Knit slacks Armitage: Brief thoughts on that new photo

[Sorry for the unplanned absence; I was too exhausted after work yesterday (the stuff we’re reading is relatively unfamiliar to me and thus more demanding to teach) to publish anything. Reminding myself that I didn’t commit to Project 365 for just this reason. I feel less guilty about missing a day than I used to as there are so many new blogs for you to visit. Grading tonight, uch. I teach again tomorrow and after that I’ll return to the North & South series, which requires a bit more analytical power than I have to spare today.]

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Richard Armitage, summer 2011, from as yet unpublished Recognise Magazine shoot. Styling (whatever that means) by Daniel Higgins. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

Another great picture. One thing I really appreciate about this photo (and all of the Recognise photos we’ve seen so far — way to go, people who put together that shoot) is that Mr. Armitage looks really adult in them. Part of that is the beard, but not all of it; the clothes make a decisive contribution. Don’t get me wrong, I also love the boyish side of my hero, and he usually looks really good in casual clothes. But dress clothes are supposed to make the wearer look more adult, and in my opinion, fit issues with his dress clothes have tended to make him look like his demeanor was at war with the clothes. Dress clothes should enhance your aura — not conflict with them, or make you feel uncomfortable. If you don’t have the comfort to carry off the dress look, you’re almost always better dressing slightly down than further up, unless it’s an occasion where a particular level of formality is written in stone. The 2010 BAFTA appearance has really marked a positive change in his public appearances in dress clothes. Whoever dressed him for that figured out how to back just slightly off the black tie standard in ways that enhanced Armitage’s aura rather than masking it. It didn’t hurt that they also found or made a suit jacket that fit him through the shoulders while still correctly hitting the waist. Clothes that fit well, enhance comfort, and allow you to forget yourself really enhance your self-presentation — it’s like they intensify the nicest pieces of you.

From the Recognise photoshoot. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

Mr. Armitage looks really good in this photo that surfaced today, in spite of the fact that the style choices may initially appear counter-intuitive. I don’t know the context of the shoot, and what this looks like to me is an outfit that had a jacket, and he’s now taken the jacket off for an additional pose. I’m guessing it’s the jacketless version of the grey suit with blue shirt pictured above, at left. I can’t get a close enough look at the shirt to say much, but my impression is that it’s a knit shirt or a slightly textured knit blend and thus more forgiving to his upper body fit issues he has than a natural fiber or permanent press shirt (of the kind that Lucas North wore) would be. The result is that in the places where we are accustomed to see his shirts strain from time to time (over the shoulders, over the upper chest), we see pleasant draping, a cascade of pleasant lines that outline his upper body and show its fitness and power, but subtly. The effect is particularly nice at what we can see of the waist, which doesn’t cut in severely in the way I’m accustomed to seeing men’s shirts from the UK doing. Together with the trousers this gives him a much more typically masculine silhouette than many of the casual combinations we’re used to seeing him in.

What not to wear: this jeans and shirt combination makes his rear look big, his hips look oddly wide, his waist look girlishly waspish, and his upper body disproportionately small. I do still love you, Mr. Armitage, just not Lucas’s jeans. Lucas North (Richard Armitage) tells Oleg Darshavin that Sarah’s “just” his girlfriend, in Spooks 8.4. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com

So, yes, the trousers are the real coup here, and I’m emphasizing this because I can’t imagine any stylish man in my age range (Armitage is 2.5 years younger than I) voluntarily picking a pant like this one for normal wear. (This prejudice is why I assume this is the pant element of a casual suit.) We are accustomed to seeing Armitage in jeans that fit his posterior and upper thighs really closely, and occasionally in men’s low rise jeans, which I would argue are not a good choice for him. This is not to say he should avoid jeans (I keep collecting info for a post on his jeans choices and then not publishing it), but rather that the massive quality of his upper thighs and the relatively generous posterior mean that certain styles that have been popular recently are not great choices for him because they overemphasize his mid-section and either make his waist look oddly feminine or distort our perception of his upper body. This probably has something to do with the belts he often wears, which create the effect of chopping his midsection in half in odd ways. See above.

Annotated version of photo credited above.

