From the NAWM
What to Wear, What to Give Away
MY LIFE IS ONE OF EFFICIENCY THESE DAYS: caring for two aging parents; keeping two households; and taking on a new project with IBM. There’s not a lot of time for clothes shopping or movies. (And, seriously, I don’t know how you folks with kids manage to make time for everything, including your children!)
My wardrobe is one of utility:
Work: Brooks Brothers khaki slacks and shirts (bought online)
Suits: I was advised by a great salesman at Barneys in New York City, bought well, and a couple of them are 20 years old and still going strong.
Sport coats: three—ages 24, 19, and 15.
Ties: Loud and expensive; this is where I treat myself. My theory is that they should never be cleaned, just plugged in at night to recharge. My mark of a good tie is when a stranger comes up to me and says, “That’s a great tie.”
Casual: Levi’s jeans, Orvis quarter-zip pullovers, short-sleeved Polo shirts and long-sleeved rugby shirts, 5.11 slacks and a few Wabash sweatshirts for watching the livestreams of the games.
Shoes: 30-year-old black Florsheims that have been re-soled at least twice, oxblood loafers, Rockports (“Perth”, I keep spare pairs in the closet), and gym shoes.
My advice? Wear what you find comfortable. Pay the extra money for quality, well-made suits and sport coats: the per-year cost will be very affordable. Packing is easier because most things “go” with most other things.
Following in the great tradition of Professor Emeritus of Classics John Fischer H’70, who helped a classmate of mine evolve from the Bob Seger t-shirts he wore when he arrived on campus, I have had the pleasure of helping some Wabash men get a good foundational wardrobe through my hand-me-downs (or making the occasional trip to Brooks Brothers). You can do the same, thanks to the Schroeder Center for Career Development’s Suit Room. It is one of their programs most utilized by students year after year, and the Center welcomes donations of shirts, ties, shoes, and slacks as well as contributions to pay for dry cleaning and maintenance. For more information contact Assistant Director of Career Services Cassie Hagan: email@example.com
ROB SHOOK ’83
President, National Association of Wabash Men