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The Clothes Make The Man

Swag Bible

The Clothes Make The Man

The clothes make the man. It’s a refrain we’ve heard since we first plopped on a
dress shirt and grooved our way through picture day. We know very well we have
to own a suit, we have to dodge the jeans/teeshirt look when we’re doing anything
better than buying milk, and the slightly more sophisticated among us know that
there’s a difference between an article of clothing being “our size” and fitting
properly.

That’s well and good, but too many of us are content to leave it at that. The same
as you don’t buy a car and forget about oil changes, you don’t let the clothes pile
up beside the bed and reach for whatever’s cleanest on the day of the meeting. The
clothes make the man, but a $200 suit that’s been taken care of looks better than a
$2000 suit that’s been shoved in a drawer since it was last used. A man who knows
how to take care of his clothing so that it looks half decent after a wash or two is one
in a hundred. Having Swagger means looking your best, and investing time and care
in keeping your wardrobe up to snuff is a no-brainer.

In the military, one of the things they beat into your skull with some consistency
is the value of neatness. Between bedspreads you could bounce water off of to
boots that shine so well you can look up skirts with them, you could safely say they
press the issue. Why? Because when things are neat things are not distracting,
and getting into the methodical process of having things looking sharp keeps you
focused, meticulous and sharp in the process. A perfectly clean environment offer’s
no distractions, and the same can be said for an outfit, when your clothes are
perfect, people take you seriously, period.

Put it this way, if you were sitting in the big chair, and had to choose from two
qualified candidates, one with a sharp, well-ironed, crisp suit, and the other looking
like a ragamuffin 2/3 of the way through a tequila bender, the choice would be easy
no?

The good news is, it’s easy. All it really takes is a little care and a few easy tools.

You need, in no particular order, shoe polish, a drying wrack, a scrub brush and an
iron.

When you’re putting a good shirt, jacket, sweater or pants, into the wash, check the
labels and abide by their instructions, and if there’s any particular stains, give them
a gentle once-over by hand with a brush and some detergent to make sure it won’t
be missed in the machine. Never throw anything important into a dryer that you can
hang up instead, and learn to iron.

Ironing your shirt in the morning is a skill most of us who didn’t go to private school
haven’t been taught, but it’s an invaluable trick of the trade for anybody who doesn’t
work in their pajamas, so go ahead and learn it. Either ask your mom or search
Google, but get it down to a neat science that you can perform in 10 minutes, and

you’ve just bought yourself the most important step in looking sharp for the rest of
your life.

The shortcut to all of this is the dry cleaners, a friendly nod, an overnighter and
a plastic bag later and you can have everything looking just dandy, but there’s a
dark side. TO say nothing about the environmental mess dry cleaning makes, dry
cleaning your clothes does to their lifespan what smoking 10 cartons of Du Maurier
lights does to yours. If you’re taking them in, make sure to request “no starch” and
ask that they be ironed by hand instead of machine pressed. You won’t be their
favorite customer, but it’s worth the trouble and they’ll usually do it at no extra
charge.

Even if you have the money to buy a new suit every day of the week, having the
skills to take care of your appearance in a pinch will come in handy on a regular
basis, and it’ll make you the kind of flexible that lets you start off your morning from
any bedroom you wake up in.

 

Written by Jeremy P Beal

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