Category Archives: Fashion

Emotional Haircut.

I know, I know. Yet another bloody blogpost about the effects of Covid 19 and the lockdown. Well, guess what? It’s still going on, and nothing much else is, so what am I to do?

Viewing pictures of the Michigan anti lockdown protests, one of the feeblest placards I saw read “I need a haircut”. Well, so what? So do millions of people all around the world, but you don’t see them toting assault rifles and wearing tactical vests. To be honest, I was about three weeks overdue before the lockdown began. I had planned to get one on my way to work on a Friday, as that was my first closing shift for a while, and the 1:30 pm start would give me plenty of time to get shorn before my shift.

I think I should point out that while most men my age are going bald, grey or both, I’m not. I do have a few, and only a very few grey hairs, and they are visible only upon close inspection. However, they did play a fairly prominent part in my beard, and one of the reasons for going clean shaven at the end of 2018 was that it was, in my opinion, making me look old. Not to boast or anything, but I don’t look my age, which must be pure luck, as clean living and healthy thoughts haven’t played much of a role in my life thus far.

Of course, I was bummed not to be able to visit the barber shop, so I resorted to the old standby of increasing my use of hair gel. This will only do so much, as the surest sign that I need a haircut is that no matter how much gel I apply, my hair always falls over my eyes and my glasses. It’s irritating to have to brush my hair back constantly, especially as my job doesn’t permit me to touch anything other than product or deli equipment while working, so I am forced to resort to a quick swipe with my forearm, a most decidedly sub optimal option.

Two weeks in, and I was overwhelmed by the irritation caused by my hair. Much as I didn’t want to, I decided that rather than stick with my usual style, I would gel my hair and comb it straight back, making me look like a younger version of 1970’s snooker legend Ray Reardon, but sans such an obvious Widows’ Peak. For those of you who don’t know what a Widows’ Peak is, it’s between 35 and 40.

This worked reasonably well for a short while, although having hair against my ears didn’t do my mood much good, as my Aspergers makes me sensitive to the sort of minor irritants that Neurotypicals just ignore. I also looked a bit daft in that my hair, pushed back by the headband of my visor flopped over the top like a spider plant in a pot.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and so I decided to go straight for the nuclear option: I bought some elasticated headbands. Yes, that’s right. I walked into the hair care section of my local pharmacy and bought headbands. Plain black seemed the best option, and at $7 for a five pack struck me as  a reasonable deal, even if it did make my look like Real Madrids’  Gareth Bale, although considerably less ugly.  After a moderate amount of experimentation I found a workable angle at which to wear it, and it worked well, although my hair behind the band still seemed to want to go in every direction at once. At least I could tuck the band behind my ears, so it acted like a Croakie, keeping my glasses in place, as I can’t really adjust them behind my visor.

Problem solved, you may will think, but of course, there were unintended consequences. The arrival of somewhat warmer weather meant that the thick foam of my visor headband made my forehead sweat, and the hairband made my head itchy and sweaty. I also had to wash it every night while taking a shower lest it have Covid particles lodged in it.

I know most of this will come across as a whine, but I haven’t had hair this long in many, many years, and my main hope was to find a workable solution that would allow me to get my job done with the least possible distraction. Seeing as the nuclear option wasn’t working as well as I’d hoped, I dialed it up to 11. My Fiancee dug out a plastic headband as a joke, mainly because it had four rows of tiny Rhinestones set in it.

I pondered on it Thursday and decided that I’d start wearing it on Friday.  It was more noticeable than its’ elasticated counterpart, and was spotted immediately by my co workers, as you may imagine. Thankfully the responses from staff and customers alike has been entirely positive. I contemplated buying additional ones this weekend, but I didn’t see any I liked.  I do wonder how long I will need to wear one, as the county has now moved into phase two of the lockdown, with an easing of some restrictions, including the reopening of barber shops and hair salons. I might not have to place an order with Manbands.co.uk after all.

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Sharp Dressed Man

SHARP DRESSED MAN. 08/01/13

I’m just going to sit here for a few seconds while the bass line drills its’ way through your consciousness  like the evil brain worm it is. As even a blind man on a speeding horse could tell you, and as I’ve mentioned previously, I don’t exactly go out of my way to look flash. Married parenthood tends to lend itself towards comfort rather more than style.  Most new parents have had at least one, if not more favourite or special items of clothing ruined by the actions of their offspring, be it the  accidental “spillage” of a newborn, the effects of the drier on a wayward crayon, or one of the more creative acts of a budding artist.

Such situations, plus the fact that what little social interaction as is available is with people in similar circumstances means that practicality wins out every time over style, like the Yankees playing the Peoria Mudhens.

