The other day I read a post called The Sartorial Elegance of the Labouring Classes by Jim Webster. And it quickly brought to mind my father. While my father was not of the labouring class mentioned in this post he was a laborer. My father was a truck driver/delivery man. He worked for a major beer company, the same one his father worked for, he loaded and unloaded his truck himself – no helpers. I guess that makes him a laborer.
My father wore a uniform – dark blue, with a company name patch on the shirt. I think they also provided him with a winter jacket but I can’t be sure. The shirts were short sleeved for the warm months and long sleeved for the cold months.
But here’s the thing – my father also owned a tuxedo, a fancy tuxedo shirt, studs, gold cufflinks, a tie-it-yourself bow tie, a dark navy blue cashmere overcoat and a matching wool fedora.
My father wore his tuxedo twice a month to attend meetings at his lodge (he was a Mason). His Lodge held 3 meetings a month and two required formal dress.
When I was a little girl I so remember Friday nights when Daddy would get all dressed up and I thought he was the handsomest man in the world!
It wasn’t until I was much older that I wondered how strange it was that a beer delivery truck driver owned his own tuxedo!
But – it did instill in me a preference for men in tuxedos. I’ve always said that there are only two “outfits’ for men –
- a well fitting classic tuxedo and
- nicely fitted jeans, cowboy boots, an open neck dress shirt and a leather jacket.
My father’s dead now some 47 years (actually almost to the day I am writing this) and while I have no pictures of my father in his tuxedo, none that I can hold or share, I have that indelible image in my mind.
And always and forever a man in a tuxedo will capture my fancy.