I don’t know when I first heard the expression: “Dressed to the nines”, but all I can say is “different strokes for different folks”. What looks good to one person may be something another person figuratively “wouldn’t be caught dead wearing”. How about you? When it comes to fashion, how do you know the look you want to project?
Both my kids have warned me, “Dad, Please don’t ever wear walking shorts with dress socks and shoes”. Obviously, the warning wouldn’t have been forthcoming unless they had seen for themselves how unacceptable the look is when they’ve observed it elsewhere. Just for the record, they didn’t observe me dressed that way. I may wear loafers and no socks with shorts, but I’m not wearing shorts with dress shoes and socks.
Truthfully, why would any man regardless of age choose to do that? I ask the question, but it happens. More than once when I’ve seen it, I’ve said more to myself than to God: “Please God, don’t ever let me do that? A couple of weeks ago when I was flying from Washington back to Austin, I changed planes at DFW and I saw for myself what I never ever thought I’d see.
At first I thought I was having a hallucination. “Surely not!” – That is true for both the hallucination and what I was seeing if you get my double meaning. Of course, I also know that seeing is believing which explains the photo. I knew you’d have to see it to believe it. Most of the people I know don’t read GQ Magazine.
The man was obviously sporting a new look. “Dressed to the nines” would not be my descriptor, but whose to say? Of course, it was a Saturday. Maybe it fell in the category of business casual? Of course, we have Gentleman’s Quarterly (GQ) to thank for the trend. Actually a couple of years ago they promoted the idea of “going with it” when you look longingly at a pair of shorts knowing it is hot outside. Why not?
They expressed it like this: “Congratulations on making it to another casual Friday in your casual office! We understand this is your time to push the envelope with professional style, and we want you to look great. With the heat on, you may be eying your shorts in the morning, wondering if you can make that move, questioning if you’ll instantly become ‘that guy who wore shorts that one time’. Here’s how to bare your legs at your nine-to-five without losing your dignity”.
Of course, GQ provided the precautionary wise counsel that if you have meetings scheduled with your boss or other big wigs, it might be better to play is safe and stick with long pants. In addition, if you want to successfully “pull off the look” you have to avoid wearing shorts that are super-casual. Instead, go for more of a tailored look with one color (i.e.: no plaid). Under no circumstances should you select a shirt without a collar to wear. As a finishing touch, add a light cardigan or a jacket and you are good to go.
Of course, you’re not quite done. Avoid sneakers! They are not acceptable for a dressy look. In addition, as a rule of thumb: “Keep your legs looking good”. No one wants to see them if they are “covered in bruises from mountain-biking, suffering from some dry skin, or rolling with tan lines”.
The anonymous man who is pictured with today’s blog had taken care to color inside the lines with all of the suggestions identified by GQ. He was even wearing a tie. Was it a good look? How do I answer that? All I can say is that, “I’m not that bold”.
However, under the auspices of transparency, I have to confess that the past month of retirement has found me less than at my best. I grew up with the belief that it always serves you well to put your best foot forward. I’d say that “Clothes make the man”, but my little brother in Oklahoma goes nuts when I say that, so I’m going to let it go. Consequently, I’m back to “put your best foot forward”. I’m not sure if it’s the right foot or left foot, so I attempt to use them both the same.
Okay, so now that I’m on a fixed income, do I really need to get my “casual shirts” for everyday ironed at the cleaners? After all, isn’t that why they call it “wash and wear?”
After years of heavy starch, the new look is a little flimsy. In case you’re wondering “wash and wear” is synonymous for “wrinkled and unkempt”. Let me add that “a little of that can go a long way.”
Consequently, if it’s not working for you, you don’t have to stay there. Yesterday, I made the decision to do it differently. While the General was at the gym working out, I put my casual wrinkled short sleeve shirts in the orange bag for the cleaners. Please don’t think badly of me even though the shirts were freshly laundered and hanging in my closet. They didn’t look good hanging in my closet. Consequently, they wouldn’t look good hanging on me.
Unfortunately, I made an error. I sat the laundry bag in the hallway outside my office while I temporarily did something else. Subsequently, I noticed a “wrinkled” pair of casual pants in my closet and took them off the hanger and placed them on top of the orange bag.
They say, “All good thing come to an end”. I heard the garage door open. I knew she was home. It took her less than fifteen seconds to notice the pants on top of the orange bag. She picked them up and asked: “What are these doing here? They don’t go to the cleaners.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. What was I thinking?” was my response. I then scurried out the door with the orange bag before the General took a closer look.
All My Best!