Clothes Make the Man. Or Maybe Not.

Ok, that is a silly, old fashioned expression, isn’t it. Let’s face it, wearing the right kind of clothing can exude success, and I see this constantly.

My son, Brett, loves clothes and always looks like a million bucks, particularly when he goes off to work in his suits and ties. He’s a lady killer, that one.

My husband is what he refers to in describing himself, an “Aging Hippie.” Which is his cute way of saying that he doesn’t give a flip about clothes, doesn’t bother with how he dresses or think about it much, and basically goes around looking like a lumberjack most of the time. His hair has to basically look like Albert Einstein before he goes in for a cut. Appearance is not a factor at all for him most of the time.

That is unless I call him out.

Me: “Honey, we are going to a cocktail party at a mansion, don’t you think you are dressed too casually?”

(He is wearing a button down shirt, a distressed leather jacket, and sneakers)

Husband: “F***k em if they don’t like how I look.”

Both of us arrive and peruse the crowd of ties and jackets.

Husband: “Why did you let me go out like this?”

My husband has a caveman’s idea that a wife should dress her husband appropriately. But I am far too evolved to want to come home and cook dinner for him, so you know I am not about to lay out his clothes.

If he specifically asks if something matches, or what he should wear, of course I am helpful. But mostly, I leave him to his own devices. And that invites trouble.

He has this notion that shirts should have pockets – right at the chest, so it’s handy to keep pens and such. (one step away from a pocket-protector) So polo shirts without pockets don’t appeal to him, even if they are stylish.

He also thinks if something was stylish, say in 1983, it should still be stylish now. He doesn’t get why the corduroy jacket with elbow patches and the wrong kind of lapel (which besides NOT FITTING HIM anymore) should be donated. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Colors are a challenge for him too. “Does this match?” he asks while having a horrendous color combination on.

I think I have written many times about how much I love clothes and shoes, so typically on any given evening out, we will have me, dressed to the nines, including SEQUINS which I am currently obsessed with, and my husband who can border on looking homeless.

NOTE: Speaking of homeless, we spent Christmas Day at a shelter for homeless men and women and helped distribute clothes to them that were donated. One guy walked up and asked if we had a sports coat, size 40. Now THERE’S a dapper homeless man if I ever met one. True Story.

Now I admit, in the wintertime, which would mostly consist of 60 degree days in Houston, I can spend a full day in flannel pajamas very happily. But the minute I hit the outside world, look out! I revert back to Fashionista Major.

Does my husband’s taste or non-taste for clothing bother me – well the truth is yes and no. “Yes” in that I feel that someone who cares enough about themselves to always look fantastic, sends that message out to the world, that they are, in fact, fantastic. But “No” in that my husband is comfortable in his own skin, and his old comfy clothes, and he is a wonderful handsome man still the same.

And I am about as likely to get him interested in clothing as he is to get me interested in technology. It’s just not going to happen.

I adore him unconditionally, so it’s okay that on occasion, he will be way under-dressed. It’s okay that I will be running errands with a guy that looks like he was farming the fields all day. It’s okay that he hangs on to shirts long after they go out of style. Quality inside you see, doesn’t always show on the outside.


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  • Funny–sometimes I wonder if our husbands are taking us for granted. If they were dating us, wouldnt they pay a bit more attention to their attire, shave when we go out and try to impress us a bit more with their grooming???

  • your husband use to borrow my sport jacket and platform shoes to go to a wedding…

    things still havent changed,,,my wardrobe is no better,,,

  • My husband knows that he has no fashion sense and always asks for help! The only problem, I have no fashion sense either!

  • So funny and true! My hubby still wears the same suits and tuxedo that he wore when we were first married in 1982! (Truth be told, I’m jealous that he can still fit in them!) He also has a corduroy jacket with elbow patches–he figures “what goes around comes around.” I guess if you wait long enough everything comes back in style!
    The bottom line–we both have great, handsome husbands and we wouldn’t want them to be too materialistic or narcissistic.

  • my favorite is his burnt orange pink floyd tshirt. updated (burnt orange, recent college), yet ancient (70s band). however, the blue button down with pineapples has to go! 🙂

  • I think I have the opposite problem. I pay no attention to what I wear! I mean, it’s improved since I was a teenager(inside out blouse? Mismatched shoes?) but my husband doesn’t tell me I’ve worn the wrong thing until after we get to the event! Poor Josh Brenner has photos of me in his bar mitzvah album(back in 1996) where I look like I’m wearing my mother’s prom dress. Or I could pass for a love seat. (More an upholstery self deprecating comment than a weight reference) I need a gay man to move in..!

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