Men in Uniform

Today’s post comes from Congressman Loomis Beechly, representing all the water surface area in the State of Minnesota.

Greetings, Constituents,

I am often asked who I support for President in 2016.  Whenever this comes up, the first thing I have to do is check to see if I’ve thrown my own hat into the ring.  So far, every time I’ve looked I’ve discovered that I’m not in the running.  But I do like politics and I enjoy watching the debates for the color and pageantry, although usually with the sound turned down.

I know a lot of people complain about the number of candidates we’ve produced but I take it as a point of pride.  The United States is bounteous in all things, and when I see a platoon of prospective presidents take the stage, my heart swells.

And I have to say I do like the uniform.  Black suit.  White Shirt.  Red tie.

That’s for the men.  For the women, simple dresses in bright colors, with red a clear favorite because back in the day it was the one eye-catching color that could get Ronald Reagan’s attention at a crowded press conference.

There is very little room to depart from this formula.  Remember the shock and horror last summer when President Obama wore a brown suit?  People are pretty clear about what they want.  Like Top 40 music, presidential fashion has been thoroughly focus-grouped and the results offer very little room for improvisation.

I guess the tie can lean a little more toward burgundy, if you’re daring.

I want a commander-in-chief who will do whatever is necessary to serve our nation.  So I was pleased to see that at their debate last night, most of the Republican candidates toed the line and wore the uniform.  After all, if you’re going to win an election to lead the Land of the Free, you can’t be too independent. Those two guys who chose totally non-red ties must not want to be President  very much.

I know they all have policy positions too, but it’s still so early in the process I don’t have time to pay attention to that.  Those positions are bound to change anyway, as the pitch broadens out to include more  Americans.   I’ll catch up with the political survivors in August of 2016, when things like ideas start to matter.

But for now, it’s all about appearances.  That’s why, when I see the uniform on display, as it was so clearly last night,  I shake my head in wonder at the marvelous system we have created!

How do you dress for success?  

 

 

42 thoughts on “Men in Uniform”

  1. I don’t. My worst nightmare is when clients come to the office and I have to dig out my official outfit. Give me blue jeans or sweatpants every day!

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  2. I have a single outfit that could be considered “dress for success”, my interview suit. Shockingly, it’s grey rather than black, and happens to look terrific with my rapidly-silvering hair. However, on me it probably still has an unconvincing air; I’m deeply ambivalent about the mainstream’s ideas of “success” (to say nothing of the mainstream’s ideas of “fashion”, shudder), so I probably sabotage the look just by me being the one inside it.

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  3. Let’s see, how does a successful retiree dress? Most days I’m lounging around in my PJs till at least 10 AM. Then I’ll put on a pair of jeans and a comfy top of some sort. If it fits, is clean, comfortable, and warm, I’m good to go.

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  4. Same here. For many years I dressed up only as much as required to avoid embarrassing my roommate, an English setter. The setter is gone, so these days I don’t make as much of an effort as formerly. At my age I dress strictly for comfort (and to avoid jail time for public nudity). And comfort, at 73, is a challenging goal.

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  5. Back in college days I did the whole number – heels and skirts/dresses, jewelry and make-up. Then I taught kindergarten in the early 70s, and one by one these things left my life – short skirts gave way to maxi skirts (much better for bending over all day with 5-year-olds) and then pants; jewelry became wood and macramé except for some earrings; I started wearing Birkies…

    “Dressing up” now is usually my nicest black pants (the ones without any iron-on patches), and a colorful top of some sort. For a choral concert last weekend it was a white sweater with pearl buttons, and a pretty scarf. I do have a pair of 40s vintage heels for costumes, but I’d need a walker to wear them for a whole evening. There are a few skirts somewhere in my closet, and there is some vintage make-up somewhere.

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  6. ‘Dress for success?’ I actually still have that book…

    I’m told that the things that stand out in my formal attire tend to be my watch and my collar pin. If I’m going with a full-on 3-piece, I’ll wear my grandfather’s or my great grandfather’s pocket watch. I got them without chains. So, after a little legwork on eBay, I found a nice sliding double watch chain with a T-bar (the part that tucks into your button hole) that is also a small mechanical pencil! For a fob, I found one that’s a small male figure (like an Oscar statue) that’s holding a sundial. Yes, my fob is an actual sundial!

    I also wear a collar pin. It pinches the collar tips and goes behind the tie knot. I always thought it lends itself to a clean and somewhat sophisticated look without disrupting the rest of the suit.

