Tuesday 28th July
I used to wear a suit most days to work, it was almost compulsory in the Hotel office I worked in. It was a three-piece black pin-stripe with wide lapels that I bought in Carnaby Street, which I thought I looked really trendy in, especially with large round collar shirts and kipper ties. I bought a similar brown pin-stripe suit to get married in a few years later, but I soon relaxed my style of office dress to black chinos and a smart(ish) blazer or jacket. I didn’t dispense with the tie for another ten years or so, though they became narrower over the years and less bright. Nowadays I wear grey or blue jeans and a nice (usually striped or plain pastel) shirt – I haven’t quite descended to T-shirts for the occasional office work days though I do wear them and shorts when in Eymet working in the Café.
Men tend to dress in order to be acceptable to other men, in other words they like to conform to whatever their fellow workers or friends are wearing, not wishing to feel out of place in any way. Women tend to dress for work to impress, not men so much but other women, their severest critics.
I am back in London for a few days and working today in the City and am impressed by all the smart young men in dark suits, white shirts and narrow bland ties. This “uniform” has scarcely changed in years, though sartorial experts may discern subtle differences in trouser or lapel width I am amazed that a more relaxed dress code hasn’t emerged. But there you are. Like a herd of little penguins they waddle by in their perfectly pressed suits – and many women too in dark or grey suits waddle by too. They have all bought into the Tory dream, and I wonder where all that Hippy Idealism has gone…(replaced by the dream of getting rich I expect)
I even dispensed with wearing a suit when I got re-married a few years ago, but I did wear a tie for the first time in years. I suspect the next and only time I will wear a suit will be at the inevitable funerals I may attend as the years roll by. And again this will be because we men hate to feel we are dressed inappropriately. Suits you, Sir.