Fashionably Challenged

With the passing of each season, new fashion concerns arise to challenge me. As many of my friends, and all of my family, will attest, I am not a slave to fashion, I am immune to it. Yet assaulting people’s eyes with bizarre color combinations is apparently a crime against humanity, of that I am guilty.

This doesn’t mean I don’t take seriously my choice of wardrobe, I just make questionable choices. Over the years, any fashion sense I had fled the jurisdiction and abandoned me.

When I was at Cumberland High School, in keeping with the spirit of the era, I had a pair of purple, crushed velvet bell-bottom pants. They were the “haute couture” of my fashion collection. I wore them all the time. It was a prelude to my descent into fashion ignominy.

To me, color matching is like reading Egyptian Hieroglyphics. No brown with black, no purple with blue, except sometimes if…it is all a mystery to me. I’ve come to silently accept the hard view my wife gives me when I emerge ensconced in my latest selection, sheepishly returning to try again.

It’s no use arguing, I’ve come to accept my limitations. I desperately need color coded clothing tags to eliminate the mystery of this black magic. Where are Garanimals when I need them? (Look it up, they were genius.)


But the most distinct change is not so much the appearance of what I wear, it’s the changing nature of the clothes come the first hint of cooler weather in September.

Summer is my best fashion season. For some reason, shorts and t-shirts (absent any bizarre designs or patterns on both at the same time) can be worn in almost any combination, particularly around the house.

Absent any arriving guests or plans to go into the public view (and in the time of COVID they are indeed a rare commodity) I am free to wear what I want. My wife and daughter have either resigned themselves to this, come to accept it, or built up immunity to my choices.

But come September and the first temperature changes requiring the donning of long pants, my choices now become problematic. The first day I am forced to wear long pants feels like putting on a hazmat suit or growing thick layer of fur.

Cumbersome, confining, constricting, and, more critically, requiring me to delve into the deep recesses of my brain to recall if I can wear this sweatshirt or sweater with this color shirt.

I look forward with mixed emotions to the isolation of blizzards when I can cover my fashion selection with the Jalaba I bought in Morocco, what I am wearing matters little as long as I am warm.

Perhaps there is a book in this, What Not to Wear: A Master’s Guide to Fashion Faux Pas by Joe Broadmeadow.


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