    For everyday, there’s a saying that my family/friends have. “It’s spring when we can see his neck.” If it’s fall or winter, I’ll be wearing a turtleneck. They’re warm without being too bulky. I got hooked on turtlenecks when I spent 2 years at The Marshall School in Duluth. Glass-lined hallways aren’t terribly conducive to maintaining comfortable temperatures. And with a dress code in place, turtlenecks became my preferable option. Besides, if turtlenecks weren’t cool, they wouldn’t be standard issue on Star Trek.

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      1. I’ve toyed with them before.

        First, they’re kind of cumbersome, especially if you’re expected to help carry or fetch stuff, as I usually am.

        Second, for those old enough, it hearkens back to Evel Knievel or Salvador Dali and (while I enjoy Dali’s work), if I’m interacting with someone, I would like them to be focusing on me, rather than remembering melting clocks or the Snake River Canyon.

        Third, carrying a cane suggests that you need it. So people ask, “Are you ok? What happened to you?” And then when you say it’s just an accessory, the conversation has become awkward. Like when you ask a woman when the baby is due and she says that she’s not pregnant. Or like Guy Caballero on the old SCTV show that was always in a wheelchair but was perfectly ambulatory. It’s less of a conversation starter and more of a conversation stressor.

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  7. I haven’t had to dress up to any great extent in recent years. At one time I had a suit, dress shirts, ties, and dress shoes that I could wear for special occasions. I still have several nice ties that I never wear. None of them are red. I think the suit that I had is no longer useable and I would need to get a new one if for some reason I need one I have some sport coats which are also old and no longer useable.

    I almost always wear jeans. However, I do have some dress slacks and nice sweaters that I occasionally wear to go to places where jeans might not be appropriate. However, jeans seem to be considered appropriate dress virtually everywhere these days.

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      1. I can tell you right now, Renee, when my time comes, I want to be in something comfortable, like my pajamas, not a funeral suit or dress. I can’t in my wildest dreams imagine being put on display wearing make-up and a dress I would never have worn while alive. I think I have made this so abundantly clear to whomever might be involved in making decisions when that time comes that they wouldn’t do that for fear of what vengeance I might take from “the other side.”

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        1. Although cremation is the option for this whole family, I kinda like the idea of a reviewal before a memorial service (if there is one). For some reason, I think it’s easier to accept death with one last look at the body. I could then be set afire.

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  8. I only need to dress for success when I have to testify in court. Then I wear something burgundy, usually a skirt with a cashmere sweater. I look wholesome and competent in burgundy. At work I usually wear corduroy pants and soft, warm sweaters. At the Concordia Christmas concert, husband and I were both decked out in our finest Norwegian sweaters.

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  9. Hi–
    I always think of the phrase ‘Dress for the job you want.’ So in my jeans and sleeveless shirt (the shirt must be 100% cotton, button up, two pockets) I think I HAVE dressed for the job I want / have.
    A few years ago I got a rather informal ‘scolding’ that I was not following the completely unofficial dress code of the college.
    But I’m back in the shop by myself 75% of the time. So I have a old shirt here and if I go out in public I slip the shirt over whatever I’m wearing. Color coordination doesn’t always work in that case but that’s not the point.
    During shows / performances I put on the nice black shirt with the college logo and sleeves.
    And then I often hear people say ‘Is Ben OK? He’s wearing sleeves.’ I tell them it’s my costume.

    We have lots of new admin. Might again be time to see how far down the hall I can get without sleeves.

    Liked by 3 people

  10. i love dressing. jeans a white shirt and a sports coat have been my thing for 50 years. i went with hawaiian shirts shorts and birkies for a couple of summers and was hooked on that as a summer outfir. i found the sports coat collection that i seasonally rotate is the key and the shoes tend to be for comfort but also for show. i like good shoes, good quality jackets and top coats. hats are a given summern or winter but the shirts are a non item. white blue or stiped are the standard gray or denim sneaks in every now and again but mostly just button down white blue or electric blue.
    by the way congressman in case you hadnt noticed it a blue suit nit black. black is too much power. blue must be that shade of blue. stephen colbert wears the non presidential blue every night that has a more lapis blue touch rather than the one that feels almost black. i like a good pin stripe for a formal business deal. don shelby was good at that. my closet this time of year is heavy cashmere. greys , browns and blues. a couple of camels and a black or two,. i have a warehosue ofull of jackets that i intend to get out and sell but in the eantime if i get called to an unexpected meeting i have pants shirts and jackets to get me through any pinch.

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  11. PSA – Today I bought myself a pair of fleece lined leggings. They were on sale at ALDI’s for $7.99. Had no idea when or where I was going to wear them, just couldn’t resist the bargain. This evening as I was getting ready to go to bed, I decided to try them on, and OH MY GOD, they are so warm an comfy, I’m sleeping in them tonight. Going back tomorrow to get another pair.

    Liked by 1 person

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