Missing: Self-Respect

Dalrymple talks about how everyone’s all concerned about self-esteem, but completely lacking in self-respect.

Not only do people fail to make the most of themselves, they seem determined to make the worst of themselves, as if they were setting a challenge to others not to remark on them or pass a judgment about the way they look.

Actually, it’s worse than that. People are so caught up in their self-esteem that they think it’s more important than self-respect — in other words, that how they feel about themselves is more important than how others feel about them, and missing the point that both are important.

T.D. talks about clothing:

In England, fat young women (of whom there are lamentably many) squeeze themselves into unbecomingly tight costumes, like toothpaste into a tube. It is as if they were intimidating you into not noticing how hideous they look.

Well, yes;  it’s the classic mark of the narcissist.  And that attitude is just as prevalent in these here United States.

Look, I understand all that:  goths, hippies, biker gangs, Mods ‘n Rockers (yeah, I’m dating myself badly here) and all the so-called fashion trends that bedevil every generation.

All of them, however, have one thing in common:  they denote that the wearers are societal misfits.

Since I passed the age of adolescence, where such nonsense was important, I’ve always had one or the other of these self-imposed restraints on myself whenever I leave the house:  would my Mom / wife / grandfather be ashamed to be seen in public with me, dressed as I am? 

If the answer is even marginally “yes”, I change my outfit.

And quite frankly, if there’s anyone who doesn’t give a rat’s ass what anyone thinks of me, that would be me.  But I care, deeply, about what my close family and -friends think of me, and that reflects itself in many aspects of not only my dress but also in my behavior.

Alone with my male buddies, I’m a total lout.  In polite company, I’m a different person altogether.

It is the habit of a lifetime, drilled into me by parents, boarding school, the army and wives;  and frankly, I’m too old to change my ways now.

In a business setting, for example, I’m always well-dressed (suit, tie, polished shoes and all that) and likewise groomed (neat hair, trimmed beard, clean-shaven and nice-smelling).

So when I go to a company and see a bunch of men with scraggly beards, clothing which looks like they were slept in and with body odor to gag a vulture, I honestly don’t care about their self-esteem;  I just find them repulsive — and no matter what, I can’t take them seriously.

Judgmental?  You bet your fucking life I am.

Flaunting It

It’s a well-known fact that I am somewhat conservative in my outlook [chorus of “No, Kim… not you!], but not really when it comes to women’s clothing.  Having come of age during the late 1960s and 1970s, I kinda like it when women show off their bodies (allowing for the Lizzo Exception, of course).

However, this one made me stop in my tracks:

Granted, she’s another one of those Brit Celeb/Actresses/Houris [some overlap]  but at least she’s apparently married to the father, so there’s that.  But I still feel a little… uncomfortable? looking at that display.

Now I’m not one of those “cover up everything because pregnancy is somehow shameful” people — sheesh, that went out with the Victorians — and I recall seeing some awfully-sexy pregnant women in Chile who were not at all shy about wearing tight little mini-dresses and high heels as they strutted their stuff around downtown Santiago.  I love the whole thing about pregnant women, too;  I think it’s glorious.

Still, I can’t help feeling that the above is a little too ostentatious or even vulgar.  Can we not say that women need to be a little more ladylike about the whole thing?

I know, I know:

“Kim, women show off their tummies in bikinis and midriff tops all the time — and you’re a serial offender when it comes to posting those pics, you dirty old bastard.  So why should it be any different when they’re pregnant?”

Because it IS different.

I welcome comments on the topic.

Old Ties

At one point in my life I probably owned well over four dozen ties (neckties) simply because I wore a suit to work each day of the work week, and occasionally over the weekends as well (weddings, formal dinners and so on).  The inside of my wardrobe looked very much like this:

Ties back then were not just about dressing well, nor even some kind of workplace uniform.  They were a mark of your individuality, a means whereby you could differentiate yourself from all the other guys dressed like you in their blue or gray pinstripe 3-piece suits.

So I read this article with a certain degree of regret:

While the trouser suit – for men and women – continues to be a staple on catwalks at international fashion weeks, it seems that the old fashioned necktie isn’t quite so in favour with those seeking out business attire.  

On Twitter this week, City worker and think tank owner, William Wright, of New Financial, shared a snap that will strike anxiety into the heart of officewear traditionalists…a very pared down tie display. 

While the neck tie was once considered so vital to employees wearing a whistle-and-flute to the office that it spawned a whole shop – Tie Rack – dedicated to it, it seems the accessory is no longer on trend. 

Ignoring the teeth-grinding and pretentious “on trend” phrase — what we used to refer to simply as “fashionable” — the fact remains that with the trend going from “business suits”  to “business casual” to “casual” to “Jeremy Clarkson” to “one degree above fucking ghetto”, there is no future for men’s ties, which makes me melancholy.  It’s just another manifestation of what was once called “prole drift” — the propensity for society to degrade its appearance and manners towards the underclass and becoming a world of boors.

The plain fact is that putting on a tie makes a man look properly dressed when the occasion demands it.  I couldn’t think of attending something like a wedding, funeral or even a smart sit-down dinner without a tie.  Here’s what I mean:

Without a tie, even a decent suit looks wrong.

So I went over to my tie rack as it stands today, and counted my ties.  Eight neckties, two cravats and a bolo (string) tie — “Texas formal” — and that’s it.

My old tailor at Lightbody’s in Johannesburg is turning in his grave.


Afterthought:  A little while ago, New Wife and I were going out to dinner somewhere, and I put on a suit for the occasion but dispensed with neckwear because it wasn’t that formal an occasion.  When I asked her how I looked, she responded acidly:  “What about your tie?”

I was able to pull the Old Fart card here by putting my hand to my throat and feigning shock at my forgetfulness, but I don’t think she was fooled.  I think she has been sent to chide and chastise me by my late mother.

Gentler Clothing

The other day, I caught a glimpse of Hot Mommy Christine McGuinness:

…and yes, she’s very sexy and has lovely legs, fine breastworks and all that.

But those clothes:  aren’t they a little too hard for a woman who’s not going to some dominatrix costume party?

Am I the only man who prefers women to be a little more feminine, and who misses the days when Laura Ashley was the designer of choice, with whites, pastels and soft floral prints?

And the style can carry through to nighties, too:

Was there ever a man whose heart would not beat a little faster when seeing that clothing in his bedroom?

Quite So

From Andrea Shulman at the Daily Mail:

“The crypto currency FTX collapsed last week, losing $32billion of value overnight. Sam Bankman-Fried, the youthful founder once hailed as a crypto legend and now facing possible extradition to the US from his Bahamas base, is always seen in a pair of shorts.  So are we surprised by FTX’s downfall?  Not at all.  Why?  It’s simple.  Never trust a man who wears shorts outside of his holidays.”

What she said.  I don’t know or care what or who FTX is/was, but her last sentence resonates with me, as you all knew it would.

This look is so over, and even more so when billions of dollars are being discussed.

On the other hand, “crypto-currency” isn’t real currency either, so maybe the small-boy look is appropriate.