Monday, March 7, 2005

Coat and tie

A few of my colleagues in the humanities have been gently poking fun at the fact that I've taken to wearing a jacket and tie to work. One of them is taking bets on when I'll give it up. Others just seem surprised. "Big meeting with the dean today?" they ask. But they laugh when I tell them I'm doing it to raise my students' level of respect for the humanities.

So it's nice to get some moral support from a man who knows about such things: Manolo over at Manolo's Shoe Blog:

The grown up peoples they require the grown up clothes.

Do not denigrate the importance of looking "normal." Fashion it is about looking good, not seeking out the look of the abnormal, or the outre, or the purposely ridiculous.

Manolo says, the true radical in the serious well-cut, well-tailored clothes is the one whose thoughts, talents, and actions will change the world. The attention-seeking adolescent in the motley clothes of the fool, this person is merely the comedic sideshow.

I decided to wear "the grown up clothes" after attending the Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities in Prato, Italy last summer. The attendees were a nice group of scholars, and some of their presentations were interesting. But they were almost all about as scruffy looking as the busload of asylum escapees in One Flew Over the Cucoo's Nest, and I didn't see how anyone outside of academia could take them seriously.

Now if I could only afford a pair of good shoes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good for you man. Coat and tie is the way to go. Finally another academic who isn't a slob. I think you'll find that students will tend (at least a bit) to take the Humanities a bit more seriously (and you too) when you are wearing a coat and tie.

I blame our current problems on that generation of baby boomer 60's losers who let all decorum go. A pox on all of them.

Brooks Bros. is back.