Publisher Letter -- September Issue

I like nice clothes. I always have. In our current era of casual everything-everywhere I am the one to dress up. I never wear blue jeans to work. Or on a plane. My wife claims I own more shoes than any man she knows. How she know this is a mystery to me.

For decades I wore a suit to work every day. Every day. I’m not talking khakis and a sports coat but a full suit, white long-sleeved shirt, tie and dress shoes. Some days I wore leather suspenders in lieu of a belt. I even had suspender buttons sewn inside the waist band of my pants. There would be no clip-on suspenders for me.

At my first job out of college at the St. Petersburg (FL) Times I would come home to my apartment and stay in my dress clothes until it was time to go to bed just because I could. I know. I am weird.

And then they trotted out “Casual Fridays.” It all started innocently enough with dress codes for men and women modestly relaxed. Most men did not have a clue what to wear. But everyone seemed to like the relaxed atmosphere and pretty soon every day was casual day which meant “Casual Friday” devolved into “Dress Like a Bum Day” with blue jeans, t-shirts and sandals becoming commonplace.

Imagine my surprise the first time my commercial bankers showed up to a meeting in my office looking like they just came off the golf course. It made them seem less authoritative and I did not like it.

I have mostly come to terms with casual dress nowadays. Charleston’s heat and humidity provide little occasion to dress up. I own several suits I rarely wear. I own a tuxedo I never wear. I still don a long sleeve shirt for work each day though it is rarely all-white and I admit to slipping on a tie more often than not. I like the way it makes me feel. I like that bow ties are a thing here.

Fashion runs in cycles and I am waiting for formal business attire to make a comeback. I think I will be waiting a long time.

But when it happens, I will be ready.