I’m beginning to wonder what sort of sartorial lessons I’m passing along to my son. He, at 5 years of age, has strong opinions about outerwear, for instance (“… too puffy, I want to wear my flat jacket.”) But he may come of age in a world where a well-tied tie is the first sign of a growing nervous condition. A junior kindergartener, he spends his days in rugby shirts, khakis and sneakers.
Tonight, Mrs. E. and I will see Gen. Colin Powell (USA, Ret.) speak at a leadership conference that her school hosts. I am already contemplating the shirt and tie combination that I will don, although there is no dress code specified for the event. Why “dress up”? Gen. Powell will certainly be in a coat and tie — a suit — I imagine. As will his fellow speakers. Why shouldn’t I dress to mirror the respect they show me by putting their best face forward?
Or, to put it another way, all the cool adults are doing it. I hope that one day, my son will do so as well.