Fifteen Shades Of Grey


Today the film adaptation of the international sensation “Fifty Shades Of Grey” opens. I don’t know about you, but I like my neckties far too much to risk tearing the slip-stitch by using them as bondage tools.

Recently I wrote about acquiring a number of items this season in olive, but the bulk of my new loot was in shades of gray.

Always an assiduous editor of my wardrobe, last fall I finally gave up and gave in to the primary sartorial influence I’ve had since my early twenties — Brummelian restraint. While I enjoy colors in my golf and tennis attire, I always seemed to reach for the same items — and same formula — when putting on a jacket and tie. I take comfort in the notion of refining things down to a formula of bold simplicity, as Beau Brummell did. That as hardly the same as following narrow genre parameters, but rather of rediscovering what I’m most comfortable in.

The photo above contains 15 shades of gray in items large and small. Highlights include a Brooks Brothers Chesterfield from the current season; sportcoats in camel hair and cashmere from Polo; charcoal pinstripe scarf and houndstooth cap; grenadine tie from Chipp2, silk knit from Lands’ End and satin from RL Purple Label; Levi’s 508 jeans and a cashmere V-neck; vintage Timex on charcoal alligator band; gray pocket square with navy pin dots and white Paul Stuart handkerchief with gray trim.

Enjoy the weekend. Who knows? Between Valentine’s Day and the movie opening, many couples out there might just tie the knot.  — CC


15 Comments on "Fifteen Shades Of Grey"

  1. was really hoping, at the very least, this site would stay away from this movie cliche – oh well…

  2. Bags' Groove | February 13, 2015 at 3:29 pm |

    Steady CC, or you’ll have the American language enforcers (one of whom haunts this site, as I found to my cost) knocking on your door.

  3. Vern Trotter | February 13, 2015 at 3:52 pm |

    Every time I type the word, I have to hesitate and think. Still, I usually spell it wrong according to the nearest language sentry.

  4. I grew up on both sides of the Atlantic, with both US- and UK-published books and magazines as my reading materials, and so I’m completely comfortable with both sets of spelling conventions and often get confused as to which is the norm where. In the case of the movie in question, I believe the title uses the spelling “Grey” – the name is a character’s surname. Proper names can use either spelling, on either side of the pond.

    I think I need a grey (gray?) knit tie. I think I only have black, burgundy, and navy knit ties (come to think of it, I haven’t seen that navy knit tie around in a while – perhaps it got lost somehow?). Grey and maybe olive green would be nice additions to the collection.

  5. I have no idea what the rule is on the spelling. I went with “grey” in the headline because it’s closest to the movie, but “gray” in the story, which are my words.

    Skies are gray but flannel is grey.

  6. Who is your fat friend?

  7. According to Clorford (color swatch expert), gray and grey are different colors. See the difference:

  8. Angeleno, that is amazing. All these years to me, the A stood for American, the E for English!

  9. Cranky Yankee | February 14, 2015 at 4:37 am |

    Even J. Press can’t decide on gray or grey. These flannels answer to both:

    Last month, I bought some charcoal grey flannels from Brooks’ website. They turned out to be darker than I had wanted so I exchanged them for a lighter shade which Brooks calls grey…just grey. Charcoal gray/grey? Bankers gray/grey? Oxford gray/grey? Medium gray/grey? Just gray/grey?

    I guess I like charcoal flannels with tweeds, but a slightly lighter shade with a blue blazer. Otherwise, it looks like I’m wearing a suit. When did grey/gray become so difficult?

  10. Much to my dismay, Angeleno, Pantone and CMYK appear to follow Cloford (though likely the other way round), with their grey shades indeed lighter than their gray shades.
    Thank goodness for Germany’s RAL system, which sticks with the spelling/colour range of bread and butter grey.
    So the answer to American language enforcers is now: to exactly which shade of gray or grey do you refer?

  11. NaturalShoulder | February 14, 2015 at 11:07 am |

    The jackets look amazing.

  12. The American spelling is grAy, but I see lots of grEy eminating from Americans’ keyboards.

    I don’t think this is something to get worked up over, as long as the author or publication is consistent. So Christian got it right: grEy for the headline (because the pornographic book he references spells it that way), and grAy for the article (because he is an American writing in America for a primarily American audience).

  13. That book all the women next to me on the train were reading is pornographic? Would love to hear Henry opine on the difference betweeen pornography and erotica.

  14. It’s a difference without a distinction.

    Or is it the other way around?

  15. Vern Trotter | April 3, 2018 at 2:53 am |

    I don’t know the definition of pornography but know it when I see it.

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