Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Clothes Make The Manqué

On the subject of my lackadaisical dress code mentioned in the previous post, Jill writes:

If you can't be comfortable, why bother?

And sure, I agree with her. But I know that my indifference to the fine points of sartorial splendor has probably played a role in my lack of progress here at Endless Bore and Tedium.

I remember receiving what was probably some good advice from a manager here once. When I asked what the dress code was for a job I was hoping to apply for, she told me “It’s a good idea to always dress for the job you’d like to have.”

I don’t doubt it’s a good rule of thumb. The only problem with it was that I didn’t want the job I had to begin with.

I never liked clothes shopping, but I suppose I’m not too different from the remainder of my sex in that regard. But some of them do seem to manage to throw a suit and tie on now and again. Some of them even shave.

For me, wearing a suit has never been that different from being inside an iron maiden. I start to sweat, my neck starts to itch, and I begin to suffer extreme feelings of claustrophobia. I regard it by and large as a fairly sadistic invention, whose purpose can only be guessed at.

When I was a kid, clothes shopping felt like an agonizing form of torture that slowed time down to a horrible crawl. Worse yet, all the pants were flared and I hated flares. All I wanted from the talented tailors and seamstresses of Sears was a pair of straight leg pants, but those sell-outs cared little for my needs and preferred to err on the side of what was considered fashionable. And this square peg was never going to fit into that round hole. Not without a couple of drinks.

I’ve gone through several phases, of course. There was the trench-coat-and-Stetson-hat phase, which I entered when I was deep in the throes of my obsession with detective fiction. There was the blue jean overalls phase, which lasted for a while, too. For some reason the Stetson inexplicably jumped ship and carried itself over into this phase, which made for a distinctly odd look, sort of a Philip Marlowe, Farmer Detective thing. In fact, there’s a wonderful photo of me with my younger brother on the evening of his prom where he’s resplendent in some sort of blue pastel suit, and I’m alongside him in the Farmer Detective outfit with shoulder length hair, clutching my then omnipresent plastic Tupperware glass.

Beneath them all, however, the basic ensemble of a K-Mart shirt and a pair of worker’s pants has remained fairly consistent for some time now. When I want to fancy it up a bit, I tuck the shirt in.

I made a purchase at a nearby Goodwill recently, though, that opened up an entire new world of couture for me. I bought a pair of black jeans that I’ve found very much to my liking. In fact I’ve already worn out one knee, which is all for the better.

I mean, I don’t want anyone here at work to think I’ve gone corporate, for god’s sake.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot for the life of me picture you in a stetson. I love that, though!

Yeah, after graduation from law school when I figured out that I'd need to sell out for a while to pay off the student loans, I started shopping around for the most casual law firm I could find. I never wear a suit to work and I am one of the most casual dressers here. Unfortunately, no jeans (Except on weekends. But, you are in the office on a weekend, so that's no treat.) If I could work in jeans, I'd be so happy, and I think much more productive.

-Jill (magentalai)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005 9:07:00 PM  
Blogger Count Screwloose said...

It seems to me that if you can make it through Law School, you should be allowed to wear anything you want!


Thursday, October 20, 2005 9:53:00 AM  

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