There was a brief window of time when I considered myself stylish. I tried to match up to the men on TV although I could never muster that perfect quaff of hair. No matter how much product promising ultimate waves I used, my hair just lay there disappointingly flat. But clothes – well, I can buy clothes.
Somewhere along the line though, one’s cheapness intersects with the price of the fashion icon he is trying to emulate. When I was young and carefree my intersection point had a higher limit. Then I got married, had children, and was forced to adopt a budget. Even at my highest level, I never had a Ralph Lauren goal. He is too far up the scale. I aspired to reach that Samuel L. Jackson “look good in anything” vibe but settled in somewhere around Jerry Lewis.
Now I flat out don’t care. If I like it and the price is right, I buy it. I don’t believe in recreational shopping. I have to need something before I shop. Seven work shirts worn in the proper order are enough because no one remembers what you wore a week and a half ago. My eye for matching clothes died along with my hearing.
I also think my love of tie-dye lead to the demise of my ability to tell what goes with what. At some point, that random mix of colors flows off the shirts and into every fashion decision. Now tie-dye is more of a style philosophy than just a hippie shirt I own. I have become style-ish instead of stylish.
My oldest daughter gave me sage fashion advice before she left for school:
Dad, if you think it is a good idea, then don’t.