Whenever you see a dapper man on the train, there’s a 50/50 chance that he works at Barneys. San Francisco lads generally dress casually, so when I saw two stylish men board the train at Powell, I assumed they got the Barneys employee discount.
I kept my eye on the one in the suit, mostly because he was standing in front of me and his belt was eye level. (Awkward.) The suit wasn’t by Hedi Slimane*, but it was clearly influenced by him: slim trousers and a matching jacket done up in a subtle gray-on-gray pattern, with a crisp white button-front shirt and a black bow tie. Mr. Suit had rowdy freckles swirled around his face, and a studied scruffy beard. He and his colleague were talking about work, and it took only a minute or two for my employment assumption to be proven correct. (The colleague had been written up for some sort of retailing faux pas.)
Mr. Suit was talking about his style icons, and he was playing it cool at first. Then he started gushing about Sean Young, and it was all over. “I mean, she’s the ultimate nerdy gay boy fantasy,” he said gleefully before rushing into a detailed filmography replete with trivia. His friend smiled politely, but one suspected that he had never seen Dune, much less the sci-fi dork rambling on about cyborg this and Blade Runner that. He couldn’t have been more enthusiastically geeky. For a moment, I glimpsed the little boy hiding inside a $1500 suit, and he made me happy.
*(Did you know that The Jam is one of Hedi Slimane’s favorite bands? It’s true.)