I Feel Like Samantha on Bewitched (009)

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 Did Jorts Go Out of Style? (005)

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.

Patriot Colors (004)

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.

To Tuck or Not To Tuck (002)

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.

Lilac & Navy (001)

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.