The classic attire of remittance men
case officers and/or economic advisors
in SE Asia
, or the banana republic
of your choice, British
or French colonials
, some Southerners
, and male Washingtonians in the summertime (if they're wise). The best kind come from Hong Kong tailors
, and feature extra ease for shoulder holsters
. Three buttons in the coat, and a button fly are eagerly sought-after.
Bleached, or unbleached? Bleached has the coolness of plain white, while unbleached has a more classic look. You should have a white or pastel (more sporty) dress shirt
with this, and quite possibly a lighter-colored tie
. The shirt should be quite crisp, so for extended wear, pack an extra shirt in your briefcase
. Ideally, you should have more than one suit as well, and dress for dinner to give the day suit some time breathing.
Overall, you ought to look rested (everything in town closes for a few hours every day around noon, and you, yourself, have spent the time lying down, with the blinds drawn and several fans running, your own hand rehearsing in lesser form the recalled caresses of a ladylove), and unaffected by the weather other than a slight (as in, from reflected light) tan. To cool yourself off with water (assuming tap water is drinkable), go through this drill: wash hands, splash face, take some in your mouth. Then, run water over your wrists (take your watch off) until they are numb-cold, and press your now cold hands first to your forehead and thence, to the nape of your neck. If done with authority and concentration, it's a graceful set of gestures...and the results are heavenly! In the tropics, it's so easy to have personal attentions done...buffed nails, a fresh shave, and a haircut from "your man" are just right for this persona.
Accessories: Sunglasses, with tortise-shell rims. Wire-frames are also good...look for "aviator", or "standard" (like John Lennon) styles. If you're a colonial, or have gone just a little "native", keep cool with a small, flat, fan. Carry a cloth handkerchief to mop your brow, and to keep very cool, use it apply ice compresses to the nape of your neck if you can't do the water dance above.
Hat: Ecudorian, called "Panama", with a wide brim. A light-colored "porkpie" hat in felt is also good. A pith helmet is overkill, unless you're actually out in the bush. Take it off the second you walk inside.
Belt and shoes: White, may be tan. Loafers without socks are also good, as are deck shoes. Sneakers just don't cut it, somehow, but I can't tell why.
Again, boxers. You've just GOT to give the thing some air!
It's such a good outfit, I wonder why no one dresses that way anymore.