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FASHION, KIDS (permalink) 10.31.2012
close call
bella has an enviable stance on fashion. thankfully, her brain hasn't yet gone numb like some of her peers in regard to blindly following what they see others doing. i'm not entirely sure what has held this moment off as she's imbibing the same sort of music and media as her peers. but still, she routinely says things like "that looks funny" or when she sees the fancy stuff in a store will say "that seems like a lot of money. why wouldn't people just get something at goodwill?". in the end i'm confident we're seeing another show of marty's fine work.

a few nights back marty and bella went out to get some pants for a school concert and came home with, in addition to the black pants they needed, a pair of skinny jeans. the next morning bella happily sported them in the kitchen striking poses in her new fancy wear. as she vogued out, i thought of this quip i had just read in men's health:
Nick Fauchald sticks with straight-leg jeans. "Boot cuts, wide legs, skinny jeans—all have been or will become regrettable garments. I sleep better at night knowing I've never owned any of them. With the classic profile, I never get caught in a fad." Translation: 1950's James Dean and Paul Newman = timeless.
as bella continued the exhibition, i feared "the change" had arrived and i quietly mourned the moment over my oatmeal. then not ten minutes later at the bus stop bella dropped a pencil and after effortfully bending down to retrieve it said, "i think i just found a difficulty with my new jeans." thankfully through the day she discovered more difficulties, like the need to keep them from falling off her backside while running after someone down a school hallway. so the cry of wolf may have come too soon as my girl still seems to have enough tomboy and tomcat in her to keep her out of the high weeds of adolescent confusion and nonsense.

KIDS, FASHION (permalink) 02.01.2012
what sort of doctor might address that?
you may remember when bella took a break from her reading to describe me in my biking shorts as definitely not being eye candy. the next time i passed her geared up for my exercise, she stopped me long enough to say i had to stop walking around in those because i was now giving her "eye cavities". it's most evident they're cute when they're young by design. many wouldn't make it otherwise.

FASHION (permalink) 06.20.2011
i call 'em my biking cheeks.
a recent conversation between bella and marty.

mom, has dad been wearing the same pair of shorts for awhile now?

well, yes, but he has a couple pair of them.

BELLA (reflectively)
oh. ok. that's good ... that he has more than one pair. i guess.

the worst thing marty may have ever said to me was that not only did my capris look nicer than my cut-off jean-shorts, but that they actually looked good on me.

my two best friends got to see me in my new manpris recently. one said they looked less girly than he expected and the other said it made my butt look fat. my fashion style has long aimed for a less-girly sort of look so it's nice to see me in the vicinity there and regarding my butt looking big, my butt is big.

FASHION (permalink) 05.26.2011
the inbox was poppin' this week.
this week's capri confession spawned a couple interesting email threads.

excerpt from an old friend, buddy james:
i really enjoyed your post about the capri pants. i guess i didn't realize that you've been holding a candle for those pants for a decade.

that's endless love, man.

well, i'm writing to tell you to stay brave and keep wearing those pants no matter what anyone says. last year, i pulled the trigger on a pair of boots that i had been coveting for a couple of years. shortly after i got them, i wore them to my sister's house, whereupon my 5-year old niece and her little friend, skipped in circles around me, pointing at my feet, singing "girl boots! girl boots!"
my excerpted reply:
there are certain things in my life that i have gotten fixated on and just couldn't let it go, my wife being one of those things. i don't know if it's something all people experience. i assume so, but perhaps not with the same intensity or neurosis. this sounds like a bad thing, but this embedded conviction has served me more than it has hurt me so i'm sticking with it.

and then an excerpt from a new friend on the other side of the world:
Now I don't want to cast aspersions on your manhood -- after all, in many ways you're more a man than I'll ever be -- but being from New Zealand, I had no idea what capri pants were. I did a Google image search for 'capri pants mens', and the first image that came up is the one attached (pictured right) to my email. It's entitled 'gay men capri pants' and links through to a site called ''.

and my excerpted reply:
there's something about shirtless men that are not at the beach that always gets the gaydar hoppin'. especially shirtless, muscle-bound men. fortunately my pale, hairless, concave chest doesn't give that impression.

and yet another email mentioned japris which are, obviously, cut-off jean capris. how beyond brilliant is that? and how surely are a a pair of those in the cards for me, to marty's future chagrin. and lastly, yesterday i bought two more pairs to backstop my first pair. why the need for so many you ask? because a lot can happen in ten years of daily wear.

