My first suit and why I feel guilty

After managing 33 years of my life without a suit, I finally bought one a few days back. Yes! I am now a proud owner of a Giovanni suit. For you lesser mortals who have never heard of Giovanni…well, it`s an entry level suit brand that`s sold in Lifestyles and Shopper Stops of the World.

Before we get into how I was forced into buying a suit, let us go through a bit of history.

Anthropologists believe that the need for clothes didn`t arise immediately after Adam & Eve plucked the forbidden apple and brought forth a new emotion called ‘shyness` but happened only 100,000 years ago when being ‘shy` started becoming fashionable. Clothing has come a long way and now being ‘Not Shy` is fashionable. More on that later, though.

As can be guessed, the first clothes were made from natural elements – animal skin, grasses, leaves, and bones. If you lived near a source of water, you also had clothes made of shells. Since, Eva Mendes hadn`t yet posed in PETA`s anti-fur campaign one can safely assume that back then people were wearing clothes made of fur too.

When my parents entered this World sometime in late 1940s and early 1950s, cotton & Rayon were the World`s favourite clothing materials. All the Nylon produced was being used up in making parachutes which dropped airmen over enemy lines.

My maternal grandfather who was a Head Constable in the Police Department during the British Era would visit the only garment shop in the town, once a year, and buy meters of a colorful, flowery cloth. He would then take his whole family – six sons and one daughter – to the nearby tailor who sat under a tree to give measurements. Thus, for a whole year after this purchase my grand father`s family would be draped in a colorful, flowery material.

I laughed, when I first heard this story. But it had its benefits…his children never got lost in town fairs. Once my mother did get lost…but within minutes the family was re-united. The gentleman who re-united the family is known to have said: “I have to be blind to miss a family of nine, all draped in clothes with red flowers on yellow background.”

My paternal grandfather didn`t believe in clothes. His son (that`s my father) would only get to wear the Khaki shorts that the Government School in Paramakudi, a municipality in Ramanathapuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, required him to wear. If you are old enough, you probably remember that in those days shorts didn`t have buttons or zippers. My father had to keep re-tying the lace that the front of his shorts had. I remember him saying: “The only saving grace was that, we didn`t have to bend over…as you do while tying your shoe lace.”

With only one Khaki shorts to wear for a year, they wore off pretty soon. So much so, my father earned the nickname ‘Knife bottoms` for managing to wear off the rear side of his shorts by the sixth month.

Having spent a year with just one Khaki shorts, my father didn`t want me to endure the same pain. So I started getting two shorts to wear for a year – one on my birthday and another for Diwali. Unfortunately, Diwali and my birthday (26th of April) are separated by six months and I never had two new shorts at any point in my life.

Having a lot of cousins and short-framed uncles can be a huge boon. Before I was 18, a lot of seconds started coming my way. These were rich cousins and working uncles so the trousers & shirts were good. My first jean of sorts…was a stone wash trouser with ‘Love is Sweet Poison` written on the trouser`s right leg…top to bottom. One of my uncles had bought that after his girl friend had ditched him…and I, who hadn`t even fallen in love, was forced to covey the message to the World.

As years passed, clothes ceased to be a problem. There were plenty of them…and I could afford to buy one pair every month. But I didn`t. The guilt was too much for me to handle – after all, life had continued even with one torn-at-the-behind khaki shorts.

A few days back my CEO said I had to attend a sales call the very next day. Corporate etiquettes dictated that I wear a suit or at the very least a blazer on the occasion. Unfortunately the time was short and I had to make do with the best formal attire I could manage – a sky blue shirt and navy blue trouser. Of the nine people in the meeting, I was the only one that didn`t ‘suit` the occasion. I bought my first Giovanni suit the next day.

“Rekha, I don`t feel comfortable spending Rs 7000/- on one pair,” I told my wife.

“You need to change with the times. You can`t stick to torn khaki shorts all your life. Clothes make half the man, remember?” My wife replied.

