Wardrobe function: my attempt to class it up a notch

For the past few weeks, I’ve been making a conscious effort to change my wardrobe. I realize that is a sentence not usually written by a man, but here we are.

It suddenly dawned on me that I often dress like a 22-year-old, jobless person living in an apartment. In my leisure time, I only really feel comfortable in t-shirts, and much of my t-shirt collection included a) ripped t-shirts, b) t-shirts with dumb phrases on like them like “Who stole me lucky charms?” and c) t-shirts that don’t fit me well. I tried to avoid the latter, which meant I had a rotation of like four t-shirts, all of which have embarrassed my wife. Last month I walked into our bathroom wearing my Napoleon Dynamite-themed “Liger” shirt and she immediately told me to change. Without stopping I just turned around and went right back to my dresser, and got the plain ripped one instead.

This IS that shirt, and I'm glad to see someone else on the Internet owns it.

Even my work clothes weren’t doing it for me. I felt like many of my pants and shirts weren’t fitting the way I wanted. This is my fault, by the way. Whenever we go shopping, I immediately go for the sales or clearance rack and end up talking myself into something that doesn’t fit. The neck is too wide, the pants look like bellbottoms, the collared shirt looks like it has shoulder pads … but it’s on sale! After three or four times of wearing that item I realize, “This doesn’t fit, I look terrible,” donate it to Goodwill, and go buy something else that doesn’t fit.

You see, I am a slim individual, a blessing and a curse. It’s been difficult for me to find clothing items that fit well, although I’ve admittedly avoided just that my entire life. However, slim fit is currently in style, I am told, and clothing manufacturers are actually starting to make clothes that fit a person of my body type. I mean, do you know what I look like in pleated dress pants? I look like MC Hammer, is the answer to that question. Finally I can buy non-pleated pants that fit, and dress shirts that don’t make me look like a freshman going to his first day of Catholic high school. Also, who invented pleated pants? He should be shot. Just kidding, that is harsh. Maybe just in the leg or something.

As if I weren’t already beginning to swing in the direction of dressing nicer, I then watched Justin Timberlake host SNL. Man, that guy can dress. Sure, someone dresses him, and I doubt that person shops at Kohl’s. Also, I’m pretty sure he wears a tuxedo everywhere these days. Still. He reinforced in me the idea that I should dress nicer. It’s possible I have a man-crush.

When I was a kid and wearing baggy pants and hats sideways like a complete idiot, I always thought to myself, “No way I’m going to be some khaki-wearing dork when I get older; I’m going to maintain this cool right here.” This juvenile thought had pervaded my consciousness for all these years. But now I’ve accepted the fact I’m a 34-year-old skinny white man with a job, and that job is not inside a hip-hop recording studio.

I’m getting there. I’ve already bought some t-shirts—nicer t-shirts—and pants that fit. It has cost me more money, sure, but fewer things are going to Goodwill, so I must be doing something right.


Note: This column appears in the 4/4 issue of The Glendale Star and the 4/5 issue of the Peoria Times.