Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fabulous New Orleans

I find it very interesting that I am one of the few men wearing a dark suit while I walk up and down Canal Street during my lunch hour.  I'm actually one of the few men wearing a suit, period, but that's another matter.  Not that anyone is wearing a robin's egg blue suit that I've seen.  New Orleans doesn't have a sense of basic black.

Now that the seersucker season has expired, it seems that gentlemen wear tweed.  Earth tones and pastels predominate in male New Orleanians' professional wardrobe.

I visited the Soul Train suit warehouse (warehouse being the operative word about that store's interior) and the black suits were in the minority.  Every other color of the rainbow was well represented, as well as patterns I associate with musicians and Mardi Gras.

I see am the only man who wears a slouch brimmed fedora.  There are plenty of proper hats in New Orleans, not just ball caps, but few with a full brim.  There isn't a large population of Hassidim.  This may explain why I can't find a good bagel.

I walk down the street and I feel like the Shadow.
This doesn't particularly bother me but I see it will take me long while to fit into New Orleans sartorially.  While I won't be wearing a Saints' jersey anytime soon, I see I still have some work to do on my wardrobe.

Illustrations copyright DC Comics and Street and Smith.


Anita said...

You do need a business suit, a WWF (weddings, wakes, and funerals) suit, and when you are feeling comfortably southern, perhaps a bit of a seersucker suit although those signal the leisurely gentleman's lifestyle and someone a bit older. I think you have to be born into a seersucker suit lifestyle. Aside from costumes, which present their own learning curve, a man interested in the arts also needs a white suit for the White Linen night gallery stroll in August.

It delights everyone to see a man with a very personal sartorial style, so adopt local traditions as you feel inclined but maintain your distinctive style. That's my advice.

When I moved here I was stunned that people wore such colorful clothes. Back home we agonized about the right shade of navy blue -- which seldom is found in the south. In New Orleans, women wore purple suits as business wear. I was shocked, to say the least but it certainly endeared the city to me even more. I was so stuffy. It took me nearly forever to learn to costume. I envied those locals who grew up inventing their costumes and indulging in fantasy on Mardi Gras.

This is a very cool place.

Whalehead King said...

This is a very cool place. Good advice, Anita.

I have to admit, I do get my share of compliments on my appearance.



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