B is not widely known for his fashion sense. I always think he looks great, but clothes horse he is not. His favorite place to shop is Goodwill. His rationale is that the clothes have already been worn and washed so you “really know how they fit”. He has a point. And when we lived in the South, our nearby Goodwill reaped the benefit of proximity to a particularly well-off neighborhood, filling the racks with J. Crew, Banana Republic, Calvin Klein and Ann Taylor threads. That was the exception for Goodwill stores, not the rule. He has since made a few wardrobe upgrades, but he’s just not that interested.
I recently read an article in the British Medical Journal about the decline in dress for doctors in the UK. Despite B’s disinterest in wearing anything other than a solid colored tshirt, jeans and sneakers for the rest of his life, he has adapted quite nicely to dressing better for his medical duties. However, he stills whines about shaving on a regular basis, and the other morning we had this exchange:
B: Hey, did I already brush my teeth?
B: I can’t remember if I did or not. Weren’t you paying attention?
M: To whether or not you brushed your teeth?
M: At 5:25 a.m.?
M: No, I can take care of myself and I assume that you should be able to as well.
B: I’ll just brush again.
I agree with the writer. Doctors should dress up. Consciously or not, appearance can impact credibility of trustworthiness. In a recent post while thinking about my time in higher education, I realized that I have never had a female professor, in undergrad or grad school that dressed casually. I’ve had several male professors who wore jeans, and one male English lit prof from undergrad who always looked like he’d come straight from the ashram in linen pants and tunics. But all of my female professors have dressed in business casual. They know, for better or worse that their attire matters more. The germy-ness of doctor’s ties is a little grody though, so some more insight into that would be nice. But brush off those dressy duds, Docs, and remember please try to save enough brain-space to remember whether or not you have already brushed your teeth.