Today I had lunch with an old friend and work colleague I first met 30 years ago.
She recalled two other female colleagues taking me on as a 'project' to try to give me a sense of style.
I was very much lacking in that aspect, partly because I was still a Jesuit. We proudly regarded ourselves as counter-cultural.
Most of us were from comfortable middle class backgrounds. But we sought to 'identify with the poor'. I remember my mother buying me an expensive suit that I was too embarrassed to wear.
We dressed down, grew beards when they were out of fashion, and gave each other rough haircuts. Overweight was OK, and working out in the gym to build a beautiful body would be to worship an alien god. Our style was to eschew style.
But in effect we were making a virtue of sloppiness. Eventually I worked it out that sloppy does little to enhance the dignity of the poor. Whoever the poor were, I hope they did not pay too much attention to the well-intentioned standard we set.
Thirty years down the track, my colleagues' wish for me has been fulfilled.
I try to be mindful of my dress and grooming. I also pay attention to how others present themselves.
I sometimes find articles of interest in GQ men's fashion magazine, although my current favourite is the Men in This Town blog that pays homage to men who express their personality in the clothes they wear.
A visit to the gym each morning has taken the place of daily Mass. It can centre me as a human being or it can be boring. But my better body shape, and attention to dress and grooming, contribute to a greater sense of well-being.