Originally Posted by J. Cogburn
If Will is widely recognized as being well dressed, then he by definition draws attention to his dress, does he not?
Brummell said if the clothes are noticed, then a man is poorly dressed. Now, as I said above, Brummell's standard is problematic because, strictly applied, it means that Brummell himself was poorly dressed.
Again, I don't believe that Beau - or Will - were/are poorly dressed. I think the admonition at issue is poorly thought out.
Bingo JC! I suppose you've established your point in one (or two) succinct sentence. May I add that this presuposses "The Beau's" statement to be literal. I do not believe it was meant as such.
With most who embark on the sartorial self-search, so much is absorbed (thanks to StyleForum and the Internet) and our primitive instinct is to try every idea all at once. Excessive use of color and accesories, say. As such, in all innocence, one ends up looking like a clown.
As one takes on satorial maturity (as I hope we all eventually do), the ancient maxim of "simplicity never being far from elegance" begins to take form in our minds. I suspect this is what the Beau meant to underline in his now ubiquitous quote.
For my part, there are days when on dressing up, I shake my head and mutter to myself, "I look so simple, even severe, that I could have arrived at my present station shortly after I embarked on my sartorial journey". But the truth remains, we all have to endure the entire spectrum. In other words, waste a lot of money (and time) to achieve the look like a court jester, then revert to simplicty - after much expense.
The moral of the tale (to my simple mind's eye), is that the sartorial adventure can be a powerful metaphor for life itself. We often expend a great deal of energy (in innocence and with the best of intentions) trying to get noticed i.e. the great job/career, the house, the cars etc., only to realize much later in life that it is in the simple things that we discover, and reveal our intrinsic worth. Most which we can find right under our noses - such as genuine love, family, good health, scholarship, wisdom etc.
Thanks for starting a great thread JC - Happy New Year!