If the High WASPs had a place of worship, the altar cloth would be navy blue. You can never go wrong with navy. Yes, I said never. Black may be the neutral most favored by the rest of the fashion world but black is problematic for High WASPs. First of all, it’s funereal. Second of all, it’s edgy. In the High WASP world the ultimate sin is to offend anyone, for any reason. Some people get offended, or at least nervous, around edgy. Navy blue is deeply respectful, serious, sober. It’s American. Very American. Look at jeans, the single most important invention of the American innovation engine. Yup, navy. And I know jeans weren’t invented by a WASP. Even better. Immigration is really American. My ancestors were in part sheep farmers and cheese makers from Southwestern Scotland.
So if you are ever in doubt about what to wear, it’s easy. go navy. Let’s say for Sunday lunch at the lake. The archetypal lake. The Platonic lake.
Now of course there may be regional variations. You can think of them as regional colorways of the High WASP. For example:
In California, for Sunday lunch with the family at the Lake Tahoe house, go with an orange shirt. Northern California will be slightly rebellious, we can’t help it. In Texas or the Carolinas, a lovely pink polo. In Vermont, kelly green all the way. But in all cases, the navy blue jeans jacket says we understand we are in the country. The wedge shoes say we get that there’s no reason to sink heels into the grass. And the vintage Halston scarf? It belonged to our aunt, the one who had a slightly scandalous past. But she’s family. Impunity, remember?
The navy parade doesn’t end with lakeside lunches. More to follow.