In a time before the dominance of Instagram, when reading a blog sort of still seemed interesting, a small 259 word piece by David Coggins managed to provoke the ACL faithful. (Another true outburst was here.) To me, it seemed to be a fairly standard reaction for this site. Though, I think the kerfluffle caught David slightly off-guard. Maybe it was shocking to him in the same way that readers would be taken aback by the idea that being dressed in a certain way, in a certain place can be a positive thing? A comment from Keith G said. “Wow. Really? You can’t be serious? I’m never reading this website again. Why do you even care about what other people are wearing and where?” Chances are we actually never did hear from Keith again. One can only assume that this very minute he’s in a coffee shop, wearing sweatpants with his laptop (and mouse) asking for the Wifi password.
Frequently I would board a plane and see someone Facetiming in public, or using Apple Airpods and I would wonder what David thought of such modern developments. I don’t want to imply that David is a fuddy-duddy (he’s not), but he does have strong opinions about manners, modern life, and this ever-changing technological world. So every time I had an impulse to ask David his take on something seemingly innocuous (yet probably infuriating to someone) I would make a note and eventually emailed him these 8 things. Below are his thoughts.
You knew this would upset me. A word as bad as what it describes and an expensive way to look unflattering. You communicate that where you’re going is more important than where you are. The world, thank goodness, is not the gym. So don’t wear exercise clothes unless you’re surrounded by other people sweating. No fabric whose name is trademarked or ends in X wants to be seen out and about.
These made me very uneasy and at first looked like q-tips people forgot to take out of their ears. But I’ve grown used to them since they’re more and more common. They still look absurd when men talk on the phone with them while they’re walking down the street, but men on the street on the phone look crazy anyway. I got so tired of dreadfully designed Apple earphones and their twisty cords—did they make them so bad on purpose so we would buy these?—so I finally broke down and bought a pair. Will report back.
Luggage with Wheels
One of the world’s deceptively bad inventions. People should pack less, not more, in nicely designed bags they can carry. If you’re a photographer heading to your shoot with a Rimowa, fine, wheel away, but there’s always a time in a trip—going up a bridge, across cobblestones, hurrying to catch a train—when you’ll wish you packed lighter and wheel-free. Also, packing less forces men to think more about what they wear and why. A good edit clarifies the mind and makes you a better dresser.
Definitely approaches the preciousness of any lead character in a Wes Anderson film, but they don’t have to. Just diffuse them somehow. Fred Astaire wore them and looked great, but you can get away with them more easily than you think.
I stopped buying data plans when I travel. I am less connected to the internet and paying more attention where I am. We all know we should do this we just need a reason to disconnect. Hopefully, your life is more interesting than anything that’s on your phone. And nothing is worse than somebody who arrives in a wonderful restaurant or historic museum and the first thing they ask about is the wifi password.
Shirts with Tiny Collars
These are everywhere, but should they be? Just because something looks good on Don Draper does not mean it will look good on you. Small collars make large heads look larger and look silly with most ties because the knots are too big and out of proportion. Large collars flatter more men than they realize—don’t judge them until you wear one. Our friends at Drake’s know what they’re doing and they make terrific long-point collars.
Nobody, even loved ones, likes the sight of a man’s toes. At the beach, if you insist. But no place without sand. I beg you.
I do like light beer. Don’t think of it as a bad version of good beer, think of it as a good version of water. When I’m fishing I swear by light beer, but not until I catch a fish. Actually, if it’s lunch and I haven’t caught a fish I usually break this rule. But don’t push it. Not a good habit at bars where a drink costs more than $5.