It’s a little hard for me to believe, but back in high school I was actually voted “Best Dressed.” This surprises me not because I dress like a slob these days, but because I dress like, well, a dad.
When I was a kid I remember thinking that my dad’s casual clothes looked pretty boring, but now that I have kids of my own I understand why. There are always a million things I’d rather spend money on – the mortgage, things for the kids, groceries – than new duds for myself. Whenever I’m tempted to go shopping I tell myself I’ve already got perfectly fine clothes at home. Perfectly fine, of course, except for the fact that many of them were bought before the Obama Administration. Some even before the Bush Administration!
The other day I was out in public when a well dressed guy in his twenties pointed at my T-shirt and said, “What’s ‘The Dive’?”
“It’s a submarine themed restaurant Steven Spielberg opened in Century City. I got this T-shirt when I ate there a few years ago.”
“Hmm,” the guy said. “I’ve never heard of it.”
It was only on the drive home that it occurred to me that Spielberg’s restaurant had closed down. I Googled to see when and saw – TO MY SHOCK – that it closed down in 1999! Not quite “a few years ago” as I’d told the well dressed dude. Thankfully, he didn’t know that, otherwise I would have been busted about wearing a T-shirt that was at least fourteen years old (though I’m pretty sure I bought the T-shirt when The Dive opened in 1994).
The one part of my wardrobe that’s especially hurting is cool clothes. Back in the day, when I was single and would go on dates or to clubs, I had my fair share of cool clothes, if I do say so myself. At this point, though, I pretty much have a single “cool” shirt left, and it’s over ten years old. I actually bought it for my first date with Heather back in 2002, and have worn it many, many times since then.
Thankfully, I don’t have too many events these days where I have to look cool, so it hasn’t been an issue. But recently Heather and I were invited to a birthday party at an off the hook club (do the kids still say “off the hook?”) and I went through my closet looking for my “cool” shirt. I finally found it dozing in an easy chair with a newspaper on its lap.
“Cool shirt! I need you!”
Cool shirt woke with start. “Eh? What’s that, young man?”
“I need to wear you one more time. I’m going to a club!”
“A club? No, no, no. I can’t do a club. I’m not cool anymore.”
“Nonsense! You’re still cool! You can do this!”
“Pfft. I haven’t been cool in six years.”
“Not true! You’re timeless!”
“Do I even fit anymore? That gut of yours isn’t exactly in 2002 form.”
“Let me worry about the gut, alright, cool shirt? Now what to do you say? Will you go?”
Two old timers: Me and my cool shirt
I’m pleased to say that cool shirt agreed to come out of retirement and accompany me to one more club. I think I looked good, too, as I turned a few heads! At least that’s what I told myself – I’m pretty sure they were actually gawking at the ancient relic that is my cool shirt.
There will come a time when I need to break down and buy some new clothes. You know, sometime between now and when James goes off to college.
That’s actually a pretty classy shirt–had one similar given by an ex-girlfriend years ago, from Mexx. Classy stuff. Had to discard mine since I don’t wear an XL anymore.
Laughed at the tshirt story. Then again,I am a sucker for wrestling tshirts from WWE. Thank goodness they dont put the wrestler’s faces on all of them anymore. At least not everyone knows Im wearing a John Cena shirt nowadays–they see “Hustle Loyalty Respect” and say “cool shirt”. Then the wrestling fans see my shirt and I get the “Let’s go Cena” or “Cena sucks!” comment. fun times.
Becca Masters says:
Just before Emma was born my husband said to me “I need to start dressing like a dad now. A respectable dad. I’m only going to wear shirts!”
He has like 15 shirts now, and he doesn’t wear them very often! It’s still t-shirts for him.
He also doesn’t buy himself clothes. In fact everything new he has is something I’ve bought him!
Your shirt is a cool shirt. My husband has a few just like it
My son says stripes and plaids are in…just not those kind! Better colors and you’ll be all set.
So let’s see a pic of the “best dressed” high school dude!
Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard when I read this! My husband wears dad clothes, too, and I made him read this post because his “cool shirt” is identical to yours! I happen to love that shirt on him, it is a classic cool shirt!
Oh my gosh my husband has that same shirt! Must be a dad thing!
Aw, Mike, you look super cool — no worries! Loved this post, and I can definitely relate. I’m having to purchase new clothes for the first time since losing a significant amount of weight and am out of my element. Everything that was “cool” during my college years is . . . not so much now. I’m struggling.
Ha! We heard a comedian call it a “goin’-out shirt” and so we always refer to my husband’s goin’-out shirt. His is almost 10 years old now. I remember Dive!
If you’re getting rid of your old t-shirts, you can give them to your kids as night shirts. I thought it was really cool to wear dad’s clothes to bed when I was little – and now that I’m in my 20s, I actually still have a few of my dad’s shirts and still wear them to bed!
Looooove the cool shirt! My husband has one exactly like it!
Could be worse. I know a guy who thinks nothing of wearing a sleeveless fleece vest with a t-shirt. In fact he sent his sister a picture of that so she could help him argue that it was indeed cool (she reminded me that neither garnment had holes, so he got points for trying).
I would love to start shopping for him (it’s the only way he’ll ever look good, let alone cool), but I’m already having enough trouble keeping my half of the closet fashionable…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DOKuSQIJlog Dad Life…just for “old times” sake. I’m sure everyone has seen this but it cracked me up the first (25) times I watched it. Some day, when our kids are all grown and gone we’ll have so much time/money to spend on ourselves….but we probably still won’t!
I think you look great, Mike!
Expat Mom says:
I think my husband has that exact same shirt . . .
I don’t let go of clothing easily, either. I still have a very cool AC/DC shirt that I got at a thrift shop about 6 years ago, so who knows how old that thing is! Old clothes are comfy clothes!