Dressing a Geezer

 

Dressing A Geezer

By George W. Clever-----22 September 2020

Why are there no stores in the malls for older men? You know us geezers. Is it because we never buy new clothing? Perhaps it is because we no longer have to strut like a peacock to impress some future mating partner in our Nike Zoom Vapor 9.5 Tour Safari, Adidas Barricade 2015 Boost tennis shoes at over $140, or Lacoste, American Eagle, Armani Exchange or Prada clothes? Could it be the aging process has removed our sense of style? Does our COVID-19 isolation, working from home if we still have a job, contribute to the lack of need to dress for the office in Ermenegildo Zegna Bespoke - $22,000 suits or even one from Penny’s at $220? There you sit before your computer maybe wearing an old tee shirt in case a Zoom meeting is called, but wearing no pants as no one online can really see below your desk.

 Mark Zuckerberg’s wardrobe (or at least what he’s willing to be seen in public) contains several versions of the same grey t-shirt and matching hoodie. Apple CEO Steve Jobs became well known for his black turtleneck and dad jeans. It is a trend termed ‘normcore’ by hipsters the world over. None of the tech industry leaders are recognized as style icons including Bill Gates and Elon Musk. Perhaps they would argue changing the world does not allow for time to care about clothing vogue. They are still working stiffs. What about us retired geezers who could spend the entire day naked in bed if we chose to do so? Can you tell me what we are to wear being in vogue when clothing is not optional?

 I have suits in my closet older than some of my children. After a teaching profession where suits were the uniform of the day and several military adventures with a variety of uniforms required, it is a rare occasion, like Sunday church, where donning a suit even crosses my mind. As of late, church attire by the young seems to be evolving from some form of Spandex. This makes me feel old and out of place wearing a forty-year old suit.

 

Now I have always been somewhat conscious of my attire after being required to wear my father’s jazz band suits on college dates. There were no other formal suits hanging in my closet. Later in courting my college wife it became an embarrassment to wear dad’s suits as my future father-in law found it amusing to ridicule the clothing of the young man he did not want to marry his daughter. Was it by chance I found a U-Tube offering by a young couple discussing whether men should wear hoodies? Hoodies are my favorite retirement garb along with tee shirts and jeans. The U-Tube couple were challenging my attire once again with a familiar father-in law type ridicule. Was it time for me to have a hard look at my persona as I dressed for pandemic isolation each morning? Thankfully, the woman critic of men’s clothing concluded the program with an approval of hoodies for men of all ages, however. Yes, as you men expect there was a ‘however’.

Nothing written should be on the front or back of the tee shirts or hoodies.

“No clothing company logos, please.” She said. “Why are you being a walking advertisement for a company already receiving your money when you bought the shirt. You are not paid by them to be a walking billboard advertising their products.

What about sport teams or colleges and university lettering on clothes?

“Perhaps it is ok for kids who attend these places as students to advertise the privilege of paying institutions huge amounts of dollars from their parents or from taking on government and bank loans. But like those grown-ups who wear baseball caps backwards, it is time for anyone over thirty to give up those items of clothing. You’re not a kid anymore.”

Half of my wardrobe hanging in the closet was gone. If I wanted to be a ‘hip’ geezer it was time to buy some new threads. Threads used to be hip for clothes. Lesson here youngsters. I would have to shop for something appropriate for retired geezers to wear in public and be hip again. No not the hip needed for replacement. ‘Hip’ used to mean what you now call Gucci, Straight Fire, Killing It, or Dope!

It is pandemic time of isolation and no geezer clothing stores at the malls, so I took the easy route and began to shop online. Hoodies, hoodies without writing and heavy duty was punched by me on the ‘search the web safely’ line. I was pleased to find a plethora of offerings popping up immediately. Many even had reviews to examine particular hoodie offerings. One had to be selective as many of the hoodies indeed had all the front, arm and rear writing the U-Tube lady warned as being ‘not cool’. Lesson two reader, ‘not cool’ is ‘Bitch Slap’, Uncool, or lame.

The reviews presented this geezer with another challenge to making a purchase. The clothing ads lie to people who cannot ‘reach out and touch the hoodie material.

As one reader put it, “If I held the hoodie up to a candle I could see right through it. So I burned it. Not heavyweight and a Bitch Slap.”

Even the most expensive hoodies over fifty dollars have ‘Bitch Slap’ reviews and being not heavyweight. We geezers seem to be colder in our golden years and need heavyweight coverings. I finally found a hoodie with more positive than negative reviews, and began to consider color and size choice. What if they shrink? Do I order a larger size only to find it fits like a tent when washed? Ok, large. Now what color do I choose? Like Johnny Cash, lesson number 3, Cash was a country singer who dressed in black and sang to prisoners a lot. I like black and Cash. How about a little risky color change like pink? Hell no! Well, consider light blue? Now the nice thing about shopping these sites is one can choose the color and the model hoodie will also change to that color. Unfortunately, the models are all at least fifty years younger than I am, so the picture is a bit deceiving. Black, Forest Green and Maroon were as adventurous as I was able to be. Sorry to say, I will not be wearing jeans with holes in the knees yet. Maybe there will be a UTube couple talking about whether geezer men should wear ‘holy jeans. I’m now Gucci, Straight Fire and Dope if you see the top of me on Zoom. J

 Contributions from John Ganster in New Mexico

  Thanks again for the entertainment and truth told. I relate to not having shopped for any new clothing for so long that I've taken to Costco as my outfitter. Once every three years I buy a few things there that I can hold up to the light, check for size, and purchase at a reasonable price. Then after I wear things so long that holes appear, I place them in a special drawer for comfortable wear that can get paint and grease on them. Now that I do little labor these days, there is an over load of them

 More perplexing are those really good pants that were bought at a men's shop, made from high-quality wool that lasts forever. Baggy pants with pleats, what I find were cool ties, and dress button-down shirts are no longer needed now that I don't have a class to stand in front of and teach. My neighbor at school and I wore ties daily, me to share an example of how men dressed in the past as professionals. While I was doing this, my son, also teaching, was going to school in sweats and sandals. But that was only the superficial difference. Next came the unshaven look. Not growing a beard, but looking like a guy who went on a week-long binge of neglecting appearance. For me, I'll continue to shave at least every three days when I go out in public, and appear younger than my years. Grey stubble leaves an impression, a slovenly old man too lazy to groom himself.

But what do I know, as I approach geezer-hood and look out into this strange new world.

 

       

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14.04 | 11:16

George,
Idealism killed by shot of fact.
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14.04 | 10:51

George,
This is a fascinating article.
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