Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Clothes shopping and the middle-aged male

By the time you read this, I will have blown somewhere in the neighborhood of $2,000 on new clothes.

Give or take a few bucks. And that number includes three new suits, which are big-ticket items.

But really, two grand.

I'll have done this for three reasons:

1. I have the money. I spent a chunk of my unemployment tackling freelance writing assignments for the Cleveland Clinic, which is a "nonprofit" (heavy on the quotes) that has more money than it knows what to do with, so giving me a small piece of the pie certainly didn't break the bank for them.

2. I have a new job, which you already know. It's a business casual environment, but I wasn't all that stocked up on biz casual clothes, so it's off to Kohl's I go.

3. I'm a smaller person, which you also already know. I'm pushing 40 pounds on the old Weight Loss Meter. There's just not as much of me as there used to be to fill out the shirts and pants hanging in my closet, so I figure I'm go out and buy tinier versions of those same shirts and pants.

A couple of notes on point #3:

I file this under "Problems That Are Nice to Have," but for two months now, I've been walking around hiking up my pants. Even with my belt on the last notch, I've still been fighting Droopy Drawers Syndrome thanks to my weight loss. Again, nice problem to have, but more than a little annoying after a few weeks.

Also, it should be noted that I really will go out and buy smaller replicas of the stuff I already own.

This is because I'm a 43-year-old man. We have our tastes and we're pretty well set in our ways. Short of a midlife crisis that drives us to start shopping at Aeropostale, we see no need to change what works for us in the way of sartorial choice.

So when I take my big blowout shopping trip later today (about a week ago from your future perspective), I'll pretty much just find the section that contains Scott Clothes and start pulling stuff off the rack.

The stereotype is that men don't like shopping. I'll say that's half true for me. I don't relish the thought, but I don't hate it, either.

I will, however, do it in about half the time it would take, for instance, my wife to purchase the same items. I will be in and out of that store in a couple of hours, which is pretty good when you're blowing four figures on new duds.

Really, all I care about is coming away with:

  • Some decent sandals to wear this summer
  • Some work pants that aren't four inches too big around the waist
  • Some new underwear
I am seriously excited about the underwear. Nothing excites Caucasian males in their middle years quite like the feel of fresh tighty-whiteys, let me tell you. Or maybe that's just me.

Either way, the Hanes people are going to be making a few bucks today, so good for them.

I can also guarantee that I will walk away with at least a few items of Dockers clothing. White guys love us some Dockers. My only rule there is no pleated pants. This isn't 1997 anymore. It's flat-front or nothing. That much I know.

Beyond that, though, I'm sticking with what I know works: Khaki pants, plaid button-downs, and the occasional dark-rinse jeans when I'm feeling hip. And tight-whiteys, of course. It all starts with the tighty-whiteys.

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