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Playing It Cool

Mark Twain once said that "the clothes make the man", and while the great writer certainly had a point, I would take the more controversial view of "the man makes the clothes".  But hang on?  Does this mean I can dress like a tramp and make it work for me?  Alas, no, being stylish is the ultimate paradox, you must take great care to put yourself together and then completely forget you're wearing clothes at all - it's a hard line to tread and many a man gets it wrong.  The life of effortless cool brings is achievable for every man to grasp if he wants, regardless of whether he lives in Dublin or Paris.  

The essence of 'cool' is an elusive thing.  Nobody quite know what it is, it has no single agreed upon definition, and yet it is a phenomena that transcends both generations and cultures - it is timeless.  People certainly know it when they see it, as we've all seen someone in a bar, at work or even on the bus that just seemed to ooze this thing we call cool from every pore.  That being said, this intrepid blog writer is going to attempt to define 'cool', at least in relation to fashion; I think cool is a supreme self assurance, not arrogance or cockiness, but an inner confidence, one that makes you firmly believe what you're wearing looks good, that you look good, so good in fact that you don't even need to acknowledge you look good, it's just the way it is.  Effortless.

Here I have picked some examples of men that I personally think achieved this elusive attitude, it is no way comprehensive and there are numerous others.  On the left we have the one and only James Dean, then Frank Sinatra, followed by the very talented Mr. Steve McQueen.  Directly under James Dean we have Paul Newman, with Mr. Marlon Brando in the center and then last but certainly not least, Johnny Depp.  Who would your choices be?  Pick anyone from the past or present.  

Back to Mark Twain again, while the man and the attitude behind the clothes are important, the man better have some stylish clothes otherwise he is only half the style icon he wishes to be.  Whilst there is no strict look that encapsulates the attitude; there are a couple of things to keep in mind.  Like Yves Saint Laurent once said: "Fashions fade, style is eternal".  Invest in timeless pieces, wear your clothes with confidence, dress on trend and like my last post suggested, be individual, the crowd should be following you. 

So there you have it, a quick guide to cool and not to much reading for you before you kick off your weekend.  Of course there are no absolutes and it comes down to personal preference, but I believe that it's an achievable state of mind and style for everyone.  It takes a lot of guts, a lot of smarts and a hell of a lot of charisma, but get the clothes right, then the attitude will follow.  Once the attitude is there, then all the clothes you wear are set off in what can only be described as a stylish symphony of ultimate cool.  A very wise man, Lewis MacAdams, once said "Cool is a knowledge, a way of life."