I’ve been thinking a lot about Nicole Richie’s hair, which has been oscillating on a color palette between purple and vaguely white for at least the last month. Sometimes the hair hangs at her shoulders, paired with leather pants and a blazer. Other times, it’s brushed and pulled back to compliment whatever gala-gown she might be wearing. For the most part (pun intended! Pun super intended!), it looks great, and every time I look at her, I think to myself: could I pull off purple hair? Do I want to pull off purple hair?
A friend of mine who owns a restaurant in Soho and I were discussing tattoos yesterday. He was wearing a printed black spider in his inner left arm and I asked if it was new ink, to which he quickly retorted, “God no, I’m not elegant enough to have a tattoo.”
He went on to explain that if he were the kind of man who didn’t wear dirty white t-shirts and ill-fit jeans daily, and instead was regularly provided the opportunity to step into and out of a well-tailored suit, one not unlike the kind Tom Ford cuts, things would be different.
“What’s cooler than a man in a sharp suit, with a huge tattoo peeking out from his collar?” He’s asked.
And he’s right; understanding that disconnect — one side of a spectrum, which in this case is the prototypically grungy, held up against another end of the same spectrum, boasting the splendor and grace that comes with a fancy piece of clothing — makes him so.
I maintain a similar point of view in regard to hair dye. I’m just not elegant enough. There was a time in 2010 when I thought about figuratively-but-literally frosting my tips (as in, turning them blue) but I never went through with it. I’d have wanted to commit to a whole new style of dress and self-maintenance. Gone would be the weeks sans shower to perfect my contrived messy bed head. I might prefer a plain white poplin boatneck dress to my usual ripped jeans. And sneakers — would I ever want to wear sneakers? I don’t know. Maybe I should try it.
— Leandra Medine