This is an “old man” pant, no question, starting with the waistband and the overlap closure. They bear striking similarities to the slacks from John Porter’s regimental uniform, which I really like because of the way that they enhances Armitage’s mouth-watering verticality (in contrast to the jeans, which tend to interfere with it). Now, if what you want is blatant, screaming sexuality, you won’t get it from trousers like these. Jeans in general, and low rise jeans in particular, put the contours of the male “package” front and center. There’s nothing wrong with that either as a goal or a practice of dressing — I like looking it at, too — it’s just that the price Armitage pays for the wrong jeans can be comical in terms of the profile of the rest of his body.

Here, in contrast, everything about the trousers says “subtle power, in control.” The higher than usual waist gives him a less curvy, more typically masculine silhouette than many of his jeans choices have, and slims his hips and posterior. The close fit from waist to hips over the stomach and groin emphasizes his extreme fitness there. What’s really unusual here, however, is the cut of the thigh. We don’t often see him in slacks with this much play in them — even the BAFTA 2010 suit had a very tight-fitting pant, and in closeups, you could see the material strain across his inner thighs. Some people liked that, because they felt it pointed to his strength. I thought it was an indication of poor fit. And I would argue that this style of pant with a more generous thigh does at least as good a job as jeans or narrowly cut dress pants of underlining what is for me one of his most attractive figure features — precisely those massive thighs. Looking at his left thigh, which is slightly flexed, we see that the way the drape of the pants catches on the widest point of the hip, then at the widest point of the thigh, and then again at the knee, makes clear the contours of those muscles (without tracing every detail of them, as tight jeans would). The drape is pleasant over the right (straight) thigh as well. The only question I have about these trousers is how the break looks — but that’s something that is fairly easy to fit on Armitage.

The same photo, annotated to show obvious long visual lines. Look at the general parallel or close-to-parallel motion of the long lines on the right side of the body. These indicate a stable base, in contrast to the diagonals visible along the flexed left thigh, which indicate potential for motion held back by the positioning of the left foot. The picture says, “I’m relaxed here, but there’s dynamism under the surface.” Casually confident Armitage. Yum.

For the photographer, the draping effect of both pieces creates a series of long and short parallel lines that are reflected in the photo’s exploitation of light and shadow. They make this an amazing photo look at because the viewer is not distracted by short visual lines or bunching up or a feeling of stress. Instead, it’s just a very long body in a well-fitting drape that shows power and charisma under control. The casual crossing of the arms enhances this feeling of someone in a suit that he can totally forget. This outfit as pictured here is a clear example of just exactly how well-fitting, effective clothes can work to release and project a man’s inner magnetism.

~ by Servetus on February 8, 2012.

91 Responses to “Knit slacks Armitage: Brief thoughts on that new photo”

  1. Thank you for the analysis of the pic and the pants. I really like the clothes as well and would love to read your analysis of what is wrong with his jean choices because most of them do not do him any favors. The trousers that he is wearing in the picture are, as you said, an older man’s pant and likely part of a suit, but the way they and that shirt fit, along with the way he is standing and the look on his face, are stirring things that I don’t need stirred at work, LOL. I hope he learned some tips from whoever dressed him for the shoot. Daaaammmmm, boyfriend is looking good. Thank you for brightening my afternoon.

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    • I’ll try to get on it soon. The problem is generalizing reliably about a huge mass of data. It requires I spend a lot of time looking at his *ss and that distracts me.

      Don’t need stirred at work=so true.

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  2. As soon as I saw that photo this morning I wondered what you’d have to say about it and you defintely came through. And with arrows! LOL!

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    • “luckily” for readers, I don’t teach on Wed this semester so I could excuse the 45 minutes it took me to put this together. I’m going back to being a good little grader now.

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  3. Can I just say … LOVE.

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  4. I wonder about the purpose of that photograph. Was it a test shot? Or was it intended for publication?

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  5. Oh yes, fully relaxed and fully in control. Wonderful analysis, Servetus!
    What I wonder because of the creases in the right leg of the trousers, if the material is silk or at least partially silk. It seems to fall so lightly.

