Most people of my gender choose to snorkel in the tropics of Belize without a shirt to maximize absorption of the caressing rays of the Sun. Not me. The Sun’s rays are like little, barbed spears that dig into my flesh causing microbleeds resulting in a pinkish hue. So, I need to wear a T-shirt. I chose a form-fitting (too much form to fit elegantly) orange workout shirt. I should also have worn a hat because the Sun, not to be outshone (pun intended), sent those little spears into my head and I ended up with a pealing scalp later in the week.
Sometimes, one must adjust the attire to conform to local standards. Such is the case at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India.
Entrance to the Golden Temple in Amritsar requires the removal of shoes and wearing a head cover…both men and women. The shoes are checked in outside the temple grounds. The Middle-Aged Man tends to never go barefoot, even in his home, but had to make the adjustment to see the beautiful temple. It was a more than acceptable tradeoff.
The head covering was purchased at one of many vendors on the way in. There were two choices. Orange or white. I am intrigued by the color orange (Sunrise, The Dutch Football Team, Buddhist monks, the color my hair used to be) and white (high noon, purity, virginity, innocence), I chose the former as it more suited my personality. Purchase price a mere 20 rupees (30 cents)
The Middle-Aged Man and his wife were traveling through India. He decided, on his own, to wear long pants to be at once culturally sensitive and, since they were visiting ancient temples, to be sure he was allowed entry. Some temples do not allow half pants aka shorts.
Well, it was hot, sunny, not a cloud in the sky to cast shade. The Middle-Aged Man is prone to overheating. Halfway through the day, the heat was getting to him. He rolled up his pants to dissipate some heat. He is not a big fan of knickers on me but, in this case, comfort dictated the look.
As his wife suggested before they embarked on the temple investigation, he should have worn shorts for to be comfortable (she remembered my struggles in our very humid Angkor Wat excursion) and slip-on shoes or sandals because many of the temples required shoe removal. Tieing and loosening his laces became a nuisance.
It’s been a while since the Pigman has posted to his fashion blog. The biggest reason is that it is a pain in the arse to setup the camera, a tripod, and take a self-portrait he can live with. (He tends to be particular about the pictures he posts.) Anyway, last week he picked up a brand new pair of khaki’s at Macy’s at 60% discount and a new pair of kicks at DSW for at 50% discount. He likes that the pants are snug at the ankles and show of the full length of the shoe. He matched them today along with a navy band collar shirt (he has long enjoyed the look of a band collar despite the fact it reminds him of the Catholic clergy).
One of the designers at his office said she liked his ‘outfit’. He opted not to go into the usual rant that little girls and women wear outfits. Men wear clothing. Instead, he basked in the compliment coming from a person acutely aware of aesthetics.
…and it makes his wife laugh. To be fair, she gave her blessing to his yellow pants and purple shirt combo. This was vacation time so he packed just the one coat to keep the luggage light. The black hat was purchased in Canada to keep the sun out of his eyes.
He would have packed his red Canada baseball cap but the wife said it makes him look like a Trumpster. That alone almost made him throw it in a dumpster for, to be associated with the Donald, a man with strong xenophobic tendencies is in antithesis to the Middle Aged Man who views himself as a citizen of the world, not just one country in the world, who understands isolationism is not the answer when the question is a thriving community.
But he has a hard time throwing away good money so it sits on his shelf gathering dust waiting for a future when the Donald has been dumped by US voters and is sent to rot in the anals (yes, I meant anal, not annal) of history.
The first full day in Canada included a visit to Peggy’s Cove on the Nova Scotia seashore then a long, long drive to the very tip of Prince Edward Island 418 km to the North. It was cool in the morning so the stretchy jeans were again chosen. The sun was shining so shorts could have been option but the Middle Aged Man decided to play it safe. After this day, they were stuffed into the suitcase only to see the light of day on the long return trip home.
The Middle Aged Man digs the shades of orange known as rust, copper, terracotta, because they remind him of his beloved Moab, Utah, a land boasting many shades of orange and red along with landscapes that look more surreal than real. If he was given the option of living anywhere in the world, it would be somewhere in the bottom third of Utah leaning toward the East. His plan is to reside there permanently for eternity posthumously when his ashes are scattered to the Canyonland winds.
Now that he is thinking about the red rocks, he feels it’s time to visit his spiritual home again.
Vacation time typically means plane time, airport time, lots of uncomfortable sitting time all begging for comfortable attire. The trip to Nova Scotia included two plane legs and a three hour layover.
So, the Middle Aged Man wore a pair of stretchy jeans, a lycra blend shirt also very stretchy, and his very comfortable grey Adidas shoes which go with almost and casual ensemble. He wanted to wear his blue pants with the elastic at the ankle but the wife said it looked too suburban.
“We are going to Canada.” he retorted, “What do Canadians know of urban vs suburban fashion or any fashion outside of hunting and fishing gear?”