“What do you mean? Are you insulting me?” I retorted.

“No no…at 165 cms height you were half a man…and with the suit on…you make a full man.” She responded.

P.S: No wonder I couldn`t buy a Raymond suit…after all, it is for the complete man!

Other Funny Reads

# Today is my 33rd happy birthday
# Flashback: My days in London
# When I became a cockroach
# Getting my hair cut under a tree

Uncategorized

22 thoughts on “My first suit and why I feel guilty

  1. The last line takes the cake. BTW happy new year and hope that you own some of the best name in the suit business including Armani’s :). BTW i think i am the only loser awake so late at night and drunk like the same way i was yester night.

  2. Ah ! Congratulations !! I recall that ad for Emirates airlines..’when was the last time you did something for the first time…’ i guess you have a suit length of an answer !

    I guess that acquisition is a great way to start the new year ! And with a valuation of Rs.7000/- i guess the market will absorb such deals ! And thank you for such candid truth talk. Satyam previals in suit talk !!

    I suddenly seemed to sound like an investment banker..no..no. In keeping with broader sentiment and inherrent talent, i am far away from being one !!

    So much for a suit ! Now before you boot this comment out…let me add..Wishing you a very happy new year !

  3. Jammy, that James Bond-ish pose is just priceless…

    (I wanted to say you look fat, but its the new year. So i didn’t. Stuff inside parentheses doesn’t count. Or did I?)

  4. The color of the jacket is pretty good… How about getting one tailor made instead of splurging on a ready made suit? the fitting is better and the cost is not very prohibitive either!

  5. Have you ever thought of posing for PETA with your khakhi shorts? I mean, if you have one lying around just for nostalgia sake, you could consider it for a good cause and give Eva Mendez a run for her money perhaps.

    Just a thought…

  6. Hi,

    How did you manage to throw away the suit that you would have bought for your wedding reception? Isn’t it South Indian custom to sweat under the suit in the marriage reception? (besides sweating at the thought of “experiencing a girl” on the first night).

    You know, after 19 years of marriage, when we were discussing suits, my wife asked me, where I kept that suit that my father in law gifted me for our wedding reception. She told she still had the silk Saree that we bought for her for the same occasion.

    I wriggled out saying you are so good and maintain your figure even after all these years (besides not having the need to a alter a 6 yard saree) while, I, honey, blew up and shrunk several times.

    I could not comment much about the “quality” of the suit material. It was a miracle that it lasted more than the reception day.

    🙂

  7. Hey Jammy,

    While reading the post, I thought you might have done something weird like buying a suit that has red flowers on yellow background. 🙂

    I haven’t had a suit till date. I guess I will also buy when I become Head of some division..

    Kudos for the post.

    I did read your interview on digimouth. Man just bring out your book, I will assure that it will become a best seller.

    Saravanan

  8. Jammy,

    That post ‘suits’ the occasion of new year. Wish you a happy new year!

    Could not help sharing this joke:

    A man goes to a tailor to try on a new custom-made suit. The first thing he notices is that the arms are too long.
    “No problem,” says the tailor. “Just bend them at the elbow and hold them out in front of you. See, now it’s fine.”
    “But the collar is up around my ears!”
    “It’s nothing. Just hunch your back up a little… No, a little more… That’s it.”
    “But I’m stepping on my cuffs!” the man cries in desperation.
    “Nu, bend you knees a little to take up the slack. There you go. Look in the mirror–the suit fits perfectly.”
    So, twisted like a pretzel, the man lurches out onto the street.
    Two women see him go by.
    “Oh, look,” says the first, “that poor man has such terrible disformity!”
    “Yes,” says the second, “but what a perfect fitting suit!”

    Cheers,
    Salil

  9. Phate writing bro, you made me stick to the line without getting distracted.

    And i appreciate your writing cause you write the pain in the most humorous way.

    Hats off bro.

    keep up the good work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *