I used to dress well. I had a look. Clean, conservative, but with splashy accessories. What happened?
Should I blame Vancouver? The city is not known for fashion. Plaid is always in style. People dress for hiking even when headed to work or dinner. No, it can’t be Vancouver’s fault. I never bought into the outdoorsy look. I can’t fake it as a hiker. I don’t like mud. Hiking boots are too bulky. And I still don’t know if I’m supposed make some noise or play dead if I stumble upon a bear.
So then my rural home setting of the past six years must be a factor in my fashion slide. Last weekend I went on another quest for the latest issue of GQ. The guy at the gas station stared back blankly. Seems I was spouting random letters. GQ, SB, LMNOP. I didn’t even bother to ask at the drug store. I’m still peeved that they only get a shipment of Entertainment Weekly every other week. Read the cover—it’s not Entertainment Biweekly! But I digress. Must stop scratching old wounds. I suppose local retailers are just being practical. Retirees and mill workers aren’t seeking out an article about “how to brave the cold in style”. The John Deere cap and hockey jersey are all-season wear.
Fashion has no place here. Case in point. On Saturday, I saw two people nonchalantly walk into cafés in town wearing flannel pajama bottoms. Where’s the sign?! No real pants, no service. I will never step foot in Mark’s Wearhouse, the only men’s clothing retailer, but I am guessing they had a 50% off sale of loungewear. Irresistible, eh? Why wait for bedtime?
But no. I am certain that the blue collar, multi-paint-stained jean look has not influenced my wardrobe. Basically, my fall from fashion can be attributed to shingles and logs. As a homeowner, anything I had in savings—and then some—rests on the new roof that I have to climb up a hill to even see. Okay, it’s not just the roof. There’s the new flooring, new lighting, new ceilings, new heating, new drywall, new paint. The NEW IMPROVED house is most impressive…even if my dog fails to comment. The “For Sale” sign still isn’t on the front lawn as more fix-ups arise. Sadly, I won’t recoup any of the expenditures. I’m just trying to minimize my losses.
And then there are the logs. I’ve walked by them countless times and they never seem to notice my $120 designer hoodie, my Michael Kors jeans and my perfectly matched belt, socks and shoes. Those damn logs just sit there like, well, logs. I can’t think of anyone or anything else to try to impress. Here’s the hard truth—oh, I can’t believe I am saying this: Fashion doesn’t matter. Not here, not now. Maybe I really have hit rock bottom!
At work today, I dressed up. I reached into the back of my closet and pulled out a classic suit. I found the shirt and tie I’d bought specifically for the suit. I polished my shoes and put on my ultrasoft olive Hugo Boss topcoat. And the kids loved it! Especially the coat. “I like your cape,” one of them said. Sigh. He meant well. Another commented, “You look like a mystery solver.” Yes, she likened me to Sherlock Holmes, that incredibly popular fictional dude from the nineteenth century. Not sure how to take that.
I’m weeding my collection, bidding sad adieus to Armani sweaters that belong on “The Cosby Show” and faded Ralph Lauren dress shirts and frayed Hilfiger slacks. I am sure there are designers and styles to replace my old favorites, but I would need to consult a current issue of GQ. Something tells me I’m not going to learn the right things watching “The Big Bang Theory.”
If I ever do move, here’s hoping I can regain some fashion flair. I fear that beer tees, knee-high black socks and Dockers khaki shorts are hovering above, ready to swoop down and curse me for life in fashion hell. Makes me want to don my ripped, balsamic-vinegar-stained, too short pajama bottoms and curl up in bed. Damn, I need new sheets too.