Monday, May 31, 2010

Home to My Jesus-In Seersucker

No wonder the Pharisees always stayed kinda mad at Jesus. After all, he made them look foolish on more than one occasion. Did they really want Jesus to condemn the adulterer or did they want to test Jesus’ influence? Jesus was able to challenge these authoritarians by inviting them without sin to commence stoning this woman caught in the act of adultery. It would have taken me three weeks to come up with such a clever statement to diffuse the situation.
John Chapter 8 and a couple of verses from Mathew provided all the reference necessary to let me know that yesterday’s sermon was exclusively for my country a_s.  Judgement and forgiveness is the tight little forty five minute message and I’m sitting there thinking “damn (even though you shouldn’t be thinking or saying “damn” at the handlin’) here we go again…another sermon aimed at ADG Ground Zero”….
Some top-line corollaries from John Chapter 8…Christ neither found fault with the law, nor excused the prisoner's guilt; nor did he countenance the pretended zeal of the Pharisees. Those are self-condemned who judge others, and yet do the same thing.  And then from Matthew 7:1 "Do not judge so that you will not be judgedOk…looks like I’m gonna have to refrain from laughing at people who wear goofy shit. And “zeal”? Take that away from me and I got nothin’.

Now how in the world am I going to put fully in play the lessons from the handlin’? I posited a good while back in my post about why I love and write about clothes that I want people to learn about me and my character before casting me off as some sartorial snob. You can read it here. I declared in that post that I try really hard to offer the same latitude to those I meet…regardless of the number of tattoos you have, nose piercings or even, God forbid, vertical blinds. I can even dig deep enough and find the goodness in you if I notice a Thomas Kinkade painting hanging in your house. And that’s digging deep.
I suppose it’s no longer my authority to declare when you can or can’t wear things like patch madras and seersucker. And Allie, I’m gonna have to abandon my idea of resurrecting the Butt Police. Who am I to decide such things? And Spandex? Geez…can I really surrender my authority over such offensive fabrics? I’m against the death penalty but what about butt crack baggy jeans and backward baseball hats? 
Are y’all really comfortable with me letting go of my Pharisee-esque self proclaimed authoritarian weigh-in on all things Strip Mall? Was I delusional to think, just because I have people of distant, thank God, relation back in S.C.—who would actually be proud to make the People of Wal-Mart blog post—that I could straighten the world out on such matters? Just having an Aunt Tootie should qualify me.

 Let me conclude by saying that I’m gonna try really hard to actualize the lessons learned in Mathew and John. But I can’t promise anything. As I cobble this drivel together, my little pocket Mephistopheles is sitting on my shoulder telling me that if I don’t carry forth the mantle of sartorial judgement…the slippery slope of sartorial slovenosity will become ever steeper.
So it’s no longer upon me to declare white bucks and seersucker the current Sunday costume of choice for the masses. But for me yesterday—I was pleased to pounce. Flusser gray seersucker sportcoat, pink diagonal tone on tone Flusser button down, nicely patinated Polo white bucks and an old pair of bulletproof Hertling Irish linen trousers.
I’ve commented on the architecture of this sportcoat before but here’s a little refresher. At first glance one could quickly conclude that it’s just another ADG Fuzzy Dice contrivance. Double vented, three two roll, patch pockets with a patch ticket…finished off with an open patch breast pocket. Give me a break man! If ever the evidence would support throwing the first stone of ersatz sartorial contrivance…this might be it. But hold on a minute before you start pelting. This exact model hails from the Brooks Brothers Archives courtesy of Alan Flusser. So there.
I love this jacket. Those of you who bespeak things know that even from the same pattern, singular garments feel and fit differently based on a zillion factors. This creation fits exactly the way I like. Don’t ask me to explain further. It’s not for you or me to really understand in toto.
And Hertling trousers? I can only speak for myself—since I’ve given up my authority—but I’ll never need a nicer pair of trousers than what rolls out of the Hertling factory. I just worry about what’s gonna happen over in Brooklyn after Julie Hertling gives it up. China I reckon.
Toad did a great update on white bucks the other day. And as much as I want another pair, it ain’t in the budget and these patinated babies are good for a few more seasons.

I exchanged emails with someone from back home recently and we got on the subject of funerals. A sartorial legend from S.C. passed away and he was filling me in on the funeral service. I offered the following comment in an email reply….. “Funerals…I used to worry like hell about what my family will do on my behalf—regardless of what I’ve outlined in my Will. My mom remains undone over the fact that I’ve requested cremation. I would love for the Shaw Singers or the Blind Boys from Alabama to roll in and sing two songs… “Oh Happy Day” and “Home to My Jesus”. Then I’d like for everyone to have cocktails. No open casket nonsense for me”.

So I’m gonna leave you with Home to My Jesus by the Shaw Singers. Excuse the silly dancers visual…I can’t find another version of the song to post. I love the grittiness…the granularity of this poorly recorded gospel standard. I also like what the Rev. Al Green said about the difference between the Blues and Gospel. Just substitute the words God/Jesus with Baby and you’ve got one or the other. I’m thinking the Rev. Al was hollerin’ for God not Baby when that pot of hot grits hit him upside the head.

