FAQ: WTF?

You know, I was feeling a lot better about understanding fashion particularly with regards to how it relates to me. I felt I had a bit more of a vocabulary and I didn’t seem as lost when surrounded by racks of choices. My eyes would even hone in on some item then the brain would follow critically, assessing my find against its practicality for moi.

It was therefore probably a mistake to click on the Style page of the NY Times today. Barely able to walk, I think they’re asking me to run. I was confronted with this:

21-brown-lapel-tmagSF

My first thought was of course the ubiquitous ‘WTF?” It’s such a perfect catchall, and unrevealing of the nature of one’s confusion/amusement/disdain etc. Such a reactionary response is indicative of curiosity on my part so I read further as to why a designer chose to add a bit of Rocky the Flying Squirrel to an otherwise ordinary suit.

It seems that the designer is attempting to evoke style reminiscent of military sashes. True, lapels did start from military tunics, with the ability to button over to perform the task of Keeping Warm. Trust the military to come up with such practical considerations. As we all know, looking good in high fashion has nothing to do with personal comfort (ask any university club hopper – see also ShpakBlog on the subject). Such is the case here, as the over-lapel buttons onto the jacket somehow.

I don’t want to know how, and I really don’t want, the next time I buy a suit or sport coat, to find extra buttons all over the thing for purposes of attaching hunks of chipmunk fur to me.

Here’s some things I already don’t understand about men’s clothing:

  • Why do they stitch suit pockets shut? If you don’t want to use it as a pocket, don’t use it as a pocket. Do you need stitching to save you from yourself? Really? If the designer wants a pocket flap as a design element, but Godforbid that anyone should use it to carry grapefruit, then why put a pocket behind it?
  • Sort of a corollary: The stitched lapel slot, for a boutonnière, well, they go around it with a buttonhole stitch, but then don’t bother to cut the thing open. You’re going to trust me with this, probably at the last minute when said boutonnière is sprung on me? It’s likely a borrowed pocket knife will do the honours. “Yes, it’s Armani, with Swiss Army Accents,” I might say, explaining away the hatchet job on the left lapel.
  • On the topic of buttonholes: dress shirts, and even a lot of casual shirts are showing up with the bottom hole horizontal, versus the vertical arrangement of the remainder. At first I thought this might be Moron Protection, aha, this must be the bottom button hole so I start here, thus avoiding an embarrassing misalignment, but there’s no guarantee I start with the bottom button, is there? And in fact the extra buttons sewn onto the shirt for replacements are down there so Lowest Button is ambiguous in some cases. In any event, if you can do up an entire shirt and are still oblivious to the fact you’re one buttonhole off, then it is your duty to entertain the rest of us. I, for one, need something to take my mind off wondering what the horizontal hole is for.
  • Lastly, can I just request industry standard agreement on the placement of the inner pocket on any men’s garment? Now, most of them are on the left to facilitate a right handed man. Okay, I get that. Yet every now and then there’s something with a pocket on the inner right. That’s okay, in itself, as I dress. In goes the wallet. Yet hours later, when needing to retrieve said wallet, there’s the moment of panic when I forget about this oddity of nature. Is somebody, 34661_1511927635155_1143301626_1477855_3849623_nsomewhere, laughing at me? No? Then pick a side, people, and stick with it.

And while you’re at it, lose the furry lapel thing. If I want to wear a sash, I’ll become a scout leader. Now, THIS is a man who can wear a sash ————————————->

Awwright, Party’s Over

Platypus-transparentWell, for a couple days, or perhaps just a few hours, not sure. The Remade Man ventured out into a showy and peaceful Yule season and emerged unscathed. Odd thing, amongst old acquaintances who have resisted the Media Juggernaut this blog has unleashed, comments about appearance were minimal, You Look Good’s and You’ve Lost Weight’s. Despite the appearance of caps like I’ve never warn before and big scarves draped as instructed, I had not one Holy Shit What Happened To You or even a Wazzup, Did You Lose A Bet? If there was tittered laughter, it was way behind my back, where is usually is.

As much as I want to tell you I am still the cocky and arrogant bastard I always was, there is a congruence now that wasn’t there before. At first it masked as confidence, but then it was apparent these were the same smart assed comments that always issued forth. When not faced with Scruffian Biker, strangers were more receptive to the spirit of the humour. Therefore indulgence in said humour increased and general mirth and merriment more readily ensued as store clerks and passersby had less suspicion they’d be shanked as the punch line to the jokes.