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    • good point — you wouldn’t get that kind of drape out of a 100% polyester pant. Hard to tell much about the fabric, though, from these photos.

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  6. Aaaa…aaa…..*sigh*..
    I bet that you paint these arrows with pleasure,Servetus!;) Thank you!

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  7. I don’t mind the blatant sexuality of his jeans πŸ˜‰ but this look is just as droolworthy for the reasons you describe.
    Great post, love it.

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    • I don’t mind his jeans either, but he gets them wrong about 2/3 of the time. If you look at the jeans picture in this post, for example, his package is totally flattened. That is not what jeans are supposed to do.

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      • I agree, I thought that wardrobe assistants should have a fairly good idea of what works and what doesn’t, but obviously not. You would have done a much better job!
        Dark wash + regular waist suits him best IMO.

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        • yeah. Low rise was a bad idea although Lucas really liked them. Whatever πŸ™‚

          You do sort of have to allow your loved ones to wear what they like, BUT I always had a subtle method of getting my SOs to wear stuff that suited them. Positive incentives, you might call it. πŸ™‚

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          • I think they put Lucas in low-rise jeans to display the tattoo.
            Pity he didn’t have an SO to provide positive reinforcement for the good stuff.

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            • Agree on the tattoos. I suppose they bought a limited number of jeans for Lucas (Ruth always wore the same outfit!) and as Richard inherited Lucas’ cloths he wore them all the time on and off screen. – SOs don’t always manage to influence the way a man dresses, some can be very resistant against any advice.

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              • you have to know the man you’re incentivizing really well. Start with never criticizing his own clothing choices, even those that are really awful, and show understanding / support even if you don’t feel it, like helping to repair favorite clothes even if you don’t like them. Then move on to providing positive incentives when his choices are even a little bit good. Not so much verbal praise as other things. You have to be cagey. Also encouraging him to be interested in style even when his initial choices are questionable. As he learns more, his taste will improve. A long journey starts with a single step.

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                • Or in my case, I just take my hubby shopping and ooh and aah over what I think looks better on him. It doesn’t always work–case in point, the orange lensed wrap around sunglasses he bought make him look like a fly with composite eyes. Ha!

                  However, RA? I like his style even when he doesn’t seem to have style–the dorkier looking the better, he’s so endearing. Sighhh!

                  But spot on essay Serv. A man in dress clothes–or well fitting clothes–as you point out with this portrait shot–just make him/RA seem more masculine and manly to me. Sighhh!

                  Cheers! Grati ;->

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      • One more,I love the title of your post,Serv!:D
        “…brief thoughts on that new photo” …brief.!!! πŸ˜‰

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  8. Why am I always the odd woman out? I’m starting to get a complex about this. πŸ˜‰

    Wellllllll, I think if one presumes that he has flaws needing camouflaging, then then film noire shot is it. But some of the things I like about his body are those characteristics: the waspish waist, slightly wider hips, round tush and big thighs. You don’t see this type of dancer’s build on an ordinary joe; his body is different. So, I tend to like clothes that don’t hide these characteristics. Hey, flaunt it! He’s going to lose that body with age soon enough. Sigh. That being said, I thought JP’s trousers were a lovely cut for him when getting away from jeans. Like you said, it emphasized his verticality. The pants in the new shot are cut in the style of the 40’s and 50’s drapery fashion of too much material.

    The jean’s photo above was taken when he’s turned at a very odd angle. it’s not a good representation of how jeans should or should not fit.

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    • We all have different tastes of course. I actually don’t presume that he has flaws, per se — every body has its own characteristics. Jeans, however, magnify his characteristics in certain ways that occasionally look comical, which I think is not what the average man wants women to think when the look at him. Big tush, for example=very sexy, *in the right kind of jeans*.

      that photo is an especially bad angle, but there are tons of photos of Lucas’s jeans that replicate the problem from other angles, or camouflage the obvious with the waistline of the Belstaff jacket. Maybe it’s time for me to get cracking on the jeans post — I didn’t imagine that this post was going to generate this level of interest. As I said, it’s not that Armitage can’t wear jeans — he can, and I can think of at least two pair that look especially nice on him — but that style was a disaster and he wore it for much of series 8.

