Floral menswear is all the rage
In March of last year, the New Yorker ran a feature story on the wardrobe of Robert Mueller, who is the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the US presidential elections. It's a novel read and worth a perusal, if only because it's not another piece of punditry. Mueller has a penchant for dark pinstriped suits and simple red or blue ties over crisp white oxfords. The essay argued that this ensemble is a visual metaphor for the man's aboveboard behavior, legal discipline and a sharp contrast to the venal floor-length ties of the 45th president.
That essay reminded me of how we young men with disposable incomes idolize other famous western men with uniforms. There's Steve Jobs and his black turtleneck. To "pare down decisions," Barack Obama says he only owns blue and grey suits. And let's not forget Mark Zuckerberg and his human skin suit.
We afford these successful men their pretension because, clearly, it's working for them. In a city full of eager techies and zero venture capital, dressing the part is one way to embody an idol's hagiography. But this bland conformity to a few dark shades colorful and intricately patterned local wardrobe. It's a bit sad that anything particularly eye-catching is relegated to Fridays or for prayers and holidays.
This is why I welcome the whole floral trend that's taking over men's fashion. It's more of a resurgence of a series of traditional trends in punchy colors. Think bright, heavy and intricate motifs resting atop contrasting lightweight linens, patterned Nehru-style coats and knee-length cuts. It's refreshing to see couturiers pay attention to slim leg cuts for accompanying pants pieces. If you don’t know why this matters, then I envy the indignity of trying on slim denim between New Market stalls.
Is any of this to say that I'm going to put my money where my keyboard is? Absolutely not. I remain incredibly boring and safe in my choices. I need to be boring and safe. The shades of blue I swaddle my fragile masculinity with belie a crisis of creativity. Too many choices in colour and pattern give me anxiety. That anxiety then spills into other latent neuroses and suddenly I'm wishing I'd just not left home. Repetition is soothing. Repetition is hiding. Repetition is key to my middle-class, privileged angst.
What I am saying is, I want you to put on that coat. I want you to dress like your life is one never-ending Pohela Boishakh mela. I aspire to your level of confidence to pull that vibrant shade of jaundice while I defensively joke about it when you aren't around. You must, for me, look like you are wearing the back of a rickshaw or a recently deceased peacock. What has that stupid bird done for society anyways? Human women will flock to pictures of you in it, which I'll notice because I always click the Like count. I have that kind of time.
Global warming will kill our mud heap of a nation. Why not drape yourself in lilac and white, color coordinated with the shaplas that you sink with in the Great Deluge, gently concussed by the unripe jackfruit that is this clunky metaphor of national symbols, before an ilish pierces your last air bubble?
Sleep well, sweet prince.