Back in high school, I was in a business club called DECA. We ended up in Louisville, Kentucky for one competition. I won, and that is still one of the better moments of my life.
While packing for the flight back, I noticed a nice looking pair of shoes lying on the ground. Since they were nicer than my pair and I couldn’t find the owner, I put them on and left my own crappy pair of square-toed shoes behind in that messy hotel room.
Those shoes turned out to be a pair of black Dinkles, size 7. For those who don’t know, Dinkles are marching band shoes. They weren’t great dress shoes, but they were the best I had ever seen and they were the gateway to my fascination with classic menswear.
It’s strange how much that one event has affected my life. I’ve made friends in 6 countries from talking about clothing. I ended up giving 100 people (and counting) advice about dressing. I gained a great deal of self-confidence, since I could see myself go from a greasy kid wearing oversized clothing to someone with real personal style.
Sure, it was for something rather trivial, but it was still real.
A lot of who I became can be traced back to that moment, since it was the first time I consciously decided to improve myself.