Monday, November 16, 2009

At last a few words

You've noticed the obvious by now, and made your deductions: more pictures, less words. Not that there's anything wrong with that, not at all. Some of the best blogs are only pictures. But my thing has been words (all told a wise choice given my limited skills with a lens).

So today I promise you words but no pictures...

* * *

I was out last night for dinner with a group of Italians. My friend M was in town (or more precisely my friend's wife's sister, but my friend's wife is also my friend, and she being Italian and I Indian her sister is my friend too -- you know how it is). In any case, she had her own flugelbindery going on, so I joined a group dinner, trying to blend in and managing like a turkey among penguins (strange image, doesn't really fit, but just liked the image).

What I noticed immediately that everyone was dressed the same, the men at least, and not the same in the sense of a uniform (though that would have been fantastic!), but in the sense of very similar choices.

It was a mild day in Boston (for November... 14C). Most people on the street were without a coat. I had my coat open, as I'm a bit sensitive to the chill. The Italians were all wearing down-filled coats, like the Michelin Man, but more stylish, and no one was was opening that zipper an inch... Those who wore glasses all had heavy squarish frames (I was thinking Marcello Mastroianni in 8 1/2 but looking back I see that his frames were less square). Beneath the coats, most had sweaters with a particular collar (which I have an instinct is mock something or the other...) There was less uniformity in the shoes, but more than a few pairs of suedes.

Another undeniable fact was that all these office penguins where pretty stylish, as penguins go. Or what I mean more precisely is that they were more stylishly dressed than their American brother flugelbinders. The basics were right: good material, well pressed, and the right size. On this theme, impressive how men with little bellies and thinning hair manage to convey that slightly dapper impression as well.

I'm sure there's something to be learned here, but I'm not sure what. That if you're in the right herd, the herd mentality can be good? Or perhaps the opposite -- no herd is worth following. Or perhaps it was emblematic of what office work can do to you. Not sure, not sure at all.

But when the professor began singing after taking a big sip from his Scotch, I knew everything would be fine.


1 comment:

If Jane said...

i love the image: turkey with penguins...(although i must add you are far from a turkey clothes-wise!!)
really i don't think one can beat the italian male when it comes to style and taste...simplicity and detail..

i think of my friend a--from the outside, everything she wears is quite classic, style-wise..but then she will throw in an unexpected detail...and everyone is clapping!
my friend é can spot other french ex-pats merely through how they wear their scarf or carry their bag...
my mum keen's eye for "spotting the european" from km's and km's away!! " i knew she was italian based on how she was wearing her sweater"...

it is all about how you carry yourself and secondly they wear the clothes they don't allow the clothe sto wear them...and i think that is what is the key diference...

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