So too have the lessons of the Presence session been applied in scenarios far reaching beyond the scope suggested. I have adapted the Entering a Room advice to situations like Entering a Restaurant and Entering a Liquor Store with similar effect. When in my daily casual attire previously, I believe I would avoid eye contact in general, possibly as a way of de-emphasizing the implicit threat of my visual.

So, at this halfway point of the Holiday Season, I am loathe to say it, but so far so good on the improvements without the changes, as promised. I am Still Me, and it’s easier to be Me.

I hate it when I’m wrong.

Out Of The Closet

In the earliest stages of the Project To Remake Me A Man, Kathryn made an awful threat: to go through my closet and approve and disapprove items already in my wardrobe on the basis of the results of my body analysis.

I recoiled in such horror it took me twenty minutes to walk back to the spot I started.

It wasn’t so much the clothes as it was the idea of having anyone in my closet. Of the walk-in variety, off the top of my head this closet is currently host to:

  • 1 set cross country skis
  • 1 pair goalie pads
  • 300+ LP’s
  • Set of 4 life jackets
  • a TV remote for a discarded TV
  • a cappuccino maker
  • an ancient electronic rhythm box
  • 2 canoe paddles
  • a fan
  • a money box sans money
  • some money sans box
  • several tubs of unsorted photographs
  • one small box of sorted photographs

This is in addition to clothes hanging up that I rarely wear even before knowing better and clothes in laundry baskets that I do wear. There’s a reasonable chance that one of the three laundry baskets is clean clothes. I’m not sure which it is. Thankfully, since I am not currently playing tennis three or four times a week, the aroma of the laundry is somewhat less objectionable than height of summer. Of course then three baskets would never accumulate.

I only wear my red shirt and cargo shorts then.

Too Many Options

The future is so bright. And I have no prescription sunglasses.

Kathryn and I emerged unscathed from the first foray into popular media. You will recall Mr. Media Journalist of last week who was avalanched by a mountain of words in an attempt to understand exactly what it was we were up to and shape and contain it in article form. He extracted himself admirably.

My observation then and now is that we wrote the article for him. It was all there. Sound bites, creative non-sequiturs, meat and potatoes, everything he needed. His challenge was to weed through the gravy, the gallons of gravy of verbosity, that we heaped upon his plate.

His was an editing job of substantial proportions, the needle in a wordly haystack. I’m in a little bit of trouble as Cute Instigator, the person who introduced Kathryn and I, does not feel she was adequately represented in the story. I told her, in this case, it’s okay to shoot the messenger.

We have taken a week off from further incursions into the Resurrection of Me, you know, Christmas and all. Probably a good idea I stop talking about myself directly (although, really, I am quite beautiful now)(the washroom is that way, if you don’t get to the Gravol fast enough) and perhaps deal with my take on some men’s issues while we wait for the next segment of the adventure.

So, in a tradition of casual, lazy Friday blogs, this is, more or less, all folks.

Circle of Despair

tennisTomorrow I play tennis for the first time since October. One comment was made: “You’ll never find your balls.”

It took me a minute to realize she meant tennis balls in the snow. I thought she meant… never mind. For the record they have not crawled back inside my body for winter.

I’m starting to get the first rumblings of concern about the increased sedentary nature of winter in general. I have looked at my cross country skis. They looked back, as if to say, “You’re not going to stand on us, are you? Fuuuuuuuuuu…” Oddly, the year that I got them was a year pretty much without snow. Perhaps if I go skiing I can stop this snow nonsense, but more likely true environmental change would require a new sacrificial cash outlay, one I am not prepared to make.

Tennis now and then in the winter won’t make much difference for me anyway, too infrequent and too time limited. I will probably overplay, packing in as much pseudo-ball whacking glory into an hour as I can, as though the calorie burn could be stored, squirrel-like, in my cheeks (yes, an homage auntie e), but sadly it doesn’t work like that. It should.

So with the Christmas Gorge-Fest staring me in the face, I think I better talk to Kathryn about some personal training tips. If you think I was afraid of the clothes, I tell you you know nothing of my fear.

So Kat… I think I’m ready. Provided I survive tennis.