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Good Clothes Affect One's Mood for the Best. . .

Jeeze Louise!  All that's missing are Jazz Hands.

No doubt about it.  Kicking up your everyday stye a few notches affects how you feel as you go through the day.  Imagine bounding from the kitchen through the dining room and into the living room, brimming with enthusiasm and verve, while serenading your wife or S.O. all the way with some silly song.  And all because you feel great despite whatever frustrations might be on your pate at the moment. . .  For the record, a momentarily stalled course proposal, an extremely challenging Developmental English class, and nailing down a time for a recurring film course next semester, to ensure maximum student enrollments.  Grrr. . .  

No matter.  Decent attire will help you glide through the day no matter what life throws at you.  Something I discovered in my first teaching position post-grad school ten years ago.  I  landed the job and realized that it was time to set aside the jeans, Dan Post cowboy boots, and untucked madras shirts of my graduate teaching assistant days.  Time to start wearing that tweed jacket and blazer already in my closet more often along with those few pairs of creased dress pants and tasseled loafers, which foresighted parents had suggested, several years before, that I purchase and have on hand.

Here's a little something I picked up on quickly.  To get a room full of people to sit up, shut up, and pay attention, you can't continue to dress like an undergraduate who rolled out of bed twenty minutes ago.  It just doesn't work.  In a professional setting, you can't look and behave like people's best buddy when you are teaching or supervising them.  There are plenty of people in all walks of life who pretend to themselves that's not the case, but they are mistaken.  When you look and act like you are in charge, it becomes much easier to command attention and spur people into action.

With that in mind, I decided that it was time to grow up a wee bit and get with the program.  Fortunately, my father and maternal grandfather wore suits five days a week, sometimes on a Saturday evening or Sunday morning too, depending on the occasion, so I had something on which to base my own efforts. 

For those of you who are interested, this particular ensemble shown above consisted of the following items:

* Hickey Freeman window pane wool sports jacket (from An Affordable Wardrobe)
* Luicano Barbera wool pants in charcoal gray (an incredible steal from Ebay)
* Land's End Hyde Park Oxford shirt (purchased on sale)
* Smith handmade silk necktie (thrifted)
* Allen Edmonds captoe oxfords in chocolate brown (a steal from Ebay)
* Land's End leather belt in chocolate brown (purchased on sale) 

A student asked me the other day where I found my clothes and why I dressed, in his words, "so fancy?"  "Why not?" I replied before starting class.  And seriously, why the heck not dress better than has become the accepted norm in so many facets of 21st century life?  I especially like journalist and author Guy Talese's observation that dressing well signals one is alive.  That ought to be reason enough for an average guy to kick up his style a few notches more than is absolutely necessary.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


Jason said…
It is always a pleasure to read your excellent posts. I have to say that I am impressed by your use of Ebay and thrift shops to purchase very nice quality clothing. This is something that I always forget to do, making the all to frequent mistake when browsing the high street shops in Oxford (UK). I tend to notice a particularly attractive item (like a fine tweed jacket), and then look at the price tag and glance away regretting that it is so expensive. I really ought to look further and try to find the same item online on Ebay or in a thrift shop (or charity shop here in UK).

I agree entirely about dressing up to your own standards rather than dressing down to match everyone else's.

Thanks again for your interesting posts.

Best wishes,

Thank you for your comments and observations, Jason. Much appreciated. I know what you mean. If my pockets were much deeper, there's all kinds of great tweed and other stuff I'd purchase new, but sadly house payments, hefty student loan repayments, parenthood, and the like mean getting creative when it comes to beefing up the ol' wardrobe. Be sure to drop in again soon!

Best Regards,

Heinz-Ulrich von B.

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