08 July 2011

Imperial Closets: Studied Oldness (3)

'For the Bush inner circle of advisers, men such as Budget Director Richard Darman, Treasury Secretary Nick Brady and White House Counsel Boyden Gray, the look is Studied Oldness. This is the "This-sportcoat-was-handed-down-to-me-by-my-grandfather-when-I-was-at-Harvard" crew. The model here is Claiborne Pell, the blue-blooded Rhode Island senator who, at age 71, still wears suits that once belonged to his father. As Jim Pinkerton, an official in the White House domestic-policy office, describes the noblesse-oblige approach to dressing, "The trick is to wear an originally good-quality shirt until it falls off you and the sweat stains become like tree rings. You might even use a length of rope from your yacht as a belt. None of this upwardly mobile thing for you. You come from ten generations  of money, and now you're doing a little public service. You don't give a damn."'

'Read My Hips', GQ, August 1990


Anonymous said...

Senator Pell died in 2009 at the age of 91.

The Ancient said...

By way of obit:

Mr. Pell was campaigning in Providence in 1972 when it began raining hard. He sent an aide to get him a pair of rubbers for his shoes, and when the aide returned, Mr. Pell asked in his formal manner of speech, “To whom am I indebted for these fine rubbers?”

“I got them at Thom McAn, Senator,” the aide answered, referring to the shoe store chain. Mr. Pell replied, “Well, do tell Mr. McAn that I am much obliged to him.”

P.S. Stillborn Pell -- one of the most baleful influences on U.S. foreign policy ever.

La Sombra Sofisticada said...

I love it!

Osbert II said...

This sense of style has all but disappeared from DC. Today, it is all Men's Wearhouse, crew socks and Rockports.

In 20 years, it will be ill-fitting chinos, logo tennis shirts and fake Rockports. Just like the rest of America dresses today.

Anonymous said...

Sad but true, Osbert II old chap!

The Good Ole USA is accelerating its lead in global race to the bottom. Innovation and quality were tossed overboard in the early 1990's by the likes of Jack Welch and his posse of University of Phoenix educated MBAs. At least old Jack was sly enough to poach his sweet 'tang from Harvard Business!

In forty years, most will be look like the participants in the current World Nude Bicycle Race - nattily attired in Latex body paint and stylishly complemented by nasty tatoos, body piercings and shod in some nifty looking athletic shoes made in VietNam and Burkina Faso by the paragons of Trad Style - Nike, Adidas, The Limited and Old Navy!

Osbert II said...

Jack Welch, the real life Hooper.