While not all of us can carry the same swagger as Gregory Peck, we can certainly dress like it. In the hallmark 1956 film adaptation of Sloan Wilson’s “The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit,” the namesake article of clothing was meant to symbolize the homogenized nature of the business culture. In the 1950’s, everyone owned the gray flannel suit. In 2009, few own it. Which begs the question: who is today’s man in the gray flannel suit?
Much like tweeds and glen plaids, flannels are best left to those with a true appreciation for fine clothing. Functional both in shape and wear, flannel is often reserved for the unpleasantries of fall and winter. However, unlike its older 1950’s predecessor, today’s fabric mills are processing flannels in lighter weights that are perfectly suitable for the climate-controlled office.
All warmth aside, flannels have another surprising advantage in the fall and winter: lighter color. It is typically assumed that only dark colors such as navy, charcoal and blacks are seasonally acceptable. With flannel, that is not the case. The milled, knotty and knobby fabric carries a warmer aesthetic and rich texture that substitutes the need for dark color. While we all look forward to the more bashful colors of spring, flannel lends an opportunity to break away from the dark doldrums early.
While it may not be a beginners fabric, flannel is an excellent consideration for anyone looking to round out their wardrobe essentials.* Once your basics are covered, flannels offset the texture of your everyday suits while offering a break from the monotony of winter. So to answer the question we began with: the man in the gray flannel suit could be you.
*If you’re not sure what wardrobe essentials are right for you, just ask. We’d love to chat with you.