Our office closed at 3PM today in celebration of the Memorial Day weekend. I decided to avoid the subway and to walk north through the heart of Manhattan in what may have been the most gorgeous weather to date of 2008. Everyone was out and about, and I took note of several pairs of red jeans on some skinny-legged young men. You may recall my stated pleasure with this fashion turn some days ago.
Sadly, I've to report two other fashion trends that are distasteful.
Absurdly elongated shoes on men in which the toe area forms a sort of narrow slightly up-curved snout. I saw these on the television earlier in the week and assumed they had been made specifically for the singing performer who wore them. Now I see them on pedestrians. Really now. These shoes have about four or five extra inches in length beyond the natural occurrence of the big toe. Who are these men kidding? Even NBA players don't measure that far. And if they did, they wouldn't need to prove it with a pair of handmade Italian elf-on-steroid shoes. Let's hope this one dies a fast death.
The second is an inexplicably popular men's spring jacket. It is rather like what we used to call a "shell", in that it seems to be made of either thin poplin or nylon, but it doesn't have the bottom draw string. It's a shapeless thing, most often in bland beige or navy. Unlike the sexy bomber jacket that rides high above the waist and gives one the illusion of wider shoulders and an attractive butt, these jackets cut straight across the center of the hip and they seem to give the wearer a slump-shouldered look, rather like a banker's box. The more I saw of these, the more I tried to divine their etymology. I think I've figured it out. We have fetishized the nerdy "Can you hear me now?" guy of the TV commercials. This is his jacket. Dear God, can Brilliantined ducktails be just around the corner?
You wanna know what the benefit of age is? I'll tell ya. It's knowing the value of purchasing classic style. A perfectly fitted navy blue blazer. Sueded light-colored desert boots with those crunchy-crepey-cushy soles. A baseball cap with a soft brim and no words on it. A white cap-sleeved t shirt that breaks at the belt (get a boy's size if you have to). A black leather biker jacket. Buy only one in your life. Get it when you are young. It will age with you, conforming to your body, becoming more beautiful as the years go by, perfect in its distressed and battered condition. Men will find you irresistible in it. A pair of work boots, never polished and with the laces wrapped around the ankle. A single tarnished silver bracelet that you found rather than bought. An indestructible plaid flannel shirt. Bury me with these things or let me walk naked into the light of the next life.