Friday, February 11, 2011


Chapter 0
Hello, and welcome to my blog! I'm happy you found your way here, to my little alley on the information superhighway. Since you're reading this now, several years after I first wrote it, it's fairly safe to assume you've recently discovered this blog, perhaps through a websearch, read a few posts -- and then decided to read the whole thing from end to end, so you've jumped to the very beginning to get a proper start.

This tells me a couple of things about you. First, that you are already a fan of Dress Like A Grownup!, so much so that you want the Whole Experience. For that, I thank you, and you will not be disappointed. Second, you probably have a touch of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and have a drive to "do it right," by reading the blog in its entirety, and in chronological order. There's certainly nothing wrong with that -- I'm the same way, and if you have a mind for detail and history, you will be rewarded with as much sartorial goodness as you can cram in your noggin, and will come out the other side as a much better-dressed and better-informed man.

As a reward for your diligence, I shall be completely self-aggrandizing for this first post, and tell you about something which I am guaranteed to care a good deal more about than you are; namely, myself. Introductory statements are usually similarly egocentric, you know -- future installations will spare you such humdrummery.

Assumed armorial
achievement of The Author.
I was born in West Virginia, with ancestral pre-colonial family roots in the UK: Eskdale, York, and Wales. My youth was spent moving with my family around the U.S., as my chemical engineer father's job transfers dictated. My education was centered more or less in the graphic design and art history fields. I'm currently settled in the Piedmont of North Carolina, and have done many entertaining things that usually combine an odd mix of a love of art, history, and engineering -- and there are very few vocations that mix these three disciplines as well as tailoring does. In addition to this blog, I have guest-written posts on other blogs, and authored several books.

My Web-based business venture, Mr Thompson's Ties & Squares, is a creative outlet that lets me put my theories into practice, in the form of bow ties of distinctive design, and various accessories like my Razor Square™ pocket squares. They are unique, well-made, and quite frankly really cool, (and you should spend lots of your money on them.) But honestly, this blog isn't about that, and you won't see it mentioned too awfully much, other than a banner ad on the left sidebar, or tootle my own horn about it here. After all, I'm not here to sell you stuff; I'm here to educate and entertain you.

Every blog needs a raison d'ĂȘtre, and certainly, this particular blog casts a critical eye on what men are wearing, on the street, in public, in private, and at formal functions. But, unlike many Men's Fashion Blogs out there, (of which the number are legion,) I'm not going to focus solely on the high-end, money-be-damned options for the sartorially adventurous.

Oh, no, my friends -- the focus here is on the Average Guy: the man who knows the value of a penny because he works for it. The student, who is just starting out saddled with tremendous debt, in a job-market saturated with his peers. The businessman, who diligently doles his paycheck out for those necessary things that help him get by in the world. And the down-on-his-luck man, beaten by the economy and fallen on hard times, for whom every dollar is hard-won and precious.

In short, the sort of man who, given his druthers, would dress in a tee-shirt, ratty blue jeans and sneakers every day of his life. The guy who, if he has to wear a jacket to the office, wears one only begrudgingly -- and one his wife picks out and buys for him. The guy who needs to have his wife tie his tie for him. The guy who would get married in a rental tux, or worse, whose dizzying heights of formality were reached at his prom.

Our primary goal -- to take the Everyday Guy, who has gone from being dressed by his mother to being dressed by his wife, whose limit of sartorial creativity was arrested at about ten years of age, and by the end of the series, to make him into a fully-functioning man who, of his own volition, can dress himself like a grownup, and can do it by spending no more money than he did previously to his transformation. We'll start right in with Part One of our series on Dressing The Average Guy, and start construction of our New Man by ripping down the old edifice to the foundations, beginning with the next installment.

Above all, Dress Like A Grownup! is an entertaining read, light-hearted yet knowledgeable, in the vein of the classic Esquire and Man About Town magazines of the 1950s. Casually witty, caustically cutting, brim-full of educational insights and brilliant suggestions; all wrapped up in a glossy package of run-on sentences, complex phrasing, choppy paragraphs, and punctuation that eschews periods like the plague.

So settle yourself in your favorite armchair with a glass of your favorite beverage, and stop in often for my pointless ramblings insightful views. As far as blogs go, you're guaranteed to always get your money's worth here!

Click here to go to the next essay chronologically, Part One of Dressing the Average Guy.

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