Why I Advocate the Return to Popularity of the Waistcoat

I told a reporter here a while back — young girl, seemed nice enough. She was just tryin to be a reporter. She said: Sheriff how come you to let crime get so out of hand in your county? Sounded like a fair question I reckon. Maybe it was a fair question. Anyway I told her, I said: It starts when you begin to overlook bad manners. Any time you quit hearin Sir and Mam the end is pretty much in sight. I told her, I said: It reaches into ever strata. You’ve heard about that aint you? Ever strata? You finally get into the sort of breakdown in mercantile ethics that leaves people settin around out in the desert dead in their vehicles and by then it’s just too late.

— Sheriff Ed Tom Bell, No Country for Old Men, chapter twelve, pages three hundred-and-three—three hundred-and-four.


First, food. Now, fashion.

John has, quite marvelously, presented the case for culinary conservatism, exhorting and imploring us to think about what and how we eat, from how the cow was raised or tomatoes grown to whether we shove our micro-waved totalitarian food down our throats, solitarily, whilst allowing CSI: Generic American City to further the deathly onslaught upon our encephalons or engage in civil, personal, and meaningful conversation with family, or friends, at a proper table.
The farm, market, and dinner-table, alone, how-ever, are not the only places where we need to direct our concern, it seems, wish we to restore a modicum of traditional, decent culture to society, working from the bottom up-wards. From the New York Times, courtesy of John, whose wearing of tee-shits and grease-stained jeans to lectures I cannot endorse:

FIRST came Casual Fridays, that dread episode in the history of fashion, with their invitation for men to trade in suits for Dockers and to swap a proper shirt and tie for an open neck and a daring flash of masculine décolletage.

Then the bare ankle migrated from country-club Saturdays to meeting-room Mondays and suddenly men, whether shod in wingtips or loafers, were widely seen without socks. Now it appears that, after some stops and starts in recent seasons, the men of the white collar work force are marching into the office in shorts.

It was no more than a moment ago, in the sartorial long view, that a guy who came to work wearing short pants would have been shown the door — or anyway, given the address for human resources at U.P.S. All that appears to be changing.

This is shame-ful. Once upon a time, men wore suits to base-ball games; now, we cannot even expect them to be properly attired at the office? Heaven forfend!

I shall continue to don three-pieced suits, from time to time, when I head to campus. To work, too, should, you know, I ever secure employment. It’s time for . . . Tory tailoring? Aristotelian apparelism?