In visiting a new tailor recently to have a button repaired on a suit, the no doubt well-intentioned seamstress suggested ever-so-politely that they offered a service that would narrow lapels and generally bring a “quality suit back into fashion.” It was one of those moments where one is both complimented and insulted. She has, albeit in a backhanded way, suggested that there must have been some good taste and desire for superior fabric and construction in me – even though it was hard to see behind lapels that one could only imagine must be reminiscent of Dumbo’s ears. A suspicious nature might lead one to conclude that the purveyor was simply looking to enhance the revenue from a modest repair to a complex alteration. But after a look in the ubiquitous mirrors lining the walls of the establishment, it was clear, even to an aging eye, that she was more sympathetic than rapacious.
So after agreeing to the new cut, delivery and some small talk, I returned to my day reminded that even as time marches on, the details of our lives – once finely honed and completely intentional – can begin to say something entirely different about us. From one perspective, there is a measure of success in that the suit still fits, that it was of such quality as to last for a span measured in decades and that the value based per wearing had exceeded all expectations. Yet from another’s take, it appeared tired, at best, quaint. The tailoring, while classic, seemed dated and nostalgic. Did it reflect the attitude of its wearer?
Like so many passing moments if we stop to consider them fully, we realize that the meaning may be greater than imagined. Is it time to look at the cut of our lives and perhaps adjust a little?