For Greenheron: A Little Bit About Clothes

For Greenheron whose interest in the sartorial matters is the motivation and impetus for this thumbnail discourse and mini concert about wardrobe:

South Carolina established its slave code in 1712, under its  provisions,
no slave was allowed to work for pay; plant corn, peas, or rice; keep hogs, cattle, or horses; own or operate a boat; or buy, sell, or wear clothes finer than "Negro cloth.”

In Virginia the most common practice was to distribute clothes in twice-a-year allotments, with liveried (uniformed) and domestic slaves receiving higher-quality clothing than field slaves, who wore the plainest and coarsest clothing.

An anectdote about my attire:

Shortly after leaving the  University of Hartford, where I had taught Law and Public Policy at the academic rank of Associate Professor for several years, I took a position in the Connecticut Treasury Department as Director of the Division of Special Funds and Unclaimed Property.

My executive and managerial responsibilities entailed overseeing the day to day operations of the Division and supervising  the employees of the units that comprised it.

On my first day, I strode into the office wearing one of the suits I had grown accustomed to wearing while a classroom professor on  campus.

Please note that I was the only black person who had acheived such rank and status in the State Treasury Department, even though the, newly elected State Treasurer was also a black man from New Haven, Henry (Hank) Parker. He also was a "first"....

When I took the  seat at my desk, one of my subordinates, a young white fellow in his late 20's or early 30's approached me and asked:

"What are you all dessed up for?"

My reply was:

"I'm really not sure, so why don't you have a seat and tell me..."

Views: 138

Comment by JMac1949 Today on June 29, 2017 at 12:48pm

When I got a management title in the corporate world, I refused to wear a necktie.  One manager asked me why not and I said,"Neckties have served no functional purpose since the invention of buttons.  All they do is point at your dick."


Comment by greenheron on June 29, 2017 at 3:10pm

Look! A post with my name on it. Like a birthday present! Thank you.

Of course you wore a suit to teach. Because you have class and sartorial style.

You want to know what I wear to teach? One of three pair of black jeans, T shirt, maybe my swanky vintage red one from the Strand bookstore, or if the book class, the one that says 'I like Big Books I Cannot Lie', my gray sweater with the hole in the elbow. 90% of my styling happens on my feet–presently either limited edition Docs illustrated by Gary Baseman*, vintage Docs when they still made them in England, twenty year old ripped to perfection chucks, motorcycle boots, cowgirl boots, what else we got, oh yass, Birkenstocks, with socks!! I do have some more girlish items, many vintage circle skirts and my prized Ann Demeulemeester jacket, but these never get worn to class because paint, charcoal, gesso, glue, smeary whatnot.

Tell a story of Unclaimed Property! 


Comment by koshersalaami on June 29, 2017 at 3:28pm

I'm one of the few guys in my industry that still wears a tie when I call on customers. Tradition and upbringing. 

Comment by Safe Bet's Amy on June 29, 2017 at 3:38pm

oh yass, Birkenstocks, with socks!!

Image result for lesbian please bitch gif

Image result for blow my brains out

Comment by greenheron on June 29, 2017 at 3:49pm

You want my socks! I know you want these socks! 

Comment by greenheron on June 29, 2017 at 4:09pm

Just finished the BAVs. Love the Lou Rawls intro. He really paints a picture.

Celebrating extra girlfriends is a topic that could take us back to yesterday though, so I'll keep my mouth shut about that. 

Comment by Ron Powell on June 29, 2017 at 4:31pm

You're welcome Greenie...

If you listen closely, Lou Rawles explains the importance/value  of the 'hustler's'wardrobe....

Comment by Ron Powell on June 29, 2017 at 4:33pm

@Kosh; When I was younger , I couldn't imagine working as a professional white collar anything without being well dressed....

Comment by Ron Powell on June 29, 2017 at 4:37pm

JMac; I once had a couple of ties that had buttons and button holes...

Thanks for the read & contribution...

Comment by greenheron on June 30, 2017 at 4:36am

Ron the hustler's wardrobe reminds me of an experience when I was an art student. I made a painting of a black pool player, really foreshortened, inspired by the Mantegna Dead Christ. My teacher, who was a black woman (an amazing artist, I kept touch with her, she just passed away a couple months ago in NYC) pulled me aside and told me that I must never make a painting of a black person, that it simply wasn't available subject matter to me as a white person. At the time, I was crushed, because I'd thought my painting was good, and not a negative in portrayal, but took what she said to heart. 

Then this year, i thought about that experience again, when the big Whitney Biennial broohaha boiled over Dana Schutz, a white artist's painting of Emmet Till's body...did you read about that? If not, just google, and scroll forever. I was shocked at how divided our community of artists was about it. Students have long been demanding more diverse content in curriculum, so for Black History month, I've been assigning a project where students pick a name of a black bluesman or woman out of a bag, research their lives, make a class presentation, then make a portrait of their pick. Everyone seems to enjoy the project, both white students and students of color, yet after the Whitney stir, I'm not so sure I should continue to give it. Essentially I'm doing exactly what Ellen told me I must never do 

This discussion reminded me of this because Ellen (my art school teacher) would have KILLED me if I'd painted Lou Rawl's song character...flashy suit, white Caddie, two women. I can hear her yelling at me now, she'd have grabbed the brush right out of my hand!  


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