23 Comments
Jan 14, 2021Liked by David Coggins

My grandfather wore a Silverbelly Stratoliner Stetson business hat during the day. At 6'1" in 1950's New Orleans, he seemed so tall to me as a boy. I always admired how powerful and handsome he looked in his daily attire. My brother and I used to go with him to the French Market to buy wholesale produce for his business and have coffee together at the Morning Call, letting the tourists have the Cafe du Monde to themselves. The photo of Robert Mitchum and your article immediately illicited those memories of my childhood 55 years in the rearview mirror. For me, my older mentors were my Grandfather and Father, I feel very fortunate to have had such men in my life. I learned how to dress, be around other men, conduct myself in public and private, many many life lessons, and how to wear a hat. I am grateful to this day. Thank you David.

Expand full comment

I needed this article this morning. Thank you! I won’t bore you with why, but just know your words helped clarify some internal thoughts and inspire someone today. Cheers!

Expand full comment
Jan 14, 2021Liked by David Coggins

One of the best articles yet! I really enjoyed it. After reading Art of Manliness and Men and Manners I decided to step my game up; I’m all the better for it. Thanks for the tips...and the challenges!

Expand full comment

Delightful. I'm constantly amazed at how each of us has such a varied set of personal interests and passions - many seemingly at odds with each other. I was thinking only the other day how fiction often has difficulty or falls short of rendering this dichotomy in an individual fully. Yet here, what I like is that you express very clearly how each of us is a synthesis of all that varied experience and passion - and indeed that it is this which actually makes us our own man. Bravo!

Expand full comment
Jan 14, 2021Liked by David Coggins

"There’s no shortcut to anything worth doing." "When a world opens up—visiting Japan for the first time, discovering an author, admitting you’re obsessed with fly fishing—that’s part of a continuing education...Then you start discovering more of what’s out there. Then you start becoming more yourself." "Formality, at its best, conveys confidence and authority, a sense of graciousness and intent." Going to need another book: Proverbs, by David Coggins.

Expand full comment
Jan 14, 2021Liked by David Coggins

Very well said! I think the key ingredient for any man and dressing starts at inspiration and then it moves to curiosity. Sadly, I experience a lot of group think/trends and so the “inspiration” is really a disguised version of FOMO and then it moves straight to acquisition( sneakers, hoodies, etc) so that they aren’t left out of the culture club. It takes some courage to break out of the sameness

Expand full comment

David P, I agree. Courage but/and also discipline. Now especially when ads and marketing are so pervasive and so insidious. It takes such effort to cut through the noise and acknowledge what you actually like. And I think it’s so much worse with women’s fashion!

Expand full comment

I liked this. Reminds me of a great scene from Joe vs The Volcano https://youtu.be/FYZH4sI1p6o

Expand full comment
author

This is wild! So me trying to be my most erudite completely mirrors J v Volcano!

Expand full comment
Jan 14, 2021Liked by David Coggins

It was the whole ‘I’m getting questions that really are asking me who you are’ that triggered it. That movie, on the whole, sucks. But that scene is great. As is the luggage buying scene shortly thereafter. Cheers.

Expand full comment

I think you need one of those steamer trunks, Mr. Coggins.

Expand full comment

Great. Now I need a violin case bar.

Expand full comment

It was a hard moment for both my sports career and sartorial whims that I was, in fact, only making it to a stocky 5' 8". It was a good early lesson in knowing who you and are being honest with yourself. I knew certain clothes were just not going to work for me and that with out the genetic abilities of Muggsy Bogues I would never dunk a basketball on a regulation rim. Not too worry, life has worked out minus the Heidi Slimane. And I discovered the ability to cover long distances with a rapid pace.

Expand full comment

Great article and perfect timing. I just bought a hat, my first “grown up” one - Stoffa brown rabbit fur trilby-type arrangement. Just need the balls to wear it in public. And in front of my wife. Any tips?

Expand full comment
author

My rule with a hat is just wear it three times. Then you’ll be fine.

Expand full comment
founding

I took this advice about a year ago and it's spot on. Hats are easily my favorite thing to put on each day now. The sun protection is also an added bonus for my bald head!

Expand full comment

I would add that it helps to start with a motto like: a hat cannot exist on its own. I've seen great hats on folks but it doesn't match with what they are wearing. A beautiful wide brim Wellema doesn't make tacky shoes any less tacky imo. Sure, you can wear a dope funky fedora with a track suit and sneakers... but it helps to have the attitude who made millions off of penguins dancing to his music. Eventually you will feel comfortable plopping on a good hat for any old thing. But what worked for me was thinking through how it looked with everything else... and for some reason my shoes seemed to matter the most in that assessment.

Expand full comment

Cheers Tim - excellent advice. The hat/sweatpants combo is no no no no no :-)

Expand full comment

Great article but I have to hard disagree with you when it comes to jeans. Jeans are THE quintessential American clothing item. When I close my eyes and picture great American style, I think of someone in a killer pair of Levi’s. They can be hard or soft, light or dark, perfect or worn in. Look great w loafers, ocbd’s, and yes, even tee shirts.

Expand full comment
author

Well a hamburger might be the quintessential American food. But you still shouldn’t have it more than once a week.

Expand full comment
author

Also: people rarely wear the right pair of jeans.

Expand full comment

One more point - “who I am” seems to have been captured 100% by Drakes. I could just shop there and nowhere else. However one runs the risk of looking like just copying the look because it’s “so hot right now” and having no imagination/personality.

Expand full comment

David, have you written anywhere about three-piece suits? My brother-in-law wears one every day, and I think it looks like some kind of weird cosplay. I'm interested in a neutral third-party opinion, and I'm willing to re-evaluate if I'm off base here.

Expand full comment