Start with the jacket, which was gray, fabric so smooth it glistened.
The shirt was black, the tie polka-dot. A vest offered a final, formal touch to complete the ensemble Aaron Curry wore to last year's draft in New York.
"I had my suit planned out," Curry said.
Curry began thinking about what to wear in late February. The draft was held in April. Two months of planning for a moment he spent years imagining culminated when Seattle chose him with the fourth overall pick.
"It was living a dream," Curry said of that moment. "Growing up, you watch it every year."
Well, maybe now you do.
But in 1976, prospects sat at home and waited for the phone to ring. No television coverage, no commissioner stepping to the podium as a nation watched. If a player was waiting in a green room to be chosen it was only because he made an odd choice of interior paint at home.
Steve Niehaus was in his room at Notre Dame on April 8, 1976, when he got the call telling him he was the first draft choice in franchise history. Mel Kiper Jr. wasn't yet old enough to drive when the league's 28 teams got together at the Roosevelt Hotel in the middle of the week to make 17 rounds' worth of picks.
Even when the draft was televised for the first time in 1980, it was available in so few homes that the Dallas Cowboys had to scramble just to get the broadcast available in their headquarters.
Curry was born in 1986, so he doesn't remember when the draft was an afterthought. Today, two networks televise an event that has expanded to three days and developed its own vocabulary of mock drafts, sleepers and the Wonderlic test used to measure a player's smarts.
Other than the Super Bowl, the draft is the biggest day on the NFL calendar. Well, the biggest three days now because the draft lasts longer than ever and has been moved to prime time. It will start with the first round Thursday night, continue Friday and conclude Saturday.
"It's overkill," said Curt Warner, the Seahawks' first-round draft pick in 1983. "That's my opinion. But I'll be watching like everybody else. At least some of it."
Jacob Green was watching at home.
At least that's how he remembers the 1980 draft, waiting at his apartment in College Station, Texas. And it's possible. The draft was televised for the first time that year, carried by ESPN, a nascent cable network not yet a year old.
But the draft was hardly a household event. The Dallas Cowboys had to make special arrangements to make the telecast available in their headquarters. ESPN wasn't available in the building until the team ran wires down from a satellite dish so Tom Landry, Tex Schramm and everyone else could watch.
For those first few years, the draft was anything but must-see TV. Warner didn't even know the draft was televised when he was chosen in 1983.
"Really?" he said. "I had no idea."
He remembers that day clearly. He was in Los Angeles, and the Seahawks had traded away three draft picks to get the chance to choose him No. 3. If that happened today, the commissioner would come to the podium, announce a trade and the country would collectively gasp. But in 1983?
"I was en route to my agent's house," Warner said. "I was kind of hanging out, and we kind of had a pretty good idea what was going to happen."
Three years earlier, Green sat alongside his college roommate at Texas A&M, watching from Navidad Square, Apartment 708-C.
"Just us two," Green recalled. "We were there by ourselves."
Green was the second person in the room picked. His roommate was Curtis Dickey, a world-class sprinter and his Aggies teammate. Dickey was chosen No. 5, and he set about getting ready to leave for the airport.
"By the time he was walking out of the door, I got the call from Seattle," Green said.
The Seahawks had traded up, acquiring Buffalo's pick, to choose Green at No. 10, and when they asked him how long it would take him to get to the airport, he turned to his roommate.
"Can you wait five minutes?" Green asked.
They drove to the airport together.
The party got under way at Jillian's in downtown Tacoma, a hometown celebration for Marcus Trufant's impending selection in the 2003 draft.
Just one thing missing: Trufant.
He was tucked away with his family, watching from a distance.
"All the pressure and stuff at the draft, I was at a local hotel," said Trufant, who was chosen No. 11 overall by Seattle. "We waited until I got picked and then we went over to the party."
The draft is a spectacle now, but it's also a spotlight.
Two years ago, Brady Quinn waited through more than half of an interminable first round. Projected as a potential top-five choice, Quinn was chosen No. 22.
Disappointment is just part of the drama of draft day. Fans of every team have something to watch and wait for, watching who their team selects in what is the single most important factor in determining a franchise's success.
"Reality television," Warner said.
It certainly is, growing into an event that no one could have imagined when it was televised for the first time 30 years ago.
"It's just amazing what has happened," Green said. "It's a big show now. It's a huge show."
The draft has become a destination in the dreams of today's players, which is why Curry began thinking about what suit to wear two months in advance.
"You see those guys in the green room, those are the best guys in college football, period," Curry said. "And then you actually get to the part when you're in there, it's just a special feeling."
The memories evoke a smile.
"The air is so thick in there," Curry said. "Me and my wife always talk about how you know you're going to get drafted because you're in there. But you're waiting for your phone to ring, and until it rings, you're on edge."
So as much as things have changed since Seattle's first draft in 1976, one thing remains the same. Players are still waiting for that phone call.