The story of how I got interested in menswear is fairly cliché.
Growing up, my father was always exceptionally well-dressed. Working for state government, his wardrobe included wonderfully tailored suits, sport coats, suits, shirts, trousers, and neckties, which he always tied simply and adorned with handsome tie bars or tie tacks — all of which had subtle hints of his personality and interests. He had a small, but good-looking collection of outerwear — just what he needed, no more, no less — and wore galoshes to protect his leather-soled footwear when it rained.
While certainly typical of the “how I got into menswear” genre, there is an even more cliché chapter to this story. You might have even guessed what it is.
Now, I can’t remember exactly when it was, but to the best of my recollection, it happened some time between eighth grade and early high school. That’s when my father sat me down and loaded “Dr. No” into the VHS player. After that, I was hooked.
Who among menswear aficionados can claim not to have been seduced by those original Bond films? Foxy women, sexy cars, cool gadgets, exotic locales, a particularly specific and stylish drink order. I mean, come on. Seriously, the life of an international spy with a license to kill — and an extremely sharp wardrobe — is what dreams are made of.
The Elements Of Intrigue
As much as any of us may want, the fact of the matter is that we’re probably not going to grow up to be James Bond. However, there is certainly no reason that each and every one of us can’t cultivate that same aura of mystery and intrigue in our own lives. It simply requires a commitment to living a certain way. Let’s take a look at seven ways to foster a James Bond-worthy level of intrigue.
Being reserved and not revealing too much about oneself
A man who maintains an element of being reserved tends to be perceived as mysterious. The less he reveals about himself, the more it piques the interest and curiosity of others. This aura of mystery can be incredibly intriguing. People are naturally inquisitive and when someone doesn’t readily share personal details, it stimulates their curiosity and they want to dig deeper. It’s the allure of the unknown and the unseen that makes him a subject of interest.
Having a unique or unusual hobby or interest
If a man has an unusual hobby or interest, it can make him particularly captivating. Whether that’s practicing an unconventional sport, building a rare collection, or mastering an unusual craft, it sets him apart from the crowd. This individuality makes him a figure of intrigue and people naturally want to learn more about his unique pursuits.
Being knowledgeable about a wide range of topics
A man who is well-versed in a variety of topics will appear much more worldly and engaging. His broad knowledge suggests an open mind, intellectual depth, and a natural curiosity about the world he lives in. Whether he’s discussing art, science, history, or culture, his insights can be fascinating and make him appear very mysterious.
Having an unpredictable or unconventional lifestyle
A man who leads an unconventional life, whether through his work, living situation, or unique experiences, often seems intriguing. This unpredictability defies societal norms and adds to his appeal. His life isn’t routine, it’s an adventure, and this makes him a figure of interest.
Being well-traveled or having a background that is difficult to pin down
A man with a rich tapestry of experiences from different cultures, or a life story that is hard to decipher, can come across as enigmatic. The diversity of his experiences makes him an interesting figure. His intriguing background prompts others to want to know more about his experiences and what they mean to him.
Having a calm and composed demeanor, especially in unexpected situations
A man who remains unflappable in the face of adversity suggests a depth of character that is intriguing. His composure makes people wonder about his life experiences, the lessons he’s learned, and the strength of character that underpins his reactions. This calm demeanor, especially in unexpected situations, makes him a figure of intrigue.
Wearing distinctive clothing
A man’s choice of attire communicates volumes about his personality. If he opts for clothing that deviates from the norm, it can make him stand out. His distinct style makes him memorable and gives him an air of intrigue. His choice of clothing suggests a confidence in his identity and a willingness to express his individuality.
Speaking of distinctive clothing, let’s take a look at the suit I’m wearing in this post. Our black and white “puppytooth” suit is a new addition to the He Spoke Style Shop and is part of our Black & White Shop collection.
The puppytooth pattern is a cousin of houndstooth (or dogstooth) — the reason for calling it “puppytooth” is simply because of its smaller scale. Whereas a larger format houndstooth can appear a bit sporty, the smaller format puppytooth is decidedly subtle, exquisite, and quite distinctive, particularly in this 260 gram wool cloth from Vitale Barberis Canonico.
In terms of styling, I approached it in the most classic manner possible. The jacket is two-button, notch lapel, flap pockets, double vent, and complete with our sartorial upgrade of a full canvas construction and distinctive and attractive Milanese buttonhole. The trousers have a single reverse pleat, side adjusters instead of belt loops, and two inch cuff. If you’d like to make it a bit more formal, I would recommend going with a peaked lapel, but for “regular” wear, I’d stick with a notch lapel — a bit more inconspicuous if you’re an international spy…
Thanks, as always, for reading.