"I dress casually in the summer, because it’s hot. But for the last few years I’ve returned to good slacks and decent shoes and a crisp shirt and a tie. Grown-up clothes. Dad clothes. A man ought to be able to put on a shirt and tie without thinking he’s putting on a costume to deal with The Man; he should regard it as the Rainments of Masculinity, the costume we wear to project the impression of seriousness. If we’re not serious, it’ll be apparent quite soon. ... I just know that I feel different in a shirt and tie. I stand up straighter. I don’t feel as though I’m owed more respect; on the contrary, I feel obliged to be more respectful.
Not classic, but old-fashioned. Yes, that’s a distinction starkly apparent to the rest of the nation. A cut above the light-up-shoe hoi polloi, perhaps – but only because that particular demographic may have forgotten or rejected the very notion of dressing up, and sees nothing wrong in sending the kid to Sunday School wearing a Ninja Turtles t-shirt instead of a nice shirt with a clip-on tie and itchy church pants. [ummm.... sorry, James. I pick my battles. But I get your point.]
Why, it’s almost as if the Roberts thought they were better than the rest of us. I’ll tell you this: when it comes to dressing the kids, it’s quite possible they look at parents who get on airplanes in flip-flops with 12-year old daughters who have the word JUICY spelled out on their behinds, and they actually do think they’re better than those parents. Because they put some stock in appearance, in public decorum. When required. Like showing up at the White House. To be nominated for the Supreme Court. That's the sort of event that makes a man spend fifteen minutes choosing his socks, even though they'll never been seen, and even though they're black. "
Monday, July 25, 2005
LILEKS (James) Screeeeeeedblog: Lileks riffs (and rips) on some yahoo who didn't like the way the Roberts family was dressed: