I can’t personally speak to the holistic truth behind the chorus of one of ZZ Top’s most iconic tunes, but, for my part, I can say that my Fiancé does go a little crazy when I am dressed to the nines. However much she enjoys the sheen of my carefully preened appearance, her enjoyment cannot hope to equal that which I feel when a mirror reveals my completed “aristocratic armor”. We have all felt the calm, grin inducing, confidence that is garnered from a first look in a mirror after observing the effects of ritualistically clothing ourselves in adornments created to fit only the choicest circumstances. Careful planning and preparation are rewarded only with a reflection, but this is a reflection that breathes an aura of “cool” into ones soul. This is a reflection that is transformative, robust, invigorating and substantial. Though we only get to see it with our own eyes once, the reflection is seen again in the appreciative looks of passers by as their eyes and our confidence speak simultaneously, “lookin’ good”.
A season stuffed with wedding invitations and wondrous events caused me to become aware of the tattered state of my finer clothing and I began to ask close acquaintances where a young man could purchase a suit to be proud of. A close friend, my boss, an Uncle and many others decisively touted Men’s Wearhouse. The way in which they spoke of the commercially known, but never by me visited, establishment suggested that this was a place filled with people knowledgeable, passionate, and proud to be able to offer assistance. Upon my arrival I will admit that I was flabbergasted by the sheer amount of fine trappings and accoutrement that covered seemingly every surface of the store. My first instinct was to simply leave and retreat to the department stores that were more familiar to me. However, as I was approached by an employee I am delighted to report that begun was an experience I had not imagined possible; I had fun shopping for a suit. In and out of the dressing room, standing in a bowl of mirrors, checking color coordination, seeing the tailor mark for adjustments and many other flourishes added up my grinning reflection in the mirror proclaiming with Burgundian cockiness, “Hey everyone, come and see how good I look!”
More than how well the clothing fit ad felt, I was impressed by a staff of people that made me feel as though my happiness at my appearance was their primary goal of the day. They seemed to care like a mother or father seems to care. The staff of the store reminded me of waking up on Christmas morning and being reminded to “look nice” for the family, as though they were there to offer suggestions for how I might best look my best. There is a wonderful and proud passion in the way that we present ourselves, especially for those seldom occasions that allow for us to appear grandiose, if only within our own eyes. It is more than comforting to know that there is a place that encourages all who enter to live with that philosophy worn on their sleeves.