“Style” and the older man

It’s dinner and a movie night with some friends. The monthly event is called Don Pedro, for some reason, but I love it and look forward to it every month.

So I’m waiting for my Smashburger pager to rattle and flash when I notice one of our guys approaching. He’s wearing a blue blazer, and a tie with a tie clip(!) We tease him, but he looks good and a little out of place compared to the rest of us. He explains to us that getting on in years he’s put on some weight and a blazer and a tie makes him look thinner. And it is true–the jacket especially takes off a few pounds. He points out that our president is quite fat, but you don’t really notice this most of the time. It’s the pix of him on the golf course sans the jacket and often in white where he looks quite the “fat ass,” to quote one of Matt Taibbi‘s designations for the 45th President.

styleDuring this talk about the slimming effect of wearing a coat and tie, I glanced down and noticed what I was wearing. It’s got nothing to do with weight. Oh, I’m definitely fatter than my fellow Don Pedro, and I’m not trying to cover it up–unfortunately. No, it’s what I am wearing–nothing matches! My shirt doesn’t go with my khaki-or-green-or-whatevercolor brushed chords which definitely does not go with my socks. Finally, there’s the business of my sneakers. I have been told a man pushing 60 should not go out on the town wearing these type of shoes.

There was a time I was very style conscience. Forty years ago I sold shoes and bought clothes designed by Calvin Klein, George Rech, I wore Newman Jeans and expensive kid leather shoes and demi boots. Over the years my taste turned more conservative, but I always cared about what clothes I bought and wore outside. I would wonder whenever Christmas and my birthday came around if I was going to get clothes that didn’t meet my standards. These days I don’t care so much.

It is illustrative of a shift in values and my philosophy. I didn’t mean to look tacky. I got lazy, that morning when I was dressing in the dark, I guess. My politics have shifted decidedly to the left. I don’t want to buy new clothes unless they are made in the U.S. by a union shop. That’s nearly impossible to achieve on my budget. So now I’m buying used and overstock stuff so the styles are limited. This head-on collision with discordant colors was bound to happen, I guess.

Then there are the shoes. Something tells me no matter how often my wife points out I need to wear footwear more befitting an elderly man, I’ll probably always (short of church services, weddings, and funerals) wear tennies. Ten years from now–if I am still alive–I’m sure I won’t give a shit.

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