Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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More on sartorial reasoning

I did one more podcast with Nicholas Antongiavanni yesterday on his book, The Suit: A Machiavellian Approach to Men’s Style. The emphasis in this twenty-two minute conversation is on Machiavelli and why he is aping Machiavelli’s style. Why did Machiavelli write the way he did, and why the parody of it, why follow the chapter by chapter plan of the Prince so closely (and I suspect even follow his plan within chapters)? Why write a treatise that is really more of a puzzle when you are providing (on one level) an education in sartorial reasoning? Listen to it at

You Americans.

Discussions - 3 Comments

I always listen. The podcasts are always very good, very entertaining and sometimes, as sounds likely in this case, educational. You nearly always say you will follow up soon, and when you have, as on Twain, with David Foster, (a favorite) the added depth on the subject is pleasing.

I will listen later today, as usual, on my Ipod, while on a walk someplace where when I laugh aloud, agin, as usual, no one will hear or know.

"Again" not "agin" though that does sound Huckified. Truly, an edit function, ex post facto (sorry about the irresistable pun) would be extremely helpful, sometimes.

I have a quarrel with Mr. Antongiavanni in this one little thing: John T. Molloy provided a valuable service to a whole class of men in America. The "Boomer" generation left college and entered the business world absolutely untutored in sartorial propriety. They were slobs, nearly to a man. Molloy made a simple, ok, simplistic, method for men to understand how to dress correctly for business and professional situations. He even gave them the excuse that his principles were "scientifically" and "statistically" derived, so that when someone inquired as to an obsession on the issue, a guy could say, "I want to succeed and pay off my monstrous college loans. This will help me. It has been scientifically proven! I can show you a book...." and everyone would leave him to it.

Molloy took total fatheads on the question as to how to dress and gave them a clue. He deserves every penny he made and the tailors of America ought to thank him. Who would ever have bought custom-cut jeans and t-shirts, no matter how much of an improvement the results would make to the eye when walking down the street or through the mall or hanging about a college campus?

There have been other books on how a man can dress elegantly, written and published in the intervening years. That this book has an interesting angle for academics and intellectuals, making an excuse for the reading of it and even subscribing to the tenets propounded therein, well, that is new and valuable service in an apparently tailorless arena.

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