I have been blessed by the Navy Blazer powers that be with my own column, of which I only half-jokingly considered calling “The Irrationally Angry WASP”. Now whether this news is considered great or not is all relative to the value you place on my musings.
An issue that has really been bothering me lately is the absurd amount of thought placed into what one wears. The “Navy Blazer” Lifestyle often falls to the wayside, ironically, in an effort to look exactly like said lifestyle is what one embodies. Do not get me wrong, the latest resurgence of people taking it upon themselves to dress well is a welcome change, especially when it falls under our beloved “prep” umbrella. A few more Nick Carraways and Jackie Kennedys on campus is fine by me.
If I had the ability to do so I would re-write the books on getting into the prep game. It may be hard to swallow but clothes do not make the man, they just point him in the right direction. Constantly chasing the latest startup brands and Brooks Brothers lines leaves the novice with a lot of merchandise, but not much merit to back them up. I firmly believe the man with great style is not the one with the largest wardrobe, but the one who can look invisible wearing the classics. Wear a quality-made shirt with a smart haircut and let your actions do the talking. Sure, you may be outdone by the kid with Washington Crossing the Delaware across his shorts on occasion, but one-trick ponies fizzle in short time.
After a few exchanges with those in the Navy Blazer community, I have lovingly adopted the idea of “Apathetically Particular” (a much friendlier version of what was originally thrown out there). This moniker acknowledges an art of nonchalance, where clothes are just an intelligent afterthought. I wear a Brooks Brothers oxford shirt with a 3/2 sack blazer and loafers because I know they are smart, and I know they are timeless. I could care less if my tie is all the way tightened or if all the pockets on my jacket are smoothed out, but it’s not like I’m going to play dumb to the fact my outfit is a classic either. Additionally, my L.L. Bean traditional-fit khakis do not come with their own set of hashtags or tailored taper, but they look great and are worn effortlessly. The more time you put into your appearance, the more time you’ll waste that evening fretting over a minute detail falling out place. This is by no means advocating to buy dumb or buy cheap, buy expertly but care less. Melding into the furniture as you drink your coffee at the country club may not net as many Instagram likes, but if that is what you are in this for than the trad lifestyle is not for you.
“A man should look as if he’s bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them,”
– Sir Hardy Amies