Get Back to Basics


At last.

This month’s general election brings a welcome respite from the 24/7 assault of partisan shouting.

For too many months, our dinner conversations were dominated by the sound and the fury of a love-hate intruder: the TV, with its counter-punching candidate sound bites. And in the mornings, we’d fallen into an unconscious rhythm of crunching our Kashi in between pundits’ analyses of overnight poll results.

Finally, we can take a deep breath, assess the political fallout, and then feel free to dabble on the lighter side of life. In this issue, we don’t waste any time jumping — well-shod feet first — into full-fledged frivolity with Hour Detroit’s first-ever Best-Dressed list. Check out our 29 fashion plates beginning on page 86.

The photographic portraits of stylish metro Detroiters are accompanied by tips from clothing experts. Among the advice is this simple nugget: Proper tailoring flatters almost any body and improves the look of almost any ensemble.

Many people make the mistake of wearing their clothes too large. It seems Americans’ penchant for all things big extends beyond houses, burgers, and cars.

On that point, our slowed national economy has a small side benefit.

Reduced budgets force smarter decisions. Like a simmering sauce reduced to its piquant essence, less is more in a number of regards. The shock of the plummeting numbers of Detroit Public School students (reportedly the lowest since World War I) reminds us that, like the declining population of our city, we have no choice but to find the silver lining of being downsized. Detroit, like our wardrobes, doesn’t have to be big; it just needs to be good.

In a smaller, more one-on-one world, maybe more manageable numbers will make our schools more inviting to philanthropic initiatives. And maybe, with help, we’ll find a future where we don’t need to use celebrities as a carrot to lure our kids to school on the September head-count day.

Basics never lead us down the wrong path.

This month, after the political hubbub returns to normal, we’re reminded of the basic pleasure of silence.

Our pages revisit other fundamentals, as well: Being kind to guests and, in the month of Veterans Day, honoring the men and women who’ve served our country.

To them, we tip our hats and carry on, even fashionably, when possible. To do otherwise just wouldn’t be our style.

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