“You gotta represent,” she returned. Thus the clothing for the evening in Halifax, Nova Scotia where they ate dinner and walked along the wonderful boardwalk taking time for this picture. (I feel like I’m starting to get the posing thing down.)
I bought these pants on the spur of the moment because they were dirt cheap, I was getting antsy waiting for my wife with an ability to shop for hours on end, and I had never owned a pair of maroon pants…well…I may have in the mid-1970s but those were large bell bottom plaid with a hint of maroon thrown into the mix. But that is something we no longer talk about and the pictures are, I hope, long gone.
Every time I put these on with my loafers, and I always wear them with loafers because I have no idea what else to wear them with, I have a flashback to Samantha the Witch as played by Elizabeth Montgomery on the TV Show Bewitched from my youth. I don’t know if she ever wore this combination. Nonetheless, I get that flashback.
Why then do I continue to wear them? To overcome the misguided notion that maroon pants are somehow effeminate. I am working to eliminate some of the silly gender stereotypes from my thinking.
When I was younger, I enjoyed the vest that went with a three piece suit. I thought it added a touch of class. These days, I am not so big a fan. The best thing I can say now is that a vest would partially disguise the bulging belly which my mom decided to immediately point out when I went to her house this morning.
I bought this suit on a 2 for 1 at Men’s Wearhouse because I need to go on the interview circuit after getting laid off. I only wore it a couple of times before getting hired so it has pretty much lived in the closet for the past year….except….that is…for my uncle’s funeral and a memorial service which was the occasion for this wearing. (The other suit I have yet to wear…so much for getting the benefit of a 2 for 1 sale!)
I tried to chic it up with some cool purple socks, a pink shirt, pink pocket square, a tie depicting “The Scream” by Edvard Munch, and my favorite burgundy shoes. Thankfully, the day was pleasantly cool so I didn’t get all sweated up.
My model posing obviously needs lots of work. I am so used to being behind a camera that I don’t know how to act on the other side. It didn’t help that my wife didn’t tell me when she was actually taking the pictures.
My one fear when purchasing a white sports coat is that it would make people think of John Travolta and the disco era even though it did not sport the wide lapel indicative of that era. I was/am firmly entrenched on the disco sucks side of the fence, claimed allegiance to the Insane Coho Lips, and was present during the Disco Demolition fiasco at Comiskey Park in 1979.
I dig the white coat. It wasn’t until I saw this picture that I realized how much I look like the American Flag or French Flag or Russian Flag or any of the 20 red, white, and blue flags of the world. Next time, I think I will pair it with other colors.
The Middle Aged Man received no fewer than six compliments on his red sports coat today with four of them from people he did not know. He also received a number of stares and sidelong glances and, if he is not mistaken, at least one snicker. But that’s ok for he is his own man and is comfortable in his own skin, his own red sports coat.
One of the people he knew said it was a flamboyant look. Flamboyant has a few definitions and connotations. The Middle Aged Man decided he would hang his hat on the definition: tending to attract attention because of their confidence and stylishness.
After lunch, someone remarked on the coat with a reference to salmon. The Middle Aged Man had had salmon for lunch and was wondering if he was smelling a might bit fishy. So, he asked a colleague to smell his coat. She asked why so he told her what happened. When she finally stopped laughing, she told him salmon was a shade of red, the red of the sports coat he was wearing.
One of these days the Middle Aged Man is going to need to learn there may be more than 7 ROY G. BIV colors. In the mean time, people, salmon is a fish not a color!
A few years ago, I was going out on a date in a pair of jorts (jean shorts) and my eldest daughter nearly fell into hysterics. It turns out, jorts were the epitome of Dad fashion and were shunned by anyone with any sense of coolness. I have since learned my beloved cargo shorts with a pocket for everything and then some have fallen into the same anti-cool hall of fame as jorts. So, what’s the Middle Aged Man to do?
His wife picked out these yellow shorts at Uniqlo. He was unsure but opted to go with her more sophisticated sense of style. He found this shirt on clearance at Nordstrom’s Rack, a store just around the corner from his office. The ‘list’ price was a ridiculous $135 but it was cut way, way down to fit within his more frugal budget. Otherwise, it would still be on the rack. The suede, navy blue shoes are made by one of the few clothing brands where he is willing to brandish a logo. They are Tom’s, a company that gives away a pair of shoes to the needy for every pair purchased.
The Middle Aged Man is still working on his ability to comfortably pose in front of the lens. This hand on chin mannerism is one the daughter that ridiculed his jorts absolutely hates. So, it seemed appropriate for an article with jorts in the title.
