“If men can run the world, why can’t they stop wearing neckties? How intelligent is it to start the day by tying a little noose around your neck?” Linda Ellerbee
Let’s face it: humans are funny animals. Unlike the rest of the Kingdom we dress up. It probably all started with migrations to cooler climates as we spread out from our home in Africa a few hundred thousand years ago. Other animals not only provided us with tasty and nutritious food but they also provided us with their skins and fur. Good stuff to keep you warm if you weren’t near a fire or shielded from the wind in a cave. Over time, a fashion sense took hold among various populations and eventually our clothes even reflected different cultures illustrated by the many types of traditional dress found around the world.
Clothes can be very beautiful. They have become an art form in the hands of creative designers. Yet there is no denying that some clothes are also a little silly. Many of the clothes we wear today are almost ‘forced’ upon us by tradition or fashion. What’s the point of wearing them if there’s no utility? One corner of life that provides some of the best examples of irrelevance when it comes to clothing is religion. When I see certain types of religious clothing (some of which have been worn for centuries) I’m compelled to wonder, what were they thinking!? It was Winston Churchill who once said, “Tradition without change is like constipation, while change without tradition is like diarrhea.” Good thought…seems old Winston may have been a budding Buddhist! Find the middle path. Since Vatican II, (more than 50 years ago) most orders of nuns are taking matters into their own hands and whittling away at their habits. I agree with this approach. Change should happen gradually, of course and hopefully, logically.
As for me, I advise comfort above all. Keep your cloths simple. Lean towards wool and lots of layers on cool days and stick with cotton in summers. As for colors wear those that feel good to you. I stay away from bright colours and think that people who wear them have trouble expressing themselves so they resort to clothes to do the talking. I feel best in earth colours, and strangely, white (either as a result of my short lived religious upbringing or simply a way to reflect the sun). The central principle is to find your own comfort level. Ignore traditions or fashion that are past their ‘best before date’. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your clothes in every season. Remember the advice from the Sermon on the Mount: “Why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Following that thought, I must confess, nudity on a warm night in a warm lake is about as good as it gets…I recommend it, if you’re comfortable with it, of course…and, forget the tie!