My Old Green Sweater

That's it, my old green sweater.
That’s it, my old green sweater.

Daily Prompt: The Clothes (May) Make the (Wo)man

How important are clothes to you? Describe your style, if you have one, and tell us how appearance impacts how you feel about yourself.

Wearing old clothing is like being in a familiar place. It’s comfortable. There are no surprises. There are no expectations. Old clothing doesn’t demand you be anybody but yourself.

I have a website called My Old Green Sweater. It’s a place where my short stories are placed; the stories that are me. Written not because of a Daily Prompt, but written only from my heart and mind.

My old green sweater has been with me since I was 15 or 16. It’s been with me a long time. It’s been warm and faithful.

If memory serves me it was purchased at the Varsity Shop on North Main Street in Lima, Ohio. It is a Jantzen. In that day one of the best sweaters you could buy’ perhaps around $20 in that day.

I wore it to school, on dates, around the house, under a coat on cold winter days, and just hanging out. Today, I never wear it outside the house except to get the mail, but I can’t think of a day I don’t wear it. There a couple of holes in it.

As I’m writing now it’s on me.

When something is found comfortable I stick with it until it is no longer recognizable or useful for its intended purpose.

This is not to say I don’t like new or nice clothing. In my closet I have five suits, a dozen or more ties, a dozen sweaters, four sports jackets, a dozen pairs of slacks, a dozen or so dress shirts. As the occasion arises I like to arise to the occasion.

I buy a suit on the average of every year or so.

When you dress neatly and nice people treat you better. They are generally more polite and attentive.

If I attend a funeral it is important to show respect for the occasion.

If attending a religious service are you not standing before God? Than one would want to look their best. Sometimes that isn’t possible. God is not impressed with an Armani suit, but he is impressed with our best. How we dress indicates how we feel about God, not how we think he feels about us. I have a theory that those who put little effort in their appearance before God puts little effort into their relationship with God. (sermon over)

One more thing; instead of buying a tattoo, get a suit.

Well anyway that’s what came from my old green sweater this morning. I’m glad you indulged me.



  1. I teach at College and at University where dress codes for students and professors alike are somewhere between sloppy casual and deep grunge. Perhaps it’s my age (seniors get a little more respect generally), perhaps I’ve earned a bit of respect and trust from the students (they say I’m a real, total hard-ass but fair and honest) but I’d like to think that at least part of it is because of the way I dress and carry myself. It’s always the same: dark shoes, socks and slacks, crisp white shirt, dark, muted tie and belt. In cooler weather, yes, there is the classic herringbone jacket with the suede elbow patches (a concession to all the movie characterizations of college / university professors). I force myself to stand tall even though it hurts and my briefcase weighs a ton. I walk in, around and out of the classrooms and hallways with a quietly projected air of dignity, thoughtfulness and human compassion. I confess that I don’t always really feel that way, but I always manage to project it regardless of where my thoughts are taking me on any, given day.

    The payback is palpable and significant. Doors are invariably held open for me, I get a lot of “sirs” from the kids and even support staff, students approach me with that down-turned eye movement that shows respect and deference – I don’t see those courtesies accorded as often to my colleagues who obviously take less time working on their appearance and comportment in public.

    Lord Chesterfield, who knew a considerable amount about such things once said, “The difference between a man of sense and a fop is that the fop values himself upon his dress; and the man of sense laughs at it, at the same time he knows he must not neglect it.”

    I am in a situation where I have the unique privilege of being able to dress anyway I wish. No harm would come to me no matter my choice. But the way I dress for school makes me feel better about myself and I can see and feel the positive reaction to the way I dress and talk and walk from my students and pretty much everyone else around me.

    • Thanks much for taking so much time to reply and express my point exactly. You sound like the type of teacher/professor who would get my attention and if I were such would dress the same and feel the same.

Blather away, if you like.

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