      Disagree that 40s and 50s clothes have too much material. You don’t have to make every piece of clothing taut over a surface to send a sexy message. The only thing the combination of the clothes and the noir lighting disguises here is the trouser break.

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      • Can’t wait for the jeans post, with as many pictures as possible, please. πŸ˜‰

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        • That’s the problem with writing it. You have a point, and you start looking for pictures to demonstrate it, and you forget about the point because you’re too busy ogling.

          Luxury problems, I know. πŸ™‚

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  9. Just yesterday I saw one of his promo photos in jeans and thought ‘what a horrible thing!!!! Impossible not to LOVE your post…. And I was really wise not to read it while I was at work and saw your tweet… LOL!!!

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  10. I love it when he’s wearing jeans! These trousers seem completely shapeless to me- they look rather old-fashioned and hide his well- defined legs and figure. Sorry, but I don’t like this outfit at all. But- De gustum non disputandum est πŸ˜‰ .

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    • Totally agree with you. Maybe Servetus can enlighten us if it is a German thing, as none of us over there likes trousers. I personally think, the best thing he can do with them is cover them with the jacket of the suit. They look like a part of a suit and are not meant to be worn alone, especially not with the way the waist is cut. I much prefer him in jeans!

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      • I can’t say it is a German thing, as I like the trousers ;o) The only problem I have is the strange creasing in the right leg, but otherwise I am totally o.k. with it and looking forward to the article and interview, hopefully to be published any time soon. Sorry to disagree, but I just enjoy the picture too much ;o)
        Also the picture reminds me of something, but I just can’t put my finger on it. Must think of it some more…

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  11. judiang is not the only odd woman out πŸ™‚ I like the higher waist, and the fit to the hips/thighs. Not the pant legs from the knee down. They are floppy/sloppy. And droopy. Sorry…

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    • I should play with the picture to see if I can light it so that I can see the break. In the 1940s or 50s a pant with this much material in the leg would have had a cuff to weight the leg and make it hang in a certain manner. But I can’t honestly say that I can see enough of the suit below the knees to make any judgment in that regard.

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  12. I love the big tush and the big thighs. I love it when he is dressed up, dressed down, a little uncordinated, totally coordinated like this pic, beard, no beard. I luuuvvv all of him. I call it versatility. lol

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  13. Oh, I don’t think this is a German thing. The pic irritated me a bit when I saw it the first time this morning. But by ogling (not staring!) πŸ™‚ at it repeatedly during the day it grew on me more and more, not only due to it’s uniqueness. For me Servetus is right about him looking more adult (just in strong contrast to yesterday’s post where he displayed more his inner child). And yet he seems so powerful and soft. (No, we can’t touch his actual body 😦 ). I love the expression you’ve used: his inner magnetism!

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    • I think, given how we often see him dressed, there’d be a good argument for saying that his inner aura really squares better with casual clothes. So maybe he’s not a “natural” dresser upper (and he’s implied things like this in interviews regularly). But clothes that fit right and are comfortable can help undertones come out …

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  14. I like. Though things would really be enhanced if he were cradling a stuffed dinosaur.

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  15. I wonder if they were testing the lighting in this pic? I love men in vintage clothing. I am all for bring back suits and hats all together. Altho it bugs me when men, turn up the brim of a fedora all the way around the hat. I want to slap it off their heads and say– “see Cary grant!”

    I would love to be RA’s personal shopper/valet. πŸ™‚

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    • I wouldn’t. If I knew him, and wanted to be friends, that would be the surest way for me to end the friendship, I’m sure πŸ™‚

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  16. Personally, I LOVE how he looks here! πŸ˜€ The picture just blew me away from the first time I saw it! I think he looks fantastic! From the “relatively high-waisted” pants which seem to emphasis just how great a body he has; to the cute forehead crinkles and that almost cheeky expression on his face; the trademark folded arms and also how he is leaning against the wall!! *Sigh* Or should that be *Swoooooon* ??

