On a recent gorgeous afternoon, I found myself quite surrounded by the colors of autumn. The trees, yes, but also the herringboned and flannelled prints of hipsters young and old who’d assembled for the Dandies and Quaintrelle’s 2011 Tweed Ride. D&Q, “a Washington, DC based social group, organizes and hosts vintage-inspired, stylish events in partnership with and in support of noble causes…[and] is founded on the ideals of refined style and purposeful living.”
I felt as though I’d stumbled onto a movie set for Bonnie and Clyde, milling about through the cast of extras dressed to the nines in asymmetric hats and seamed stockings or leather braces and rakishly angled fedoras.
Newsboys in flat caps and knickerbockers flirted with dames in argyle sweaters and wool pencil skirts. There wasn’t an expression of tweed left uninterpreted.
After mingling and admiring in the park, a dashing chap rang a sturdy handbell and off we went (all 800 or so of us) on a leisurely bicycle ride through the streets of Washington, D.C., inspiring stares and horn beeping of the fondest order.
Route marshals, holding “thank you” signs to appease the traffic, waved us through intersections and on past the White House.
As part of this cast from the past, you can pedal your tweed-adorned self from Meridian Hill Park to Eastern Market, pausing only to make sure your cameo pin is still secure and to steal a quick sip from your hipflask.
Make a sport of hunting for cloche hats or Oxford shoes at your favorite thrift stores and stock up for next year’s gathering. Or, if you can’t wait for next fall, aim for the equally well-dressed Seersucker Social come spring.