If the Slipper Fits…

A Man Out Of Time

There is that old saying of which we are all familiar: the clothes maketh the man. Yet is this perhaps figurative expression something that rings true in reality or is it just out-and-out poppycock?

Extraordinarily, I was not brought into the world swathed in a tailored three-piece overcheck twill tweed suit. In fact, my customary adornment of the comforting formalities of a suit of clothes is a venture that I had only incorporated into my daily life around three years ago.

Cue flashback.

One fateful summer’s day; I remember it well. The Market Square lions cast a sharp shadow upon the lowly beggars humble charity workers that leaped out in fury onto oblivious passers-by. Here I was, plodding around, adorned in what was my trademark leather jacket and ripped (albeit unintentionally) jeans. As the old lady with the with the lonely stall bleated that today there were so many “pound o’ banana for one pound”, I pondered upon the notion that perhaps I would need some new additions to my wardrobe. Having recently left a long relationship, I was a lost man; without confidence and lacking in self-esteem. I slouched my way into Primark-ni and up the escalators to the men’s department, ignorant of any alternatives for inexpensive clothing.

A three year old photo of yours truly.


Flicking through the rows of generic T-Shirts and jeans, I found nothing that suited my desires. Eventually, I realised that I had somehow meandered towards the suit section. Moreover, I found that the particular suit before me was quite pleasing to the eye. A grey three-buttoned two-piece with chalk-stripes at a meagre thirty pound sterling, no less!

Picking my size off the rail, I thought to myself “why not?”

Why not, indeed! Through an impulse purchase, this poorly tailored, shoddily manufactured suit imported from a blood-drenched sweatshop (allegedly) had, unbeknownst to me, made an irreversible impact on my life

Although at first, I was rather self-conscious never having worn a suit outside of a working environment. Nevertheless, over time, the suit built up an essence within me over time. As my confidence grew, I evolved. Soon, I would be sporting waistcoats, cravats, a pocket watch, as well as my signature hat.

Some years later.


This transgression was not merely superficial. No longer was I the slouching Neanderthal but instead an upright Homosapien that groomed and took care of himself. In my rags I had been shrugged aside as an unimportant nobody whether it be at the bar, in stores or with the general public.

From the ashes, a gentleman is born. My whole routine and lifestyle changed including a consideration and compassion for others. Today I am treated with dignity, consideration and respect. Granted, the suit of clothes itself is not an accomplishment. However, it is an aspect of me, buried deep within, that it coerced out. It shows both to me and those around that I take care of myself, that I respect myself and it delivers a message that inspires both trust and esteem.

As previously mentioned, the first suit was nothing more than that blu-ray or videogame you’ve had on your Amazon wish list. Moreover, I have become aware of other avenues for feed this lavish lifestyle that don’t force me to cut my coat to suit my cloth (pun intended). The choice is yours. That is if one were to choose to a life of being a gentleman, treated cordially and respected over the drab and dull existence of slovenliness in which one is ignored and disparaged.

Charles-Philippe Bowles


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