The Apparel of Relaxed Readiness

James Walpole/ August 10, 2020

Back in the day, when I wanted to lounge around my house in the morning or evening, I’d wear the same kind of clothes I’d wear to bed, or I’d wear a t-shirt, or some-such piece of clothing made to maximize comfort.

My philosophy has shifted somewhat. Comfort is nice, but readiness is better.

What if a neighbor or family member needs help in the night? What if a guest drops by unexpectedly when I’m relaxing in the evening? And what does it say about me if I’m still wearing bed clothes more than an hour after getting out of bed? (Yes, I sometimes did this).

The old standards of gentlemen in their homes used to allow them to look dignified and be useful even in their most relaxed states at home. You wouldn’t see any 18th or 19th century men in boxers at 8:00 PM in yon older days.

This seems to be to be something worth emulating. Far more than comfort (an ideal which Tanner Guzy rightly targets as the bane of men’s fashion), readiness and dignity are important parts of being a man. And if the way I dress can help me to embody these things, I should do it.

What does that look like? The right choice probably varies by culture and environment. For me, it’s a pair of jeans or khaki shorts, a belt, and collared shirt – usually no socks or shoes. It’s nothing fancy, but it is nicer than my old default and could (with some quick supplementation – throwing on a pair of shoes or boots) mean I’m ready to roll out. It’s also a cool, clean, and comfortable setup. What’s more, it gives me a kind of psychological edge to know I can shift modes quickly from lounging around the house to going out on a chore.

This is the apparel of relaxed readiness. If we are to be ready at all times, it’s an apparel worth finding for yourself.

James Walpole

James Walpole is a writer, startup marketer, and perpetual apprentice. You're reading his blog right now, and he really appreciates it. Don't let it go to his head, though.

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