Sideshow had a visit from Robert Stanfield, one of our favorite men-about-town. He was on his way out for Friday evening adventures and looked fantastic, so we chatted about his ensemble, reasons for dressing well and I received shocking information about man-on-man fashion attacks.
Robert is wearing a vintage 1960s olive green and copper Saxon Hall “sharkskin” suit, well accessorized. He told me that he got the suit in 2005 at a vintage store in Salt Lake City. Robert explains: “The reason I bought the suit (was) I wanted to look good for a concert coming up. The band was Spoon, and I danced my brains out. Even the singer mentioned my style.”
Ooh, do tell!
“So, after the show I had the singer sign one of the posters. His name is Britt Daniels. He looked up at me and said ‘Oh man, I saw you dancing like crazy. Love that suit, you look great!’ … he signed my poster ‘keep on dancing.’ It was a great show and a wonderful memory. I truly love Spoon.”
This time Robert paired the suit with a modern Ben Sherman Black Label button-up in a subtle pale copper and green stripe and a vintage ’60s necktie in brown and black. The brown in the necktie pulls out the copper highlights in the suit for nice effect. That little bit of black balances with the dark pull-on boots. (The Blundstone boots. Not the ideal silhouette for the suit, but I liked the honesty here. Robert accepted the reality of mud and ice and the need for sure-footedness while roaming the night streets of Durango. Also, this IS one of the best boot designs ever.)
This particular night, a be-suited Robert was roaming to the Durango Arts Center for an art opening, to karaoke at 8th Ave. Tavern and dancing at the Hello, Dollface show at the Ranch.
Robert later said he got plenty of compliments from both men and women. But check this out – he also said, “Unfortunately, a few derogatory comments as well. Mostly mild, but sometimes I had to explain or defend the reason for dressing well. Drunk people, exclusively men.” (This isn’t the first time, either, he said).
(Well. The dense and disturbing reasons for THAT will make for a lively discussion. Too much for this column today, but this phenomenon of attempted shaming as a result of being well-dressed is something worth considering. Men: please email me any thoughts or experiences you may have had with what I am now apparently calling “man-on-man fashion attacks” and we can try to make sense of it in a later column.)
But positivity prevailed and the opposite of the above happened, too – “Nonetheless, I had a great time, and I am always amazed how differently people treat you when you are dressed up and looking good. Flirting with strangers is par for the course.”
So there. Hopefully, the happy suit-memory burned into his temporal lobe at that Spoon show helped keep both Robert’s chin and middle finger up when forced to defend his style to stinky-fleece-and-Crocs-with-socks-wearing cavemen.
I am deeming Robert’s sartorial mission accomplished! (and deeming that it was even a mission in the first place) He shopped with intention, dressed for the occasion, used his personal style as a way for others feel respected (and distraught, too – but screw them), used fashion to break the ice with attractive strangers AND raised some interesting (what? social? psychological?) questions about the perceived “uppity-ness” of the well-dressed man.
Thanks to Robert for the thought-provoking discussion and for your inspirational style.
Heather owns Sideshow, a vintage and modern clothing store currently in downtown Durango but soon to be moving shop to the fabulous commerce corridor at Florida Road and County Road 250. She wants you to know that your arms looks extremely strong and wonders if that is your truck.
Have you ever been bullied or put on the defensive for looking good? Does seeing a well-dressed man piss you off? Tell me at [email protected]