Timing, as William Shakespeare is to have penned, is everything. It seems to enjoy more universal truth than many of the aphorisms on which we hang our daily lives. And like most simple veracities, it asserts itself in both the most humble and grand ways. Over the years, my closet has burgeoned with vestment that, with my limited sartorial saliency, seem to, if you will forgive the pun, suit me. Therefore, the acquisition of new attire has slowed a great deal from my younger days. To paraphrase an infamous American, if the suit fits, you must acquit. If we can get it buttoned, shouldn’t we wear it? Even as the answer to this question is roiling in one’s mind, know that I am routinely acknowledged for keeping some things a “little” too long. In fact, missing and lost artifacts of my dressing past often become laundry fatalities – defined as favorite (if frayed) shirt, pant, tie or jacket that disappears inexplicably from action. To be sure, the 1979 Alabama tour T-shirt did not disappear by itself (granted, the worn-to-translucence fabric may have simply dissolved on it millennial washing), but gone it is.
So in venturing out to purchase a new suit for the first time in some time, I’ve discovered men’s clothing is now designed to cling to the body. Gone are the days of MC Hammer’s giant drawers into which even the most robust ham hocks could have found refuge. Gone is the “Big” shirt by Ralph Lauren whose very design took pride in its largess. It is replaced with “skinny” ties and suits to match. Why weren’t the suits skinny when I was and pleated as, well, I’ve filled out? Is it the caprice of timing? Given the choice, is it cheesecake or style that matters most?