Suits Once Worn


The first comes before you’re old enough to decide. Your parents choose it for you, all lustrous and white to symbolise your purity. You begrudgingly wear it, squirming against the stiff fabric. If you could walk, maybe flight would have been an option. Were you old enough to speak, maybe you would have criticised their choice—the cut is far from flattering on your pudgy, swollen, potato-like form. But then, if you could speak, maybe you would tell them a great many things.

Afterwards, your parents take it back. Just a rental. You might smile at this until you realise others will fidget exactly as you have.

You wait many years for the next. This time it’s your choice, so you opt for something nicer. None of your parents’ gaudiness remains. You’ve chosen something reserved, but still expressive: fitted, medium grey. Part of you enjoys what connotations the grey accidentally conjures, but no-one else will ever notice.

Several hours and several stains later, you discard it in the wash basket. In a few days it will sink to the bottom of your wardrobe, where it will rest, until one day you find it and realise your teenage figure has long since passed. You keep the tie, though.

The next is black, for the contrast. White is reserved for the bride, after all. It would be rude to impose on her day. Those words weigh on your mind, even as you smile and wave, shake hands and kiss. Her day. But you’re wearing Armani so fine that it’s audible—nearly everybody compliments you—and part of you feels invigorated by the attention. Maybe I will wear this more often, you think.

Those thoughts disappear in the whirlwind of life. Later, you choke out a laugh. You would have worn it to the divorce settlement if she didn’t bin, burn, break, or bury it, like most things. There would have been some poetic cyclicality in that.

The last is navy blue. Heaven knows why; you never liked the colour. You always wore shades. Even that never-worn tan one you bought—under duress—for that never-taken cruise would have been preferable. You would berate whoever made the decision if you could. Navy does nothing but accentuate the slight-blue tinge of your skin.

You would be incurably bitter about this: the worst suit you ever wore—worse, even, than the garish purity suit forced upon you—would be the one you wore the longest. You know what happens to this one, at least. You are stuck there, inside its poor tailoring, until you both disappear from memory.

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