Casual dressing is such a staple of modern American life, it's easy to forget that there once was a time when people dressed for dinner, or for the theater, or simply to go out for the day. That's why it was heartwarming to spy Bert Choate strolling through shops in White Marsh, looking dapper in a suit, tie and snazzy hat. Everything on this stylish gent was matched with something else: Shoes to suit. Tie to pocket square. Hat to belt. And his manners and smile matched the entire polished outfit.
Job: Mail clerk at the Court of Appeals in Annapolis
Self-described style: "Sophisticated"
The look: Gray glen-plaid suit. Yellow and gray tie with matching pocket square. Gray alligator shoes. White straw hat. White belt.
Where it came from: Suit, his wife purchased at Arundel Mills Mall. Shoes, he doesn't remember. Hat, also a gift from his wife. Belt, he's had for years.
Suited for success: "I wear a suit every day, just about. I have to go in the courtrooms a lot of the time. And in Annapolis, they call me the best-dressed man in town."
Holistic shopper: "When I go shopping myself, I always visualize my whole wardrobe. I like to wear clothes that fit in with what I have in my wardrobe."
Hats off to good dressing: "I wear a hat every day. 'Cause I have so many of them. Last time I counted, it was 36. No one wears hats anymore. Only back in my era. They don't even wear belts anymore. I guess that's the era I grew up in. I think they [young people] should cover up more, keep their pants from falling all down their behinds."
Cowboy at heart: "I have all kinds of shoes. Fifteen dress pair and seven pair of cowboy boots. I'm from North Carolina. I love cowboy boots. They're comfortable."
Rules for style, rules for life: "I do a lot of shooting pool, and I do a lot of buying clothes. I buy two or three suits at a time. And if it's hot weather, I dress in white -- top to bottom."
WONDERING IF YOU WERE GLIMPSED? Check out baltimoresun.com / glimpsed for additional photos of fashion-forward locals and a critique by fashion writer Tanika White of the styles she saw around town.