Shaking Up The Old Sock Drawer

For my birthday the California SIL got me a very colorful pair of socks.  They’re socks that paint a kind of picture — in this case, a desert landscape complete with a Saguaro cactus or two and a red desert sky.

The new socks will really shake up my sock drawer, which otherwise could be accurately shown on a black and white TV set.  In short, it’s a study in blacks, grays, and whites, without much of a rainbow effect.  I’m not sure how my other boring socks will react to these gaudy interlopers.

There has been a bit of a revolution in men’s socks over the past decade or so, with lots of fellows showing stripes and checks and polka dots and bold hues in the ankle coverage area.  I’ve been slow to get into the sock fashion game, because I’m not a very fashionable person by nature.  Plus, I think that most people expect drab sockwear to go with the gray and blue suits and discreet ties that are a lawyer’s standard uniform.  But times clearly are changing, and you see more male lawyers getting into stocking style and hosiery hues.

So, I’m happily going to give my desert-themed socks a try.  And I’ll be interested in seeing whether bright and colorful socks have one key feature:  are they less likely to get lost around clothes dryers?

 

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Say Yes To The Dress?

We’ve got a wedding in the family coming up later this year.  Although the blessed event itself is still months in the future, the time for carefully analyzing and evaluating what dresses should be worn to the wedding and the rehearsal dinner apparently is . . . now!

autumn-dresses-wedding-guestI had no idea that quite so many websites featured dresses for the family members who are attending weddings.  Dresses of every imaginable length, cut, and hemline.  Dresses with jackets and without.  Dresses that feature something mysteriously called a “bodice.” Sleeveless dresses, dresses with poofy shoulders, and dresses with curious slashes, like they’ve been attacked by Freddy Krueger.  Dresses in every conceivable color of the rainbow, from azure to lilac, from saffron to magenta, from sea foam to garnet, with every subtle gradation and shade in between.

Never has fashion been the subject of such passion.

For the husband, there is no avoiding it.  When I get home I’m going to be asked to choose between dress styles with subtle differences discernible only to Parisian designers.  I’m going to be asked whether I prefer the periwinkle or the lavender, the teal or the aquamarine.  And, because every dress website that Kish has accessed has deposited a girl scout squadron’s worth of cookies on our home computer, every pop up ad on every sports website that I check these days features solemn women modeling dresses.

After some weeks of this, I suddenly became concerned.  “Honey, should I be worried about what I’m going to wear to the wedding?” I asked.  Kish laughed heartily.  “Don’t worry about it,” she said.  “No one pays attention to what a man is wearing.”

Too bad, because I was thinking of something in cornflower.

An Ohio State Jersey Is Always In Style

At today’s Ohio State-Buffalo game, Ohio Stadium will be a sea of scarlet and gray.  Countless fans will be wearing their Ohio State jerseys to add to the color and pageantry of college football.

IMG_4840People living outside Columbus may not realize, however, that an Ohio State jersey is not something that you wear only to football games.  No, it’s clearly a much more versatile garment from a fashion standpoint.

This summer Kish and I were sitting in the airport and I noticed a guy wearing an OSU jersey — and a blue blazer, too.  I’ve seen college girls wearing ultra short jerseys or tied off jerseys to achieve the bare midriff look.  On the Fridays before games, you’ll see clerks behind counters wearing their jerseys, and scarlet and gray-clad office workers coming out of their buildings for lunch.  Men and women, boys and girls, they’ll wear their jerseys with shorts, with jeans, with sleeves cut off, and over gray hoodies.  People get married in their jerseys and wear them to high school proms.  I don’t think I’ve personally seen someone wear a Buckeyes jersey with a tuxedo — but give it time.

Unfortunately, not everyone looks good in an Ohio State jersey — which is why I don’t own one.  It’s an article of clothing made for athletes in peak physical condition, after all.  It doesn’t look quite as compelling when its tensile fibers are straining to cover a serious beer belly and the too-tight fit gives the wearer an unfortunately revealing, molded look.  We’ll see some of that today, no doubt . . . but it’s just the price you pay to be an Ohio State fan.

Dissing The Sneads

During our recent vacation, Kish and Russell had high times making fun of these tennis shoes.  Kish said they looked like golf shoes and called them the Sammy Sneads every time I put them on.  Russell, on the other hand, shook his head and sadly advised that shoes made by Skechers are per se uncool.

