Open up any menswear related blog and you’re bound to find at least one image of impeccably dressed icons from the past. But these days it’s not just any icons, a handful of celebrities seem to dominate every conversation about exemplary style in menswear. Photos of Newman, Redford, Connery etc are littered throughout nearly every menswear blog (something I too am admittedly guilty of). No doubt there’s a reason for this: these men exemplify style and cool from a bygone era. While looking to the past is a great way to gain inspiration for your own wardrobe, these days we’re all looking at the exact same series of images to inspire us. If everyone’s being influenced by the same group of people, then what’s left to differentiate your style from someone else’s? With that in mind, I’m dedicating this week to lesser known men of style, not to add more black and white images to the pile, but to add some new voices to the dialogue.
Unsung Icon One: “John Lindsay, Cool Mayor in a Pressure Cooker” – John Lindsay ran for mayor of New York City under the slogan, “He is fresh and everyone else is tired,” a sentiment that carried Lindsay into office in 1965. Lindsay became mayor of a city that was faced with economic hardships, transits strikes, and a shifting socioeconomic landscape. Despite his innovative attitude, Lindsay ultimately proved to be largely ineffective against the problems of the city. Yet, Lindsay lacked in ability, he made up for style, always presenting himself as a cool and composed leader for a damaged city. With the city’s problems mounting around him, Lindsay never faltered in dress always wearing a well pressed suit and a rep tie. Appearing like a Kennedy in Gotham, John Lindsay stands as an example of a man that consistently carried himself with dignity regardless of the circumstances.