However, my new found singledom has meant that my wardrobe is sadly lacking in modernity, flair, elan and all the things one needs to make that all important first impression.  Luckily I am blessed with better friends than I deserve, one of whom offered her services as style guru for a shopping trip that can be best described as a hetero version of “Queer Eye For The Straight Guy”.

I gave my guide free rein, knowing that she would push me beyond my comfort zone without making me wear anything that wouldn’t work, and she delivered in spades, in what can only be regarded as a sartorial equivalent of LPD (Leadership and Personal Development –  a core course at my business school). After a quick, and uninspiring sweep of one store we headed out across downtown where I was presented with several stacks of potential purchases. I hadn’t realised just how tiring it is to be constantly changing clothes. All that buttoning, unbuttoning, stepping in and out, pulling on, etc gets tiring, but pays dividends in the end.

There is a great deal of satisfaction to be had from realising that you do indeed fit a size two sizes smaller than you normally wear, or that contrary to what you might have thought, you do look good in a  particular colour. As an aside, you will indulge me if I don’t go into the details of my purchases as it will spoil the effect when they finally go public.

Shoes, however, are a different matter. I buy Costco brand sneakers. They’re cheap, durable and comfortable. The closest I have come to buying real shoes in the past seven years is three pairs of brown slip ons, from Costco, of course, that work well either with jeans or khakis, but that’s it. Our last stop of the day was at Nordstrom.  Ooh boy!  Now I get what all the fuss is about, ladies. I ended up spending only slightly less on three pairs of shoes than I did on all my other clothing combined. The canvas shoes were a must, as I have to have at least one pair I can wear with shorts. The Chukkas are a bit more hipster than I’m used to, but that’s not a very high hurdle to clear. However, the  highlight of the evening were a pair of gorgeous brown brogues, wonderfully tooled and with the glow of lovingly maintained antique Walnut furniture.

I spent more on that one pair of shoes than on all my other shoe purchases in the previous decade combined. I kid you not.

Laden down with  five bags, we repaired to a restaurant for Happy Hour as a reward for my companions’ display of courage above and beyond the call of duty, and my need to ease the pain of spending the equivalent of a months’ rent in four hours on clothing. Needless to say, an hour and a half later, the restorative effects of a couple of Manhattans and several plates of very tasty sushi revived our flagging spirits for less than the cost of one shoe. Again, money well spent.

Having said all that, I had a fantastic time.  I got to spend several hours enjoying the undivided attention of one of my all time favourite people, I underwent a major transformational  experience and have given my wardrobe a sorely need update. I wish I’d done this years ago, but at least now I have no excuse not  to dress like someone from the 21st Century. Thanks, Sweetie.

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Dedicated Follower Of Fashion

DEDICATED FOLLOWER OF FASHION. 07/08/13

 

As those of you who know me will have realised by now, I’m not one for getting dressed up. As far as I’m concerned, as long as my jeans and T shirt don’t have too many holes, I’m fit to be seen in public. Yes, I do have an acquittal suit, and it does change your attitude and outlook when dressed up, but mostly I regard clothes as something essential but not important.

Dating has changed this to some extent, but not having much of an eye for these things, I have stuck with the basics when buying clothes for going out. O.K. Costo. There, I’ve said it. I can ( and indeed do) clothe myself entirely from Costos’ huge stacks.

It’s just not been an issue for me until a friend for whom I have an inordinate appreciation said that I dressed like “Someone from the last century”. Quite an accurate description, actually, especially since I am still wearing T shirts I brought with me from the U.K in 1992 which were far from new even then.

I called her bluff on her offer to take me clothes shopping and proceeded henceforth to check Pinterest, as the only magazines I read – “When Saturday Comes” and “The Economist” are sadly lacking style sections. I thought this would be a fairly quick and easy task, but I was sadly mistaken.

We’re all pretty much used to the ridiculousness of female fashion, but I was unaware that the absurdity had spread to  the Menswear department. In the approximately two hours I spent scrolling through I found precisely nine pictures that suited me. Nine. That’s about 0.001% of all the pictures, the rest of which fell into four distinct categories.:

1. You’re not actually going out in public dressed like that, are you?
2. Laughing so hard the tears ran down my legs.
3. Slack jawed bewilderment.
4. Nazi homo – eroticism.

I honestly expected some of the pictures to be captioned “Now is the time on “Sprockets” when we dance”.

Thing is, I can’t really get a good sense of what the clothes look like until I see them in the store, so it’s going to be a fun, and I’m pretty sure, tiring day when we do get organised. Still, I’m pretty certain it will be worth it in the long run.

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Filed under dating, Fashion, friends, lifestyle