Reading List || GQ, July 2007: My Father’s Fashion Tips by Tom Junod

02/09/2011 § Leave a comment

Spurred by my rant about men wearing black shoes with navy suits, Ted pointed me in the direction of a great article about fashion, tradition, fathers and sons.

My Father’s Fashion Tips by Tom Junod

I have a sense of style, I guess, but it is not like my father’s—it is not earned, and consequently it is not unwavering, nor inerrant, nor overbearing, nor constructed of equal parts maxim and stricture; it is not certain. It does not start in the morning, when I wake up, and end only at night, when I go to sleep. It is not my creation, nor does it create me; it is ancillary rather than central. I don’t absolutely f’ing live it, is what I’m trying to say. I don’t put it on every time I anoint myself with toilet water or stretch a sock to my knee or squeeze into a pair of black bikini underwear. Which is what my father did. Of course, when I was growing up, he tried as best he could to teach me what he knew, to indoctrinate me—hell, he couldn’t resist, for no man can be as sure as my father is without being also relentlessly and reflexively prescriptive. He tried to pass on to me knowledge that had the whiff of secrets, secrets at once intimate and arcane, such as the time he taught me how to clean my navel with witch hazel.

The bit about navy blue and black…

Never wear navy blue and black—that’s what I came to know on the morning of my wedding, when I wore a navy blue suit and black shoes, and my father said, “What are you—a policeman?” (“But Dad, what kind of shoes should you wear?” “With a navy blue suit? Navy blue shoes.”)

Hilarious, touching and perhaps somewhat instructive, the article is a great read and I definitely recommend you hopping over to GQ to enjoy it.

You can find the article here.


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