Clothes, Comfort Optional

The more dedicated (or deranged, you pick) of you out there followed along on my retirement from the military about this time last year.  This fucktastic process, I’m happy to say, is something you only have to do once.  By that, I mean retire from the military and the associated bassackward dillholery that goes along with it.

In that time, I’ve managed to get a job and not be fired (yet).  I’m learning to control my epic Tourettes-esque outbursts of inappropriate words and gestures.  One thing I didn’t see coming was this:  I’ve had to learn how to dress myself all over again.  Surprise, I know, and not as easy as it sounds.

Before, in the Army, life was easy.  I only had a few things I needed to pay attention to.  Those were simple.  If you are old enough to remember Garanimals, then you get the picture clearly: camo goes with camo; blue coat needs blue pants and white shirt (no spaghetti!); black shorts needs gray shirt and running shoes.  Simple, and Army clothes are designed to not come off accidentally, because combat.  Incidentally, they’re also designed for comfort, because if you’re having combat, you might as well be comfortable.

Now, all that awesome has gone the fuck away, and I’m left struggling with new ideas like neckties and pinchy shoes.  After a year of needing about an hour to get my sartorial shit into one sock every workday, here’s my spew on the subject.

Belts – they’re narrow and make my gastrointestinal workings complain.  This is because unlike an Army rigger belt, which is wide and uses a friction clasp, grownup belts are narrow like bailing wire and have notches.  Notches only piss me off because my girth always falls somewhere between the holes.

Shirts – Jesus Motherfucking Buttons.  Everywhere!  And people look at you funny if you wear them straight outta the dryer.  I’ve learned to press and starch my shirts, because if I can, why pay someone $3/shirt?  This activity occupies about four hours a week.  I don’t complain, because beer.

Shoes – News flash: men’s shoes are not, repeat, fuckingnot designed for comfort.  The soles are about five microns thick and have no shock absorption.  I’m used to roomy, strap-on boots whose laces don’t randomly come un-the-fuck-tied.  Boots also don’t hurt to wear merely sitting in a chair, either.

Pants – Dress slacks, I’ll say, are plenty roomy.  No complaints about that.  Unlike Army utilities, though, they’re cut to require a belt to hold them up.  If you pick the wrong hole of the belt, you pants yourself merely by walking.  Also, there’s really no such affordable thing as pants without some polyester content.  In humid summer weather, this is like having sheet plastic wrapped around you.  There’s nothing like a moist bag at 7AM, let me tell you.

Ties – I’d love to resurrect the fuckwad who invented the necktie and kill him again, with a tie.  The webz have lots of advice, if you understand what you’re looking at.  Which I don’t.  To date, I believe I’ve invented about fifty alternate versions of the four-in-hand (sound dirty, huh?) and Windsor knots – each.  Some required ten minutes to untie.  All of them make me feel choke-y all day.  Also, someone of my stature, wearing a ‘standard’ length tie, risks looking like a little kid off to Sunday school if he doesn’t pay attention.

So there it is.  My routine now is to shuck all this silly shit inside of five minutes of arriving home every night, and barefoot is the rule to give my dogs a rest.  Except for Friday, I’m back in them less than twelve hours later.

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30 Responses to “Clothes, Comfort Optional”

  1. Completely and comprehensively feel your pain. I recently had to buy an entirely new suit and had to get the jacket altered (I’m on the short side but with broad shoulders from my biological dad: think football player). I’m also unable to fit into off-the-rack jackets (either the neck is wayyyy too tight or it’s a sheet billowing off my torso). Fortunately, there’s a FANTASTIC place in SE D.C. that caters to men in need of a more athletic fit. If you’re in need of well-fitting dress shirts, let me know. I know a guy.

  2. The average length tie is longer than I am tall.

    The more you know…

  3. Melanie Says:

    First, if you have a leather punch, use it to make a new notch in your belts. If you don’t, and ice pick and a hammer will do the job and get out some frustration in the process.
    Second, don’t untie the tie once tied. Store them tied, sliding it into the same place it’s at on your neck before hanging so the wrinkles stay in the same place.
    Third, shoes just fucking suck. End of third.
    Forth, moist bag aside, the less cotton, the fewer wrinkles.

  4. Maybe one day business casual will come to your office. Women still deal with something so annoying that TPTB fused two words into one…pantyhose…be jealous (seriously good rant though).

  5. Oh dear, you’ve discovered just about every reason I didn’t argue too loud about leaving offices, to go slumming in the plants. I wore clip-on ties, but they don’t look ‘executive’ and would reach down to about your third button. Shirts – short-sleeve, or long? Another rant about cuff-links/studs? 🙂

    • Long-sleeve exclusively. In DC, if you’re in slacks, tie and short-sleeve, you’re a fucking hipster. Cufflinks? No thanks… just another thing I have to keep track of.

  6. Business attire blows and is, as far as I’m concerned, pointless. Think of how much happier we’d be if we could wear comfortable clothes to work.

    Luckily the school district I work for gives pretty much no fucks what I wear. I wear a polo and slacks most days. On days I don’t even tuck my shirt in they don’t say a thing.

    I love it there…

  7. As for the belt situation, have you considered suspenders? They’re kind of retro and kind of cool, and, once adjusted, no too tight, too loose problem. Plus you can tie them to the roof truss and hang yourself if you want.

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