2041. Harold sat in his office. He thumbed the edges of the envelope that he held in his hand. He sighed, held the envelope in his right hand, and thumbed the worn lapels of his bespoke jacket with his left. "Well, it was a good run. No reason to whine" he sat and thought. His equipment in his office was outdated. Actually, the whole office was outdated: Macbooks from 2023 and polyeurethane chairs from some heritage movement 22 or 23 years ago. The MensWear Approval Committee (MWAC) had been formed in 2012 to give unemployed menswear bloggers a job in tough times. Can't be bespoke and flip burgers, it doesn't work; Harold knew first hand. Unfortunately, MWAC never really held any power. Washington could expand the bureaucracy but they couldn't enforce something like tasteful dressing. MWAC merely made recommendations to other men for decades. MWAC employees scoured public cameras, sending vocal messages through a megaphone system across America. Messages of "don't wear that with that!" and "Sneakers and suits? What do you think this is, GQ?" were doled out daily. Harold remembered a time when his superiors wished for so much more. Fueled with divine right and a Rand-ian fervor, his superiors had fought tooth and claw to get some sort of legal power. "Charge that man for wearing out of proportion boots!" they would scream. Washington threw their reports in with the National Park Service reports. The only real reason MWAC was around was to expand bureaucracy. Washington enjoyed that sort of thing.
MWAC paid well. It wasn't tax dollars that fueled his salary, it was loans from China. Or it was, until China decided that US was unlikely to pay those back. China cut their losses and invested elsewhere. Other developing countries tried their hand at buying US debt but it never turned out well. But Harold still got paid. He could afford domestic goods and the like. Hong Kong tailors? Out of the question 20 years ago and even more so now. Harold had to make do with what was made in the US. Harold remembered a time when MWAC actually did help men dress better. It was back when Americans still made a wage comparable to China. Now everything was domestic except for t-shirts. They made those in Somalia.
Not that men needed anyone telling them how to dress anymore. It hardly mattered with man's current status. Harold's wife was a nice lady. A stout traditionalist. She didn't believe in abandoning the male species, she took care of Harold, and she understood how things used to be. Still, there were many men who had no spouse, lived off the streets, and scraped to get by. Men never went to college any more. The smart ones went to technical school to fix cars and the like. Women didn't like to fix the plumbing or lay flooring. Offices jobs? Forget it. Fewer men had been enrolled in college than women for years. With female economic 'independence', few women needed to take on a spouse. Make some kids, then toss 'dad out the door. He'd probably just become a drunk anyway. No need to expose the kids to that. MWAC really did nothing. No reason for them to yak at Joe Schmo for wearing square toes. They probably kept his toes warm in the winter and he wasn't getting wedded anytime soon. Well it had been coming to man. Didn't Thomas Jefferson say something like, "Man was made to carry others on his back like a horse"? Maybe not, he had read it off some tumblr was back in the day and they tended to be unreliable.
Harold opened the envelope and read. He was fired. So was everyone else. It had finally happened, they were getting rid of MWAC as part of government cuts. He sat back in his chair. It was 20th century and well-made in the USA. He could finally go home. He would sit on his porch with other well suited men, drink whiskey, and hope the world would forget about him. Hopefully his liver would give out before his wife's patience did. No one cared about the MWAC anymore. No one cared about men anymore. Maybe men would get a second chance in some heritage revival, but Harold doubted it.