Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

on semi-formalism


I love to wear a business suit. It's so many things to me--weekly childhood trips to Sunday school (and walking home before church), teen banquets (white platform shoes) in which a kind but stern science teacher hovered over the tables, ensuring everyone ate fried chicken with silverware and not fingers; and looks in the mirror just after a day in court, saying to oneself "THIS is why I do this. THIS".

I like the sleek lines, although I am by nature someone who looks wrinkled within five minutes of donning anything. I like the art-rock-ness of it all, buttoned-down bands with mean guitars. I like the way that ties can have patterns or stegosaurus on them, although I'm reminded of the story of a retired court clerk about his particular federal judge, who mentally gave a negative assessment of lawyers with paisley ties. I like to wear my hair short and my pinstripes long. I am anything but a clothes horse, but I like the smooth look and feel of a two or three piece suit.

My senior photo in high school was in a sky-blue leisure suit. I like the photo someone took for business, which makes me look like a junior vice president at a rather unsuccessful bank. Sadly, our current website photo features me coatless, a junior vice president at a sporting goods chain, perhaps. It's time to get my wife, a gifted photographer, to make a new photo, in a proper suit.

I like weaves that are neither cheap nor expensive. I am by nature a strong believer that in all things, one should look like a middle-class small-town fellow heading off to Palm Sunday services. I believe in suits from department stores, the forgiveness of straight lines, the communion of solids, the resurrection of charcoal black, and the three piece life everlasting. I believe in the third button, brace buttons, French hotel windows printed on ties, and men at J.C. Penney who bid to become "your salesman". I enjoy chalk alteration lines, button-down oxford shirts, and slip-on shoes with tassles.

I am not "into" the snobbery of suits, and would be delighted to see the clip-on bow tie of my childhood make a revival. I do like woolen vests, the look of a razor-short haircut with number 3 shears set off against a navy suit, and shoes named Bostonian.

I am a fortunate person, because I get to wear a suit at least a time or two a week. We're a "business casual" office, but for court or meetings, I don a suit. I suspect I am better in every way, when I am in a suit.
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