I remember being a kid in the 1990s and seeing my father come home from work wearing practically this exact same outfit. I swear it was almost the same outfit. Yellow OCBD, navy blazer, khaki chinos and a red madder necktie just like this. It takes me back. It reminds me so much of being a kid in the 90s, my father coming home from work in the evening a bit before dinner. The atmosphere in the house before dinner on a weeknight. It is almost impossible for me to describe that atmosphere. The kids in the house almost have a kind of free time, it's a bit hectic, a lot going on, feels like you are in a train station or something. It's impossible to explain, it simply is.
I dress the way I do in large part because it is similar to how my father dressed when I was a child. My father was not a sartorial mastermind, he wouldn't have been among the readers of this site. He was just raised in a time and in a family where you wore a certain uniform. OCBD, chinos and navy blazer and/or sport coat. I was also growing up in the 1990s, a time where more men wore neckties and sport coats. My father always wore OCBDs, I rarely ever recall him wearing a shirt with a collar that wasn't a button down.
I grew up middle class, I am middle class. There is something middle class about the button down collar, particularly on a sturdier fabric like the oxford cloth. Of course, maybe to some today it doesn't read as middle class, but that is only because we live in an extremely degraded time of athleisure darkness. The sturdy OCBD is a very middle class, new world shirt. It is the shirt for every man, or it should be.
I feel nostalgia when I wear this outfit. I also feel it when I polish my shoes and my son watches me, like I used to watch my father polish his shoes. These little things are the things of normal life, boyhood and then manhood and how you feel in time the sartorial ritual of who you are, who you are supposed to be, who you were and who you will be . It isn't shocking or grand, it is the stuff of every day, normal life. Your life is your story after all, do you want it to be a political cartoon? A drama? A tragedy? It is the most important story you will ever know. The little things matter in a story. These little things are a part of many little things, and some big things, which all weave your story into the story that came before, and the story which will come later. You are not on an island, but a runner in a very long foot race who received the torch from someone before and will pass it, with the help of God, to someone later.