A Man of the Cloth

I come from a long line of traditionally dressed men. Both of my grandfathers lived in suits – one a teetotaler banker and the other a cigar smoking steel salesmen who knew the three martini lunch routine all too well; albeit he imbibed in a three-piece and fedora. I even have a black and white photograph of my great-grandfather at the family compound in Michigan wearing a tie during the middle of summer. To his credit, it rarely breaks 70 degrees up there, so an afternoon of fishing for pike in a tie is doable (for a really old school guy).

My memories of Dad as a kid are of him coming home every evening in a suit, tie, and his briefcase. He’d sit down for dinner with the family and if memory serves me right, he didn’t loosen his tie until the news came on. Watching Don Draper in Mad Men reminds me of his conservative style and stoic mannerisms.

Speaking of Don, one of my favorite scenes is when a flavor of the month calls him at three in the morning for a roll in the sack. He greets her at his front door, in the middle of the night, in a suit and tie. She coquettishly asks, “Do you sleep like that?” His reply, “I’m vain.” Classic! My kind of guy.

When I got out of UGA I took a job with a Fortune 500 where the dress code was a jacket and tie. I went to Brooks Brothers at Lenox and bought a few shirts, ties, wool trousers, and leather belt that I still wear with my first paycheck; a sartorial rite of passage. The semi-retired gentlemen who helped me was perfectly suited for the job as he’d done the same thing when he was my age.

I eventually left to work for Smith Barney where we not only wore suits and ties, but casual Friday was frowned upon. The furthest we took it was going sockless and were quickly told, “Boys, in case you didn’t notice, this isn’t the Capital City Club.” We continued to do it anyway.

I took to the stockbroker world like a duck to water. Dressing up, trips to Manhattan, long hours and long lunches suited my interests. I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the firm, but my younger brother died days after I passed the seven. My world was thrown upside down. Eventually, one of the partners, who taught me how to tie my first bow tie, introduced me to the Miller Brothers. I needed a change of scenery and what better than transitioning to a “Man of the Cloth” – as our business cards said.

Robby and Greg hired me and for the next year I enjoyed every single day of life. Working for those two was a welcomed distraction and an opportunity to chase a dream. I always wanted to work in the haberdashery trade. In addition to learning the basics of the business, I was a bartender, delivery boy, and occasional grill master. I woke up every day excited to go to work – not a lot of people can say that.

We threw awesome parties, I met all sorts of interesting people, and the AJC did a full page spread on myself and new profession; the title of the article being, “From Stockbroker to Haberdasher”.

But, life continued to happen and the real world came calling. My wife was pregnant with Annabelle, which meant it was time to get back into the only other trade I knew: finance. I ended up at SunTrust Robinson-Humphrey in the investment bank. Instead of pouring drinks and chatting up clients, I was in a grey cubicle on the 24th floor of one of John Portman’s downtown skyscrapers. I still wore a suit and tie, but it wasn’t the same.

I look back at my time as a haberdasher with fond memories. Every day with Robby and Greg was a blast. And, to their credit, they gave me a place to grieve the loss of my brother. None of us knew it at the time, but I’ll forever be grateful.

I’ve stayed in the financial services industry and at forty years old I’m still in a suit and tie. I don’t do casual Fridays, but certainly could as I work for myself. I enjoy the ritual of dressing up every morning. I still have a closet full of Miller Brothers clothing – no doubt their products stand the test of time; from plaid belts to Lilly Pulitzer trousers to pin stripe suits. As I write this I’m wearing a ten-year-old handmade Angelo Nardelli cashmere necktie that looks as good as the day it arrived at the shop.

Nowadays, I’ve adopted the “uniform” approach. Monday through Friday I’m in navy – top to bottom; with the exception of Allen Edmund Verona loafers (rotate between black and brown), a tanker watch with alligator strap that Dad gave me, and my great-grandfathers signet ring.

I wear an unlined navy jacket with a white pocket square that I never take off, white shirt with a spread collar, and navy tie, trousers, and over the calf socks. Not to get too intimate, but underneath it’s always a white undershirt and white boxers. I’m a sight to be seen in the locker room in my old man undergarments and socks up to my knee caps.

I, like any clothes horse, have gone through phases, but only a discerning eye would notice. To most I’m an indiscernible finance guy in a suit. I’ve been told on numerous occasions that “we” all look alike. And that’s OK. I believe a wardrobe should stand the test of time. All the men in my family have dressed about the same; conservative by any standard, but with a sense of individualism. Dad prefers glen plaid sports jackets, whereas his father wore a fresh picked rose bud in the lapel of his double breasted suits.

I wasn’t born in a suit, but I’ll probably die in one. Why? Well, quite simply, I feel most comfortable in one. I wouldn’t pull a Nixon and wear one on the beach or while rolling the rock, but I get it when he responded to Bob Greene’s question about always being in a suit and tie, “It isn’t a case of trying to be formal, but I’m more comfortable that way.”

Contributor Brad Evans is a good buddy, a UGA grad, and an idea guy.  We’re luck to have his words here on RCS…more to come.



  1. Poor Man
    11/08/2019 / 7:57 AM

    Great stuff Brad. You look just like your grandad!

    • Bradley Evans
      11/08/2019 / 10:24 AM

      Thanks Ryan

  2. KSS
    11/08/2019 / 8:05 AM

    Couple questions, Brad. Do you still wear Brooks Brothers suits?

    What is your go to dress sock? I too am an OTC guy.


    • Bradley Evans
      11/08/2019 / 10:30 AM

      I do not wear BB suits, but, as I get older, I can see myself gravitating back to towards them. Believe it or not, I still have suits from Miller Brothers that are 10+ years old and they’re in great shape. Per the OTC socks, I usually buy Gold Toe from Amazon. They are comfortable, affordable (12 pairs for $60), and consistent in that you know exactly what you’re getting.

      • TCB
        11/08/2019 / 1:50 PM

        What model work with the verona? I can’t find socks to work with mine that are thin enough.

        • Bradley Evans
          11/08/2019 / 5:32 PM

          Gold Toe Metropolitan Over-The-Calf Dress Socks. Thin, durable, and not see through.

  3. Trip
    11/11/2019 / 11:34 AM

    Good write-up. What watch is that? I can’t make out the text in the pic.

    • Bradley Evans
      11/11/2019 / 2:29 PM

      Raymond Weil. Xmas present to Dad 20+ years ago. He gave it to me a few years back.

  4. TCB
    11/11/2019 / 2:45 PM

    Hey I’m curious where do you get those loafers re-soled when they need it? I have the same pair.

    • Bradley Evans
      11/11/2019 / 5:39 PM

      I’ve done a few things. I had a pair resoled at Adam’s Shoe Repair in downtown Atlanta (67 Park Place). It’s below an old parking deck. They did a great job and were cheap. It was close to my office at the bank at the time. My favorite place where I take all my shoes is Classic Shoe & Leather Service in Buckhead (326 Pharr Road). The owner, Ryan Embry, is a real cobbler and takes pride in his work.

      • TCB
        11/11/2019 / 7:19 PM

        Thanks for the response! I’ll look into that.

        • Bradley Evans
          11/11/2019 / 10:52 PM

          Anytime…my pleasure

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