Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sharp Dressed Man

A letter to the editor in today's WSJ called Gentlemen, Please Dress Your Age:

I am of the belief that nine out of 10 social ills can be attributed to men refusing to act like men. One of the areas where this is the case is in the area of dress, where sadly enough a lot of my brothers simply are refusing to grow up ("Style & Fashion: Jacket (Not) Required," Off Duty, April 9). I, for one, am sick of seeing men going out at night wearing clothes that were designed for yard work or athletic competition.

I recall being in Hong Kong in the late 1980s as a Marine lieutenant and being required to wear a jacket and tie as a guest at the British officer's mess at Stanley Fort. I also recall dining at Grenadier's restaurant in Milwaukee in the mid-1990s. My company had an event in a private room and I had removed my suit jacket and draped it on the back of my chair. When I got up to go to the restroom, the maitre d' stopped me and asked me to put my jacket on, since I would be walking through the main dining room.

Those incidents left an indelible impression on me. Today, I wear a hat (not a ball cap or a stocking hat) in winter, I wear a suit to Mass every Sunday and unless I am going to Mickey D's with my kids, you won't see me out to dinner without long trousers and a jacket. You will never, ever, see me in public in sneakers unless I am out running or in the gym. Come on, guys, join me in acting our age.

Bob Stephenson

Woodbury, Minn.

Reading along this morning, I found myself agreeing with the principals the writer was espousing--even though in practice I fall far short of his standards--without realizing until that I end that I actually knew who this well dressed gentleman was. Kudos to Lt. Colonel Stephenson for seeking to raise the sartorial bar. It's an uphill battle to be sure, but one that he is well-suited for.