Friday, January 13, 2012

The 2011 Year in Posts

 Chapter 49
A lot happened in 2011. Dress Like A Grownup!'s first year was packed brimful with tender nuggets of sartorial snark, garnished with delicate notes of historical reference, and saute√©d in a hearty sauce of erudite admonition. 

Detail of Interior of a Tailor's Shop,
painted ~1655 by Quiringh Van Brekelenkam.
It may be daunting for first-timers to wade through all this disparate information scattered throughout the year, so here is an easy-to-use cross-linkable summary index for the entire year. 

I started out in February, with a brief introduction that sets the stage for what would become Dress Like A Grownup! as it exists today. 

If you are truly new to the concept of dressing well, then my series on the basics, called Dressing The Average Guy, starts with the premise of knowing absolutely nothing. After you take a good look at yourself, I introduce the concept of insouciance as the yardstick for how you wear what you wear. After a thorough description of grownup attire, and the history of wearing it, we look at the science behind what makes a stylish suit, and then how to go about finding one.

The Dressing The Average Guy series continues with "Phase II," which is a little more advanced. Once you are familiar with the basics of proper clothing, I take you through rediscovering the happiness of your youth, and the influences of your youthful interests, to incorporate into your personal style, "fine tuning" your sartorial choices after having become comfortable with the broad strokes. Finding the right suit is made easier by learning to take proper measures on yourself, and then I show you how to use those measures to nab a perfectly-fitting suit right off the rack in fifteen minutes.

Preparation for advanced clothing and tailoring concepts starts with a tailor's form, that you can make yourself as an exact body-duplicate.

The Island of Misfit Clothes is the advanced series that builds upon the Average Guy series. The goal here is continued refinement of the exactness of the fit of your clothes by working on them yourself. I demonstrate how little changes can make a big difference by changing the button-stance of a jacket, and discussing all the equipment and supplies you'll need. We tackle a quick and easy way to alter a trouser waist, as well as a more involved way. We went through the theory of altering a jacket's chest size, and introduced a grossly outsized three-piece suit for our nefarious purposes. After taking it apart, and pinning it to shape, we stitch-marked it, in preparation for final stitching. And that's where that series left off at the end of 2011.

If you're unfamiliar with what constitutes a good pair of shoes, I have a good overview of styles, construction, and proper fitting, and a peek at the shoe closet of the well-heeled gentleman.

There wasn't a lot of hat-talk in 2011, although I did discuss choosing a hat for the summer heat, and a short observation of everyday hattery-foolery. My April Fool's topic on building your top hat collection, even in jest, has some good information on top hat construction, and where to buy a topper.

More importantly, I have laid out the intricacies of just when to wear a hat, and when not to, in plain language. 

Ties have gotten short-shrift this year, which was somewhat intentional. As I make bespoke ties, I didn't want the blog to devolve into a shill for my own product. I did discuss the different sorts of ties with which you should be familiar, and illustrated two different ways to tie a bow tie.

An overview of tropical summer shirts, and how to properly put them away in the off-season through starching, ironing, and wrapping, demonstrates that dressing well is not always about suits.

Scattered throughout the year are topical tips on dressing for special occassions, such as spring break, the prom, and autumn sports and recreation, 

There has been no shortage of sartorial history lessons this year: how schoolchildren of old learned how to dress, the origin of the Easter Parade, and the evolution of what is considered well-dressed through the ages. 

The Tony awards and the Emmy awards were fertile fields on which to cast a particularly perspicuous perspective on popular personages' panoply -- the formalwear decisions, both wise and oh-so-foolish, of rich and famous men. The wedding of Prince William to Catherine was well-covered, with emphasis on what the men wore, as well as the cautionary tale of the wedding of Prince Georg to Princess Sophie.

The story of the fighting yank illustrates the tragic consequences of poor attire on society.

In addition to the April Fool's week mentioned previously, Halloween week debuted the scariest thing I've seen this year, Thanksgiving week debuted the Bow Tie Man of the Year, and Christmas week should have been the Razor Square Man of the Year, if the Computer Crash of 2011 hadn't intervened. 

Said crash resulted in three mini-posts, the aforementioned hat observation, an exhortation to never cut corners, and not to take the path of least resistance. 

And thus we rang out the year of 2011. 2012 promises much more of the same: awards coverage, commentary, history, the continuation of The Island of Misfit Clothes, and ever more! Stay tuned.

Click here to go to the next essay chronologically.

Click here to go to the 2012 Year in Posts.

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