26 August 2011


I'll own up now, I am not a fashion plate.  Never have been, probably never will be.  I clean up well but sartorial endeavors are generally not on my screen for most of daily life.  So I'm not sure just how much credibility I have in this particular area of human interest.

This is not to say I am completely ignorant of how to dress, or what to wear, or at least how to put on clothes and not look like a dweeb when I leave the house.  Most of the time I do want to maintain a minimum standard of neatness and decorum, just by personal inclination.  What that means is that sometimes I even tuck in my t-shirts.  And I don't go grocery shopping in flip flops and cutoffs.

Which brings me to the subject of this post:  Schlubs, and the women they inflict themselves upon.

I took Wee Lass out for dinner over the weekend, after which we went for a stroll down the main street to window shop and have ice cream.  Something was bugging me, though, something that started during dinner and came into full bloom while we were out walking.  There were an unusual number of schlubs out that evening.  It started with the guy in the restaurant who was wearing a tank top and what looked like satin basketball shorts, along with bizarro black tennis shoes complete with red piping.  He looked like he had just crawled out of a hamper.

His wife (I assume she was his wife, they were eating together with two kids and behaving like a family unit) on the other hand was dressed casually, too, but so much more put together.  Simple black top with white capri pants and canvas deck shoes.  Maybe not knock-'em-dead elegant, but it looked good.  It looked like she gave a hoot about simple things like matching! and neat! and 'I didn't just get up!'.

When we left the restaurant I was sensitized to the phenomenon, as I really started to notice the walking fashion victims attached to arms of (for the most part) much more 'with it' lady companions.  Wrinkled t-shirts, river rat shoes, baggy cargo shorts, ragged jeans with flip-flops and far too many logos for beer and cars and drinking establishments.  All of these contrasted with nice summer dresses, well-fitting shorts, interesting shoes (I confess, my knowledge of womens shoe etiquette is sketchy), even just simple tops and intriguing accessories.  While it wasn't a top hat and tails evening, just a casual weekend night out, the ladies looked a lot better than the dudes.  Like they actually thought about it.  The guys, they made me wonder in some cases if they had scintillating personalities (or money) or if maybe they were just plain lucky to be in the company of the women with them.

In the interest of full disclosure, I was wearing a plain tan t-shirt (tucked in), off white shorts and canvas tan casual shoes with light brown laces.  I wouldn't have won any awards for world-class casual dress, no doubt, I felt I could hold my own against the Larry, Darryl and Darryls out that night.  My daughter was wearing a casual summer top over flower-patterned shorts, along with her favorite golden sandals

To paraphrase Al Pacino in And Justice For All..."Don't you care, guys?  don't you even care?".

I know it isn't earth-shattering, maybe even flirts with shallowness, but I bring this up because I didn't used to care. And now?  I do.  I don't know why, I just do.  While I'm not so much a block head that I would try to outshine the sun, I do want feel like I belong in the same part of the sky.  And that means, for better or worse, that I have to care about how I shine.


  1. Oh dear.

    The best line of all? "Interesting shoes"...I giggled. That is the most perfect description of women's shoes by the heterosexual man, ever.

    And? The fact you care and try is noticed.

  2. My son dresses....unusual. In the sense that at 9 1/2 he wears blue plaid shorts and an orange striped top- together. That was this mornings outfit of choice. Since I (control) buy his clothes I try to get plain shirts or plain shorts so it doesn't happen too often. My daughter I put complete outfits in plastic bags so she can just pick a bag every morning. I've noticed she's started 'rearranging' my carefully laid out outfits. Yesterday, at 5 yrs old, she said there's a boy she likes.


    Maybe I'll have better luck with the next kid. I'll get a few years at least to keep them looking presentable. I hope.

  3. I'm so glad you care. It matters. ;)

  4. I've noticed that in the case of most men, if they dress up, it is usually to impress a woman. Or well, make her feel as if they have made an effort for her.

    I wonder if it makes the effort seem extra special if they dress like "schlubs" for the rest of the month.

  5. I see so many less schlubs in Buenos Aires than I did in the US ..
    I lived in a couple of states that it was The Look ... I don't miss it .
    My son has always been enviably thin and he is tall, so he never really went through a sloppy phase, only a Never Going To Tuck In A Shirt Phase.. he got over it. He works on Madison Ave now :) lol ..
    My husband can wear a shirt hanging out and jeans and somehow still looks all groomed and put together .. it is in the genes.. :)

  6. I think its a combination of maturity and the fact that you have a daughter now. Its so undeniably true that women make us into better people. We want to be more put together, more capable and stable when they are around. well you have a baby girl so i doubt that feeling is gonna go away. In fact it will prolly get stronger as she grows up and her styles become pronounced.


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

Tell me what is in your heart...