Clothes Make The Man

I just dress comfortably. Throw on a graphic tee and a pair of jeans-and I’m good to go. Most of my days are like that. I just enjoy being comfortable.

This Friday at work, I chose to dress a bit more upper class. A pair of linen pants, a long sleeved button up white shirt and an amazing velour jacket.

I was freaking killing it.

Needless to say, nearly everyone complimented my style. It was also pointed out that most do “Casual Friday” and dress the way I do on a regular basis. As if my “Casual Friday” means to dress it up. Which I suppose it does.

I figured that if the sun was going to shine for one day this week- I could rock the “Garden Party” look in this type of weather. No need to worry though- I’ll back to jeans and a tee shirt. But this man can still surprise you with his style.

Ironing

Ironing your clothes.

Kind of like flossing your teeth. Sure, you brush your teeth and maybe even use some mouthwash. Flossing? Only if there’s food stuck. AmIright?

Washing and drying clothes are the basics- like brushing your teeth. But to iron dress clothes? Like me, it’s not very likely that you do it.

On Saturday I taught my son how to iron clothes. Ironing is something I enjoy doing, but tend to not have the time to do it. I love the look of a freshly pressed shirt and dress pants. Since I don’t wear suits to work- I don’t own a lot of dress clothes that require this sort of attention to detail.

Because my wife and I were going out for dinner, I wanted to look my best for her. A t-shirt and jeans just wasn’t going to cut it. So out came the old ironing board and iron. In the past I have done one of those “Life Hacks” where you throw a damp cloth into the dryer on a low heat to get rid of wrinkles.

My father never ironed his clothes. My mother used to do it for him. Teaching my son how to iron is important to me. One day he may want to look slick and professional. Other lessons I will teach him, that I had to learn on my own, are things like shaving, cooking or basic automotive maintenance.

Do you like to iron? Is there anything you wish was passed on to you from your parents? Please share.

Spiderwebs

Spiders don’t bother me. But I’m not a big fan of actual spiderwebs. When I was younger I used to deliver the local newspaper door to door twice a week. Walking up to people’s homes I’d oftentimes get a web in the face.

I hated it. Took a few times until I realized that if I held a rolled up newspaper in front of me that I would stop my face from meeting the webs. Being a kid meant I was stupid, this proves it.

After my childhood, I was a teenager who would wander around nature trails using a stick to swat at those invisible lines. I still do that. So I don’t really like spiderwebs. But I do like No Doubt’s Spiderwebs song. It’s fun to sing along to. It also reminds me of my early 20’s.

I also have a spiderweb shirt that I’ve had for about 25 years as well. I love this shirt and it has held up because I only wear it 3-4 times during the month of October. It’s a satin shirt, and I really don’t like forking over money for dry cleaning.

I always vacuum our home of cobwebs just to put out fake spiderwebs at Halloween. Pretty sure that it’s kind of a pointless endeavor.

Dress For the Job You Want?


For the past decade at my work- I was pretty much a jeans and nerdy t-shirt kinda guy. Always sporting a new shirt after the many conventions we would attend. My hair even changed color on a regular basis. It didn’t take away from who I was known to be- an intelligent guy who looked creative and fun to be around.

In December, I took on the role of Assistant Trainmaster, so my look had to change.  Not since my days of being a manager at Chuck E Cheese’s did I have to wear dress pants and golf shirts/dress shirts (albeit the shirts had a Rat logo on them). But I now found myself ten years into a job of dressing pretty relaxed into having to go for a semi-professional grown up look.  Some plain golf shirts and some new dress pants were purchased.  My hair has become a normal colour and style.  No more red contact lens for fun. I’m all grown up for a new grown up position.

I don’t own a suit. But today I wore my black pin striped dress pants and a short sleeved grey dress shirt to work.  The only suit jacket I have came out from my closet. It just so happens to be black pin striped and have a large sequined cross on the back of it.  


I showed up at work and everyone was surprised at how well dressed I was. As if they’d never seen me before. I stopped by the door to my boss’s office and said good morning to him.  He asked me why I was so dressed up. I told him that I am the “Rock Star of the Railroad” and turned around. He laughed when he saw the back of the jacket.

