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.”