I'm told 'clothes make the man.' And I've always been fond of Genesis' "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)", but I've never been on a first-name basis with apparel and, as my wife would attest, I have no clothing sense at all.
I'm the guy who, if left to dress himself, ends up looking like a TV test pattern in terms of clashing colors and don't get me started on styles. Does it help that I hate to shop for clothes (actually that I hate to shop, period)? Suspect not.
I knew I was getting old(er) when as my employment changed I spent less time wearing casual slacks (there's a term open to interpretation!) and open-necked shirts and more time wearing ties. It's like the last stop on the maturation railroad--and now I have a job where I wear a tie.
I thought about this earlier this morning while dressing for work in clothes that included a tie. I even have a little booklet on how to tie my ties in a variety of ways, mainly because I'm an idiot who's a glutton for punishment. Here in the Air Age of World Wide Connectivity, I'm clearly a fossil as I have a booklet when all I need to go is go online. I use one of two variants, both of which involve flipping the fat part over the skinny part a couple of times and hoping the knot is close to square and that the skinny part doesn't dangle down below the fat part. How far down the front of your shirt a tie should go remains on the great mysteries to me, along with what might have ever been the original point and purpose of a tie (to cover the buttons on the shirt? To serve as a directional indicator for your belt and Nether Parts?).
Doing all this morning with a blue tie that felt weird (don't know what else to say about it), I caught my own eye in the reflection in the mirror and realized while I think I'm a Young Turk (I prefer the first definition by the way as opposed to the disambiguation aspect), I'm actually a retread with color coordination issues. Why else would my wife have to, literally, pick out every piece of clothing I wear? She's been quietly smiling in recent weeks as I've opted to move away from my 'white socks uber alles' mindset of recent years. I didn't care if it was a sweatsuit or a tuxedo (hey! Me and Chris could go to Council meetings as the Doublemint Twins!), I always wore white socks, turned inside out so that the smooth, finished side was against my skin and not against the inside of my shoe.
Walking through the local successful mall last weekend, made me wish she'd pick out all the clothes for the Next Lost Generation. The teens and 'tweens with the multi-colored hair (and none of the colors found in nature) dressed in clothing that looks like the Goodwill Donation Dumpster threw up. (See? That's how I know I'm old, NOT mature, old). I look at these kids and forget what I and my cohort looked like to my parents and their friends, as I wonder, much like my Dad did, 'do your parents let you leave the house looking like this?' When no self-respecting mall anywhere doesn't have a Hot Topic store (I'd like to be in charge of making sure they're always directly across from the Abercrombie and Fitch store. Twin headstones for individual choice, you have to love the symmetry), we have issues that no one seeking the Presidency has even thought about addressing, but needs to. Oliver's Army, indeed. It takes some real coin to dress like that. Salvation a la mode, with a cup of tea.
At least I'm dressed for it. What time is the drawing?