I recently turned 60 and, as many folks are wont to do on a birthday, took a moment to reflect on the changes in my life.
One thing that hasn’t altered, though, is my attire.
Allow me to clarify: I don’t mean that I never change my clothes. I do. I promise.
What I mean is that the way I dress now is the same way I dressed at 19 (when I got my first reporting job), in a style charitably described by my millennial daughter as “preppy.”
When it comes time to look for clothes, I head to the men’s department at Dillard’s and always pick the same wardrobe: cotton khaki trousers and cotton pinpoint Oxford button-down shirts, usually blue or white. (Sometimes pink if I can find one). Favorite shoes: penny loafers or saddle Oxfords.
For socks, it’s argyles or nothing.
The costume designer for “Spotlight,” the movie about the Boston Globe’s probe into a church sex-abuse scandal, noted that while dedicated male reporters and editors don’t soar to sartorial heights, they have a sort of “school uniform” worn for comfort — button-down shirts, khakis and brown shoes.
That’s exactly what I’m seen wearing in a picture Louis Persat snapped of me in 1985 while covering a triple-fatality accident on Loop 1604 when I was a crime reporter for the San Antonio Express-News.
And these days when I walk into the LOCAL Community News newsroom, I’m dressed just the same as I dressed in 1985 — or any of the years in-between.
Can’t go wrong with a classic, folks.
I always wear a tie, too. Usually something red, black or checkered, like school colors. In my opinion, that’s just how an editor dresses. (The attire of sports writers and photographers is an entirely different matter, and we won’t even discuss the vampires … er, night copy editors).
It’s not that I lack imagination. My wife is always trying to get me to try new work shirts, usually something in a color other than white or blue.
Not too long ago, I finally caved and made two small concessions to a shift in wardrobe. When I go to our little place in the country, where we have horses, I doff the “uniform” and switch to sturdy Carhartt T-shirts with pockets and either boots or canvas shoes with solid rubber soles. (If someone had added pockets to T-shirts year ago, I might have worn them more often than button downs).
It’s all about convenience, folks. I prefer being comfortable over being fashionable — even if it’s the same old thing.
What about you?
Edwards is editor of LOCAL Community News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.