So Long: A Eulogy For My First Suit

Easter.  A season of pastel eggs and Springtime, of spray-painted baby rabbits and hollow chocolate ones, of shiny pink slippers and dashing clip-on ties.  It is a season not even remotely relevant to a post written in August, but yet one that marks a definitive beginning in a young boy's life.....or, at least for most.  You see, I've come to realize over the last few weeks that I may, in fact, have been the only male child in the 80s that did not have an Easter suit--a fashionably tailored little delight from JCPenney complete with white dress shirt and a sparkling red, paisley tie.  Obviously, it is a bit difficult to recall such traumatic past events, so I believe I might have had some sort of navy blazer get-up, but for the sake of this post let's say that I shamefully fail to remember ever owning a suit growing up.  (Mother, if you're reading this, I greatly appreciate the sartorial maturity you possessed in opting to deck me out in a navy blazer'll hopefully see soon where I'm going with this...)

Although I had been seemingly robbed of an ultimately forgettable memory as a child, the time finally came at the glorious age of 16 to invest in a proper gentleman's uniform.  So, as if to rectify my childhood deprivation of the aforementioned "little delight," I found myself fully trusting in the somewhat capable hands of a Men's Department tailor at JCPenney to outfit me with what was to be my most stylish statement for the next half-decade.  In hindsight, I know now that you should never trust a man who perpetually quotes lines such as "You'll grow into it."  and "Yes, the cuff of your jacket should lightly graze your fingertips when standing straight."  As my style knowledge grew over the coming years, I became increasingly disturbed by these "rules:"

Yet, despite the perhaps initial misguided tailoring, I developed a fondness for my first suit much like you gentleman out there can understand a nostalgic bond with your first car.  Sure, it may have been a smoking. primer-covered deathtrap, but you never seem to fully appreciate it until it's gone--driven off to the junk yard as your trade-in for your family minivan--an exchange for something of greater value obviously, but lacking in the power of reminiscence.  In much the same way, today I parted with my first suit.  We had an incredible run together, and as you can see from the picture from my good friends, Jess and Pat's wedding (above) I'll  never forget my first in a lifetime of suits.  

How did I part with my suit you ask?  Well, a few days ago, my good friend James told me about a nationwide event put on by Men's Warehouse called The MW National Suit Drive.  This in an exceptional campaign that seeks to help unemployed gentleman get back on their feet by providing them with a full suit with which to hit the job market.  You can read some of the success stories here. Confronted with the decision of freeing my first suit from the confines of my closet (having not been worn for many a year) to the promise of a new life making a difference, I gave in and drove my suit to the nearest Men's Warehouse this morning.  (It also helped that for a donation they give you a 50% coupon off anything in the store.  But let's keep that between us since I told my suit this was a very hard decision for me)

And so, here's to my first suit.  May his next life be filled with fun, happiness, and memories--as I will take ours and hold them in my heart for all eternity. Cheers!          


  1. Fantastic, glad it had a full run, think of it as a rebirth, both for you and for your old suit, maybe it will go to a lanky fellow that is 7 feet tall. I am picturing Weird Harold from Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids.

  2. Can I also donate non-branded attires in national suit drive? Or all donations must have a brand name?

  3. @Mens Clothing:
    The requirements of donations as listed on the MW website are:

    -Gently used
    -Clean and on hangers
    -Must be Professional attire

    In my experience, they merely asked what you paid for the item and then recorded its value on your tax receipt. Hope this helps.

  4. Thanks for that info Blake. Really appreciate.