Writer’s Workshop: Men’s Fashion And Why I Don’t Do It

A little appropriate music here: The Kinks, “Dedicated Follower of Fashion.”

So the prompt is “Make a list of the latest fashion trends that you just cannot do.” Now, a couple of things to remember:

  1. I’m built a little like a bowling ball with legs. Whatever the fashion, the designers didn’t have me in mind.
  2. I’m retired, and as such have little to no call to get dressed up anymore. My daily uniform is a knit polo shirt (you might call it a golf shirt), jeans and walking shoes. If it’s cold, I wear a hoodie.
  3. When I was in my late teens and early 20’s, I cared about fashion. Not any more.

I figured, if I was going to address this topic, I should get some idea as to what the current fashion trends for men are. So I DuckDuckGo’ed “mens fashion 2019” and found this article, “20 Men’s Style Trends You Should Actually Try in 2019.” So let’s see how many of the 20 I would actually do. (You might want to open the article in another tab so you can refer to it.)

  1. Tie Dye Tie dye was a big thing 50 years ago, when I was in grammar school. Didn’t do it then. Won’t do it now.
  2. Slouchy tailoring By slouchy, they mean looser-fitting, specifically wider pant legs and soft shoulders. I don’t wear suits anymore, but if I did, wider legs would definitely be a requirement, because of my wider legs (thanks to lymphedema). Also, wide shoulders would make me look like a linebacker, so softer shoulders would be the way to go. So this might be a keeper.
  3. Faux fur Sorry, no. I don’t like the way it looks, for one thing, and for another, I don’t wear “bombers, parkas, and motorcycle jackets,” which is where the article says you’re most likely to find “faux fur.” Let the faux keep its fur.
  4. Pinstripes Now this, I like. Again, I don’t wear suits on a regular basis anymore, but when I did, more often than not they were pinstriped, either navy or gray. Being older, I might even try black or brown. It’s a classic look, and I like classic looks.
  5. Chunky sweaters I’ve never liked chunky sweaters. I’m chunky enough as it is. This is a definite no.
  6. Wearable tech I wrote at some length a while ago about how I really didn’t see the point of so-called “smart” watches. Kip said that he and his wife looked at them, and it looked like it was nothing more than a remote control for her phone. The closest I come to wearing any technology is that I clip my phone to my belt. The phone does just about everything I need it to do, including tell time, so I don’t need to wear a watch, smart or otherwise. My uncle Jack said that he wears a watch because he’s always worn a watch, and I’m sure a lot of people say the same thing. I will say that, were I to wear a watch again, I’d want a Casio Databank. Technology of the ’80’s. I love it!
  7. Plaid The last time I wore plaid, I was playing the bagpipes. In other words, no.
  8. Casual athleisure Sweat suits and sneakers? For sitting around the house, maybe. Like I said earlier, I am fond of hoodies when it’s cold out. And my shoes are walking shoes by New Balance. So I already do this, although probably not the way they mean in the article.
  9. Shearling This is kind of like #3, isn’t it? I feel the same way about it. Nope!
  10. Fun socks As much as I might like to wear “fun socks,” it’s hard to find them to get around my legs. I might be tempted, but I’ll have to take a pass.
  11. Burgundy Not really my favorite color, but not too bad. I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy it.
  12. Olive It’s an ugly color and the guy who’s modeling it in the article doesn’t do much for it, either. No.
  13. Hiking boots I had a pair when I was in high school, and they were okay, but I didn’t love them. Plus, I’m into Velcro closures because of my physical issues, and I don’t think they make hiking boots that way.
  14. Tote bags The article tells us that backpacks and duffel bags are “cumbersome” and that brief(case)s and messengers are “snooty.” I’m all for snooty and cumbersome. No thank you.
  15. Short-Sleeve Collared Shirts As I said earlier, I wear polo/golf shirts, which are short-sleeved and collared, but I get the sense from looking at the shirt on the model in the article, that’s not what they’re talking about. As for the shirt in the article… just no.
  16. Logos If I’m going to pay a lot of money for a shirt, I don’t want the manufacturer’s name splashed across the front, or the back. There are shirts that incorporate the company logo, such as the Izod Lacoste alligator (which reminds me of the alligator that went in to a men’s clothing store and asked for a shirt with a golfer on the pocket) and Ralph Lauren’s Polo collection, where it’s done tastefully, but that’s not what they mean. So, no.
  17. Long outerwear For a minute, I thought it said “long underwear,” which can be nice when it’s cold out. I prefer a jacket length, but a little longer is cool, especially if you live in a colder climate, so this is okay.
  18. Camo Camo’s great if you’re in the military, or spend your weekends in a deer stand or duck blind, but otherwise, that’s a big N-O for me.
  19. Chelsea boots Yeah, right. No.
  20. Bootcut jeans As I’ve mentioned once or twice, my right leg is swollen thanks to lymphedema, and lately I’ve been having trouble buying jeans because they don’t fit around it. Boot-cut jeans, or flares, seem to be just what the doctor ordered. Now, if Omar the Tentmaker were only to carry them…

So, I’d say that 15 out of 20 would be what I wouldn’t wear.