Onward…throwin’ no stones…till Thursday…ADG


Laguna Beach Fogey said...

Those linen trousers are beautiful! We thank you, ADG, for not wearing a seersucker suit on this occasion.

I think Odin and his chums at Asgard would have dealt with these cretins in a manner much, much more to my liking.

Toad said...

I'm of a mind to enjoy your seersucker suit. Not being of a religious bent, I'll pick up the sartorial crit slack, whenever you're feeling low.

Anonymous English Female said...

ADG - 45minutes?! Did you get popcorn? When I sang in the church choir in a Trollopian provincial English parish one of the matrons would hand out Murray Mints and Enid Blyton books straight after the Nicene Creed. There's a lot of lessons I never learnt. BTW -Great Buck Shot.

Chuck Hatt said...

ADG, I remember a few years back when a cross-dressing fellow with a heavy 5 o-clock started showing up for the 10:30 at St. Clare's (Episcopal) here in my fair city.

I remarked to my dear mother that this is what comes from loosening the restriction on hats and gloves for the ladies. I'm the last person who should be judging anyone. Lord help us all if my freak show imagination was ever projected on the walls as a video for all to see but I did think he was scaring some of the children.

He was a lost soul who could never quite wrassle a floral sundress over his not too flat belly or mesomorphic shoulders but I'm sure just the kind of folk that Jesus would choose to join for dinner.

Judging others is hard to avoid I guess but compassion is easier to come by the longer one gets to hang around.

Love the bucks. Now if I could only go back in time and get the ones that sat in my closet throughout my teenage years, an heirloom from the days of my Uncle Jack's rakishness.

K.S.Anthony said...

Thomas Kinkade? You're a far more tolerant person than I.

Only Flusser could outfit a darted seersucker jacket w/ patch pockets AND ticket pockets and get away with it.

And here's hoping that Thor brings Mjollnir crashing down on the heads of the baggy-pants crowd. (raises horn)

ADG said...

K.S. ...I kid you not, the jacket styling is identical to a Brooks Brothers model from years past.

Chuck....Great story....worthy of a blog post in it's own right!

AnonEngFem...45 minutes is the PERFECT time frame for me and my fellowship threshold. Thanks re the Bucks. You should see the rest of me.

Toad...thanks. As soon as I posted this drivel I realized that I won't be able to reign in my Fuzzy Admonishons.I will though, let you cover me when LFG and I are on vacation. the Dead Stick link I just left you over at your blog. Asgard is over in P.G. county near the Bojangles Chicken place. They'll cut your nuts out over there....even if you don't have any. I DO have the trousers for said seersucker but rarely put the two together.

James said...

"A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do". If you don't help the sartorially challenged who will? I enjoy your posts that edify the masses. So pick up your broken lance and go forth. The burden is heavy but you must carry on the good fight.

Unknown said...

I recently saw the GREAT Rev Al In Boston... he still has it goin' on like no one else!
Loved this post, laughed out loud sitting in the pink store.

Belle (from Life of a...) said...

I say keep up the good work with a missionary's zeal! I've always felt that you were dedicated to making the world a better place for the sartorially challenged. You're not judging them to eternal damnation...(are you??) What a glorious weekend you would have had if you'd been in Charleston for Memorial Day. With all of the tourists in for Spoleto AND the Carnival Fantasy in port there was more "missionary work" to be done that you'd EVER have been able to handle.

Sandra said...

One of my favorite uncles requested years ago that we all just go "bowling" when he dies. "I just want y'all to go bowling. None of this standing around sad." No way will his wife go for that if he goes first. We'll be lucky if she even calls us to let us know that he's 'passed' as we Southerners like to say.

Please continue your job as our Sartorial Judge. It would be a sin to stop such important work ;-) xoxo

Summer is a Verb said...

Glad to hear the butt police will be disbanded by the time we meet up for that cocktail. I can stop choreographing my elegant backing out of a room. In turn I'll keep tell the foot tatoo police to take the day off...XXOO

ADG said...

AllieVonVertical...what about the shoulder tattoo police and the other foot tattoo police. will they be off too? hope so.

Preppy101...thanks. I do feel called to continue.

Belle...LFG and I will be down next month.

39amber...I've gotta get some more sun before I wear these bright ass shorts from y'all. whew.

James...yes, I do feel called.

Ollie said...

You are a sharp dressed chap. I connected to you through Toad. Are you related?

Pigtown*Design said...

the butt police shoulda been with me yesterday when i saw some skinny wrinkled 70-year old woman in hot pants, cheeks a-showing! i almost lost my lunch. i didn't have a chance to whip out the camera and shoot the sight... probably a good thing... she also had an ankle bracelet on!

In The Littoral said...

Sir Minimus, I am glad to see this post. You haven't mentioned the Handlin' as often lately as you used to and I was beginning to worry about your soul.

At the same time, keep your sartorial banner flying high.


Scott said...

Love the sinner; hate the sin, brother. And if you say "bless their heart", it ain't judging.

