Thursday, August 3, 2006

Style on the Street….Chinatown NYC

Old Man Style is hard to beat. Gentlemen of a certain generation learned how to wear their clothes not let their clothes wear them.


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  1. Anonymous

    October 17, 2005 at 6:39 pm

    Well, in this case I think part of the magic is that this is a superb fitting jacket. And his overall demeanor is so engaging and humble. He looks great and like an elderly chinese american aristocrat.

  2. The Sartorialist

    October 18, 2005 at 9:30 pm

    That is exactly what I thought. I should have called it The Aristocrat. I’ll have to remember that for the future

  3. Anonymous

    May 7, 2006 at 1:42 am

    I know this entry was from forever ago, but I just wanted to say that’s how I keep my hands warm– by putting them in the sleeves of my jacket like that.

  4. David O

    July 11, 2006 at 12:23 am

    With the elderly there is sometimes a feeling that the wardrobe has been whittled down, and worn into comfortability.
    Like driftwood, simple and smooth.

  5. atticus_finch

    August 3, 2006 at 9:15 am

    well said.
    great photo.

  6. Alice Olive

    August 3, 2006 at 9:38 am

    What a fantastic photo. It’s a moment captured, he looks so contemplative and thoroughly unaware of his picture being taken. (Did he know you were taking his photo?) Beautiful shot.

  7. argos

    August 3, 2006 at 9:42 am

    seems that we men for some reason avoid headwear until a certain age then it is dignified, exalted. Why?

    I like the david o driftwood metaphor.

  8. Roberto

    August 3, 2006 at 10:57 am

    A picture that shows more than “the aristocrat”. Look the picture and remenber that we have so much to learn with thoose people.
    We can find the samething in Brazil. Our grandparents use to live with style and originality (much more the fashionable grandsons).

  9. EnidP

    August 3, 2006 at 11:04 am

    Once again, I am in love with the black and white shot, you captured the essence of his style. A simple jacket, a simple shirt, and a simple hat. But, he owns it all, aristocrat is the perfect word….

  10. samuraibunny

    August 3, 2006 at 11:38 am

    he’s totally got that ancient-chinese-hands-hidden-in-sleeves-thing going! cute

  11. oldog/oldtrix

    August 3, 2006 at 12:14 pm

    argos said…
    seems that we men for some reason avoid headwear until a certain age then it is dignified, exalted. Why?

    I resemble that remark. Though I lost my hair in my twenties, I was too foolish to wear hats regularly until my forties. Since then, I virtually never go out of doors without a hat appropriate to the occasion. For a long time, most of the comments I got were of the “here comes Indiana Jones” variety. But as my 60th birthday approaches, the comments are mostly like the one I received from an African American gentleman on the bus this morning in reference to my panama: “You’re wearing that hat.” No higher compliment can be given. As to why, maybe it just takes time to grow into one’s hats without having a swelled head.

  12. gera

    August 3, 2006 at 2:10 pm

    lovely pic

    and lovely speech

    as usual

  13. iopine

    August 3, 2006 at 3:04 pm

    Who cares about the clothes . . . your photo is the real star here: the framing and the body language you captured trump anything he’s got on (though it’s great dressing).

  14. Tacha

    August 3, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    I really like the look of this guy…He just seems content, and it’s easy to find that with old people. His clothes seem to have followed him for some time. Really really great photo there.

  15. Laura

    August 3, 2006 at 5:40 pm

    Old man style is what drew me to your blog in the first place.

  16. Anonymous

    August 3, 2006 at 6:57 pm

    I disagree with everyone here. This is not an image of the aristocrat. May be that picture gives americans the impression. But that’s not how chinese see themselves.

  17. michael

    August 3, 2006 at 8:56 pm

    Great pics – love them every day

  18. echan

    August 3, 2006 at 10:37 pm

    I normally agree with the Sartorialist’s commentary on his photos, but I think that he’s dead wrong here. This looks like a rather shabby and forlorn old man to me, with his head cast down and his sloped shoulders. And he has the gauntness of a Chinese peasant. I’d gander that this is an outfit of necessity, not of a certain old school charm.

  19. ToastyKen

    August 3, 2006 at 11:42 pm

    Echoing the last comment…

    Chinese men do not wear suits to look high-class.. Chinese men wear suits because that’s what all men wear, all the time, in China. (Exaggerating slightly, but less than you’d think.)

