Modern Living: Goodbye to Wing Tips

Would you buy a used car—or a political platform—from someone wearing a pin-striped suit, Brooks Brothers' rep tie and wing-tipped shoes? Until recently, a large majority of Americans would have answered yes. The peacock in psychedelic tie, screaming plaid suit and patent-leather pumps was hard-pressed to give away a road map. Suddenly, however, public opinion on men's wear seems to be swinging sharply toward the splashy.

That, at least, is the theory of John T. Molloy, clothes counselor to those who worry about the image their rags convey. Molloy, a former schoolteacher, gets...

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