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On Monday after work, I strolled down to the Strand to pick up a book and do some casual browsing. Bad for wallets, good for morale. The sun was still out, the air was crisp with the promise of spring, and everybody was wearing a nice light jacket. This guy’s impressive grey beard caught my attention, and then I realized that everything he was wearing was also grey. The only hint of color in his look was an unfortunate one—the green Starbucks logo peeking out from below the cardboard sleeve around his coffee cup. C’mon, man. This is Manhattan, there’s way better coffee within like, a block. (Everyman Espresso, Think Coffee, the Bean…)

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Given the recent temperature yo-yo-ing, this monochrome outfit spoke to me as a comment on pragmatism versus emotion. Is a sunny, spring-like day in early March a good reason to run around wearing bright colors all willy-nilly? Well, maybe. Are you going to feel extra disappointed when it’s 20 degrees again two days later? The lightweight sweater and leather jacket seemed like a concession to the balmy temperature, while their somber grey hues acknowledged that celebration would be premature. This outfit says, “Yes, the worst scourgings of winter are behind us. But I am a smart man, and I’m well aware that March is a difficult and emotional time for winter and it might not be ready to let go of us yet. And I’m keeping the beard for the extra insulation.”

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