Sans Socks

Style has long been the bastard child of fashion, in as much as it supports the breaking of many of fashion’s baser rules. Rule #12: Never wear black with brown. Rule #2: Never wear white after Labor Day. Both are rules I find to be quite antiquated.

Fashion has created many rules that the stylish don’t necessarily agree with. However, what really sets apart the truly stylish from the accidental is their knowledge of fashion’s rules prior to their disregard of them. Thus enter the world of the sartorialist.

The dictionary defines sartorialism as having an interest pertaining to clothing or style or manner of dress. A rather fitting definition I’d say. Being a sartorialist is about more than being stylish; it’s about being able to recognize style and, more importantly, what components make a style successful.

Three years ago, a blog was started for sartorialists, by a sartorialist. Scott Schuman – The Sartorialist – created this blog, a place where he could display for the world his photos of New York City’s stylish. He has since expanded his coverage, and now travels around the world to showcase style wherever it can be found. His work is found in GQ, Esquire, Menswear and Vogue, as well as in The New Yorkl Times.

Schuman illustrates brilliantly the work of a sartorialist. He, unlike many stylish types, does not photograph only styles he personally endorses, but instead includes everyone who exemplifies having a personal style.

The world of high fashion would have you believe that simply by purchasing a Versace Suit, or a Prada handbag, or Ferragamo loafers that you will somehow magically become a beacon of fashion. However, I would opine that one could spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to buy style and never succeed. Although one would probably hire someone to craft a style for them, that really defeats the purpose.

I believe Paul McCartney said it best with his lyrics, “Can’t buy me style.” Yes, I realize those are not the "actual" lyrics to the song, but let’s imagine for a moment that they were – this would certainly change the plot line of that insufferable Patrick Dempsey movie considerably.

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