FASHION (permalink) 05.25.2011
get 'em while they got em
forgot to mention the maker was REI. and they have a couple of different styles. i have the pair on the left.


hardwear ridgetop

salomon wayfarer

FASHION (permalink) 05.24.2011
from decades out of style to years ahead
around ten years ago marty and i were walking in the the shopping district next to our neighborhood. we are fortunate to live just next to one of our city's more vibrant urban scenes (and recently named one of the ten best streets in the nation) making it a place rife with curious characters. on this day many years back, a young man passed by us wearing capri pants. save his three quarter length nickers, the man looked completely pedestrian. as he passed i commented to marty that i thought the pants looked comfortable. she said i should get a pair. i asked if guys wore capris. she said they didn't but added that social norms didn't seem to play a role in my dress otherwise and was curious why this might be any different. while this could possibly be construed as a compliment in written form here, it certainly was not meant as one. marty publicly divorced herself (very much so) from my wardrobe selections quite early in our marriage. our union may not have survived else-wise. all that said, for the obvious reasons, i couldn't bring myself to pull the trigger in this case. wearing dated jean shorts is one thing, wearing a woman's pantaloon is another.

now jump forward ten years. a few weeks ago marty said i'd probably be pleased to know that bella's baseball coach wore capri pants. and not just once or twice. it was all she ever saw him in. after seeing the trend she commented on them to him. assuming she was goofing on him, he told her to go stand in line with his wife and daughter who had like opinions about his clothing choice. marty corrected him saying she thought they looked great and told him her husband would be jealous. she was right. i saw him (and them) at bella's game on saturday. after the game i caught him getting into his car and said i liked his pants. he studied me for a moment as we've never met and then he brightened saying, "oh! you're bella's dad. marty said you would like my pants". i said i did and complimented the look. i asked him more about them. he lit up saying how much he loved them and how versatile and comfortable they were. he asked if i was really considering getting a pair. i said i was. he asked me if i would wear them to the next practice so his wife and daughter could see. i shook on the deal.

good to my word, later that day i went to the store he referenced and good to his word, there they were, multiple styles of men's capri pants. after a pass through the dressing rooms and a trip to the registers, i owned my first pair of capris. upon arriving home marty and i had an evening suit-required event so i was unable to wear them out that evening. but i was sporting them straightaway the next day. when i appeared in the kitchen, marty studied me for a long moment before saying, "well, they are a step up from your jean shorts". please remember, since she has trained herself to be blind and numb to how i dress, this was a phenomenally supportive and animated response.

my first errand and public unveiling was a trip to the grocery store. after a slight hesitation before getting out the car, i didn't think of them again. i went in, collected my items and was headed to the register. after passing an aisle i stopped, backed up and looked down the row. standing partway down studying some cans was of all people, bella's soccer coach. and he was wearing his capris. i walked up to him and he glanced at me. then recognition set in and he gave a warm hello. the first question he asked was if i was still going to get some pants. i said i wasn't because i already did. he looked down and expressed what could be described as actual glee. i guess he may have doubted my conviction. we, two men in capris, stood confident and joyful as we compared notes about our comfy bloomers. i then thanked him for the hookup and we parted, but only after a moment of making man-capris look like the clothing option of choice, at least in aisle eighteen of our local grocery.

and then there was the awkward moment later that day when i wore my new pants to a work bbq. i have to credit candor-filled kate with breaking the ice saying something along the lines of, "how long are we going to pretend troy isn't wearing capris before we talk about it" which opened the door for my excited telling of the above decade-long saga.

FASHION (permalink) 05.23.2011
and another bucket-item falls
yesterday i realized a decade-long aspiration to wear capri-pants in public.

the back-story is as every bit compelling as you may imagine. sadly, i'm unable to tell it today as i'm still basking in the high of accomplishment.

