Solid Observations / Writies

Clothes Make the Man


The USPS may have stopped delivering mail on Saturdays, but that hasn’t stopped me from mailing it in on a daily basis (weekends included) through rain or shine, snow or sleet.

I’ve become pretty good at mailing it in; and by “mailing it in”, I mean coming home from work and immediately putting on a good pair of sweat pants and a ratty, old, comfortable shirt*. It’s a very liberating feeling given that I just spent anywhere from 8 to 12 hours in a suit and tie.

Nevermind that I love wearing a suit and tie to work (in non-summer months). It makes me feel like a BAMF because I’m thir(cough) years old and have a job that pays well enough that I can afford suits (and have an excuse to wear them to occasions outside of funerals/weddings). I know how lucky I am to have my shit together when most of the people in my same age group have trouble deciding which tattoo to get or the gauge for their next pair of ear pucks.

But those same people who spend more of their time deciding on their ear pucks and tattoos also probably lead a more interesting life than I do. I can only imagine what kind of awesome/hilarious shenanigans they get into on a daily basis, whereas I have a tendency to come home after a long day at work, immediately strip down into some comfy clothes, and flop down on the couch to “relax”. Now that I’m a married man with a child, the opportunities for me to engage in “shenanigans” are about as prevalent as a sober moment with Charlie Sheen.

Sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to look good for your spouse after you come home from work. I mean, I’ve had to look presentable to the world for a whole 8 to 10 hours to trick people into thinking that I’m a productive member of society**. That’s a lot of work! It takes a lot out of a guy. There’s no better reward than putting on a comfortable pair of sweatpants after working for the man all day.

But two problems have started to present themselves.

First off, my wife has sharply taken notice of how apt I am at speed stripping into those comfortable clothes she rues so much***. She feels slighted because instead of primping myself for her delight, I put on clothes (and an appearance) that says to her, and the world, “I’m not ready or willing to engage in any human interaction, thankyouverymuch”. In short, I’m not really putting a whole lot of effort into keeping the wife interested.

But the other problem may be worse.

I’ve spent so much time only cycling between work clothes and comfortable clothes that I’m forgetting how to dress in casual clothes. Not like actually forgetting how to dress myself, but actually forgetting how to make myself look good in casual clothes.

Just the other day, we went to go see some of my wife’s family. I decided it would be good to wear some navy blue shorts (bueno!) and a shirt I bought on clearance from Old Navy (no bueno). The shirt was fairly unflattering, and when you add in the fact that my wife was dressed very nicely (in stylish clothes), I was clearly outdone. It was only when we were halfway to our destination that I realized I should have worn a nice polo or something with my classy navy blue shorts. But I didn’t. I didn’t because I’ve become too complacent in my wardrobe choices.

Add in the fact that a reason to dress up in casual clothing so infrequently presents itself, and you begin to realize that your casual clothing wardrobe has quickly fallen out of style. I haven’t really bought casual clothing in a couple of years, so my options of what to wear are even further limited.

Men are still wearing sweaters with really big floppy collars, right? No? DAMMIT.

So now it’s becoming more of a chicken and egg kind of game. Can Bill not dress appropriately because he doesn’t know how to properly dress himself, or can he not properly dress himself because his clothing styles are outdated?

All the while my wife suffers because I look like a hobo when lounging around the house, and when we’re out in public it looks like I got dressed in 2005 and transported to present day.


* One of those shirts that your wife has been eyeing for some time to be thrown into the rag pile for use in cleaning up urine spots your otherwise housebroken dog has decided to leave behind for your amusement.

** So far, it’s working.

*** Performed at speeds that would make NASCAR pit crews jealous.

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