Here's the upper half of the recently acquired, dry-cleaned, and slightly altered tan three-piece by the venerable Hart Schaffner Marx of Clicago.
Well, the final week of classes for the spring semester, it's an incredible bright, sunny, pleasantly cool day, and an idea for a new academic/pedagogic article hit me like a bolt out of the blue as I read the first batch of ten final student papers this morning after collecting them. What better way to celebrate than by wearing a recently acquired tan gabardine three-piece suit?
Ok, ok. . . Cla-ass? Cla-ass? CLASS! You'll pardon my channeling of Cheech and Chong's Sister Mary Ann Elephant, I hope. But let's get the Barack Obama Tan Suit brouhaha in August 2014 jokes out of our systems. I'll remind everyone that you can easily find plenty of photographs online of Ronald Regan, Bill Clinton, and other leaders of the U.S. in tan suits, and they actually look pretty good. Pretty darn good if we are honest. Tan is a traditional warm weather color after all, albeit somewhat less formal than navy or charcoal, which was the real problem, if indeed there was one at all, with President Obama's attire at the time.
As far as a three-piece suit goes, well, these are pretty uncommon these days from what I observe, but I enjoy having a few in my wardrobe and wearing them now and again. My late stockbroker and later corporate VP father had and wore quite a few of these in the 1970s and 80s when he worked in the financial and investment industry in Manhattan, as did many of his male colleagues. The look clearly made quite an impression on the young me. Whether these are currently trendy, or not isn't the point. I enjoy wearing the odd (pun intended) three-piece from time to time, and that's the main thing.
Besides, while I wear a blazer or sports jacket and odd pants most often, there is no denying that I have an extra spring to my step on those days when I select a suit in the morning. Isn't that reason enough for more of us guys to don a suit. . . even when it's not required? Yes, yes. I know. Arguments to the contrary -- the rise of the casual workplace, not wishing to stand out as "that guy," and not rocking the boat of your company culture by toeing the line of that all-important, and even oppressive, team atmosphere that permeates much of the work world in 2016 notwithstanding -- I humbly suggest more of us put on a suit and necktie with a pair of quality leather dress shoes from time to time besides just the occasional wedding, funeral, or job interview.
At the very least, how about when you take out your significant other for a special evening, meet new clients or give special presentations on the job, appear for jury duty, or attend church/temple? There's nothing wrong with feeling (and looking) like you are on top of your game after all. . . or demonstrating your awareness of the seriousness and importance of certain situations and paying them the respect due. It's just a thought.
The first nine or ten papers were thrilling and satisfying to read. Clearly, those students have been thinking about the material over the last 15 weeks and drawing interesting conclusions about it. Let's hope the second half of the class has done so too.
And the lower half of today's attire. I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that maroon socks are as versatile as charcoal and navy blue. But black? Perish the thought!