Casual. What a prompt. I could write a book. Attire has been front and center in my thoughts for three weeks. That’s when I started a new job. In fact, I’ve already written about this. Maybe I should just re-post my recent essay Adult.

For twenty years, my life has been a study in clothes. Comfortable clothes. Casual clothes. Shorts and a polo in the summer; sweater and khakis in the winter. Everything cotton, one hundred percent. I own a couple of sport-coats. I might have worn them once per year. A tie? No, I didn’t wear a tie, not even to weddings and funerals.

Decades ago, I made a rule, a vow. Never be the worst-dressed man in the room. It happened once at an embassy party. A summer-evening happy hour. I went all Casual Friday, and I spent the next ninety minutes watching out for people watching me, judging me.

My vow dwindled away. I’m the guy who dresses down—at work and everywhere else. Once, in a meeting with a corporate attorney, I felt it. The office was warm and dark, lots of oak; the desk, substantial; the chairs, brown leather—soft, but not scratched; the lawyer, wearing a charcoal three-piece-suit, impeccable. Me? Shorts and a pair of trail shoes. I would have looked good on a hike. I wonder if my boss was embarrassed.

A new job, a new me. Redefine casual. It’s my new vow. A shirt and a tie. Pressed khakis. It’s a small concession to decorum. My shorts were getting a bit ragged anyway, a little stained. Now when I look in the mirror, I like what I see.

12 thoughts on “Casual

  1. This made me smile. It also made me feel embarrassed. Not because of the content but because the prompt “casual” made me think about casual sex. Clothes never entered my brain. Hmmm…

    Great post! Congrats on the new you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hehehe I’m glad you found your style . I’m pretty casual too. Lasted in the corporate world for 3 months dressed in their stuffy uniform. My husband keeps on hassling me why I don’t accept their shifts. I just can’t imagine me all stuffed like a sausage again 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the idea of never being the worst dressed in the room. I was for sure the most casually dressed at a party last weekend and although I was comfortable, I also strongly felt like if I’d swapped a pair of heels for my Adidas runners I’d have felt more comfortable still…..!

    Liked by 1 person

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