"Full Canonicals," Summer Edition

Etiquetteer first read the expression”full canonicals” reading the diaries of Ellen Maury Slayden, that beloved Congressman’s wife between the wars*, sharply observant daughter of the blueblooded Maurys of Virginia. While its true meaning refers only to the clergy (“the complete costume of an officiating clergyman or ecclesiastic”), she used it a few times to refer to Congressional wives who appeared dressed in their very best day clothes to discuss Matters of Importance.

Etiquetteer has whimsically taken up the expression for his own wardrobe, and here is the summertime version of “full canonicals” for a Perfectly Proper gentleman:

Bostonian  cognoscenti  will of course recognize the doorway.

Bostonian cognoscenti will of course recognize the doorway.

  • Panama hat

  • Seersucker suit

  • White dress shirt (white is always the most formal)

  • White bucks (note the novelty shoelaces of light blue; white is really more Perfectly Proper)

Traditionalists will be quick to point out the absence of a pocket square, so allow Etiquetteer to Beat Them to the Punch.

*The Spanish-American War and World War I, that is.