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  17. servetus’ point about fit is so right. Mr. A does not have a standard body. The proportions almost fight each other. He is almost impossible to design for. Frances Tempest’s Gisborne design came close. Very close πŸ™‚ Off-screen, one just has the impression that he looks in the closets and drawers every morning and thinks – that’s clean… Just an impression.

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    • yeah, the Sunday Times piece:

      http://richardarmitageonline.com/articles/SundayTimes-20100912.html

      picking clothes off the floor because the drawers are empty and he forgot to do a wash.

      another reason I couldn’t have him as a romantic partner — because he’s describing *me* there. Someone’s gotta wash clothes.

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      • Servetus… this is beyond lame as an excuse!! How about you buy a safe, lock his scripts away, and hire a maid to do housework / laundry? πŸ˜‰

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        • he said something in the same interview about having to kill any maid he hired because he has sensitive scripts lying around. Two workaholics is not good. I’ve been in that relationship more than once.

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          • Did you read the part where I suggested you lock the scripts away before the maid came by to do laundry? πŸ˜‰

            I just saw the movie “The Ghost” and it seemed like half that movie was spent watching Kim Cattrall open and lock a safe which housed the only copy of Pierce Brosnan’s character’s memoirs inside.

            And as bad as two workaholics sounds to you, I think it could be worse: if only one of you is a workaholic, the other could run the risk of feeling abandoned…

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            • yeah, no doubt. The best relationship would be one with no workaholic. I don’t want to be in one again until I’ve addressed this problem in myself.

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              • Hmmm. *ponders own workaholic situation* I guess this doesn’t speak so well of my outlook, huh? πŸ˜‰

                My sister asked me yesterday when I would next be in Seattle because she wanted to ‘introduce’ me to someone… oh really?? So that we could jump on a 10 hour flight to see each other between Seattle & London?? I’m sure you might also have thoughts on long distance relationships as well… πŸ˜‰

                I believe my situation is already quite hopeless which is why I so enjoy living vicariously through others! πŸ™‚

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                • long distance relationships: yes, I now conclude after several that the point at which both partners decide they would never be able to move or give up their current situations no matter what happened for the other is the point at which to end the relationship, as much as it hurts.

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          • Ah, I think the super secret scripts were a hint he got the Hobbit! Of course, at that point of time it sounded simply like scripts for the next Spooks episode.

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    • I decidedly like that he has no fashion sense and that it actually shows. It is one of the things that support the ordinary-guy-boring-accountant persona. I would hate it if he became a fashion icon (though I’m not against a well dome photoshot). I like that in many cases the claims he makes about himself are supported by the way he present himself in public. Unlike David Beckham when he claims to be uncomfortable with underwear ads!

      I am also in the minority as I hate the Guy series 1 and 2 outfit with passion. But maybe it is a matter of perspective. I don’t care much if the cloths fit properly or are suitable for his body type, I look at the cloths themselves, and the leather outfit is a no-go, just like those high-waisted old-fashioned trousers.

      As to the improved appearance at the BAFTAs 2010, I think it was just a case of getting a new suit for the SB premier and deciding to wear it again instead of renting a tux. πŸ˜‰ Vanity is a thing I don’t like in men and he already cares more about his appearance than I would tolerate in a real life man, so being careless about the cloths he wears as himself is nice.

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  18. I think Richard is pretty much a regular guy who does just what fitzg suggested–grabs whatever is available and gets dressed.

    The thing I like most about this photo is not the outfit–there are things I like and things I don’t like as much–but his pose and attitude.

    Very grown-up, confident, exuding a masculine elegance. Very nicely done, Mr. A.

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  19. Where is Giorgio Armani when you really need him? He can cut clothes that look good on tall men with good musculature and what my daughter calls “skater’s butt”, the kind a guy gets from dancing or skating (or …). By moving the inseam forward and adjusting the rise, Armani makes trousers that look good when the wearer moves, that drape and suggest what’s under there rather than display the package front and center. I still remember seeing a man wearing beautifully cut, Italian, linen slacks; when the breeze caught them in the sunlight, the slight indentation in the outside of his upper thigh showed. I can imagine Richard wearing that look.

