They are all beautifully dressed for the period, and they race around the silk, happily mounted on their inner-thigh-abrasion-inducing velocipedes.
A penny farthing deserved a bit more than a regular office suit, so a flannel green three-piece with subtle blue stripes was called up. Purple gingham-checked (TM Lewin) shirt and a multi-spotted tie (Lands End), and some striped socks ($1.75) just to belabor the point.
The three-piece suit has fallen largely out of use, even in the conservatively-clothed worlds of banking, curating, and lawyerin'. I think that many are actually scared of it, because it adds a literal and figurative layer of formality. They were once a stated requirement, and meant that you were a young executive ready to "yes" your way to the top in exchange for never seeing your wife and children.
Now, they are statistically rare, and largely out of fashion. Most are allergic to appearing as one who thinks about these sorts of things. It is never pretentious, but it does now possess strange power that can cause the timid and the moderate to defer to you for decision. When you pair it with striped socks, the gravitas is redirected, and appropriate for when you get roped into academic boards full of social climbers salivating over the title of "chair" or if you get hoodwinked into museum governance. The policy stiffs who call breakfast roundtables at six o'clock in the morning (and thankfully never read blogs) will feign scandal, and then with a straight face tell you that a muffin and a glass of orange juice is an acceptable and adequate breakfast. I love three-pieces, but they assume a bit of expertise or seriousness, so wield them appropriately or you could be asked to weigh in on matters for which you are laughably unqualified.
|Freshly polished shoes scuffed with Boston cobblestones|