Uniformity

 

Tie it on
Tie one on

 

The Wall Street Journal ran an article recently about the slovenly sartorial stupidity of famous grown men these days.  A noted actor stated that he still dressed the way he dressed when he was ten (10) years old.  How embarrassing for him.

My youngest daughter loves the movie The Intern with Robert DeNiro and Anne Hathaway.  In that film, DeNiro plays an older than average aged intern at Hathaway’s wildly successful e-commerce shopping company.  DeNiro dresses in suit and tie every day. He carries a handkerchief.  He shaves daily. He owns a bathrobe.

In one scene involving tequila shots, Hathaway bemoans the lack of men in the world.  She holds up DeNiro’s well dressed character in opposition to her own T-shirted contemporaries. I get it, Ma’am.  I get it.

We still dress here in the Lowcountry.

I carry a handkerchief daily.

I polish my shoes.

I wear a belt.

I tuck in my shirts.

May be it is that Southerners still wear aspiration on their backs.

May be it is the heat.

May be it is compensation for decades and decades of poverty.

May be it is country come to town.

May be it is that all my life I have worn uniforms that identify me to other members of whichever group to which I belong, or wish to belong, by virtue of what I wear.

May be it is that immediate judgment comes from first impressions despite the noble egalitarian fiction and Biblical command that we judge not lest we be judged.

There is always someone watching, someone judging.

No matter the reason, I can ill-relate to the actor who dresses as he did before puberty or to the messy internet workers in The Intern.  

DeNiro’s character, I understand.

There has been an expected way to look for me my entire life.  No fashion plate or clothes horse am I, but I am not going to wear a Snuggie to the grocery store.  I actually saw that at the Harris Teeter on East Bay Street.  A College of Charleston student wore a Snuggie.  Granted, it was a chilly February morning, but come on, Dude.

I do have a definite devotion to the expected look of the time and the place  e.g. that way cool Guatemalan belt with Levi’s cords and Grateful Dead T-shirt circa 1988, the tuxedo for any wedding after 6:00 p.m., the Birdwells and Rainbows on the boat or at the beach.

In a world where standards are few, we are far too casual these days, Ladies and Gentlemen. Far, far too casual.

Athleisure wear worn on the street is fifth horseman of the Apocalypse, the fourth woe unleashed on a sinful and broken world.

Is the eighth trumpet sounding?

Gratefully, I do not hear it, so, instead, I give you the following list of 46 years of conformity.

 

 

Man in Uniform, 1972-2018

Cloth diapers

Pampers

Feltman Brothers day gowns

Onesies

Diaper shirts

Family Christening gown

Leather walking shoes

Smocked bubbles

John Johns

Cotton shorts

Saltwater sandals

Fauntleroy outfits

Hard sole leather shoes with buckles

Wool short pants

Knee socks

Wool sweaters

Buster Browns

Topsiders

Blue jeans

Khakis

Blazers

Ties

Wool pants

Zips

Nikes

Garanimals

Camper shorts with zippers

Lacoste shirt

Lacoste shorts

Polo shirts

Birdwells

Sundeks

Quicksilvers

OP cord shorts

Canvas topsiders

Panama Jacks

Nylon shell shorts

Levis jeans

Levis cords

Duckheads

Reeboks

Weejuns

Bluchers

Camp mocs

Birks

Grateful Dead t-shirts

Baja hoodies

Army Navy surplus

New Balances

Converse All Stars

Addidas

Madras

Seersucker

Tevas

KSwiss

More khakis

More button downs

More blazers

First suits

Patagucci everything

Patagucci everything

No, literally, Patagonia everything

LL Bean everything

J Crew pocket t’s

Barbour coats

More Birks

Redwing cowboy boots

Irish fisherman sweaters

Norwegian sweaters

Tuxedos

Kenyan kikois 

Oxfords

Rainbows

Blundstones

Guccis

Keenes

White bucks

Brooks Brothers pants

Brooks Brothers suits

Brooks Brothers Non-Iron shirts

Brooks Brothers ties

Brooks Brothers everything

Ferragamo ties

Hermes ties

Vineyard Vines ties

Short sleeve button downs (SSBD’s)

Lacoste, again

Lululemon exercise clothes (but only to actually exercise)

Johnny O

Ledbury

Needlepointed belts

Needlepointed cummerbunds

Prince Albert slippers with socks

Prince Albert slippers without socks

White tie and tails

Alligator belts with silver buckles

Orlebar Brown

Hickey Freeman

Gitman Brothers

Ray Ban

Warby Parker

Billy Kirk

82 Church

Punch & Judy

Schein’s

Jack Krawcheck

Max’s

Warshaw’s

Berlin’s

Bob Ellis

Ludens

M. Dumas

Tabor

Always clad in uniform.

Always abiding by the code.

An acceptable manner of dress.

I.d. cards.

Tribal markings.

Inside jokes.

Beau Brummell’s Bastards.

 

 

With all my love and thanks to MP for making sure I don’t look like a complete idiot when I leave our house.

Apologies to the late Jules-Amedee Barbey d’Aurevilly’s “On Dandyism and George Brummell.”

10 thoughts on “Uniformity

  1. This is so timely as Adam just remarked about the cajones of a certain gentleman wearing unorthodox sandals (as if sandals on a grown man not on the water could ever be considered orthodox!) to lunch at the back bar today. I don’t feel a uniform is strictly necessary (although you know I wear one), but I must say that I see way too many toes in my daily life, from airports to restaurants and in between. If you only follow one rule it should be to wear actual shoes, of the non-plastic variety!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Whole eras described by textures, pleats and stitches…this is a grand life. I’m riveted by trying to discern where PA starts and stops. Bluchers to Converse All Stars…how’d I do?

    Liked by 1 person

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