Yesterday morning, after a nice Saturday lie-in, I got all togged up in my sexy new Star Trek t-shirt. What can I say? I adore ST. I particularly like its optimistic view of the future, in which humankind has solved many of its pressing problems (hunger, poverty, disease, war etc.) and is engaged in exploring and understanding the wider universe. It’s a good model for the kind of future I want my son to live in.
Afterwards, we wandered over to my in-laws for a spot of lunch before taking their dog, Lucy, out to the woods for a walk. It was really lovely to see the autumn colours and get a decent breath of fresh air. I’ve been feeling recently that I don’t get enough exercise, so it was good to do something about it in a small way.
We decided we’d pop into Watford to get me some new underwear and socks, but the traffic was oddly heavy so we diverted to TK Maxx instead, where I got some socks and a rather nice new shirt, which I’m wearing now. While at Juliet’s parents’, we also picked up our iron and borrowed their ironing board, so this morning I was finally able to get some of my shirts ironed and ready to wear.
I spent the evening binge-watching Weeds, a US TV series from a few years ago about a suburban housewife who takes to selling pot in order to make ends meet. A kind of gentle Breaking Bad with more humour and less darkness. Thank you, Netflix.
Many years ago I had a succession of jobs for which I was required to wear a shirt and tie. I loathed it. I hated it with a fiery passion, as only a young man can. I swore that I would never voluntarily wear a tie again once I’d found a job where I didn’t have to, and actually claimed that anyone who wore a suit or tie when they didn’t have to couldn’t be trusted.
Oh, how things have changed. For the last ten years or so I’ve been able to wear whatever the hell I liked to work and, partially as a result of this and partially due to other factors, my clothes have become scruffier and scruffier. It eventually reached the point where pretty much all I had were black combat trousers, black t-shirts and black sweatshirts. I did have a brief dalliance with some nicer, but Gothier, outfits a few years ago. The one thing that this taught me was that dressing up and wearing nicer outfits made me feel good.
Fast forward to a few months ago. I desperately needed some new clothes as mine had become deeply tatty. On a shopping trip to buy some new underwear I was encouraged to buy a couple of pairs of non-black trousers, a tan pair and a green pair, along with a couple of shirts, and found that I loved them! Soon I was buying more and also branching out into a tweed jacket and corduroy trousers. Next came a hair cut and more accessories such as cufflinks.
Before I knew it I was wearing a shirt and tie to work, not because I had to, but because I genuinely wanted to. I’ve found that looking smart makes me feel so much better about myself, even if (and possibly especially because) I’m the only person in the office who dresses this way. I’ve discovered real pleasure in selecting and wearing nice things and, all being well, I hope to continue expanding my wardrobe for some time to come.
My current clothes are mostly in brown, green, tan and red but I have some blue items and hope to expand my range of blue and grey outfits, most especially with some decent suits, as soon as I’m able to.