Lileks explains, far better than I ever managed, why I still wear button down shirts, even in summer:
Spoken like someone who wore a skinny tie and thrift-store jacket through his twenties. Why? Simple: Made me feel sharp. Not slack, not def, not fresh, not bad, not unHerbert, not whatever word has come along in the last few decades to describe slavish devotion to the mode du jour, but sharp. That suggests a certain amount of crispness, and of course a certain amount amphetamines as well. (Coffee, in my case. And lots of it. I'm still a dawn-to-dusk man with the stuff; just as Churchill could knock back a rejuvinating gin for breakfast, I can drink a quart of hot stern joe at midnight and sleep the sleep of the just.) Sharp was borrowed from the early 60s, or a recycled notion of the era. Sharp came through the New Wave musicians who had narrow-cuffed pants, narrow lapels, inch-wide ties. It was the look of people who were alert, present and accounted for, and well aware that we had best enjoy ourselves before Reagan set off a nuclear war, man. Sharp was a direct reaction to all the blowsy billowy gunny-sack that made up the tail-end of hippiedom; sharp was an unironic thrift-store aesthetic. Sharp was cool and cool was sharp.
Hey, Lileks -- I still have my inch-wide black leather tie. Where's yours?
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