I hate suits. I hate the idea that one article of clothing has to match another. Not just the color or the article, but the exact texture and pattern. It makes my stomach turn. But as I find myself getting more involved in the church, I wonder if there is not some merit to wearing a suit. After all a man with the absolute worst fashion sense can put on a suit that fits him well, and look like a million bucks. A suit is also a uniform, and a lot of women love uniforms. Suits also convey status and power, and suggest that you want to be taken seriously.
Yet I do not know how I feel about being taken seriously. I want to be appreciated for who I am and how I wear the clothes, as opposed to the clothes wearing me. I want to be a fashion victor, not a fashion victim. I often disregarded suits as a shortcut that you can hide behind. But I found myself picking up a Brooks Brothers sports coat without even realizing it. Or perhaps it is a blazer; is this one of those East Coast vs. West Coast and Midwest arguments, like pop vs. soda? I can’t call it, but one thing I do know is that I found that there were some advantages to having that extra jacket.
For one seeing that it is wool I do not have a wear a sweater and I can still wear warm. I can also go without the shirt beneath, that is definitely a plus. As I’ve gained weight I found out that wearing shirts underneath tend to push and pull the shirt you actually see up and out, and that isn’t a good look. I can wear a sweater and come off just fine, but the undershirt, not so much. Another benefit is that I am not as self-conscious about the shirt; no one is checking to see if the buttons match up with your zipper, or the shirt matches your shoes, among other things. I can also hide my stomach, which is yet another benefit, plus it looks great.
So now I often wonder if the advice my wife tried to give me two years ago is just coming into fruition, is it just dawning on me? I don’t expect to find many jackets at the thrift store as a lot of what they have is from the seventies and eighties. But I will sneak in to find a clean jacket when the opportunity presents itself; I saw a Joseph Abboud jacket today that was nice, fit me around the waist but the arms were entirely too short. I hadn’t imagined that would be an issue, but that just means that a short man had great taste! It still looked good too, I wonder how many times he wore the jacket. Perhaps someone else with $5 can enjoy that jacket …