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    • Oh Leigh!! I think I had palpitations reading your description of what Armani can do with trousers and you set MY imagination going for sure – not that this is hard when it comes to Richard Armitage!! πŸ˜‰ Oooo!! Those words, “beautifully cut, Italian linen slacks”. Oh yeah baby!! I can certainly imagine Richard wearing THAT look!! πŸ˜€

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    • important point about the inseam.

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  20. O yeah..Leigh! πŸ˜€
    My fitness instructor (former dancer)wears annoingly loose tracksuits,but when he starts to move I forget about irrytation.;)

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  21. Love the detailed analysis of this picture. I’ll add my voices to the other’s and say I’m looking forward to your jeans post!

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  22. I just don’t like a lot of material. However it is cut. As a slightly small person, I look for very simple outlines (when I think about it – jeans are my favourite “dress”) Actually, i am perfect, ecologically speaking – it doesn’t take much to decently cover me. πŸ™‚ Or feed me, or leg room on flights…

    For men, though, never really liked the ’40s/’50s look. Especially for trousers. Bulky. And Mr. A is bulky in the wrong areas for that design. OK shoot me down…

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  23. I’ve always like the way he looks in this scene, in waistcoat and trousers.
    http://www.richardarmitagenet.com/images/gallery/nands/album/episode4/slides/ns4-230.html

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    • Oh…Mezz! You read in my mind! πŸ™‚

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    • yes, and that’s another extremely high waisted pant, higher waisted than this picture. It would have been interesting to see how he looks from the rear in these slacks. I’m betting excellent.

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  24. Mezz, that is a gorgeous photo! The pants work – what is shown there. And the waistcoat. Everything. πŸ˜€

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  25. Odd that rather delicate wrists don’t look feminine. Or don’t present an feminine image. Or I’m wilfully blind. Because I find the actor very masculine…(I’m not making sense here. πŸ™‚ )

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    • I’m glad someone agrees with me about his feminine wrists. Yes, he is a masculine man but his wrists are feminine, doesn’t bother me one bit. πŸ™‚

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  26. Servetus, I am a bit nervous and new to this but I finally had to come out of the lurkers closet (still holding onto the door handle lol) and comment on the newest pic and trousers.

    You provide a wonderful analysis on these particular trousers. And enjoyed catching up on your other post on his particular dress issues. Great stuff.

    Interested in seeing your post on the jeans. Like many others I am not always keen on the Lucas Jeans/ fit.

    It took a couple of views, at first not quite certain about the high waist on the trousers since we see so much of him in low rise jeans. But as others mentioned the look is a nice 40’s- 50’s vintage. I just love this choice of clothing on him. The fabric drape is just gorgeous and the dress shirt is a perfect fit, not to tight across the chest, shoulders and arms. The fabric just flows. Sigh. Very classy and as you mentioned it makes him look adult, and may I add distinguished. I couldn’t help thinking of actor Gregory Peck.

    Mezz thanks for sharing that wonderful picture of JT. Every thing about it is just perfect, trousers, waist coat, long arms draped in white cotton, lovely hands, goodness I just love his hands….. okay I better stop.

    Back to the new photo and look…I couldn’t help thinking of him in this ensemble while dancing the Argentine Tango. (now easing slowly back into the closet lol)

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    • welcome, leah — a quick comment: I meant to look at some pictures of men wearing pants for Spanish dances of various kinds. They are mostly regular to high waists. Fantastic acccentuation of the hips. Anyway, I have to run, but I’ll be back. We’re glad to have you.

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      • For flamenco, the traditional trousers have a relatively high waist, fit snugly through the waist and hips, then fall in a straight or even slightly tapered leg, with a longer than normal inseam to accommodate the dance shoes, which typically have higher heels than street shoes. If you search for flamenco on YT, you’ll find various examples from the current star Joaquin Cortes to Jose Greco from the 1950s and 1940s. Films to watch include “El Amor Brujo”, “The Lovers of Teruel” (may be re-titled by now), “Carmen”, and “Blood Wedding”. Antonio Gades was a star in the 1980s and combined flamenco with ballet to marvelous effect, IMO.

