Welcome to The Epic! I am launching this blog as a manifesto for and a guide to living well. The title and motto of the blog are taken from the Epicureans, at least some of whom believed in the notion that not one minute of the future was guaranteed to them and that as a result they had the duty to live life to its fullest every moment.

I believe in discovering fun and pleasurable things wherever I find myself each day and I am told I have a knack for unearthing them. My hope is that by sharing in my pleasures and some of my ways of finding them you will begin to collect all the riches that lie in the moments of your life. They are there. Take them! All our lives should be.....Epic.

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Test Of A Great Suit

You read a lot about what great clothing is. Construction. Draping. Fabric. Particularly for men. I think the test of a great garment is not what it is but rather what it does. For your attitude. Your carriage. Even your memories.

In the back of my closet there are several garments I cannot do without. Not that I wear them any more. Or even could if I wanted to. The first suit my dad bought me. My dad's old tuxedo. I never saw him wear it. I do not know if he did ever wear it. Things like that. That have lost their utility (at least to me) but which have gained in emotional value with each day that passes.

One of the first suits I ever purchased that I considered "expensive" was a Joseph Abboud three button. A bird's eye weave in charcoal gray. Made before Mr. Abboud reportedly left his eponymous company. A lovely suit. Fits me to a tee. Even now. One day I arrived home from work wearing my new and prized JA only to spy my then six year old son running around in the front yard lawn sprinklers. Almost naked. The Future Rock Star has always been a nature boy.

Afternoon sunlight of the Deep South was slanting through the trees in my West facing yard. It was broiling hot. I had an old Atlanta Rhythm Section favorite of mine playing...

Paper fans
In sweaty hands
Shoo the flies away
Reflections on the porch
A shelter from the scorch
When dog days came around...

I ran down the driver's side window, allowing a vapor of auto air conditioning to escape.

"Hey buddy....having fun?"

"Dad! This is the greatest thing EVER! C'mon, try it!!"

Oh. Well, I uh, um.... Oh. Return readers will know what happened next. Off with the shoes. Damn the sprinklers--full speed ahead. The FRS does not allow himself to show surprise that often. Only under the most extreme circumstances. But that day he looked surprised. As my Abboud bravely deflected the first few waves of sprinkler fire. Then slowly succumbed to one sluicing after another, hanging soggily about my not so slender frame. As the FRS ran circles around me chortling with glee. Finally I ran out of steam and had to retire, dripping, from the field. Due in no small part to the hundred pounds of soaking wool in which I was draped.

The suit survived, no doubt because of superior fabric and construction. I'm wearing it as I type this. But whether or not it had weathered that self-inflicted storm, it had earned a place in the back of my closet. As a Great Suit. Adorned with memories I'll carry the rest of the way.


Ben said...

That's about as brilliant as they come, Barrister. I suggest you retire now.

heavy tweed jacket said...

Clothes are for the living that we do in them. It's the life lived that generates the memories. Thanks for sharing that very special story about a father and a son, about a suit and a sprinkler on a summer day. Best, HTJ

M.Lane said...

Gentlemen...thank you. Your comments mean a lot to me.

Ben, I can't retire. I have developed an essay dependency.

HTJ, SO well put. As always. Thanks again for the compliments, both of you.

I was in a very small jazz room one night late during a week on the road. Two people in the place other than me. Good combo playing. At a break the front man came over to my table and said

"thanks for applauding the solos man...we live for that".

You guys know what he meant.

Petunia said...

Still a great story!
My hubby wears a suit every day and it has become his trademark. Not many doctors wear suits these days....it would be so easy for a surgeon to just wear scrubs instead.

P.S. You are the only one who noticed that the so-called beignets in my last post were not true beignets!

M.Lane said...

Petunia, thank your husband for me that somewhere there are doctors [and lawyers] who LOOK like doctors...I think we all do a lot more art than science.

LOL re the beignets! I saw it right away.

Thanks for the compliment and the visit [as always].