Twin Peaks: Agent Cooper Chic



    Recently I've begun to watch, for the very first time, Ugly Betty and, as much as I'm enjoying the show, I've realised I'm not exactly riding the crest of zeitgeist right now. Such an opening sentence is an example of how I like to shoe-horn dated pop culture references into posts for no purpose other than the sake of having them there and, to a lesser degree, my own amusement.

   Yet in my post about Teapigs I decided to drop a quote in from Kyle McLachlan's swoon-worthy Twin Peaks character Special Agent Dale Cooper and, to my surprise, it was perhaps the most well received of my nerd references on the blog so far. It was also one which even sparked a wee conversation on Twitter where I found, much to my geeky delight, that I was not the only one to use David Lynch's imagination as a springboard to a post about fashion or beauty (these posts by Terri Lowe, Bee Waits and The Agoraphobic Fashionista all act as great examples for this). So, taking the lead from these illustrations I decided to put together my own Twin Peaks style guide of sorts focusing on my hero, and moral compass, Dale Cooper.

   Whether you call it Americana chic of even FBI style, the key to getting the Agent Cooper look down begins and ends with a suit which should be as black as the "damn fine coffee" everyone's favourite law enforcement officer drinks. Ideally, too, the blazer and trousers combination should reek of high quality (which can usually be gleaned from looking at the material used) which can be easily accomplished via the use of well fitting, or perhaps even tailored, designer menswear. Whereas double breasted jackets are often an essential component in many men's wardrobes, in this instance it is essential that the jacket is single breasted, a skinny fit and left unbuttoned - this gives the dual impression of a wearer who takes pride in his appearance but not to the point it becomes cumbersome or restrictive. This small detail is essential to Cooper's character - a man of distinction, albeit one always on the go.

   This should always be teamed with a crisp white shirt and, let's make this clear, there is to never be any compromise when it comes to colour. Anything other than white would not be appropriately conservative (in a good fashion) or reflect the serious tone of the base of the outfit. Similarly too, the shoes need to be an "old fashioned" kind of classic - Oxford lace-ups would be ideal I believe and I would suggest that even brogues or loafers may come across as to flippant for the ultra sobriety of the suit. The foundation of the ensemble, and hair cut if possible, should reflect the seriousness of the role of an FBI agent. 


   
The one area, however, I would suggest wandering slightly out of the staid and serious world of the clothing I have previously mentioned, although I hesitate to suggest exploring too far, it with the choice of neckwear. A black tie would make the outfit appear too similar to something one would sport to a funeral and an overly bright one would make the wearer look like that "crazy" accountant at an Inland Revenue department. Muted, subtle and sophisticated patterns are ideal as they represent one of the few areas of the attire one can experiment with but, as noted, do not go for anything too extravagant or attention seeking - anything you can imagine Cooper would find vulgarly showy would more than likely be found on that "glad handing dandy" Ben Horne rather than with our paragon of virtue.

   With regards of purchasing these new goods to update your wardrobe I will end the article with perhaps the most sage wisdom Agent Dale Cooper ever dispensed:  



"Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don't plan it; don't wait for it; just let it happen. It could be a new shirt in a men's store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot, black, coffee."

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