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Men’s Flair just weighed in on Cary Grant’s love for the neckerchief, and they clued us in on an intriguing fact: it was less sartorial inspiration than problem-solving.

Grant spent his teenage years as a traveling acrobat (really), and the physical demands left him with a thickly muscled neck. When he reinvented himself as a gentleman of distinction (and changed his name from the less-imposing Archie Leach), he turned to high collars and, on less formal occasions, neckerchiefs to disguise his mighty trunk. In short, it’s a hall-of-fame play and what people mean when they name Grant as a style icon.

Bodies come with all sorts of strange quirks, and a lot of style is working with your own set of physical quirks. That doesn’t mean obsessing over “flaws,” but it does mean paying attention to how you fit into the clothes you’re wearing. In short, it’s about knowing your body, which means a lot than just knowing your size. That’s a more personal part of style than who makes a good cardigan—it’s your body, after all. That makes it a lot harder to write blog posts about, but it’s worth remembering the next time you’re visiting your tailor.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom