said trousers into high, old-fashioned hunting boots. Now these clothes (along with those ever-present beards and mustaches) look like downtown defaults compared with fall runway looks like cardinal-red tailcoats at Ralph Lauren, capes and bowlers at Alexander McQueen and knee breeches at Robert Geller.

As with home design, where curio cases, taxidermy and other stylish clutter of the Victorian era have been taken up by young hipsters, many of today’s popular men’s styles have their roots in the late 19th century. There are the three-piece suits once favored by mustachioed Gilded Age bankers; the military greatcoats and boots of Union officers; and the henley undershirts, suspenders, plaid flannel shirts and stout drill trousers worn by plain, honest farmers.

and then
“There are all kinds of societies that are about dressing up in period costume and then going back to your oversize jeans the next day,” he said. “This is about style as a way of being.” (You can’t help imagining a kind of upside-down remake of “The Wild Ones,” in which a gang of elegant men in knee breeches riding old Raleigh three-speeds descend on an unsuspecting town and freak everyone out with their impeccable manners.)

Even so, tweed states its own case surprisingly well.

“I haven’t worn tweed in a while, but I’m rediscovering it,” Mr. Brewer said. “The Victorian era was about a very trim silhouette and form, and I’m seeing tweeds that are cut that way. The thing is, tweed looks very elegant, but it’s a very sturdy fabric, so you can be dapper and still appear manly and rugged.”
I hope you'll join me this weekend for a tweed ride!


Anonymous Lindsay duPot said...

The reverse "Wild Ones" scenario is a brilliant idea for a movie!

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