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The high temperature today is sixty degrees. A couple days ago that figure was in the forties. A week ago we saw temperatures hit the mid-seventies and for all I know a week from now it could either be thirty-two or a hundred-two. Lately, it seems as if the word “spring,” has been rendered meaningless, acting as little more than a taunting memory of a mythical time of year when the weather is actually enjoyable. Or at the very least reliable.

Now I chose to live in this East Coast climate, so I can’t place the blame anywhere except squarely upon myself. But that doesn’t stop me from begrudging the weather gods on those mercurial mornings that make my favorite season seem so far away. Of course, it’s not spring that I’m referring to here, it’s a far more important time of year: popover season. If you’ve been following my work for Esquire.com, you’ll already well aware that there’s something about April and the changing of the weather that restarts my obsession with the half-placket shirt. While the popover’s origins remain nearly impossible to pin down, the shirt was widely documented throughout the mid-century Ivy heyday as a favorite item for Hollywood’s more sartorial minded figures. Yet the most legendary popover moment belongs not to a star of the silver screen, but to a man whose name is inescapable in the sphere of men’s style – Gianni Agnelli.

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I realize it’s quite a cliche to start off a week about politics by writing on America’s most storied first family, a clan that includes some of the most revered (and written about) style icons of all time, but truth be told it’s still the Kennedy’s and the precedents they set that sit as the benchmark for how all politicians present themselves today.  Watching the debates leading up to this year’s election, it was difficult for me to ignore each candidate’s respective appearance.  Issues and substance are always paramount in politics (or at least they should be), but there must be a foundation to build all of this upon otherwise all we have is a series of pandering talking heads.

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