Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Why?

Someone recently posed this question to me.

Why? Why make something of an effort in the selection of your raiments?

This is one of those questions that are like a patch of quicksand. They seem but a step and a hop to cross but, actually, will leave you mired and sinking fast.

But, being the sort of romantic sort I am at heart, I'll take a crack at it anyway.

There are various reasons "why." None, perhaps, strong enough on their own to prompt me towards arraying the outer man in a civilized way, but in aggregate they prove to be a juggernaut of reasonableness.

1- The Bible. It say it, like, right there, that man was created in God's own image. Therefore, this compels me as a man of sound theology to not put Von Dutch or Gaultier or Versace upon something created in the image of the Almighty, because the clash will bring about the Apocalypse and there are a few things I'd like to wrap up prior to that. Because of my view of man in terms of Creation, it seems sound and logical to dress in a manner congruent therewith.

2- Respect. It helps to have a respect for the people you'll see and places you'll go. I recall an interview with legendary coachbuilder Sergio Pininfarina. He said that his firm designed automobiles (Alfa Romeos, Lancias, Ferraris, etc.) not only to be pleasing to the car owners, but also to provide beauty to those who would see these on the street. I'll go with that.

3- Enlightened self-interest. It puts Mrs. Joke in a more amenable frame of mind (i.e. it reminds her why she thought, at one point in her dim past, that being married to me would be a viable proposition). It also gives people with whom I associate (professionally, socially) the idea I just might know what the Hell I'm talking about. Which I do, it's just that sometimes the human race needs some prodding to realize this.

4- Mental agility. It takes exactly zero effort to throw on clothes. It takes a good deal more to do so with flair and wit and in accordance to the circumstances. (Dressing well is more than wearing excellent suitings.) Where's the challenge in merely donning the minimum required by an implicit/explicit dress code?

5- The Secret Code. Every once in a while you will run into someone who is a fellow traveler. You will, invariably, realize that you have infinitely more in common than just trousers cut to within 1/8" or an uncanny ability to create a sophisticated relationship between your pocket square and your silk knot cufflinks. Anyone capable of such feats also knows wines, cars, pens, cigars and what an abysmal waste of time critical theory is.

6- Courage. Most men out there think pocket squares, or double breasted jackets or suspenders/braces are "stupid." Many of those who don't, shy away from donning them out of fear of looking out of place or different. It is a good thing to properly* exercise and flex your individuality/independence muscles.

There you have it.

-J.

* Tartan suits needn't apply.

3 Comments:

Blogger Juliana said...

Excellent reasons. Do you have any recommendations/references for women who would like to dress well?

I never used to see any importance in dress; I was actually somewhat "hippie-ish." A typical Gen-X slacker, really. But as a Christian who has come to hold to a sacramental view of life and the physical world (I am Eastern Orthodox), I have come to understand the significance of dress.

I recently came across your blog. I also live in South Florida (Ft. Lauderdale), with my husband and son.

Juliana

4:04 PM  
Blogger Joke said...

Juliana,

Excellent to have you aboard! I'll rummage for some suggestions for women (or at least trustworthy links).

-J.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Juliana said...

Thank you!

9:22 AM  

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