G. Bruce Boyer
I found early on that I work best in a rut, in a mundane routine. I hate surprises and need order. I don't like anyone touching my desk even though it looks like the West Coast of Florida after a hurricane. I usually know where everything is, although I may have to shift a few books, a tea mug, half a dozen folders, and my stapler to get to what I want. So it seems to follow that my uniform would be an habitual casual habit [Editor's Note: read the same disheveled type of clothes]. I can do my emails wearing anything -- old terry bathrobe, boxers, a sheet from the bed and a watch cap -- but I have to get dressed somehow, even if it's just a pair of old jeans and sweatshirt, to think about getting down to an assignment or project. Gay Talese has said that he gets dressed in a clean shirt, suit and tie to work at his desk, and while I don't feel that's necessary for me, I understand his point.
All this preface gets me 'round the corner and up to what I wear to sit in front of the computer screen til small drops of blood form on my forehead and I can go make a nice cuppa: either khakis or jeans (the older the better), a casual button-front shirt (chambray, flannel, drill, or whatever suits the season), and camp mocs (again, the older the better). Comfort I suppose here takes priority over anything else because I'm only seen by my wife who's the world's most tolerant woman.
Tea is essential equipment. Not only because of the caffeine (I'm big on caffeine), but because it gives me an excuse for a break. I can get up from my desk, go down to the kitchen and have a nice cuppa. Not a dirty mug and faded teabag stirred with a pencil, I always use a nice cup and saucer and proper teaspoon -- those little civilized niceties are a great comfort I find, and it's the small pleasures which can be so helpful in easing the stress -- and often brew a small potful rather than use a teabag. It's those little individual gestures, those mannerisms that I think are the revelatory outward signs of our psyches, our personalities, our style. My style is found more in a teacup than a tempest.