Sober and still not solemn on Sunday

Esquire, January 1935: “The sobriety of black and white afternoon dress does not necessarily imply the solemnity of the mourner’s bench. Relieving touches that keep you from bending over backward with unwonted dignity are afforded, in this case, by the striped blue soft shirt with white cuffs, the blue and white Glen plaid patterned Macclesfield silk tie and the yellow carnation worn in the buttonhole of the lapel.

“This outfit, including the carnation, is typical of what the Prince of Wales has been wearing most frequently during the past London season. (Any time you get tired of our spying on him you have a perfect right to tell us so.)

“The double-breasted jacket has a natural lapel roll to the bottom button. Just to mix you up and remind you of fashion’s perversity, the cheviot trousers grow cuffs at the moment when suits for informal business wear are beginning to discard them. Note the wide spread collar.”

So many English histories are full of references to the Duke’s influence on American fashions. Interesting to hear it in evidence here. I’m struck most, though, by the beautiful calm of the title, which suggests a tranquil pondering on poetry having returned from church. And that sober stillness I associate with the lovely stroller he wears.
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I like the idea of shifting into handsome clothing specifically for the facilitation of tranquility. “Before I stand hearthside browsing Longfellow, a tailored and double-breasted woolen number is in order.” It’s either that or draping a sports jersey and a track-suit’s lower half for Saturday Bundesliga monotony.


In a lot of these Esquire illustrations where the clothes are described as a “stroller”, the trousers are often what look like a small check or glen check.
I was under the impression that a stroller incorporated a sort of grey chalkstripe trousers. I have no idea what the jacket is supposed to be.