fishertw

Advanced Member
As I have aged, being retired from univeristy for nine years, I have tried to refine my wardrobe into a winter and a summer complement of items.

For winter I have downsized to four sport coats: BB 3/2 camel, Southwick Douglas charcoal herringbone, J Press navy 3/2 blazer and a blue green two button Ben Silver Harris tweed. For summer a BB 3/2 worsted blazer, a BB tan herringbone 3/2 sport coat, a Haspel 3/2 linen medium blue sport coat and a two button grey seersucker sport coat. Suits ( for weddings and funerals )include BB Madison navy and charcoal stripe for cooler months and Haspel navy poplin and a 3/2 tan seersucker suit likely US made but no discernable maker. I also have a brown POW wool suit that has never been worn but was an itch that I scratched last fall before Covid. An assortment of wool, cotton, tweed, corduroy trousers and a full measure of shirts and ties fill out the niches.

I say all this as with the current Covid issues that we are facing, I may never have the chance to wear any of these garments again barring a death in my immediate family or some other unexpected opportunity. I think I am well covered for most any event. I also have a wonderful formal Kilt and dress jacket for meeting any unexpected opportunity in that area.

How are others dealing with aging, sartorial downsizing and the ravages of this Covid Mess?
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
In my household, we have a policy to maintain normal standards. Get up early and get dressed. No lounging in pajamas or slumping around in rags. We have a daily family workout regimen, I cycle maybe 3 times a week with my daughter, and we have (almost) daily yoga. My wife and daughter meditate each day (I do not - I just don't have the inclination.)

I rather cringe at the phrase "self-care", but this is the time for it; that, and mutual support within families and close networks.

I'm hardly wearing suits (it's August and I'm in Georgia), but I'm dressing as I would if I were going out to lunch, or to do errands (I write this on a Saturday.) My daughter wore a dress today, because it's her birthday (8th).

As far as downsizing in general, in the past few years I've not needed suits for *business*, but we're a symphony-and-opera family. Well, were... and will be again, God willing. We dress for the occasion, though. But with a need for fewer clothes, I just make sure I'm investing in quality; the closet is less full, but what's there is "the good stuff".

We try to live each day as though it's the last Covid day. I got a haircut Thursday. I have shirts I've bought in the past month. The cars are gassed; I washed and vacuumed them Thursday (right after my haircut, actually). We are ready to rock and roll, as they say.

(That said, I must admit that I'm one of the "lucky" people who can actually just stay home and still survive financially and so on... grateful for that!)

DH
 

Doctor Damage

Connoisseur
It's only natural to shift your wardrobe as you retire to more casual things. That should be welcomed! Now you can wear wilder colours and patterns that you couldn't at the office or whatever. Think of it as freedom.
 

fishertw

Advanced Member
Oh - I do dress every day. Usually khakis, and either tattersall or ocbd in cooler weather or polos in warmer. Have not been anywhere to need a jacket since late February, but I’m keeping about 75 ties and 30 or so dress shirts for the “if and when” we get through this mess. I’ve just tried to pare down to the better quality and hoping for better times.
 

Andy

Site Creator/ Administrator
Staff member
fishertw:

Good subject. I have a "ton" of clothing, a lot of it bespoke and I have tried to downsize the closets. My wife and I moved from the Calif. beach to our desert home about 8 years ago and I took the opportunity to reduce the amount of clothing.

Actually we'd had the home in the desert for a long time and I use to buy two of everything - one for the beach home and one for the desert!

And in the last couple of years I've gone through the closets periodically and deleted items and given them to charity.

I used to have fun when we when on trips taking clothing items that were presentable, but that I was ready to retire and just leave them at the last stop for the hotel or ship folks. But haven't done that for over a year now and next year doesn't look good for travel, but I do have a rack ready for a trip.

Our golf course is kind of open (limitations) and that requires a collared golf shirt, golf shorts, etc. And we usually (not this year) go out to dinner, drinks with friends, a dressy lecture series and several charity events.

The norm here, out to dinner, all year is shorts and an Hawaiian shirt. I never wear shorts out and usually have a dressier shirt. It was 120 F here today.🔥