Rev Al was in town Sunday last week. Big ole band of soul professionals, and three daughters singing backup. Great show.


living well said...

Thomas Kinkade may not be a deal-breaker... but what about an affinity for Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals? That may be unforgivable.

Kathy said...

". . .the slippery slope of sartorial slovenosity. . ." great stuff.

Debi said...

ADG, I would be crushed if you didn't continue to fight for sartorial right. There is some scary stuff out there! I went to two weddings this weekend, along with their attendant parties, and it was shocking what some thought to be appropriate. Nice people. Who really should have known better.

@ Chuck Hatt, the cross-dressing fellow and relaxed standards? That was laugh out loud funny. Thanks!

ADG said...

CDClaycomb....sad ain't it.

Kathy....every now and then I'll land on a decent one.

LivingWell...Yeah...I think we all have our "deal breakers"

Scott ...HOW could I have forgotten the age old immutable Southern fall back predicatation of "bless his/her heart"? my bad.

Littoral...don't worry about my soul. I will though, admit to being the most conflicted Christian in the fold.

MegTown...bad visual.

Ollie...yes. Toad is my daddy.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I thought you were Toad's butler...

Anonymous said...

It appears LFG is one of the few ladies left that actually cares for men that dress well.

We had a few drinks in Georgetown last weekend and then strolled around. I noticed a Vineyard Vines store on Wisconsin, but it was closed. Is it worth checking out for their duds?

The seersucker coat and shirt are quite nice. I just bought a seersucker sport coat from Press. In addition to pink, what color shirts do you think look the best with seersucker?


Ben said...

I can't believe you have to sit through 45 minute sermons. My pastors have always gone 25 minutes, tops. How do I know? I'm always fooling with my watches at church.

ilovelimegreen said...

I agree with Thomas Kinkade as a dealbreaker but can't say the same about Andrew Lloyd Weber musicals.

Seersucker is a fabric worn by gentlemen - not men, not boys, not guys, not dudes- I repeat, gentlemen.

Thornproof said...

Great coat ... was in Hilton Head this last weekend and nearly purchased a traditional blue Seersucker Suit, but my mother did not like it! Since she was paying (a new suit was my birthday present), I am going to have to wait a little while before I can get one.

Have to say that I disagree with you not wearing the whole suit regularly, I think that the Seersucker Suit is one of the great southern fashion traditions and more of us Southern Gentlemen should make space of it within our wardrobe!

DAM said...

I appreciate you breaking apart the SS suit. I have been known to wear the pants and a blazer and the jacket with jeans, but I can't figure out the seersucker jacket with slacks. I alwasyf eel it looks like I'm only wearing half a suit.

Thoughts on why it works?

David V said...

Well, a couple of days have gone by and I hope by now you have come to your senses. Return to the noble effort of patrolling this great land and keep us all safe from sartorial evil-doers.
I, for one, wish to return to sleeping well knowing you are on the beat.

ADG said...

DAM....good question...I'll respond fully in a post tonight.

Thornproof...since seersucker is such a fragile and seasonal fabric, just buy one of the JosABanks ones that in another 3 weeks will be marked down dramatically.

LimeGreenGal...indeed but just wait. Assuredly it will fall prey to the Patch Madrasers.

Ben...I'm good with long as they don't scare me and tell me I'm going to hell.

Hilton...for me, the only two shirt colors for seersucker are white and pink. Blue doesn't cut it...I tried. Vineyard Vines? Nice stuff. Wait till it goes on sale. what would make you think that I'm Toad's butler?

ackred said...

ADG, great post. You always call it like you see it and that is why I always am reading your blog. Keep up the great work. BTW awesome jacket, and shirt..are there Pink Flamingos on that pocket square if so I need to know where you found it.


JMW said...

I swear, sometimes I think you're my brother by another mother! I share many of your views on clothing and I'm often called a snob, yet I'm not trying to be. I figure if I start the sentence with "God forgive me for saying this, but..." doesn't that give me a pass? And your comment about the Thomas Kinkade paintings made me laugh out loud!

Young Fogey said...

"Do not judge so that you will not be judged”

I think this is, if not the most misunderstood passages in the Bible, definitely in the Top 3.

Jesus was referring to judging men's souls. We do not have the power to do so, and should leave that to God.

However, we do have the power to judge their actions, and Jesus, as well as Paul, make numerous statements exhorting us to do just that. They even tells us how to judge! (Jo. 7:24; 1 Cor. 6:2; Matt. 23; Acts 6;7; 17; 1 Cor. 5:3; Gal. 2:11-14)

Most people who spout a variation on Matthew 7:1 are being judgmental of someone else making a value judgment, and are therefore engaging in the exact behavior they are criticizing. Hypocritical, of course. More to the point, they are trying to silence the person making the value judgment, usually because they disagree with that judgment, or are trying to get the listener to come to their side of the relativistic fence. As Chesterson said, "Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions."

You have convictions, sartorial and elsewise. Defend them! Live them! (As if you needed me to tell you that.)

In any case, judge away, my friend, judge away! We need people fighting against the continued vulgarization of our far-too debased culture, and clothing is an external manifestation of internal and societal degradation.