My son has spent the last year as an advanced EMT, answering 911 calls in the rural parts of two states. His clothing style is best described as “jump in and don’t bump your head on the gun rack.” Now he is about to start medical school. Is sending a child off to school with a new sports jacket and slacks utterly behind the times? — Sheryl, New York City
First, please thank your son for his service over the last year. I am sure it made a difference to many people.
I am also sure clothes were the last thing he was thinking about and rightly so, except to consider how they might protect him and how often they needed to be washed.
This probably isn’t going to change much now that he’s back in school, where he will also have other things to think about. The biggest difference is that rather than dressing for his job and his co-workers, he’s going to be dressing for his peer group — at least in the first year or so.
And as far as that goes, there’s no better judge of what that means and how he wants to be perceived than your son himself. At this stage in his life, I’d pretty much leave him be to make his own sartorial way in the world. We all have to learn at some point, and as you point out, what was de rigueur for one generation is likely to be anathema to another.
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