Is it just me or someone else that has noticed how small men’s suits have been over the past few years? Whenever I watch the news (as often as I can), I pay attention to the little suit, especially the weather officer.
They all appear to be wearing jackets that are tight on the shoulders, comfortable on the sleeves and short sleeves, making the wearer look like he accidentally wore a junior high graduation suit but decided not to change because his mother said he looked fine.
At first, I thought I was just watching channels that didn’t pay their staff enough to buy clothes that fit. Then I saw some other celebrities wearing suits that were too tight and too short, and I realized that they dressed like that on purpose.
I’m guessing designers would go for the two sizes too small look because they save a lot of fabric when all the unused pages add up. What I can’t understand is how any man willingly wore what seemed like one of Pee-wee Herman’s wasted outfits.
Fashion is a funny thing. It’s always interesting to look back a decade and think, “We wore THAT?” when, when you wear it, you really impress yourself for being popular. The 80s and 90s are excellent examples of such delusional thinking. Just watch television shows like “Miami Vice” or “Magnum, PI” if you don’t believe me. The pastel outfit Don Johnson wore made him look more like a man of Good Humor than a stern cop deputy and his flimsy shorts that Tom Selleck wore were embarrassing.
Leather was also popular in the 80s, another trend that’s hard to understand, but it’s big, even affecting my husband, Mark, who was never a slave to any of the fashions. For some reason, Mark thought that he needed leather pants. I don’t know if this is the influence of VHI’s new channel or if all the leather pants on display in the window of the Chess King clothing store at our local mall caught his eye. However insects get into his ears, leather pants are just what Mark wants for his birthday.
We found the ideal pair for something like $ 80, which was a lot of money for pants, even leather ones, in those days, but Mark was determined on them. On her birthday, we decided to go out to dinner, and I suggested that she wear her newest outfit. Mark agreed and disappeared into the bedroom to put it on.
When he didn’t show up in 10 minutes, I went to investigate. I found him wearing leather pants, a polo shirt and a worried expression.
“What is wrong?” I ask.
“These pants. I’m not sure if I like them.”
“Looks like … tight.”
“Stand and let me see.” Mark stood up and he was right; they are tight. Like the strict David Lee Roth.
“They don’t look that strict in a shop,” I said.
“They don’t feel this tight in the store. I can’t wear this in public. Can we take it back? “
“No, we can’t. We locked them up, remember? “
“Well, I don’t wear them.” Mark took off his leather pants and replaced them with Levi’s which were loose and comfortable to wear. “That’s better. Now I can breathe.”
The leather trousers accompanied us on a few moves because neither of us could afford to donate them, and we didn’t know anyone we could give to who would actually put them on and not laugh at us.
Finally, after about 20 years, I suggested that we try selling it on eBay. To our great surprise, those 1980s leather trousers sparked a bidding war that gave us more than our initial $ 80 investment. They finally landed in California where happy buyers wrote “Hot Pants!” on his reviews thus ending Mark’s only foray into high fashion.
I have to think life is a lot simpler when you wear the same clothes every season, ignore what’s in and out and focus on what fits and what doesn’t. Even so, I would love it when the tight-fitting look was worn out and the forecasters were back in suits that really fit me so I could stop staring at their uncomfortable bare wrists and actually hear their forecast.
Nell Musolf is a freelance writer who lives in Mankato with her husband and two dogs. He can be reached at [email protected].