FASHION (permalink) 01.17.2007
living on the bleeding edge of the fashion curve
and a word about the cut-off shirt mentioned in yesterday's post. when marty says i'm wearing a cut-off shirt, it's not like the eighties-style top you're probably imagining. eighties-style being defined by one's full gut and navel being exposed. my cut-off shirts are a product of how ill-fitting todays basic t-shirts are for me. they wear more like a tube-sock than a undershirt. they hang several inches below my groin. they don't quite pass my knees, but obviously i look quite ridiculous. and if i tuck them into a pair of pants, i end up with all this bunched up material just below my belt-line and the last thing i need is more padding sitting anywhere near my ass. so the last time i bought some shirts, i got totally disgusted with how low they were hanging. so i took them off, got a pair of scissors and cut six inches of material off the bottom so the damn thing would actually end somewhere near my waist instead of three inches below my crotch.

my idea was gold excepting two details;
1. i'm not garment savvy enough to project how much a shirt will shrink, so a few of the first shirts i did this to have shrunk so much i can no longer tuck them into my pants. if i keep them long enough i reckon they may soon qualify as an eighties-caliber cut-off, but this is not in any way intentional.
2. when you scissor-cut a cotton shirt and don't stitch the wound, it rolls up like a severed achilles tendon. no matter how much you flatten it with your hand, it rolls right back into its tight curl. at first i wore the shirts inside out so the roll was inside towards my body, but then the label faces out and everyone you pass asks if you know that your shirt is on inside out. so, i stopped doing that and in time have grown to like this added flourish. in fact, it strikes me as a smart addition to something that is otherwise, a dull, flat and boring shirt hem. you just wait, in ten years time, this is how all shirts will be manufactured. granted by that point mine will have shrunken so much they will stop a few inches above my nipples, and unfortunately that trend won't catch on for an additional ten years.

FASHION, KIDS (permalink) 10.03.2006
is that a combo-meal in your pants or ...
alex has graduated to big boy underwear. when i was his age, they were white. maybe a colored band here or there, but mostly just plain ole white. nowadays these utilitarian garments are a colorful and busy strain branded just for kids. you name it, someone makes it. right now, alex's favorites are batman and spiderman, with buzz lightyear getting some occasional play.

for alex, in addition to selecting which super-hero to pull from the drawer, he must also decide which artwork he likes better, the picture on the front or the picture on the back because for him it is important that the better of the two be front-facing giving it superior exposure. so each morning before slipping his tiny jockeys on, alex diligently studies the front and back of the shorts, deciding which scene deserves the marquee. you'd think this review would be consistent, but for reasons i can't explain, it is a total crap-shoot from day to day, and one i'm mildly embarrassed to say leaves me thoroughly intrigued.

i'm a boxers man. have been for decades. in looking at a pair of briefs i would have guessed they could be worn backwards without even noticing, other than having the ill-conceived penis-tunnel even further from the member it is meant for, making the knee-bending maneuver of extraction that much more precarious. but, if you, like me, thought the cut was reversible you'd be wrong. it turns out the material on the back is significantly larger than the front, and when you wear them backwards you find it only partially covers one's biscuits (that's parental-speak for ass-cheeks). this unforeseen detail results in what appears to be, from the back-side, a modest man's thong. and, before you think this is the only flaw in the design, consider all that bonus material in the front which makes the wearer look like they shoved a hot-pocket down their shorts.

all this said, how ill-fitting the shorts appear doesn't phase alex in the least. he just sucks in his tummy, looks down and excitedly points at the display saying, "BATMAN!, look daddy! batman on my shorts". and i do look and i must confess that the picture of batman standing atop gotham with his cape flaring in the wind looks pretty smart in wide screen across the front and am both impressed with and pleased by my son's eye for such detail. but it is during this revelry when alex turns to leave the room anxious to show others today's selection where i'm left spying his narrow biscuits sneaking out of the deficient material in the rear ... and sneaking more with every excited stride.

FASHION (permalink) 07.29.2005
can you imagine a week with no tuesday or friday
bella obtained some new underwear that has a different day of the week printed on the front of each pair. a few of the days are missing which makes me afraid to ask where the pantaloons came from. my spidey-sense is whispering bad words in my ear. like words that begin with 'good' and end in 'will' or begin with 'salvation' and end in 'army'. don't get me wrong, 90% of my wardrobe has come from vintage stores or darkman's closet, but 100% of what i like to call my 'intimate line' came straight from the super-mall (or mail order). because there's no real reason to maintain the secret that used boxers are to troy dearmitt what punctured scrotums are to george constanza. for sanity's sake we're going to chalk bella's 5-day week skivvies up to lame packaging, dear lawd please let it be lame packaging and if it ain't please let me remain an ignorant old fool.

anyways, i've been looking for the adult, male version of these decision-free briefs. wondering how the adult, male model differs from the tiny, girl model? instead of the days of the week, they have, in block print across the front, the weeks of the month, as in week one, week two, and so on. sadly, this item seems to be quite in demand because every store i contact says they don't have anything like that in stock.

as for the quiet week, my dsl went out to lunch a few days ago. i'm making this post via the back porch of some out-of-town neighbors who left their wireless router on. truth told, i only started out on their back porch. i've since found a way into their home and am now sitting indian style on their king size bed, with my shoes on. and, yes, i did see if he had the cool weeks-of-the-month boxers. he doesn't. nor does his wife.

