LAKE MACBRIDE— There was a time when wearing a suit to work was de rigueur. While commuting to the Chicago loop I wore and wore out countless suits purchased to fit into the corporate culture of 200 East Randolph Street, the Illinois Center and the Prudential building. Those days are over. Silk ties hang on a rack in the back of the closet, lined up behind woven plaid shirts purchased long ago. There are only one or two decent dress shirts on hangers until a funeral or formal presentation wants the attire.
My work clothes on the farm have become blue jeans, a T-shirt and a pair of Justin boots purchased while working in west Texas. No collar, indicating the meaninglessness of so-called blue or white collared work. Most of the people I know in the local food system are either working on a degree, have a bachelors, or have done postgraduate work and have a masters or doctorate. Some wear collars, and some do not. Clothing is functional and long lasting if it is anything— less a symbol of an arbitrary status or social class.
While writing, it’s the same attire, sans shoes with white socks. After buying cheap tube socks for decades, I switched to a heavy cotton sock purported to be for wearing with steel-toed shoes. They are deluxe. The cost of one of my Chicago suits could have purchased a lot of them.