Even though I am doing my best to be professional, I am still who I am.  I’m here to enjoy my job, enjoy my life, and enjoy the company of others.  I look good in whatever I choose to wear. I don’t dress for the job I want. Rather, I have made my job accept how I dress. I’m proud of my many looks. Every day is a new day.

Messed Around with Gender Roles.

Line my eyes and call me pretty.

Crystal Pepsi, Ace Ventura, and purple hair. This was this past summer, not the 90’s.


I love changing my hair color.  I’ve been doing it more frequently this year than in the past.  It’s one of the few things that defines who I am.  It adds flair to my already eccentric personality.  A couple years ago, you could have caught me wearing red contact lenses or spiderweb lenses.  But I found they irritated my allergies more than they were worth.  Nothing worse than burning eyes and a hatred for yourself for implementing self torture.

At our tenth wedding anniversary. Love the jacket and hat.


I don’t usually care what others think of me.  So I find myself acting more courageous than most.  I’m eager to put on a top hat and steampunk clothes just to head into work.  Or wear my pajamas and housecoat to go grocery shopping in the afternoon on a Sunday.  

A truly outrageous look.


I put on a dress in order to embarrass my children, but that doesn’t work- they just get angry because I’m taking too long to get ready.  I’ll throw on dress pants, tie and suit jacket to go out for a walk with the dog.  Last Friday, I went to a funeral wearing a Spider-Man Hawaiian style shirt because the person who had passed away wanted people to wear bright colors.    All that being said, I really love my t-shirts and jeans, which you will often find me wearing on a regular basis.

Just a regular day of being awesome.


I don’t wear much in the way of jewelry (although it is more than my wife).  A wedding ring, a cheap watch, tongue ring, and a pair of diamond earrings in my left ear is all I ever really adorn.  Being comfortable in my own skin is an important lesson I learned at a young age.    Not everyone is going to be kind to you.  Many people will even try and force their ideals about how you should look or act.  Go out and be yourself.  You’ll be much happier when you do.

Dr. Seuss said it best: “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

That time I met Howie Mandel while I was in my pjs.

My favorite shirt will finally be laid to rest.

We all have a favorite article of clothing that makes us happy.  When we wear it, all is right in the world.

Today marks the last day I will forever wear my favorite shirt.   My first thought when I realized its untimely demise was, “Maybe I can save it… Turn it into a piece of art, or a rag!”  But no.  The shirt is done.  It’s run its course.  Only one thing left to do: Let me tell you my story.

I was 17 or so when I bought the t-shirt.  Big deal, 17 year olds buy clothes all the time, but I bought this shirt with my own hard earned cash.  I’d bought stuff before with my own money, but this shirt meant something more to me.  I forked over $40 plus taxes for my shirt.  $40 nearly 23 years ago.  THAT’S A LOT OF MONEY.  Based on inflation in today’s dollar would be equal to $65 for the shirt.  Last year, I had trouble spending ten bucks on a shirt.  But this shirt did last two decades.

I was a mallrat in my late teens.  I wandered around our local mall all the time.  It was a place to go to meet with friends and kill time & brain cells.  I must have passed the store that sold the t-shirt  a few dozen times before finally buying it.  The store was called “Distrito” and it specialized in unique clothes and junk.  Stuff you’d usually only find in downtown Vancouver.

 

Kids today will never know the joys of being a Mallrat.

 

There was only one shirt and it came in one size.  My size.  It called out to me to buy it.  So I did.  It was from the 1988 anime film “Akira“.  A film that made 14 year old me realize that animation isn’t limited to Disney films and Saturday Morning cartoons.  GI Joe wasn’t ever this violent!  My mind was blown.  From the first time I saw the movie, I fell in love with anime.  When I saw the t-shirt, I knew it was going to be mine.

Farewell old friend.

My shirt and I have been to hell & back.  I’ve bled on it, barfed on it, and got many other stains I’d rather not share with you.  It was my favorite piece of clothing I have ever owned, sweat stains and all.  My wife hated it, so I stopped wearing it in my regular rotation.  It became a work shirt.  But now, it’s done.  The material had become so thin, it was practically not even there.  It ripped today as I was taking it off.  I’m not the Hulk, so the rip terrified me.  A rip so horrifyingly loud that as soon as it happened, I knew the end was here.

So now, I say goodbye to a favorite article of clothing.  It brought me years of joy.