cravats are for tough guys
I recently saw something in a weekend magazine asking a supposed fashion expert whether cravats could ever be cool. The considered reply was that along with print pants and leather shorts, the cravat is just too out there for any regular Joe to think of, and should only be risked if you don’t mind being thought a curiosity, or worse, a soy skim latte drinker. To quote said expert: “cool is only a state of mind, but a cravat borders on insanity.” Discounting the fact that only a serious oddball would consider either of those rig-outs this side of Mardi Gras or Oktoberfest, I found myself asking two questions: firstly, leather shorts??? and more pertinently, second, has there ever been a better-dressed killer than Edward Fox in 1973’s Day Of The Jackal? The ice-cold would-be assassin of Charles de Gaulle as played by the only man who could give either of the original Bonds a run for their money is one of the suavest characters on celluloid and certainly no Bavarian nor Village Person – in fact, if you can find a classier softly-spoken psychopath I‘d like to meet him. Or possibly not. Tooling around Europe in a convertible Alfa Romeo Giuletta, custom-built rifle hidden in the chassis and the wind in his hair, The Englishman makes this gentleman assassin business look pretty glamorous indeed. In any case, if you think he’s not cool you’re likely to have bigger problems than a possible neck-wear malfunction.
Roger Moore as The Saint’s Simon Templar also knew his way round a gun as much as a length of knotted silk, and though not quite so sinister as Fox’s unnamed Jackal, he was as handy with the ladies as he was his fists and certainly no limp-wristed soy sipper. I’ll concede of late fat TV chefs haven’t exactly furthered my arguement, and of course not every man has the required panache to make it work, but with a pair of twill trousers, an Oxford shirt and a light linen blazer a smart summer alternative to the perennial contest between a tie and your neanderthal chest hair is at hand. Sniper’s rifle cleverly disguised as a crutch optional.