At the gravitational centre of the parallel universes of dancing and dressing are one’s shoes. They are practically essential for the former; the sartorial fifth dimension similarly collapses without genuine footwear. I’m referring here to what could be called ‘classic’ footwear. It’s usually leather, goes well with a sports coat, requires polishing and all that. The fourth dimension, by the way, is time.
“[A]n opportunity for people to show a little bit of flamboyance. The pocket square to me, now, is almost like wearing a piece of art in your pocket.”
Publicity film The Pocket square by English shirtmaker, clothier, and tiemaker Turnbull & Asser.
“You can wear almost anything with a blue suit. You can wear any one of the self figured ties sketched in the panel of accessories in the right—yes even the green one.”
L Fellows, Esquire debut edition, September 1933. Continue reading “Versatility of the blue suit”
It’s not acceptable to be insecure about when it’s OK to wear one. It’s always OK. If [you’re] wearing a jacket with an open breast pocket, the pocket should have a square in it.
—Will Boehlke, founder & writer (from 2006–2015) of A Suitable Wardrobe
Integral to taking an interest in style is maintaining the minutiae of one’s appearance: an ironed shirt, polished shoes… and erect socks.
Socks count among the usually invisible elements of the well-dressed formula. Crumpled around the ankles or in whichever state, socks are unlikely to be noticed unless your legs are crossed, and the fabric is particularly bright in colour, or a photograph captures you in an acrobatic dance move. Introducing refinement to the conversation, a glance to the past and to classic dressing will reward the curious with an effortless and elegant means of displaying an ankle pleasingly and evenly covered by hosiery.
Trousers present two significant conundrums for dancers: they slip down, and shirts untuck from them.
Much of this impracticality is attributable to ill-fit. A bespoke shirt that fits properly will remain tucked while trousers that rest above the waist will remain up. Universally-sized, ready to wear shirts cannot accommodate an individual’s upper arm lifting without pulling the shirt’s body with it.
Someone recently sought my advice on where to buy trousers for dancing (or pants, in American English). Reflecting on this question I realised that there are, for the curious, numerous angles to consider: style, fabric, manufacturer, historical context, and dance suitability. That which follows is my (entirely unqualified) views and advice on trousers for dancing.