The recent God-is-in-the-details remarks over our photo shoot — in which the Ivy baby is thrown out with the collar roll and shoulder line bathwater — ties in well with my latest Huffington Post piece, which is on menswear personalities who are overly obsessed with rules.

These prescriptivists take different attacks: Some are obsessed with what is proper, some appeal to tradition with no regard for changing times, while others hold up a platonic ideal of genre dressing and scorn any deviations from it.

In my experience, rules-obsessed dressers are lacking in natural style and charisma, surely know this, and must get an ego boost from the thought that they dress “correctly.” In contrast, those who are naturally stylish tend to go for the general feel of clothes and don’t sweat the details much. I think of Chet Baker donning his girlfriend’s sweater, as recounted by Charlie Davidson in my recent Rake article, who said, “The goddamn thing looked great on him.”

Surely wearing women’s clothes must break somebody’s commandment about correct gentlemanly attire.

Anyway, head over here for the full story, which includes some quotes from Alan Flusser, who for much of his career was seen as the arch arbiter of rules, but who has mellowed considerably with age. — CC