A “button-down” shirt was designed to be worn over a t-shirt, in place of a hoodie or bathrobe. Ironically, people had less time to dress back then, yet needed to button all those buttons; most people only unbuttoned a few at the top and pulled the thing on like a t-shirt or hoodie.
Blazers have many pockets. You are not supposed to use any of them because it ruins the look. The exception is the breast pocket, where you put your pocket square, which is definitely a thing you have. Do not substitute a used hankie, a wash cloth, or a box of wipes. You could store your face mask there when you don’t need it; if you’re in a place where you can remove your face mask, you’re probably either alone or surrounded by family or pod people who aren’t paying any attention to your pocket square anyway. But that means when you’re out, wearing the mask, your breast pocket is empty, in need of a pocket square. You can’t win this one.
Cosplay points us toward a new direction. Baseball or Star Trek uniforms are stylish, dressy, and basically track suits without being track suits, which means they are also not pajamas. This future is probably where Star Trek got the idea.
Shoes are footwear that is not sneakers, Crocs, slippers, or boots. I cannot remember why you would want them. They must be cleaned.
The word “bandanna” comes from the Indian dying technique “bandhani” and “kerchief” comes from the sound 18th century gentlemen would make blowing snot out when doing snuff. “Gaiter” comes from the French “gaîté,” which means gaiety and is pronounced like “gaiety.” In any case, use a facemask or tissues, but do not wrap your neck in a snot rag.
Pants. This is a tricky one; for men, it involves fabrics that are not necessarily cotton, but could be. Usually they are of a solid color, something dark that will not show pee stains. For women, they might be part of a power suit, or swing more towards Something With Pockets. Track suits are pajamas.
The tie was originally a bandanna or scarf, then became a more ritualistic accoutrement as centralized heating was developed. This was also around the time people learned to use “accoutrement” when discussing ties. Neither seems necessary in this century.
Let me get back to the button thing again. Buttons are generally round, though not necessarily. Getting the button through the button “hole” is like playing tiny cornhole, and if you don’t have a lot of practice at it you look like a toddler trying to do it, so always button up your shirt in private, in shame. Some pants have button flies. These should be burned on sight. Avoid buttons until you feel confident about playing tiny cornhole every morning. (Or every time you go to the bathroom, if you have a button fly.)
A designer handbag is a sustainable bag, except in the sense it’s not something you want people to think you only have one of, so you will need three. Unless you can find ones that are different on either side, then only show one side to the videocam. You will not be going anywhere, so nothing has to go in it.
The whole button-fly thing… look, you’re not Amish. All I can think about sometimes is Abe Lincoln trying to pee in a hurry with a button fly and then delivering the Gettysburg Address with damp pants because he couldn’t unbutton fast enough. We have Velcro, zippers, stretchy things, even bandannas we can tie around.
This time of year, you will receive many clothes catalogs and Instagram notices about these things. This year, ignore them.