Colorful and interesting interpreter outfit

Me (white man with salt-and-pepper hair) wearing burgundy button-down shirt with black-and-brown plaid pants
My new burgundy shirt with plaid pants

Gotta keep it interesting! As a signed-spoken language interpreter, I need to wear solid-colored tops that contrast with my skin tone so my deaf clients can read my signs without distraction. Rather than wearing black and gray all the time, as many interpreters do, I prefer to wear dark shades of blue, red, purple, brown, and green. I’ve wanted to get some plaid pants for a long time, since the pants are outside of my signing space, but all I saw were loud golf pants and extremely expensive subdued plaids. I finally found these subdued black-and-brown plaid pants for $55 at Tilly’s. They are very comfy. I love them!

For those interested, the pants are Brixton reserve gray men’s chinos (as of this writing they are on sale for $34.98), and the shirt is a Nordstrom “boat twill” ($59). The pants do not require ironing, and the shirt, well, I can’t recommend Nordstrom SmartCare shirts strongly enough. They hold their color and press wash after wash. They always look ironed but never need ironing! I love them.

Fashion is part of how I make myself happy to get out the house and feel handsome— or at least presentable 😉. Dressing nicely is a way I show people that I respect them enough to give them something pleasing to look at. I aim to be mindful of how I need to look while honoring how I want to look. There is no one outfit that is appropriate for every job, and there are jobs for which I dress more conservatively than I have done in this picture. I just wanted to show this as an alternative to the black and gray that so many interpreters feel obliged to wear all the time. (Plus, it was one of those “Damn, I look good!” moments that spark so many selfies.)

P.S. I did not interpret with the earphones on.





3 responses to “Colorful and interesting interpreter outfit”

  1. Isabel Espino Avatar
    Isabel Espino

    Interesting placement of the id card, to look at your name one would have to stare at your crotch. Not recommended.


    1. Daniel Greene Avatar

      People wear them on their front belt loops all the time, Isabel. It hangs from a retractable string, so if somebody wants to look at my card, I simply pull the string and show it to them.


    2. Daniel Greene Avatar

      P.S. Deaf people don’t tend to like their signed language interpreters to wear badges on their torsos because it’s distracting. Almost every time I’ve ever been somewhere where they make me wear a stick-on badge or lanyard the deaf people ask me to move it to my pants rather than my shirt.


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