A D.C. suit at the casual uninformed glance from the casual uninformed observer is black; nothing else of note, just black. But to the elected or not elected D.C. afternoon party goer, even at twenty feet, the fit is everything; one little wrinkle on the shoulder says rack garment. One foot closer one affirms by the lay of the fabric that it is wool. Still closer, the animal that provided it. In a room populated largely by Senators and Diplomats there may not be a single garment in view, cut from cloth spun from the wool of an ordinary sheep.

As you raise an arm to greet an approaching party goer you notice that his perfectly fitted suit is of a subtly striped cloth of perhaps a dozen different hues, covering the entire color wheel. Not one tertiary is missing. But from ten feet the suit is black.

Today at Carl Hayden Veteran’s Hospital there was a mini-mob of what appeared at first to be US government officials wandering about. They were all wearing identical costumes. Each man was wrapped in the same cloth from the same manufacturer cut from the same bolt of synthetic material with a lower thread count than my Levis and surely from the same assembly line. They were being squired about the property by the new Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs Bob McDonald. I wonder who he hired to wear the rental suits.

There were about twenty men and one woman. The female I recognized but couldn’t place and was dressed in her own clothing. All the “senatorial” lapels had the same gold-ish plastic pin with the generic font, U. S. stamped on them.

And I don’t know why.

And I have asked that question about some public event or another for at least seven years.


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