Evenly coated.

October 23, 2023

The penultimate cover in the gentleman’s wardrobe is the shield between his shirt and the abrasion from movement in the world. A wooden vessel needs to be tarred and caulked at regular intervals. The hull of the steel ship must be scraped (chipped) and repainted to protect it from corrosion.

Many centuries ago, the Chinese developed what is called compartmentization today. The hull is divided by numerous watertight bulkheads that isolate flooding in case of a puncture to a small and discrete section of the ship. This is a conservative measure since a breach in the hull of a seagoing vessel is no rarity. The number of compartments reflects the size of the ship to be kept afloat.

The aim of clothing is to protect and decorate. On their own, clothes do not heat the body (unless they catch fire). Instead analogous to the compartments of a ship, they insulate the wearer from natural heat loss. In the cold climates compartments, i.e. layers, create pockets of retained body heat which prevent heat loss and potential decrease in otherwise stable mammalian body temperature.

In hot and especially arid climes the layers slow the rate of fluid loss, dehydration due to sweat while permitting perspiration to perform its cooling effect by slow evaporation in each compartment. Bikini swimsuits and tank tops won’t be found in the Gobi or the Sahara.

A jacket is never superfluous for a well-tempered gentleman. In whatever form this cover garment is worn, to be best dressed means in daily life being evenly coated.

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