Ivory Tower Style
Styleforum member Victor Elfo (see also his Tumblr) recently posted the above Reuters picture of Japan’s Emperor Akihito and France’s President Hollande shaking hands last month during Hollande’s visit to Tokyo. This image makes a strong advertisement for the value of well-tailored clothing.
Neither one of these men is physically imposing. Hollande is 5’7”, 58, and has seen slimmer days. Or at least, I hope he has. Emperor Akihito has been on the Earth for almost 80 years and still hasn’t grown a neck. But one of these men looks like a world leader, comfortable in the role life has assigned to him and the costume it requires. The other looks like the current version of Tom Hanks in a ‘Big’ remake, except this time Josh wakes up nearing 60 and the President of France.
How can we break the difference in overall impression into its constituent parts? Let’s start with Emperor Akihito’s suit. The lines are clean, but soft. Notice especially the long back line of the trouser, extending to the bottom of the shoe, which gives the illusion of height. The trouser cuff is angled to be higher at the front, so that the trousers break only slightly, rather than puddling at his ankles like those of the gentleman behind him. The double breasted jacket - buttoned low - shows again what the Duke of Windsor learned nearly 100 years ago: short men can look good in double breasted suits as well. Notice too that the silhouette of the jacket and trousers complement each other - the skirt of the jacket has the same fullness as the trousers, which in turn is appropriate for a man of his age and position.
Now let us move to Hollande’s suit, as its wearer looks like he may have some trouble moving to us. The jacket is too tight and too short, causing the fabric to pull around the rear and calling unwelcome attention to that area. The jacket collar rides too high, covering up his shirt collar and making him appear short-necked and squat-faced. The broken silhoette of his trouser is too tapered, finishing much narrower than the jacket hem, and making him appear more beer-bellied and clown-footed than he really is. He looks like an old man who thinks he’s a young man, while his host looks like an Emperor who knows he’s an Emperor.  

Styleforum member Victor Elfo (see also his Tumblr) recently posted the above Reuters picture of Japan’s Emperor Akihito and France’s President Hollande shaking hands last month during Hollande’s visit to Tokyo. This image makes a strong advertisement for the value of well-tailored clothing.

Neither one of these men is physically imposing. Hollande is 5’7”, 58, and has seen slimmer days. Or at least, I hope he has. Emperor Akihito has been on the Earth for almost 80 years and still hasn’t grown a neck. But one of these men looks like a world leader, comfortable in the role life has assigned to him and the costume it requires. The other looks like the current version of Tom Hanks in a ‘Big’ remake, except this time Josh wakes up nearing 60 and the President of France.

How can we break the difference in overall impression into its constituent parts? Let’s start with Emperor Akihito’s suit. The lines are clean, but soft. Notice especially the long back line of the trouser, extending to the bottom of the shoe, which gives the illusion of height. The trouser cuff is angled to be higher at the front, so that the trousers break only slightly, rather than puddling at his ankles like those of the gentleman behind him. The double breasted jacket - buttoned low - shows again what the Duke of Windsor learned nearly 100 years ago: short men can look good in double breasted suits as well. Notice too that the silhouette of the jacket and trousers complement each other - the skirt of the jacket has the same fullness as the trousers, which in turn is appropriate for a man of his age and position.

Now let us move to Hollande’s suit, as its wearer looks like he may have some trouble moving to us. The jacket is too tight and too short, causing the fabric to pull around the rear and calling unwelcome attention to that area. The jacket collar rides too high, covering up his shirt collar and making him appear short-necked and squat-faced. The broken silhoette of his trouser is too tapered, finishing much narrower than the jacket hem, and making him appear more beer-bellied and clown-footed than he really is. He looks like an old man who thinks he’s a young man, while his host looks like an Emperor who knows he’s an Emperor.  

  1. notyourbatmans reblogged this from ivorytowerstyle
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  5. thewestminsterstandard reblogged this from ivorytowerstyle and added:
    Spot on.
  6. dean-your-gay-is-showing reblogged this from suitdistracted
  7. suitdistracted reblogged this from ivorytowerstyle and added:
    More snark than I can make myself show, so letting someone else tell it like it is for me. ;) I WILL add: note a similar...
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  11. fromsqualortoballer said: Well put! This is why I feel weird wearing skinny pants, even as a skinny guy-I feel like I look like a carrot from the side!