I am happy we live in an era where fashion is gender fluid, and focused on personal style versus following strict rules and trends. The woman who is my personal style icon is Katherine Hepburn. She blurred boundaries and her look was timeless, simple, classy and striking but served more of an accent to her great talent and personality than the central focus. This is one reason why I love what would be traditionally called men’s fashion. If I wax sociological for a second, perhaps because “men’s” clothing was restricted by centuries of cultural masculinity standards, it has evolved to reflect a sophisticated, sartorial simplicity and emphasis on really defining the person behind the clothes. I have noticed that much of men’s style writing preaches the importance of tailoring, more so than I have observed in women’s fashion writing. Your shirt may be expensive, but if it doesn’t fit your body correctly it won’t look good. Whereas even a cheap shirt, if tailored, can look good.
Of course there exists great women’s clothing, and I enjoy melding masculine and feminine elements, as well as wearing things with a history. In this post I am featuring an Anne Taylor jacket bought at the Salvation Army for $6.99 with a light blue French cuff dress shirt that was custom fit and monogrammed for my former boyfriend, who I am still friends with and who gives me his hand me downs and accented by my father’s silver cuff links he wore in the 1970’s. I paired them with jeans some silver earrings made by Scranton company J. Crane Jewelry and some heels. This felt professional but playful.
The jacket and shirt were tailored at Domenic’s Tailoring. Dominic is a third generation tailor from Calabria, Italy. This Scranton shop is authentic as it gets. Clothes heaped around. Wall filled with tilted family photos and yellowing newspaper clippings. When I walked in The Quiet Man was blasting from a small old school television on a chair in the corner. Dominic moves at his own pace , but when he is with you he gives his full attention along with sincere honesty. “This is a man’s shirt,” I said .”What are you going to do with that?” he looked at me. “I’m going to wear it.Do you think you can take it in?” He tugged at the sleeves and the cuffs. “Okay we’ll see what we can do.” He then pinched and pinned the fabric around me. Upon leaving he writes up the bill on a yellow shirt. “Name?” “Maureen. Like Maureen O’Hara and I pointed to the television. “John Wayne….I love westerns.” he smiled.
I appreciate the juxtapositions of this outfit. It energizes me. I can be confident eating wings in this outfit or leading a meeting. And I love that it consists of discarded things, resurrected with some tailoring love and out in the world again.
Photo Credits: Mark Migliore.