To those of you in the US, Happy Independence Day! Here are Arthur Fiedler and The Boston Pops Orchestra with John Phillip Sousa’s “Stars And Stripes Forever.”

21 thoughts on “Writer’s Workshop: Men’s Fashion And Why I Don’t Do It

  1. John,

    I hope you had a nice day celebrating our country’s independence. This article had me smiling all the way through. Fashion is something I could care less about. I like what I like and that’s it – trending or not. It drives me insane to see a logo written on the seat of a woman’s pants/shorts such as VS’s Pink or worse an inappropriate word. That’s so unflattering. The camo fad is another that makes me roll my eyes. Who can possibly think pink camo for women’s apparel is sexy and even far less sexy when used for lingerie and unmentionables. I think the real outdoorsman’s head will turn if he sees his gal in something soft and seductive. Thanks for sharing yet another entertaining, well-written post, my friend!


  2. I’m almost right in line with you John. One exception is hiking boots. I bought a pair of Solomon hiking boots, and they were so comfortable that I bought a pair of their low-cut hiking boots. They look like sneakers, but have amazing support and feel great. And, they have a simple tug-on-a-plastic-thingie to snug-up the laces – easy peasy.


  3. Your commentary on the trends should be its own TV show. “Didn’t do it then. Won’t do it now.” is how I feel about most resurrected trends too.


    1. Hey, that might be a new feature. You can never tell.

      Really, I hated the stuff the first time, and they keep bringing it back. I’m waiting for them to bring back Nehru jackets or leisure suits…


  4. Tie-dye! I still love it and wear it but then, I’m not a guy! My hubby and I are retired so our wardrobe is casual. Jeans and polos/shirts/tops. I also wear leggings and tops. My days of the corporate look are over, fortunately. In fact, during the last 5 years at my job we were allowed to wear jeans! I loved it!


    1. Same here. I’ve had trouble finding jeans that will fit my legs (specifically the right one) lately, where I can’t push my leg all the way through. After two pair that ended up returned, Mary, who had wanted me to get some new jeans, said, “you’ve got enough pants that fit, just wear those.” It’s weird, though: the last pair that went back was the brand I always wear, in the size I always wear, and they didn’t fit. It’s crazy. I hate clothes…

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have and wear hiking boots constantly except in summer. It helps my feet and walking. Love a man in a pin stripped suit. Plaid…nope. As for today’s fashion….not into the very colourful leggings and would never wear them with a right top..yikes! That is Walmart country. I hate these ripped jeans and think the youngins are idiots when they wear them in winter. The young men who wear the very skinny pants that are very tight around the ankles and legs but are baggy in the butt….they look like they just dropped a load. Man buns…no! Stop with the tattoos….it will look horrible when you are 80.


    1. I preferred desert books or chukka boots to hiking boots, but I thought the hiking boots were OK. If they came with Velcro, I might consider another pair, although I like the New Balance walking shoes I wear every day. I buy them two at a time, because you never know when they’ll discontinue the style.

      I don’t get the pre-torn jeans thing. Half the fun of wearing jeans is putting the holes in yourself.


  6. Hi John – love the Kinks … ‘Follower of Fashion’ – me: I can only mostly wear cotton … so life is restricted … and am really not happy with purple, heather or olive … as long as I’m comfortable, clean etc … so be it … all the best and enjoy the weekend – cheers Hilary


  7. I love pinstripe suits on men. My husband had a really nice gray one when we got married. I am not into women’s fashion either so I know what you mean. My son (age 30) liked to wear “fun” socks but I think he is growing out of that phase now. Happy 4th!


    1. I look at the ensembles the name designers come up with for men, and all I can do is laugh. I wonder, would they wear the stuff? Seriously, how do they stay in business? Then I remember that they still make classic looks (suits, ties, jeans, etc.) and figure that’s where they do their business. I think the “fashionable” looks are put out there as a joke. Of course, some guys actually buy that stuff…

      Having a good holiday?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Fairly. Had to take my mom to the ER this morning…she is okay but almost 96 years old so every time is unnerving. We have a “quiet” fireworks display in our front yard when it gets dark with a few friends. Not a huge party.


        1. Sorry about your mom. Glad she’s okay, for now, anyway. It rained a little here last night and that put a damper on the children and their fireworks. Mary says it was an answer to prayer…

          Liked by 1 person

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