I initially planned to use a very few, edited photos from this outfit that would show only the parts of it that I liked — basically the mixed textures and patterns up top, because the overall composition of the thing was totally terrible and basically did not work AT ALL.
As we’ve come back to writing this blog over the past few weeks I’ve been intrigued to watch P get dressed every day with real care and consideration, and had been really looking forward to trying my hand at something that he clearly does so well. Boy did I bomb. Just . . . wow. Flat out disaster. This little window is all I was able to salvage of the horror I wreaked on these beautiful pieces of clothing. It’s really quite embarrassing.
The thing is, the outfit seemed to work pretty well in person while we were out and about during the day; it was only upon review, looking back through the photos, that all of my mistakes became apparent: scarf knotted too tightly, too many baggy pieces, too long of lines. His clothes accidentally dwarfed him.
The irony is that, except for the henley shirt, I am responsible for the discover/acquisition of every one of these items. Every. Single. One. So what I’ve realized is: I can shop for P very successfully, I just can’t style him. Nuts, right? Twice now I’ve tried and failed. Yet every day he appears perfectly put together, in pieces I picked out.
Let me be clear: I have picked out over half of his wardrobe, many times buying things and bringing them home without his knowledge or input. Seriously — when we moved in together six years ago, I undertook to completely change the way he dressed, and now it appears to have worked so well that he dresses himself FAR BETTER THAN I CAN. In spite of the fact that I am still the “buyer,” the one who, in stores, will pull something off the rack and say, “Try this.” Who sometimes quite loudly has to shout down his protestations of “I can’t wear pink/it won’t fit/I don’t feel like it.” The results of my labors? Here, here, here, and here. Oh yes, and every single pair of his jeans.
But when it comes to putting it all together — alas!
What P understands far better than I are his proportions, and what works when and where.* His aesthetic is neither as haphazard nor as eclectic as mine, thus his formulae more refined, and fewer: Where I pile, he pares.
Thus it is difficult for me to dress him, trying to play textures and structures against practicality and comfort, and always adding and mixing and mashing becomes too much.
The simple difference of a leaner jean would have held this look together beautifully, but I was so wrapped up in my pieces that I overlooked the bigger picture, and P ended up looking wrong because he didn’t look like himself.
He looks like me, and it’s not a good look for him.