Rowell’s Words: Dress for Success

Published 6:38 pm Monday, January 10, 2022

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I watched the ceremony last month presenting the Heisman Trophy to a kid from Alabama.

Congratulations to Bryce Young; but, for the sake of conversation I was disappointed by the dress of the current and prior winners on stage.

Somehow, a tux or suit doesn’t work for me if you are wearing improper foot wear. It’s like mowing the lawn, but not edging and trimming. I don’t care how much you paid for your shoes, or even if they were given, they are still tennis shoes.

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When you dress, it’s from head to toe. I have always liked and respected Tim Tebow. I think he is a class act; but, a Beau Brummel, he is not. He looked sharp in this tux; but I couldn’t take my eyes off his white Nikes or whatever.

That was the one thing I was told when I went for my first job interview, first impression is most important. I cleaned up good and even shaved what little bit of facial fuzz I had at the time. It was an era that you listened to your parents and considered them more than fossils.

Times have changed. There is a different dress code now out there and someone forgot to tell those of us who can remember where we were when

Kennedy was shot. We are however young at heart and think we still have something to contribute.

We remember when all men wore coats and ties. The ladies wore dresses and pearls. I can’t wrap my head around seeing June Cleaver vacuuming the house wearing a sweat suit or Ward upstairs on the PC in a Pink Floyd T-shirt and cutoffs.

I still like to dress up, but slowly coming around to a more relaxed attire. For instance, I rarely wear a dress shirt and necktie to church anymore. It’s usually an open collar sport or golf shirt. I do refrain from wearing anything with a logo on it to church.

That belongs on the golf course or at a NASCAR race. I think my generation may have let the cat out of the bag in the 1970’s with that disco thing we went through. It must have been at that point we cracked opened the door. Our hair got long, neckties went away in favor of beads, bell bottoms and Dingo boots. That was the death knoll to conservative sport coats and slacks.

It was about this time that companies started “Casual Fridays”. Employees were allowed to dress down that day. Some employees pushed the envelope too far. I have painted my house better dressed than some came to the office. That’s when it was redefined to “Business Casual”.

Your appearance was 90% of the first impression and went a long way in acceptance or denial. You know the saying that you never get a second chance at making a first impression.

When I was in college we once had a baseball practice rained out. Instead of getting the afternoon off, our coach took us in a classroom and showed us the proper way to dress and wear a uniform; including polished black shoes. I remember his words clearly, “You can’t be a baseball player if you don’t look like one.”

I admit that I am an analog person in digital world; but, I am comfortable there. I will also overlook your attire as long as it covers all undergarments and personal body parts. Just don’t deny me my senior citizen discount.

God bless and have a great day.

A sage and longtime columnist, William Rowell can be reached at