January 25, 2011

Tone-on-tone Eccentricity

Eureka! I’ve cracked the code as to how the style greats keep their eccentricity streamlined: they go tone-on-tone.
In what I’d call the street style photo of the season, Korean model/actor Bae Jung Nam (alias: Jake) does his very own rendition of convoluted Francophilia in shades of navy. (via The Sartorialist)

I have always harbored a liking for eccentricity: it is, after all, the cornerstone of dandyism. I could never be a true minimalist. But much as my tolerance for weirdness has increased over the years, I still believe the best delivery of eccentricity is when it is elegantly contained within boundaries; streamlined.

Allow me to illustrate with sartorial idols, new and old:
Jake looking more pared-down in shades of gray. Note the laundry pin brooch and the purple belt. (via Pop Bop and Snap)
cheerful old chap in a donut-tied silk scarf and trench coat worn as a cape, all in shades of navy (photo by Tommy Ton for GQ)
And all-time favorite Robbie Spencer in a couple of versions his signature combination of severe haircut, tremendous scarf, and wool coat:
honeycomb knit, wool felt, and velvet, all in blue (photo by Tommy Ton for GQ)
rib-knit and tweed, all in charcoal (photo by Tommy Ton for GQ)
A style idol so old he was featured in a post on the first month of this blog, tailor Ross Hancock (center) in a fringed tapestry dressing gown over a suit in dark grayish gold, picking up some of the colors of the robe’s pattern (worn shirtless, no less). Photo taken at an Esquire party where he was awarded “Britain’s Best-Dressed Man”. (via Esquire’s Le Ross, Le Blog)
Going tone-on-tone may not be the only way to keep one’s style weirdness at bay, but for kooks like me who deal with silk and fur and velvet and brooches on a daily basis, it sure cuts dressing-time to a fraction when you’re relegated to just one section of your congested clothing collection.

11 Comments

  • Mark Cullum
    January 25th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    loving Robbie's blue ensemble! thanks for posting images :)

  • Giancinephile
    January 25th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Eccentrics must always be celebrated in the world of fashion as much as the romantics! haha

  • Alex Ingram
    January 25th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

    i dont think i could pull any of these off but all are fresh!

    tuxandtie.blogspot.com

  • Anonymous
    January 25th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Do you happen to know what sunglasses is Jake wearing?

  • Izzy
    January 25th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    gian: I think eccentricity is a form of romanticism!

    anonymous: I do not, but perhaps you could contact Wax, the editor of Pop Bop and Snap, and he might just know? http://www.popbopandsnap.com/p/contact.html

  • South Moon Under
    January 25th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    DANDYSS are so sexy! thanks for sharing this…i dont know which look i like best! bUt i wish all men would do this look!

  • Josue Julio
    January 25th, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Jake's clothing arrangement is very nice.

  • Shane Bailey
    January 25th, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I guess besides styling, an "eccentric" attitude is also an essential to pull of the looks:)

    http://burbailey.blogspot.com/

  • Brandon
    January 25th, 2011 at 11:00 pm

    Always love a good tone-on-tone. I think the photo Wax took is my favourite. purple belts!

  • Wax
    January 26th, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    Jake!!! <3

  • Mat
    February 1st, 2011 at 11:21 am

    ross is such a nice guy too, you see him wondering around london just looking excellent.

    great post, i think over the past year or so i'm started to get all tonal, really works for me actually. makes me feel at ease some how


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