But the only "dressing up" I do is out for groceries now.
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
Being alone (except for the poodle) at this time of year I live in polo shirts, shorts and sandals. i would love to be able to don one of my collection of summer sports coats and slacks but given the current situation it will have to wait. Supposedly we should have a vaccine by the end of the year so possibly by February (wonderful tweed season) life can return to what I love. But until then . . .
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I have not changed very much in my dressing habits because of Covid. My major change, like the OP's, was ten years ago, when I too retired from my university position. A few years later I moved, and gave away two-thirds of my formal clothes -- suits, sport coats, dress trousers and dress shirts. Now I have a small number of suits (the usual suits in dark blue and grey flannel, plus some summer weight cotton suits in navy, tan and olive -- most are J Press). A number of sportcoats in Harris tweed, plus other patterns, like houndstooth. Many sweaters. A whole bunch of woolens and cords for winter trousers, and almost fifty khaki pants, mostly Bill's Khakis. I've kept all my shoes (close to fifty pairs) because they are high quality, like Alden Cordovans and older classics like Florsheim cordovans. I've also kept almost a thousand ties -- both four-in-hands and bow ties, because I like them all, and find it hard to get rid of them. Many dress shirts, and summer polo shirts round out my wardrobe. In summer, my daily dress is shorts and tshirts or polo shirts, with an occasional change to poplin trousers. I rarely wear shoes in the summer, just Birkenstocks, which are my favourite kind of footwear.
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
This is interesting reading, everything I missed growing up. I didn't develop any style or start dressing my age until I retired. Maybe that is why Trad Style appealed to me so much.
Well, same here. My profession (elementary school teacher) was not conducive to business wear. A successful sixth grade classroom is messy what with the Vis-A-Vis pens, the whiteboard markers, the plaster of paris, the drawing charcoal, etc. And on Sundays I wore a choir robe so my 'gentleman's wardrobe' was limited in the extreme. It wasn't until after I retired that I was able to indulge in sartorial pleasures and A3C has been a grand playground.
 

charphar

New Member
In my household, we have a policy to maintain normal standards. Get up early and get dressed. No lounging in pajamas or slumping around in rags. We have a daily family workout regimen, I cycle maybe 3 times a week with my daughter, and we have (almost) daily yoga. My wife and daughter meditate each day (I do not - I just don't have the inclination.)

I rather cringe at the phrase "self-care", but this is the time for it; that, and mutual support within families and close networks.

I'm hardly wearing suits (it's August and I'm in Georgia), but I'm dressing as I would if I were going out to lunch, or to do errands (I write this on a Saturday.) My daughter wore a dress today, because it's her birthday (8th).

As far as downsizing in general, in the past few years I've not needed suits for *business*, but we're a symphony-and-opera family. Well, were... and will be again, God willing. We dress for the occasion, though. But with a need for fewer clothes, I just make sure I'm investing in quality; the closet is less full, but what's there is "the good stuff".

We try to live each day as though it's the last Covid day. I got a haircut Thursday. I have shirts I've bought in the past month. The cars are gassed; I washed and vacuumed them Thursday (right after my haircut, actually). We are ready to rock and roll, as they say.

(That said, I must admit that I'm one of the "lucky" people who can actually just stay home and still survive financially and so on... grateful for that!)

DH
This whole post made my day already, and it's not even 5:00 am yet! Early on in this topsy-turvy time, I fell into "slumping around" mode. But quickly, I discovered I feel a lot better about things in general if I try to maintain some sense of normalcy. The first day I put on real clothes (OCBD, knit tie, and…gasp!…PANTS! for my weekly Zoom call was the turning point for me. My attitude got better!

Thanks, dhaller, for this today! This fellow Georgian says, "Thumbs up!"
 

never behind

Senior Member
I’ve actually been buying a decent amount of clothing, but what I’m buying has changed. Instead of wool trousers for work, more casual items such as poplin shorts/pants for summer and moleskin/cords for winter. I’ve bought two tweed jackets off eBay. I really want to buy some nice wool trousers but what’s the point - I have plenty and have no idea when I’ll even wear those again. So I focus on dressing casually but nicely.

My battle is to get motivated to shave regularly.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
This whole post made my day already, and it's not even 5:00 am yet! Early on in this topsy-turvy time, I fell into "slumping around" mode. But quickly, I discovered I feel a lot better about things in general if I try to maintain some sense of normalcy. The first day I put on real clothes (OCBD, knit tie, and…gasp!…PANTS! for my weekly Zoom call was the turning point for me. My attitude got better!

Thanks, dhaller, for this today! This fellow Georgian says, "Thumbs up!"
I agree with you. Your response brought back memories, some a bit poignant.

I think dressing appropriately for work or professional Zoom calls even while you are at home changes your attitude. Many years ago, I had a philosopher colleague and good friend at my university who took a sabbatical for the Fall semester in order to finish work on a book. He said he made it a point to work Monday through Friday at home dressed in the same way he would have been, had he been teaching classes. He would dress in sports jacket, trousers, shirt and tie, go into his study, and work for most of the day on the book, breaking for a sandwich at lunchtime. He usually took off the jacket and loosened the tie after a couple of hours. Needless to say, the book was on its way to the publisher by the time Christmas rolled around.

My friend dressed very much in the Trad style and was brought up in Philadelphia during the fifties and sixties, going to Penn and later Temple for his doctorate. He had also taught middle school in the inner city in Philadelphia, in predominantly black areas, and worked as a reporter in Colorado. We both wore bow ties often, and we taught a seminar in cognitive science together. The book he finished was an excellent discussion on a perspective on morality that one could take in philosophy. It was called Moral Freedom and my friend's name was Jeffrey Olen. He was best described by that great Yiddish term, a mensch. He was well read and we discussed all the great novelists and writers when we met every Friday afternoon over good scotch at a local watering hole. He passed away last year in Colorado where he was living in retirement. It was one of those great friendships that I am sure many of us here have experienced. I miss him.
 

drpeter

Senior Member
I’ve actually been buying a decent amount of clothing, but what I’m buying has changed. Instead of wool trousers for work, more casual items such as poplin shorts/pants for summer and moleskin/cords for winter. I’ve bought two tweed jackets off eBay. I really want to buy some nice wool trousers but what’s the point - I have plenty and have no idea when I’ll even wear those again. So I focus on dressing casually but nicely.