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        • Good grief, now I want to see him play a flamenco artist…gorgeously fitting trousers and dancing …*sigh*

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          • Mezz, Leigh has a wonderful multi-part fic called “The Dancer” at Dreamer Fiction under her username Lady Anne. Lucas goes undercover as a British gent who wants to learn Spanish dances. Her descriptions of him in his dancer’s clothing—ahhhh. And she knows about what she writes.

            And Lucas gets a happy ending. πŸ˜€

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        • Thanks Leigh! May I add yet another outstanding work?
          “Tango” written and directed by Carlos Saura. Fabulous feast for the eye and the ear.

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        • they have to have that construction from waist to hip to show off the hip movements. I think this would be a great look for Armitage.

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  27. Servetus, in two minds about the pants. (Well, usual for moi – seeing different aspects all the time – totally indecisive). I do like the waist fit. It hides the oddly slender abdomin, fighting the big shoulders and chest. And fits beautifully over the wide hips and posterior. It is an inteesting body. And I hope the actor is not reading any of this. I mean, would any of YOU care to have your bodies subjected to such a microscope? πŸ˜€ Well, he is an actor, and he has put his body to the test. So, no guilt here. It is, on the contrary, very interesting in all regards. Mirrors and reflections.

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    • if it helps, this is how I think about it. IRL I am subject to evaluation all the time. I get evaluations from colleagues and my chair, and formal evaluations from my students. When I publish something, I read scholarly reviews of it eventually, as well. I read those things because they are written by people who are very familiar with me and what I need to get out of a situation. I need to take them seriously, in the interest of improving my compensation and improving my work and my classes. In addition to that, I am evaluated on the internet on for-profit professor evaluation sites. What I read there is very different, and, I’ve learned from time to time, very disturbing — but it’s not helpful because I don’t know who is making those criticisms and on what basis. So on the whole I’ve stopped reading the latter because it’s not information created for my benefit, but for the benefit of students who want to know which professors to avoid, or just for people who want to grouse about what they perceive as unfair treatment. They are writing about me, but I am not the audience for the comments.

      If Mr. Armitage is a smart consumer of the media stream about him, he’s taking in the evaluations of his work that are useful to and intended for him. Formal reviews by respected critics, perhaps, and the remarks of people he works for and with. I loved this picture, but my writing about it is not in the line of advice to him because he would be silly to take advice about clothes from a middle-aged woman who only ever sees him in pictures and has very distinctive preferences. Really, I’m writing about it for myself, and for the people who enjoy reading my impressions. If he needs clothing advice, he should find a tailor or a personal shopper and not listen to me. If he *is* reading this, then he has to recognize that I am not writing for him and the people who are commenting are also not commenting for him — but for the sake of their own needs and desires.

      It’s a bit like reading someone else’s diary. You shouldn’t do it. Diary writing is inherently private information with the intent of very limited dissemination. But if you do, you shouldn’t be surprised if your feelings get hurt. Because you were not the audience.

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  28. Indeed, I think we must acknowedge the fluidity of opinions, be open to revision. I don’t mind at all appearing indecisive, because I can’t conceive of total dogmatism. Or isms in general. As long as one has a strong sense of one’s moral core/compass, (and of course, that too, is open to the questions of others) there is much in life to be examined and subject to examination.

    Never thought you were writing for him. None of us can direct his career – let alone his dress sense. But the exploration of various aspects of career and perceived person is interesting. And I think it does no harm – which is, within this community not intended to be in any way malicious toward the subject, or toward one another. We can embrace our expressions of mutual fascination, as well as a detached critical eye. Room for all. I think Mr. A is drop dead gorgeous. But I can laugh at myself. (Even at him – oh dear, sacriledge πŸ™‚ )

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  29. I like reading your ‘diary’,and I must speak to you sometimes as well(while I realize that I doesn’t bring anything valuable to your discussion:)) so I don’t feel like a voyeur. πŸ˜‰

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  30. […] to get a straight leg pant without a crease, or one with a not very pronounced crease, which Armitage has also been seen wearing — but the main reason to put it there, indeed, to press it heavily into the fabric, is in […]

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  31. […] “Knit slacks Armitage: Brief thoughts on that new photo,” February 8, 2012. A remnant of a photo shoot I guess we’ll never […]

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