Couture for Counterinsurgents
Over at Abu Muqawama, "Charlie" posts some advice for all those Army and Marine Corps colonels moving to Washington this summer to take dreaded staff jobs inside the Beltway. You know the type -- they've been knuckle-dragging muddy-boots warfighters their whole careers. But now they've been tapped to be the special assistant to the J-637.8 on the Joint Staff, and they need to polish themselves a bit. Charlie's got some fashion advice for these guys. Among my favorites:
1) No pleated pants. Ever. Same goes for shorts.
2) No polo shirts with unit insignia. Save them for the reunion. (Yes, you can wear the t-shirts as PT gear.)
3) No tapered jeans; no light-wash jeans. You are not Jon Bon Jovi, this is not 1987.
Uh huh. Good advice. It ties in well with the Wall Street Journal article last week about casual apparel at work. And while we're on this subject, let's talk about overseas apparel.
Do you really think it's a good idea to dress like a stereotypical American military officer when you're overseas on American government business? I mean, you may as well be in uniform when you wear khakis and Oakleys, or when you bring a Blackhawk backpack as your carry-on luggage. Seriously guys -- before that next work trip to Africa, Asia or Latin America, ask your kids for help picking out clothes that don't look like they were bought in a base exchange. Lose the Oakleys. Leave the massive metal aviator's watch at home. Grow out your hair; consider a beard or mustache. And ditch the military-style luggage in favor of something a civilian would carry. You'll fit in a lot better -- something that will only help your diplomatic or military mission.
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