Every once in a while
I like to go off-trend and try a different look just for the fun of it. And to see if I can pull it off.
I?ve always wanted to give the ascot a shot and when I was invited to a wedding
this weekend, I seized the opportunity. I wore a simple silk black ascot
instead of the usual bow tie with my tux (see the Blind Bunny Black
Teardrop Ascot). To my great relief, it was met with hardy approval. The female
guests thought it elegant and dapper?and daring because, after all, I did risk
ridicule. The male guests envied the way it comfortably coddled my neck,
especially compared to all those tightly knotted ties and buttoned-up collars.
And no one said I looked like Thurston Howell, III.
There are three keys to rocking the ascot. First, you must choose your style
models carefully. Think Al Pacino in the Godfather. Think Fred Astaire or David
Niven. In more recent times, think David Beckham, Jeremy Piven, and Andre
Second, practice wearing it around the house so that when the grand occasion
arrives you?re not pulling or tugging on it as if it?s a foreign object.
Third, it?s all about context. You can wear an ascot to a fine restaurant like
Fleur de Lys in San Francisco, to lunch at the Four Season?s in New York City,
to a Vegas show, or to formal affairs like weddings?any place where the crowd
is sophisticated, tolerant of eccentricity, and stylish rather than stodgy. You
should not wear an ascot to your grandmother?s birthday party.