Rewarding myself with a fresh coffee and a few minutes of blogging diversion after getting through a virtual stack of student learning team projects, submitted Friday last week while I was away. Projects, Works Cited Pages, and reflections on/self-assessments of each team's collaborative approach to project development and completion. So, a lot to read over and look through, but by and large, very nice, even interesting work from the young men and women currently under my tutelage.
Attire-wise, one more variation of the usual uniform. I had planned to don a wool flannel double-breasted suit today, but the threat of sloppy rain and snow meant that I changed my mind at the last minute. I prefer to wear my suits in better weather to avoid soiled lower legs and cuffs due to slush, ice melt, splashes from puddles, and the like. Avoid dry-cleaning if and when one can and all that.
Another conference goer asked me last weekend where/how I learned to dress. Well, by watching my late father, maternal grandfather, and various other men in the extended family, most of whom circulated around and through either the corporate world in Philadelphia and Manhattan, or the governmental and intelligence spheres around Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, Virginia. My step-dad and maternal uncle, now emeritus professors, fit into this general picture of too.
Now, none of those men were/are quite as colorful in their approach as yours truly, but they nevertheless provided the basic framework for how men should dress in both professional and personal settings. Whether that was a gray, charcoal, or navy suit (single-breasted and occasionally three-piece or a muted glen plaid), quality leather dress shoes, and a necktie for Monday through Friday, or church on Sunday mornings.
Sports jackets over a turtleneck, creased odd wool pants, and loafers of some kind for a Friday or Saturday evening out with the my mother, grandmother, various aunts, female cousins, et al were also pretty typical unless along the Carolina coast or on the Chesapeake during summers. Then, it was chino or Bermuda shorts, short-sleeved polo or madras shirts, and canvas or leather deck shoes of some kind.
These men also looked presentable during quiet Saturday mornings around the house unless working in the garage or yard, and then it was boots and work pants paired with an older short-sleeved sport shirt of sweatshirt. The point is that they did not look like they had been living and sleeping rough for the previous three months. Even when they were not dressed for public consumption outside the house. My father lived in penny loafers, while my maternal grandfather opted instead for a rather natty pair of blue suede dock-siders. I rarely saw them barefooted unless it was early in the morning, or walking in the surf along the beach.
I am a bit less orthodox in my approach to daily professional wear and enjoy having some fun with color, textures, and so forth. But then I'm a vapid popinjay, and completely out of step with much of the rest of the world it seems, so why should we expect anything else?
Returning to the present, a not unpleasant combination of items and accessories for today. My personal favorites are the gray Fair Isle socks next to the dark red corduroys along with the mini-houndstooth wool necktie. The jacket is a Harris Tweed that I found for a mere pittance in my favorite thrift/charity shop when we still lived in the wilds of Central Illinois.
That particular shop reliably had lots of quality menswear hanging from its racks. As I have mentioned in previous posts, since it was right across the street from the large regional hospital in the area, my thinking is that items belonging to deceased doctors and perhaps lawyers in Bloomington-Normal found their way to the establishment once the original owners had departed this mortal coil.
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