I borrowed the title of this post from a book I had as a boy. Roughing it Elegantly was a guide to the outdoors by Patricia Bell, I believe. (I suppose I can look it up.) Reading the book inspired an interest in the outdoors that hasn’t entirely faded, but has become far too passive.
It is another guide the outdoors that I want to comment about anyway. Specifically it is a tip in the book that I enjoy very much.
The book is Your Cabin in the Woods, a 1945 perspective on recreational outdoor living written by Conrad Meinecke. It is great fun to read and I often read it cover-to-cover in one sitting when I do read it.
The tip I enjoy most always makes me feel good. I like the aesthetic, the style of the tip…literally.
In the chapter “What Shall I Wear?” he suggests for “Winter Togs” that one should select a “necktie to reflect one’s personality, whim or mood.” Shoot, yes! Why would you do anything else? And I look forward to doing just this, selecting a necktie that reflects my personality, whim or mood whenever I am tramping about in the woods. In fact I just went to the Brooks Brothers site (seems entirely apropos to fulfill this advice at Brooks Brothers) and selected two ties that I think will suit the task perfectly. Both are a wool flannel and one suits a more flashy mood (stripes) and the other a more serious or working mood (grey herringbone). I can hardly wait!
Now of course I need to make sure I have the proper shirt and vest or jacket combination for this tie, but I doubt there will be many fashion critics at the Decoy Inn or the Lumberjack to judge me one way or the other. In general I think we need a bit more style — a little more panache — around us whether in the woods or not. I’m going for it.
And, by the way, it is indeed Patricia Bell who wrote Roughing it Elegantly. I highly recommend both of these books — Your Cabin in the Woods and Roughing it Elegantly — for anyone with outdoors interests. Roughing it Elegantly is a more practical and current guide book, but both offer a flavor for things as they once were and still can be in the woods. They just come from the perspectives of different eras. Nothing wrong with that either…just like wearing a tie in the woods.
Now that you have read this, tell your friends before scrolling down and reading more posts. Hurry. Don’t dally.
And since I am pointlessly babbling rather than concisely concluding my post with purpose, let me stoop to a little materialism, as if I haven’t already. But golly…I have to say, I’m kind of giddy all over about this Bodum Frykat Grill! You want to talk outdoorsy panache? This has panache. Where do I get one?