IMG_4800I bought the shoes at Kohl’s.  They were on the bargain shelf and cost a small fraction of the other gym shoes.  I didn’t know whether they are socially acceptable or not, because I pay no attention to shoe fashion.  I didn’t care whether popular people wear shoes with square toes, round toes, or pointed toes, or whether stripes on the sides are “in” or “out.”

What I did know is that I rebel at the notion of paying more than $100 for a pair of gym shoes that I wear around the neighborhood.  The prices of such shoes seem ridiculous for mass-produced rubber, plastic, and cloth creations.  Obviously, people are paying for brands and status symbols.

I could care less about that.  I admit I’m a cheapskate.  I’ll go for low cost and functionality over “branding” any time.  I’m not a runner.  I don’t play competitive sports.  I’m not trying to make a fashion statement when I go for a walk.

Give me durable shoes that fit and leave money in my wallet, and I’ll wear them happily — “Sneads” or not.

The Classics

IMG_1316I love old cars.  Who doesn’t?

In some ways, automobile designs are like fashion design.  The ’30s and ’40s were times of classic approaches, with clean lines and beautifully appealing exteriors.  By the ’70s — well, leisure suits and the Ford Granada just don’t stack up.

I’m not precisely sure what year this vintage Lincoln dates from, but it is a beauty.

Asking For Outfit Guidance From The Fashion-Challenged

Every morning my lovely wife takes great care in assembling her outfit, thoughtfully matching her skirt or pants, blouse, sweater, shoes and a fashion accessory like a scarf or pearls.  And then she foolishly throws caution to the winds by asking me what I think of the final combination.

I always say that her choices look good — because, in fact, they always do.  The unfortunate reality, however, is that my opinion is without value because I have absolutely no fashion sense.  I can’t distinguish between subtle shades of black.  I don’t know when — if ever — it’s appropriate to wear plaid.  I have no clue which colors “go together” and which colors “clash.”  (“Clash” seems like pretty violent imagery for a clothing-related issue, incidentally.)  Indeed, I can’t even figure out how to hang up most of Kish’s clothes, what with all of the mysterious straps and outsized or undersized holes, much less express a meaningful view of whether they logically should be worn together.

I probably inherited my fashion obliviousness from my father.  During the ’70s he plunged into the outlandish clothing trends of the decade with reckless abandon, going all in for brightly colored Sansabelt slacks, loud checked jackets, white loafers with the gold buckles, leisure suits, and shirts with zippers.  It’s probably fortunate for me that, as a lawyer, I’m expected to wear basic gray or blue suits, white shirts, and some kind of drab tie.  I can manage that without embarrassing myself.

So this morning, Kish will ask how she looks, and I’ll say she looks great as she always does.  Lately, though, I’ve been noticing that after I express my heartfelt opinions she’s likely to go change her outfit, anyway.  Maybe she’s not relying on my sense of chic after all.

Gum-Snapping Fashion

When we were in New York City, we noticed many young women who were dressed to the nines.  They were wearing breeches, and knee-high boots, and dainty short white coats, and scarves that were carefully tied so as to look as if they had been casually tied.  A very strong high fashion vibe was in the air, everywhere — but then the whole look was destroyed when you saw the young lady, mouth agape, chomping away on a wad of gum.

You never see Vogue models with gum in their mouths.  There’s a reason for that — the vigorous jaw workout that goes with gum chewing is neither attractive nor classy.  You can put together the most attractive high-fashion clothing ensemble imaginable, one that would fit comfortably on the streets of Paris, and if you’re grinding away on a lump of gum you may as well be wearing ratty, ill-fitting sweats and walk outside with a bad case of “bed head.”  It is simply impossible to look cool and fashionable when you’re chewing gum.

I find this curious.  Anyone who pays as much attention to their appearance as these young women obviously do must be aware of how their unseemly gum-snapping is perceived.  Do they just not care how they look to strangers on the street as they chomp away, and do they then dispose of their gum in some fashionable way when they reach their fashionable destination?  Or is the gum an intentional statement that is designed to convey some kind of ironic message too subtle for me to comprehend?