So Ivy vs. Slow Ivy

The author this morning around 5:30 so forgive the sleepy eyes. Cigar ornament in the background is not smokable. And smokable is not a word.

I read something about Christmas White as a clothes color two days ago and started thinking that the only time I have ever seen anything close to it was Steve McQueen in a photo I am sure is already on this site but here it is again for you:

It should also be noted, in addition to a few jaunts into monochromaticism (also not a word) that Mr. McQueen, an Ivy North Star, was repeatedly photographed wearing a chain around his neck with a medallion.  In the Facebook Group one time a member took great exception to Mr. McQueen’s pure white socks instead of the off white that that particular member swore was the only white Ivy sock allowable. I didn’t take that exception but I wanted to say: Hey, if you don’t like the white socks, wait til you get a load of the Mr. T tribute around his neck.

My oldest (and therefore favorite) pair of khakis is “winter white” and it has always killed me to put them away for winter.  So I started working on a way to get them back into rotation.  First, I tried them with a blue 1/4 zip and a gray tee shirt, but the contrast was an awful lot.  With my body shape, the last thing you want is any color combination that segregates parts.  Or for that matter, even draws attention to parts.  Lost the 1/4 zip, tried a gray sweater vest with the tee shirt but then remembered two things.  (1) I am not 1993 Dennis Miller and (2) vest and tee shirt WTF.   Tried them with my daily standard, the white OCBD, and looked like a half-dressed off-season Wimbledon ball retriever.

Then I remembered the picture of McQueen.   So, this:

Those orbs are not a filter, they are because I am so highly spiritual that I operate on a different plane than you. Or, it’s a filter because the background is so boring. Except for that painting, which is another long story. Ok ok, if you promise to go right to sleep when I am done. The painting, which is blurred, came from this amazing artist named Eleanor Rahim. I was introduced to her – well, I forget how, but we hit it off and she showed me her collection online. Then she said, “You know, you really have to see them in person.” Because I am such a wit, I said, “Really? Where are they?” She said, “At my apartment.” … …. … … … … So I get there, and I am nervous. I ring the bell, she lets me in, and before my coat is off I am in front of the painting alone with her in her apartment, and say, “You know, this is going to be so much more valuable after you are dead.” #veryshortmeeting #notwhatIwasthinking #butIboughtthepainting

Ivy really is a nuanced thing, I don’t blame people for entering silently and not speaking up until they have logged some time around here.  Muted colors are a staple of Ivy, in fact, they are one of the predominant differentiators between Ivy and Prep.  White OCBD and it is Professor John Burton, bright green OCBD and it is Weird Old Guy Who Is Still Dressing Like John Hughes Movie.  So muted colors yes, but you never see monochromaticism (also not a word).   It is the nuanced difference between a pretty standard color book that communicates traditional regard and staying in one color which looks perhaps over styled.

A Buddhist pillar is gratitude for one’s adversary.  I’ve tried it, and it really works, framing the relationship from the perspective of how an adversary can make you better at whatever you are being adversarial about.  It’s a new way of looking at what you don’t like.  And it works with socks.  Behold my gratitude for my adversary the sock.  In Fair Isle, which is muted enough that I am not That-Guy-With-The-Look-At-Me-Socks but en0ugh that I am also not so monochromatic that I am over styled.  Or at least that is what I was shooting for.

You may take exception to boat shoes in December in the northeast, but hear me out. The soles are non-slip. See where I am going?

Verdict = winter white lets me wear the khakis so who cares if I first saw it on a VERY difficult client I am still trying to forget; socks with boat shoes is something I would have purposely spilled a Merlot on you for doing a few years but I have grown; and yes this is borderline over styled but on the other hand I don’t clash with anything.



6 Comments on "So Ivy vs. Slow Ivy"

  1. Nutmeg Andy | December 9, 2021 at 9:46 am |

    In my opinion, this color (shade?)combination works well on you. I’ve personally given up on trying to wear white khakis, as I’m too prone to spilling coffee on them . However, eBay often has Orvis ultimate khakis in various white/stone/light tan shades in my size for about $25-$30. I buy them and use RIT dye to turn them into olive, light brown, etc. They are very sturdy and represent a good value, especially considering the $119 msrp when new.

  2. It’s a good look! And a good filter. My complexion is too pale and low-contrast to pull off the “monochromaticism” thing with white, stone, ecru, oatmeal, etc. so I tend to do things like this with darker colors and it works alright. I’m really getting a kick out of the writing lately.

  3. I find that boat shoes are terribly slippery on snow and ice.

  4. I agree with Nevada above. The whole nonsense of no white in winter is just like the nonsense of “no white after labor day”. The important thing to consider is does it ‘come off’ visually. Also, consider the depth and texture of the clothes. Your sweater is an excellent example of the depth and texture aspect. Both the color and texture are appropriate for the casual look and winter warmth.

  5. Ivy Style still rocking the potato camera

  6. This is my very first visit and the winter white is a winner!

Comments are closed.