The smARTORIALIST: Master the \Un/derstatement
If your attire was a conversation….the Overstatement would be the obvious, eye-catching piece, i.e. a bright scarf, an eccentric tie, colorful yet non-coordinated shoes, etc. The Statement would be the framework of the entire ensemble….i.e. the top, bottom, outerwear, and the overall fit of these garments. Finally, the subtle element you add to a piece or pieces would be known as, the Understatement.
The Understatement takes years to perfect, and often is the most overlooked facet of style. Why? — because it is rarely noticed, usually an uncalculated expense, and rarely gets complimented on. But, the irony is that, if done properly, the Understatement will become the centerpiece of a well-constructed outfit. Here are some examples of The Understatement:
1. Jewelry :: Cufflinks, Watches, and Rings – Get the UNDERSIDE engraved with either initials or a special message.
2. Jackets/Blazers :: Buttons! Adding different buttons can revitalize a piece. Select based upon textures, colors, and sizes to embellish a garment.
3. Shoes :: Mens – Toe and Heel Taps will save the life of your shoes; Womens – get the heels replaced and the toe shape reformed by a cobbler.
4. Fragrance :: Mix your own! There are certain places you can go to create your OWN unique ratio of scent to alcohol
Other unique understatements include: incorporating true vintage pieces (i.e. grandmother’s scarves or grandfather’s handkerchief), a naturally-worn leather carryall (the kind that has just enough discoloration to add a whole new dimension to it), or installing “linings” to garments (blazers with colorful or cashmere linings, heels with velvet at the heel, or cap with satin interior all do the trick). Get started while you’re young, because the Understatement doesnt arrive overnight — it takes time to master humility in style.