I wore jeans to a $25,000 a table gala and something surprising happened, as it often does when I am under-dressed.

Last week I had the honor of performing at The Moth Ball, where I performed on the same stage as the great Louis CK. I also had the pleasure of meeting Andrew Solomon and spent about ten minutes with the world famous magician David Blaine.

It was quite a night.  

The theme of the night was Wham! Pow! Moth! Stories of Superheros. As a result, there was much discussion and decision about the attire for the evening.

  • hould I dress up as an actual superhero (as many attendees did)?
  • Should I wear a tuxedo (since I own several as a wedding DJ)? 
  • Should I wear a suit (as I knew many men would)?
  • Should I wear my standard storytelling outfit of jeans, tee shirt, and baseball cap (since I would be performing)?

I ultimately decided upon a Superman tee shirt, a jacket, and a pair of jeans. As I made the final decision to wear jeans before leaving for the event, I asked Elysha what she thought of my outfit.

"I think you'll be the only person in the room wearing jeans, but I think it's fine."

We took surprisingly few photos of ourselves that night, but you can see a little bit of me in this photo from New York Magazine:

A couple years ago we attended a large, formal wedding. I was willing to wear a suit to the affair, but I had given up on ties years ago. a tie. Once again I asked Elysha what she thought about me not wearing a tie.

"You'll probably be the only guy not wearing a tie, but whatever makes you happy."

She was right on both accounts. I was the only man not wearing a tie that night, and I was happy. 

One man did approach me and ask how I managed to avoid wearing a tie. 

"I didn't put it on," I said. 

"My wife would never let me get away with that," he replied.

I wanted to tell him that he married the wrong woman, but it didn't seem like the time or place for a comment like that. 

But here's the more important thing about that night: No one remembers that I wasn't wearing a tie.

Yes, it's true that I didn't wear a tie, and it's true that every other man did, but two years later (and probably two hours later), no one remembered a thing about what I was wearing, for three reasons:

  1. Half of the people at the wedding never noticed in the first place, despite our omnipotent and utterly false belief that people are actually paying attention to what we wear and what we look like. They're not.      
  2. Maya Angelou was right when she said that people won't remember what you said or what you did, but they will always remember how you made them feel. No one recalls what I wore that night because it didn't matter. If I was kind and made them laugh, they might recall me for those reasons but nothing else. Clothing does not make the man.
  3. About half of the people of the world have left the concerns and cares of high school behind them long ago. Judging someone based upon clothing was something they may have done when they were children but no more. Admittedly at least half of all people still make snide, behind-the-back, cruel remarks about a people's choice of clothing, but they suck. I don't care what they think.  

Oh, and as for my choice of attire for The Moth Ball... I saw at least one other man wearing jeans that night, so Elysha was incorrect on that score.

Louis CK showed up in jeans, too. I'd say I was in good company.