    I emigrated from China when I was little, but I still visit now and then. In China, men wear dress shoes even when they’re hiking! During my last visit to China, in 2004, I saw, in Chengdu, construction workers wearing suits. These were just typical middle aged men, digging a ditch with pick-axes, and they were wearing full suits.

    When I went to a mall in China to look for clothing, it was ridiculous: There were tons of women’s clothing stores, but nearly all the men’s clothing stores sold suits and other formal clothing. I had to go to the stores with clothing for export markets to find anything wearable back in the US.

    So these old Chinese men who wear suits everywhere are just wearing what men in China wear all the time. It just shows that they have not switched to American clothing, nothing more.

  20. Carl Davis

    August 4, 2006 at 8:37 am

    Not enough hat wearing these days. Proper hats I mean, not those beanie / baseball cap horrors. Simple and very effective.

  21. Anonymous

    August 4, 2006 at 10:23 am

    I think the the men-in-China-wearing-suits line of comments are important to note, but I also think the photo is a very evocative one based simply on the man’s posture and facial expression. Also, just because ‘everyone’ wears suits doesn’t mean that they wear ones as well-fitted and comfortably worn-in as this man’s. As for his mood, I perceve him to be pensive…I don’t see him as looking particularly poor, or, echan, gaunt; as skin loses elasticity, it does that. I think he look great.

  22. Daniela

    August 4, 2006 at 9:07 pm


  23. chenrae

    August 4, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    First I love the actual photograph. There is` suspense in the pose , and the shadows on the mans face adds to the tension.
    Second I see a strong personality, I imagine when he takes his clothes off, they retain his shape.

  24. imkirkwood

    August 4, 2006 at 9:57 pm

    First I love the photograph. It has suspense and the shadow on the mans’ face adds to the tension.
    Second I see a strong individual and I suspect when he takes his clothes off they retain his shape.

  25. Scout

    August 4, 2006 at 10:05 pm

    i’m chinese and my late grandfather always wore a suit regardless of where he was and what he was doing. i find that quite classy except for the times when we were traveling because it was really inconvenient for him.

  26. Anonymous

    August 5, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    I enjoy the subtle tatters and frays that a finely custom tailored pair of slacks or shirt get as they mature. It add an heir of distinction, which is what Sartorialist has so aptly depicted in this photo

  27. Ridonkulus

    December 25, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    What do Chinese people bring when they move halfway around the world? Their finest clothes. My dad has dress shirts from Hong Kong that are older than me and he STILL wears them . He is so frugal that all his clothes are from when he immigrated 25 years ago. They do love the hats. In Chicago, the Chinese men wear Russian fur hats way before it became fashionable to do so.

  28. Ridonkulus

    December 25, 2007 at 9:48 pm

    also this man’s shirt looks very white and crisp. which shows he really does care about his clothes. whereas my dad does wear those type of clothes but doesn’t care enough to iron or separate his clothes.

  29. Jazzbuff630

    August 6, 2008 at 11:34 am

    He looks like an Armani ad.


    October 13, 2008 at 5:03 am

    this is my fave image by you. AMAZING. it is art!As it is so moving.

  31. Anonymous

    March 8, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    I want to say a quiet “Hello.” I want to see him smile when I do.

  32. Anonymous

    October 8, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    "Old Man Style is hard to beat. Gentlemen of a certain generation learned how to wear their clothes not let their clothes wear them."

    So true.

  33. Sunshinemom

    November 16, 2009 at 9:56 pm

    My tailor said the same thing when I had gone to him for a blouse that was to be stitched in vintage style – That generation wore style so easily!

  34. Vanessa D. Alexander

    November 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I'm in my 50's and learned to appreciate quality clothing from my parents. My mother taught me to hand sew and iron. My dad, how to care for clothing by watching him. When he passed there were still a few suits, ties and shirts he'd had since the fifties. I can still remember him getting his shoes spit shined. No matter what life threw at them they wore it well. Love this photo.

  35. Tonni

    March 25, 2011 at 11:19 am

    Simple Classic Peaceful

  36. lindayoga

    August 8, 2011 at 11:02 am

    I could only imagine the stories this man must have. Thanks for sharing.

  37. julian

    September 12, 2012 at 2:20 pm

    like like like !

    i want that jacket

    gimme gimme gimme !

    (great shot by the way, although i am curious to see more of his face – perhaps thats an important aspect of the shot ?…leaves you wanting more… ?)

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