A few days ago I wrote a post about how men should dress. Since I am a man and I wear clothes I figured I would start with myself. Today I put that lecture into practice.
The day started obscenely early. Everyone in the house was up at 5 so we could get our last minute packing completed. I mentioned that I’ve already started wearing at minimum a jacket to daily mass. Mass this morning – for my family – was at 7AM and from there we’d be heading to the airport.
I always remember my dad telling me about the golden age of airline travel. “Back then (pre-1970) people would dressed up to travel. It was an adventure and you had to look your best because it was required.”
Today, I dressed up to board a plane.
And I rocked it.
Commanding respect at every turn – from TSA to the concessionaires to the gate agents and flight attendants – I turned heads. It didn’t take much. I wore a light blue sport coat over a white dress shirt with a pair of navy trousers. That’s it. But contrast that image with the tank tops and booty shorts and general skin-on-display freak show that is a modern airport terminal and you will understand why I stood out.
I strode through the concourse with a swagger I didn’t know I possessed. My shoulders were back and broadened over my tapering frame. It’s amazing how good clothing will do that for you especially since I do not have a tapering frame. Confident doesn’t begin to describe my attitude this morning boarding a flight for a family vacation to Florida. Others looked like they were bound for a theme park from hell. I could have easily been heading to Mar-a-lago. And I want to emphasize I did not spend a fortune on this getup. The jacket cost $10 at a thrift store.
On the plane I sat back and took out a book I’ve been slowly making my way through for months. Many of you probably know it well. See the picture below. The drinks came free. I was not in first class but was treated like I was. I cannot say it was the attire but I cannot not say that either.
The best part about this experience is that, despite the soaring temperatures, I was cool as a cucumber.
I looked good and I felt good and people noticed.
This is how, in my truly humble opinion, we should do it. I’m tired of dressing like a boy running onto a rugby pitch just because that’s what everyone else does. For, when we dress our best, it shows forth our respect for others. A random woman in the elevator even told me so. “My you look very nice today!” she said as she smiled. I thanked her and smiled back. I hope I made her day.
Unfortunately my daughter and I encountered a perfect example of the opposite of this idea when we got to our hotel. We went downstairs for a dip in the pool. A young couple whom I will charitably assume are misguided sauntered past us. The guy was wearing knee-length board shorts. His lady friend appeared to have been clad in dental floss. I turned to my daughter and asked (quite cattily), “Ever hear of side boob?” She nodded and laughed. “That poor thing is missing so much fabric, she’s got underboob.” My daughter laughed heartily and replied, “And her butt’s falling out too.” Forgive the off-color tone but we decided to write an action story based on what we witnessed. It will be called The Adventures of Underboob and Sideass. Hey, we had to witness it so you get to hear about it. It will be tastefully written. No illustrations though.
Seriously, folks. Modesty means covering the things that God intends to be revealed only to certain people or for certain purposes. I’ve said before that suits make a man look more manly. See the remark about my tapering frame above. And there is nothing more beautiful or feminine than a modestly dressed woman.
And once again the Blessed Mother will come through for me. I’ve already lined up daily Latin masses for every day of this trip.
God is good to me – far better than I deserve.
Men, suit up. It’s your duty.
Mother Most Pure, pray for us!
St. Christopher, pray for us!