Details of Personal Style, Monogramming, Intention, and James Bond’s Martini:
A few weeks ago there was a quote bouncing around Tumblr, posted by Jake of Wax Wane, examining and calling out James Bond’s choice to have his martinis shaken instead of stirred. The quote came from the television show The West Wing, said by character President Jed Bartlett, and is as follows: “Shaken, not stirred, will get you cold water with a dash of gin and dry vermouth. The reason you stir it with a special spoon is so not to chip the ice. James is ordering a weak martini and being snooty about it.” Being a James Bond fan (read obsessive James Bond fan), I took a little offense to this quote. After brooding in moderate disgust for a while and mentally telling Aaron Sorkin to eat shit, I realized that this says something about me and about Mr. Bond, and (wait for it) it can be related to the way we dress.
Let’s get back to the martini first: You know why James Bond drinks his martini shaken, not stirred? It’s because he’s that kind of guy; he’s a shaken guy. He’s not a stirred guy. When the girl, a ten to be sure, sitting next to him at the bar hears his order, she thinks, “Damn, he’s a shaker. That’s baller as hell. Fuck all these stir guys,” and then proceeds to engage in a conversation with Mr. Bond before following him upstairs. If someone, including Mr. Bond, does something with intention, then it’s not anything you can or should fuck with. I generally don’t like people who analyze every decision (I am sometimes guilty of this) without taking personal intention into account. Sometimes a thing is the way it is because that’s how it was meant to be. I especially don’t like people who fuck with James Bond like that. That being said, shame on you fake President Bartlett for saying that and shame on you Aaron Sorkin for writing that. James Bond just drank a martini that I am pretty sure was not particularly watery and bed that dime sitting next to him; all you did was make an ass of a judgement call.
Intention is something that is quite common, but it is intention that is both understood and regimented that is the valuable kind. This is where the details of personal style enter the conversation. Of late, it is quite often that people focus on the smaller details of personal style. I myself have such aspects of my style that are present not necessarily because they are functional or practical (although most are) but because they achieve a purpose, and I intend them to be there. I’ve had a few shirts made for me, and when the option is there, I always have my shirts monogrammed on the left side of my abdomen, between the fourth and fifth button. You could look at this and say that it’s a stupid place for a monogram, because the placement is exposed and awkward when you’re not wearing a blazer. I’d agree, but there are two reasons why I choose to ignore this fact and continue with my regularly scheduled programming. Firstly from a historical aspect, this is the traditional placement for a monogram (originally in block font for easy identification at the cleaner or tailor). Personally, this is a bit of a nod to the old world of tailored clothing.
More after the jump.