FASHION (permalink) 07.13.2005
you should see her work a pair of pantyhose
the number of ways marty can put a bra on while fully clothed is only surpassed by the number of ways she can take one off (also fully clothed). she can be standing next to me wearing a collared shirt one minute and i look again and she's got a warm bra balled up in her hand. another time she may pass me in the hall with one arm inside her shirt and the other pulling a shirt sleeve down to an elbow saying she's running to the store. i stop and watch her jet by as one arm will erupt out of the sleeve only to have the other hand dive into the collar. in these moments she reminds me of those shiny gold, female statuettes with the twenty arms. i've never looked at them closely to see if any of their appendages are messing with undergarments or not, but will going forward.

sadly these days i see marty putting bras on much more often than i see her taking them off. while this sucks for all the obvious reasons, i can say watching a shirted woman putting a bra on is far more mesmerizing in far more academic ways than seeing her remove one. (fact is, i've studied the removal process enough to think that i may have a shot at getting one off myself ... as long as someone first undid the horrible clippy/claspy thing in the back.)

and i feel i should caveat the above by reminding you that the guy so fascinated by all this is the same guy who takes his boxers off in the dining room just so he has a chair to lean on as he lowers the leg-holes down and around his short stubby legs. not sure if that lessens marty's apparel-based feats or not, but would understand if it did. i'm also not sure if that lessens anyone's desire to dine in my home or not. i promise not to disrobe while you're eating.

promise might be strong. how about we instead settle on giving it an old college try.

SOCIETY, FASHION (permalink) 10.06.2004
i'd totally wear them to work
i miss wrist bands.

and i'm talking about those big three-stripe suckers. never has a more utilitarian accessory fallen to the fashion whores.

well, unless you include the raised collar. and, if you are wondering what functional purpose that fad served, it made me look less like a bobble-head doll.

FASHION (permalink) 06.16.2004
you won't like me if i dress myself
at a social gathering last weekend, unbeknownst to me, one corner of the room spent several minutes of their life trying to figure out why i looked different.

one person said i looked thinner. another explained that was not because i lost weight but because i seemed to have not gotten my hair cut for a month and because of this it only appeared as though i was wearing a batter's helmet and therefore skinnier through the body.

another guessed that it was the clothes i was wearing and that the best they could tell i was attempting to pay some sort of homage to bill bixby from the hulk given my tattered, tight jean shorts, super baggy, mostly unbuttoned shirt and drifter necklace (bomber's words).

upon hearing of this discussion i asked one of the participants if my ensemble smacked of bixby before he became the hulk or ferigino as the hulk or bixby, post hulk after waking up in a landfill. bomber said i was definitely sportin' the post hulked out look. this was not a promising opinion in that i certainly wasn't trying to look like a person who had recently turned into a wild, green, oversized mutant and tore to shreds every last thing on his body.

i'm thinking we may need invest in one of those mirrors that hang on the back of the door.

ok. so we have two of those already. maybe i just need to have my wife ok my outfits before leaving the house.

i'm not happy that it's come to this.

FASHION (permalink) 11.13.2003
this garter belt is chafing my thighs
i'm not a woman.

i do not wear bras.

only have a few times at least.

but i've got one question, why the hell don't they all clip in the front? seeing the antics marty goes through to get dressed all i can say is it's good i'm not a woman and that i don't wear bras because if i were, i'd be three hours late to work instead of two.

FASHION (permalink) 06.12.2003
please make way, full-blooded sheep coming through
if you see me on the street and i look different, it's the belt. i've only recently begun wearing one and am very self-conscious about it. this pointless strap of leather goes against everything i believe in, clothing wise and is the one article of clothing i wear that serves no function other than to scream out to all that see me that i am a total whore to industry and too wrapped up in what others think to think for myself.

some days making a living sucks.

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