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Friday, May 6, 2011

Middle Aged Style?

  The thing is, it just doesn’t seem right to harp on a middle aged working man about style. How’s a guy supposed to keep up with it all?  I mean every time you turn your head they’re changing things up on you.
  During the Fifties we wore deck pants you tied with a matching rope, for crying out loud. We all had crew cuts and pushed it up in front with “Butch Wax”.
  By junior high we were wearing continental slacks and tassel loafers. You had to have a 100 % cotton, button down collar shirt. If it wasn’t starched stiff as a board, it was not cool. The piece de resistance of this ensemble was a v-neck alpaca sweater. At the end of my tenth grade year, we went home in all this sartorial splendor, sporting short Ivey League haircuts.
  That was the “Summer of Love”, so by the time we came back to school we had grown our hair out and donned elephant bell-bottom jeans. Pocket t-shirts of assorted colors were the rage. “Dead Heads” liked the tie-dye ones best.  Popular footwear were these biker boots with sawed off toes we called “snoot boots”.
  The movie “Saturday Night Fever” with John Travolta started a disco thing. “All us good ole boys” just left our hair long and started wearing designer jeans and faux silk shirts unbuttoned to our navels. You’d accessorize with a gold chain that had a small gold tusk hanging from it.
  Believe it or not, Travolta struck again with another movie entitled, “Urban Cowboy”. I was suddenly the proud owner of several western style shirts, Tony Lama cowboy boots and skintight Wrangler jeans. That was the most uncomfortable style EVER.  Sitting down could be a painful experience if you weren’t careful.
  When I met my wife (who did some modeling) I was still about halfway stuck in this style. We had cut our hair shorter and ditched the western shirts. She thought I was cute but she’s always telling folks that what she saw was “a little boy with frogs in his pockets”, so you can’t really count her opinion.
  These days, I’ve taken to wearing my teenager’s stuff for casual social activity. I have to watch it though. A grown man with graying hair and beard just does not look right in a fur lined “hoodie” with “Hollister” written in giant letters across the front. I don’t care how slim you are.
  Since they started making you ring the bell and get some usually grouchy lady to come open the dressing rooms, I don’t even try clothes on. If they don’t fit, the wife will take them back and buy herself something with the money. We call it “doing me a favor.” We don’t talk about how it’s really just a piggyback way to get in a little shopping. At least someone in the family has got some fashion sense.

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