On Style


We have instituted a policy of “Tourist Sundays.” For our first “Tourist Sunday,” we journeyed into that big city that is the epicenter of the universe. It’s not too too far away, and we could feel its lure, imagining the copper lady beckoning with her beacon. It would be a daytrip, a vacation for the poor. Oh hell. It’s a recession—even the rich go on staycations these days.

I decided we were going to take a good look at my newest paragon of beauty and style, Frida Kahlo. What I actually ended up looking at, however, a whole lot more than self-portraits of the Mexican Mistress of the Monobrow, or other works of art made of intricate brushstrokes or smooth sculpting, was the people. The people.

The men in this fabulous metropolis channel their creative juices into scarves. Their all-black outfits serve as the ideal blank backdrop for their scarves—black and white or sepia like spools of old film; a single, bright primary color, perhaps International Klein Blue, a museum camouflage; yellows both liquid and liqueurish, a ring of chartreuse or limoncello; knitted; woven; silk georgette or silk jacquard; or thick or light wool; gauzy or opaque; looped once; looped twice; hanging low; hanging short; hanging off the shoulders; hanging front and back; wide or narrow; wintery or whimsical. The scarves speak.

And the women? Not too shabby either.

And then there’s me in my standard uniform: a cable-knit sweater, of a solid color, and dark jeans. Where is my je-ne-sais-quoi, my flair, the action painting on my personal canvas?

Being poor is very boring. Am I allowed to go shopping yet? Hermès calls.

March 4, 2011 update: Hey, I’m not the only one with a not-so-powerful-power-suit that I wear everywhere. Today’s New York Times reveals a few other, slightly richer, folks follow–I can’t resist–suit.


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