“Uniform” is perhaps too strong a word for the less severe instance of demeanour that I intend to address. I want something stronger than appearance but perhaps with more intention, such as “bearing” or “carriage”, maybe even “comportment”. You see the thing is that I want to encompass everything from the business suit to popular fashion.
The British aristocracy was famous for its costumes. There was something for the morning, the afternoon and the evening; fox hunting, polo and cricket. Where they left off the military took it up. It is impossible to watch any movie from the early Hollywood days (when every actor oddly spoke with a British accent) that didn’t include distinguishing apparel for both the ladies and the gentlemen.
In my lifetime I have had my own parade of outfits, beginning with “Number 1” dress at boarding school, where we also had the mandatory highland dress for the cadet corps. In later life as a professional legal advisor I cultivated the stock three-piece suit and watch chain. I was fortunate to dip into the world of evening wear when attending The Liguanea Club in Kington, Jamaica when it was a still a strictly private members club. The consummation of the dedication was however the Masonic Lodge which provided endless opportunities for variation to even the less than creative mind.
As might be expected there is a cost associated with these indulgences, something which mitigates against the absorption even assuming one has the occasion on which to use the outfits. As fond as I am of matters sartorial, my diminishing social involvement has perhaps conveniently coincided with my expanding waistline which in turn puts me off these expensive habits. There can be no doubt that vanity plays a considerable rôle in these affairs. I still maintain a modest semblance of propriety by regularly sporting a silk scarf in the cooler months of the year but even that pretension has taken a back seat in view of our recent hibernation in South Carolina. As well my determination to leave the professional world forever has made me rather reluctant to attend even semi-formal events. The model now is strictly comfort. Gone are the days of tailor-made plaid trousers. They went with the Bonnie Prince Charlie jacket and the kilt, along with all the other accessories.