Yesterday I had occasion to wear a suit and tie for the first time in . . . well, I don’t know how long, exactly. Months, at least. And as I ventured into my now-unfamiliar work clothes closet to pick out suitable attire, my mind was filled with questions that simply would not have arisen pre-pandemic:
1. Would my suits still fit after not being worn during the months of remote work?
2. How do you tie a tie?
3. Could I get away with not wearing “work shoes”?
4. How uncomfortable would it be to wear a shirt that buttons up to the neck and then cinch a knotted piece of colorful fabric around the neck, just to add insult to injury?
Ultimately I went for the full “suit up” approach and even donned some work shoes for good measure. My selected suit fit, to my relief, my muscle memory kicked in and I tied the tie reflexively, and the outfit wasn’t too uncomfortable. In fact, it felt pretty good to break from the remote work garb and wear a suit. Who would have thought wearing a suit, button-down shirt, and tie would be a welcome change of pace? But it was—so much so that I might put on a suit from time to time, just for the hell of it.
Yesterday I was deciding what to wear to work. After careful consideration, I selected an old favorite — a camel-colored, nail head-patterned suit.
As I was removed the suit from its hanger I noticed some wear and tear along the seams . . . and then I saw, to my horror, that the fabric of the pants had worn through, at about the point the keys in my pocket would occupy when I sit. Apparently, during my last wearing of the suit — at least, I hope it was the last wearing, and I haven’t been walking around oblivious to a hole in my trousers for months — the fabric had endured all the keychain and wallet-induced tension it could stand.
I’m sorry to lose this suit. I’ve had it for at least 15 years, and it’s been a faithful member of the Webner suit rotation, hauled out and donned every week or so, winter, spring, summer, and fall. I knew which shirts and ties and belts and shoes “went” with it. That helped make getting dressed in the morning into more of a comfortable routine, where I could let my lower brain make the familiar shirt and tie selections as my higher brain focused on the day ahead.
A good suit becomes like an old friend, capable of gently giving you important guidance. This suit fit well, and if it started to feel a bit snug I knew it was time to push myself away from the table and work to lose a few pounds. Now I’ll need to find another suit to fill the not-gray, not-blue spot in my closet — and to let me know when I should start that diet.