A great old Madmen era illustration, and while we certainly do not harbor any desires to return to many of the problematic societal attitudes and conventions of the 1950s and early 60s, it would be nice if more men in 2015 dressed as well Monday through Friday as many men in the big financial and business centers of the world used to.
Naturally, the battery in my digital camera needs recharging, so I have no photograph of today's get-up to share. A description will have to suffice instead. Here's the breakdown of what yours truly wore to campus for one of my final few teaching days this semester:
* A solid navy 6x2 double-breasted suit with a nailhead finish (and black buttons on the coat which has moderately strong shoulders)
* A shirt with a straight collar and featuring faint light blue, white, pink, and green pinstripes
* A dark crimson necktie with small shield crests all over it (mostly covered by the suit coat)
* Black Allen Edmonds 'shortwings'
* Navy braces in lieu of a belt
* Charcoal Merino wool to-the-knee dress socks
* A white linen pocket handkerchief stuff casually into the coat pocket
* A new black leather Samsonite soft-sided briefcase (a gift to self in celebration of the new position)
I'm quite sure I looked like a space alien straight from Planet X to most of the youngsters on campus today. If you think about it, though, that is almost the case. Most of these students don't encounter a man actually dressed in anything other than jeans or maybe chinos with sneakers or casual shoes and some kind of shirt that often, to say nothing of a wack-job like me in a double-breasted suit and necktie. You just don't see that in our neck of the woods (Central Illinois) too often except when it comes to our university provost, who, like me, appears in a DB blazer, or a DB suit now and again.
In other news, a few of the courses I'll teach for the 2015-2016 academic year at MSU include new renditions of my own Horror Cinema, Film Noir, and Scandinavian and Nordic Cinema courses that I've taught versions of for several years. Then, there is a new survey I've wanted to teach on Scandinavian and Nordic Detective Fiction the last couple of years but have not yet had opportunity to do. I've even found a couple of recent books on the 'Nordic Noir' genre of fiction to include as part of the course reading.
So, while the current semester isn't quite over yet, and we have a busy summer ahead of us with moving to Michigan and a trip to Berlin in there somewhere before the beginning of the fall term on September 2nd, I can't wait to get started again! I know. I know. Nerdy, nerdy, nerdy.
My current employment doesn't permit the wearing of a suit (although that is going to change before the year is out), but in my leisure time I tend to dress in a smart-casual fashion. I usually wear an Oxford shirt, cardigan/jumper/jacket, chinos/cords/smart jeans (the latter usually coloured: mustard or something like that) and a pair of long-serving tan leather derby shoes. When strolling along Budleigh Salterton seafront of a Saturday morning I am often struck by the slovenliness of modern-day attire. Now Budleigh is a well-heeled town, but even middle class professionals think nothing of tooling about in scruffy combat trousers and irrelevantly-branded hoodies (eg. 'Superdry Diesel' - but Superdry don't even make diesel! or 'UCLA Basketball' - but you've never been to Amercia and don't know the first thing about basketball!). It was actually in direct response to this lack of taste - for that is what it is - that I started to take more care over my own appearance. I like to think that by appearing thus I might influence others to think more about the clothes they wear, rather than just letting their wife pick out 'something comfy' online. To end on a positive note, I am seeing more shirts, proper shoes and tweed about than there was even ten years ago: in latter-day Britain, at least, some people are evincing good sense and taste!ReplyDelete
Agreed. While I have always dressed reasonably nicely, in a casual sense, it was when I began teaching that I decided to kick things up a few notches because so many of my students and colleagues looked so awful. That, and I simply cannot stand hooded sweatshirts and sagging, oversized pants down around one's rear end. That's not a good look on anyone. Thank you for your comment by the way.ReplyDelete
Heinz-Ulrich von B.