With the publishing of this photo, the Middle Aged Man has come to realize he has a developed a tendency to wear red clothing. Today he paired red shirt, red shoes, red belt, and red watch with a pair of white Guess jeans and a navy blue sport coat. The jeans were found on the 80% off rack at Macy’s. (He didn’t realize they were Guess until much later.) Otherwise, the Middle Aged Man would never have purchased them because he refuses to pay extortionate fees to wear a label. His anti-label agenda means he rarely purchases items with visible labels. Why should he be an unpaid advertisement for mega companies? Now if some company out in reader land wants to pay him to wear their label and feature it on his blog….he is open to negotiation. Yes, he can be rented.
His campaign against labels started in the 1990s. For a long time, he was a fan of Nike shoes and wore them regularly because they fit well and felt good on his feet. Then Nike bought MJ, #23, Michael Jordan and almost overnight the prices on the shoes jumped. Same shoes with a much higher price because a basketball player wore the brand? That’s bullshit. Once that happened, he never again purchased a Nike product for personal use.
When my daughter was in college, she had a green and yellow circled chalked on the wall of her room. She said the combination of colors and shape felt peaceful. Thoughts of peacefulness inspired today’s background.
I read earlier this year, yellow was going to be an in color. So, I purchased a pair of yellow Adidas Gazelles and wore them with very low cut socks for the sockless look. There are other colors I have my eyes on but have not yet made the purchase. These shoes remind me of my soccer glory days before my knee was trashed, I crashed out of shape, and ballooned around the belly. I paired it with a pale yellow polo and a pair of olive green pants. I like how the colors complement each other.
I enjoy the touch of elegance added by a sportcoat or blazer. It dresses up any look, can be worn as a substitute jacket in the days when it’s too warm for a coat and still too cold in the morning to wear short sleeves. An added benefit, it has internal pockets to hold my phone and old man reading glasses and does a decent of job of masking the spare tire growing around my mid section.
This is one of my two conservative jacket and it goes with most anything. In a few days, my summer color jackets will be ready for pickup from Mandy, my seamstress. I also foresee a double breasted blazer on the horizon.
Few fashion choices, besides the propensity for people to pay hard earned money for ripped jeans, confound the Middle Age Man more than the question to tuck or not to tuck. For almost every occasion, the Middle Age Man is a tucker. Much to the dismay of his daughter and wife, the Middle Aged Man tucks in every shirt he wears including his t-shirt into his pajamas at night.
The question is not one of whether or not it looks good. The question is along the lines of an untucked shirt being an appropriate way to dress for the work environment. My perspective has been molded by 12 years of private school requiring a dress shirt be tucked into dress trousers and a tie knotted around a neck with the collar buttoned. And by many early years in his business career requiring shirt and tie before the business casual became a trend with a subsequent descent into an almost anything goes into the office. His colleagues frequently wear shorts in the summer.
Today’s get up consisted of light red, summer weight Levi’s with an abnormally high waist. A patterned blue shirt from a local discount store. The blue bit loafers are made of deerskin ensuring they are buttery soft. The Middle Aged Man would have preferred to appear sockless but his loafer socks were too large to be hidden by the shoes so he wore a pair of multi-colored, feather design socks. The blue band, red faced watch was found on sale at Amazon and the bracelet was purchased on Etsy.
Most days, at least the days he wants to be color coordinated, the Middle Aged Man plays modern Ken doll and asks his wife for help mixing and matching his clothes. For today, he knew he wanted to wear the brown monk straps, a shoe his wife picked out for him at one of their many forays into DSW. It’s a style they purchased early in his sartorial explorations, one he would not normally have chosen because the long toe box made his feet look abnormally Bozoish. Still, he put his trust in her and they have become a favorite. Now, he remembered from previous days struggling to mix and match colors, an appropriate choice of trousers could be navy. At that point, he was stuck what color shirt to wear.
“How about the lilac”, she said.
“What’s lilac? I don’t own anything lilac.”
She walked to his tiny closet and pointed to a light purple shirt, “That’s lilac.”
“No,” he responded, “that’s light purple.”
She sometimes forgets the Middle Aged Man only sees the 7 ROY G BIV colors. Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. And then Indigo might as well be purple bringing it down to six colors total. Anyway, he added the light purple shirt to his ensemble, accented that with his Birth of Venus socks, a wooden watch with the light brown band, a silver Buddhist bracelet, a Tibetan Om necklace, and he was set for the work day.
Looking at the pictures, the Middle Aged Man feels the ensemble may be overly Suburbanish but it’s only Wednesday. The clothing later in the week tends to have a bit more color and flair tipping him safely in the direction of urban male.
This is my (somewhat) tongue in cheek blog where I explore my own sartorial splendor, where I get in touch with my inner peacock, where the chubby old goat attempts to be fashionable. Despite my best efforts, I am still not far removed from being a pig in lipstick. But that’s ok because I enjoying playing dress up. And there will be the occasional post by my much more fashionable wife.
For a preview, check out my About page where I give a short history of my fashion journey and my posting It’s The Socks on my Musings of a Middle Aged Man blog where I encountered an interesting person on the streets of Chicago.