I have one suit and that's it. It's a good one, bought for my wedding. It's cut to be quite fitted, it makes me look taller.
Every now and then it gets trotted out for other people's weddings, christenings and the like, but that's it. But I love wearing it, it's nice to dress up every now and then, pretend to be a grown up, feels special in a way wearing suits every day just don't. That's when they become a uniform.
You certainly won't find me wearing it for work; I'm the quintessential planning cliche, that calculated shambolic look. Pretty soon I'll be too old for the ironic t-shirts and trainers but not right now.
But last week, Claire and I had a particularly important meeting. It mattered, the work was great, we'd worked hard. But sometimes being prepared isn't enough, you need an added boost. So we power dressed, we sarcastically smart.
The suit came out, I came as Don Draper. Claire was a beautiful picture of Madison Avenue perfection.
And I wasn't just dressed as Don Draper, I BECAME him. The meeting went swimmingly, I got back to the agency and simmered with untold depths. It felt great to become someone else for a day (even if I didn't have a three Martini lunch or take advantage of any quivering dames).
That's the thing about dressing up and using clothes to play with your outward identity, it doesn't just alter the outside. To have depths, you must have a surface......what you do to that surface affects what happens underneath. It's primal, it's Darwinian - we've evolved to believe that looks are signifier of fitness, we show the world an image of ourselves we want to project and they respond in kind.
That's why superheroes are alter egos of their normal selves. Bruce Wayne only becomes the Dark Knight when he puts on the mask, Peter Parker is struggling, awkward, shy photographer until he puts on the suit. Superman is even more interesting - his natural state is superhero, his costume is actually human clothes - and he BECOMES a feckless, clumsy oaf.
Disguise is incredibly liberating, it enables you to become different people. In fact scratch that, it lets you disover a part of yourself you didn't know was there. That's why it's a little silly to mock anyone with an interest in clothes and their appearance - what is more liberating and interesting than playing with your identity? What could be more fun?
As David Vreeland puts it, "Fashion must be the intoxicating release from the banality of the world".
There is no point watching 22 men kick an inflated ball around a field, sometimes getting it between two sticks. There's no point spending hours reading hundreds of pages of lies. But football and fiction books provide incredible pleasure, they provide an escape from our mundane lives.
Clothes, shoes, hair and the like are just as pleasurable and even more powerful. It's being allowed to dream for a second, to escape the narrow confines of what life has dealt you and explore. To feel alive, to feel more than you are, or even just acknowledge your potential.
And what is wrong with doing something that makes you really happy? Like Belsen.
Anyway, more to the point, who should I pretend to be next (not GI Jane Andy).