Real People: A Foolish Consistency Is The Hobgoblin Of Little Minds

October 3, 2014

Real People: A Foolish Consistency Is the Hobgoblin of Little Minds

I’m on record as saying I like having a “uniform”—clothes I can rely on, that I commit to wearing, and that limit the need to make a lot of small decisions on what to wear. I admire a tightly edited closet and see virtue in minimalism.

But Emerson had it right regarding immoderate consistency, and Kevin in SF shows that having personal style doesn’t mean always looking the same. A true renaissance man, he wears a broad variety of clothing, from easy-on-the-budget Vans and Levis, to custom tailored stuff, to vintage, to Dries van Noten pieces (and vintage Dries van Noten pieces). His graphic design career likely helps him both with his eye for proportion and his freedom from the prison of office business casual. Kevin’s combinations are subtly cohesive even when they’re literally patched together, as in the first photo with over-sewn denim and duct-taped moccasins (a classic prep move). A lot of what he wears is classic in the sense that it recalls a specific archetype: rocker, 70s detective, slightly hippie prep; but not classic as in obedient to a set of rules.

This sort of versatility requires some self-knowledge (e.g., can I wear patched jeans and taped-up shoes?) and a pretty substantial closet. But even Kevin has to make room once in awhile: “I’m currently in the middle of a big wardrobe purge—trying to streamline.”