The Pastel Suit

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Men no longer possess the confidence to wear the pastel suit. Even in this post-metrosexual era of peacock tolerance, strutting up to a summer party in a pale blue, yellow or pink suit takes more than ballsy bravado. Wear a candy pink pocket square and those walking past you might notice and turn their head briefly; wear a full suit of that colour and the crowds will part like the Red Sea as you stride through, blushing to match your attire. You will be marked out by many, a little harshly, as a mere attention seeker; a whore for a staring pair of eyes. There will be laughter, which will echo torturously through your sweaty nightmares; you will look at the dark suited crowd and envy their invisibility, their anonymity. You will catch a reflection and rue your moment of inspiration.

The fear of ridicule is too great for most men to attempt such a feat of daring. And yet, what of fear? Fear is simply a gaoler who jangles the keys, tauntingly, between the bars. Don’t sit in the dingy corner and block out the monotonous, bell-like sound; seize the opportunity and break out into the sunshine! Know that men wiser and greater than you have succumbed to temptation and resisting temptation on fear of ridicule is a childish notion. The world belongs to the brave; the meek shall not inherit the earth.

Pastel colours are a peculiar problem for menfolk. Perhaps it is the connection with maternity? Or with the feminine environment of the Martha Stewart cupcake-makers’ kitchen – pastel melamine bowls scattered amongst the pastel icing squares? Whatever it is, conventional gentlemen seem unwilling to adopt such an expanse of watered down colours. A friend of mine believes that only dark blue, grey and black suits are acceptable; in all other colours he states that you “look like something worth ridiculing.” Another friend says that the pastel suit lacks seriousness; “It’s a bit jokey isn’t it. Clownish.” Could I ever convince them otherwise? “Never. Whenever I see one I just think: Quentin Crisp. It literally has no masculinity.”

I differ in opinion to my friends. I will admit the pastel suit is often worn unconvincingly but I see so many opportunities for its deployment in the summer months; times at which a dark blue suit, no matter how well accessorised or paired, would be so dull and predictable.

A pastel blue suit on the other hand, simply accessorised, simply sings of summer; of the cool waters on the shore and the brilliant sky. Teamed with some creamy white Oxford shoes, white shirt, a simple navy polka dot tie and a white linen square it will be the very vision of the season.

Pink, yellow and green are riskier choices, and slightly less masculine; an experienced hand is required. Importantly, all pastels must be comparatively pale – three parts water to one part colour. Robert Redford’s famous rose-coloured suit in The Great Gatsby is about as pink as it should get. Heavily saturated pastels are the domain of zoot suited cartoon villains.


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Winston Chesterfield is an amateur composer, fashion blogger, trained lawyer and style aficionado. He lives in Westminster, London and blogs at www.levraiwinston.com.

Comments

  1. Derrik Ollar says:

    I wore a seersucker suit to church this last Sunday amid a see of dark winter suits and felt like I ran in from an ice cream social to a funeral. It was even a hot sunny day (as rare in Oregon as it is in London). I can certainly say that it’s easy to set yourself apart this way. Now where would I find an nice blue pastel suit?

  2. Michael Andrew says:

    I am all about color, but I must admit my powder blue suit, and pink pinwhale courdoroy suit have only been worn as seperates. Well, I have worn the powder blue suit once, but I will now go forward with no fear thanks to your post. I look forward to seeing one of your “pastel” post on your other blog.

  3. Patrick says:

    The burnished loafers on Brad Pitt seem a little out of place with his pink linen suit. Also, I think I prefer the pastel color in a really crisp cotton (bottom left) rather than linen.