My battle is to get motivated to shave regularly.
May I suggest a well-trimmed beard? That is, if you like wearing one. They are a bit less work than daily shaving, LOL.
 

Oldsarge

Moderator and Bon Vivant
I have a well-trimmed beard and I still have to work up the motivation to keep it up. It helps to have to go somewhere (anywhere!) where looking civilized is warranted. However, here at home alone-ish with the poodle, I am inclined to get just as fuzzy as she is.
 

Dhaller

Advanced Member
I have a well-trimmed beard and I still have to work up the motivation to keep it up. It helps to have to go somewhere (anywhere!) where looking civilized is warranted. However, here at home alone-ish with the poodle, I am inclined to get just as fuzzy as she is.
My beard is quite wiry and just grows sort of radially-outward from my face, so if I neglect it for too long, I wind up looking like Poopdeck Pappy from the old Popeye cartoons.

Keeps me honest!

DH
 

TKI67

Super Member
For me retirement, the pandemic, and the loss of appreciable weight and girth thanks to Noom made it necessary to build a new wardrobe. In our increasingly hot climate it was clear I needed to build a suitable hot weather casual wardrobe first, and the basics were shorts (Patagonia standups in Pelican, Murray's Nantucket reds and greens, and madras), polos (O'Connell's navy, pink, white, dark green, and raspberry), khakis (O'Connell's stone, khaki, and olive, and Murray's reds and greens), O'Connell's grey worsteds and a Southwick blazer. I got an O'Connell's glen plaid tweed in the hope of cooler weather, and O'Connell's unfused OCBDs in white, blue, blue university stripe, pink university stripe, and pink. Still to purchase, a charcoal suit and a navy Shetland. My 4" smaller belts are surcingle in yellow, navy, and Breton red and a cordovan to go with my tassels and LHS in no. 8. Fortunately my feet stayed about the same size, enabling me also to keep my suede LHS. I did get a new pair of Maliseets. I may get a doeskin blazer for winter. Mercifully the old Beaufort still feels about right when the liner is in. We'll see. So I built instead of condensing, and that was all I felt I needed, probably too much, but I am pushing 72 and shouldn't need much if anything more. Nice as it is to be a 41/34 again, it was sad taking the 44s and 46s and the 38 trousers to the resale shop. Glad I got to hang onto the challis, madder, knit, and repp ties. Wonder how long until they are called into action?

As I return from my hiatus I plan to stay on the Trad forum only, where the greatest depth of controversy is what we call our style.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
For me retirement, the pandemic, and the loss of appreciable weight and girth thanks to Noom made it necessary to build a new wardrobe. In our increasingly hot climate it was clear I needed to build a suitable hot weather casual wardrobe first, and the basics were shorts (Patagonia standups in Pelican, Murray's Nantucket reds and greens, and madras), polos (O'Connell's navy, pink, white, dark green, and raspberry), khakis (O'Connell's stone, khaki, and olive, and Murray's reds and greens), O'Connell's grey worsteds and a Southwick blazer. I got an O'Connell's glen plaid tweed in the hope of cooler weather, and O'Connell's unfused OCBDs in white, blue, blue university stripe, pink university stripe, and pink. Still to purchase, a charcoal suit and a navy Shetland. My 4" smaller belts are surcingle in yellow, navy, and Breton red and a cordovan to go with my tassels and LHS in no. 8. Fortunately my feet stayed about the same size, enabling me also to keep my suede LHS. I did get a new pair of Maliseets. I may get a doeskin blazer for winter. Mercifully the old Beaufort still feels about right when the liner is in. We'll see. So I built instead of condensing, and that was all I felt I needed, probably too much, but I am pushing 72 and shouldn't need much if anything more. Nice as it is to be a 41/34 again, it was sad taking the 44s and 46s and the 38 trousers to the resale shop. Glad I got to hang onto the challis, madder, knit, and repp ties. Wonder how long until they are called into action?

As I return from my hiatus I plan to stay on the Trad forum only, where the greatest depth of controversy is what we call our style.
Welcome back...it is good to see you posting again. Your words in the post above give the brotherhood much to consider. Again, welcome back! ;)
 

Danny

Super Member
I do think the skill of purging things you don't wear is an important one. A wardrobe is always in flux to some degree...it has to serve you in the present tense. The act of getting rid of stuff does not get much attention, but it can sharpen the focus of your tastes and make room for MORE new garments! Perhaps these days of lockdown are bringing some of these issues to the fore.
 
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