Sunday, June 03, 2007
"He Sure Does Like To Shop"
Yesterday I bit the bullet and went out and bought a new outfit for a wedding I have to attend in 4 weeks. My cousin who lives in Asheviile is getting married. Since they live 7 miles away and I don't take call anymore I'm out of excuses of why "I can't go".
With much trepidation I set out with my fashion consultant MP. We decided to hit Jos. A. Banks and the Men's Wearhouse. Jos. A. Banks was in Biltmore Village which is the Rodeo Drive of Asheville. I knew I was in over my head when I saw the prices. A sport coat was $495 and judging by the staff and other customers I saw I knew I was about to be fleeced. After suffering the humiliating comments, eg: "You wear your pants low", "We had a fellow in here earlier with your shape", "You need a 46 because of your big shoulders" etc. I was itching to leave. I was fortunate that they had only one jacket in 46 short. This was a blue blazer with big shiny gold buttons that made me look like Mr. Howell from Gilligan's Island. All the while MP is getting exasperated because I'm running away from the salesman like some kind of caged animal. So after finding out I'm no longer 44, but a 46 that is shaped like gorilla we left and headed for Men's Wearhouse.
Originally I was just going to get a plaid madras sports coat on-line. I had one when I was 20. I did try one on in the store. It was then that I realized CP's third law of fashion was true. Her third law states " just because it looks good in the catalog doesn't mean it will look good on YOU".
I saw a more muted blue madras but even this made me look like I was wearing a spinnaker. I still fit into my beloved bright coat of many colors madras jacket when I met CP 26 years ago. She never really liked it and fondly referred to it as my "used car salesman outfit".
Arrived at Men's Wearhouse and immediately knew this was a safer environment. I took MP's advice and threw myself into the hands of the salesman. This tangerine-tinted replicant of Julio Ingleses took me in hand. I picked out a dark navy sportcoat and was pleased to find out I was still a 44. I must have lost some of my gorilla-ness on the drive across town. Then with complete abandon I followed his lead and got some charcoal grey pants. I got size 36 since I'm a low pants wearer and the 38's caused a major case of baggy butt. Then in a frenzy of buying we pressed on to the shirts and ties. I got a pink shirt and a sharp tie for just $75. I was going to get a second sport coat and maybe a belt, but I slammed on the brakes just as MP was getting warmed up. Somehow the $115 sport coat with accessories and alterations cost me $302. All that's left to purchase are the shoes, socks and belt. These I'll try to get at Wal-Mart. I'm afraid to have a complete high end outfit because I might break out in a rash. MP is adamant that I can't wear my cowboy belt with the 4 inch John Deere buckle. I'm just happy there will be an open bar at the wedding to relieve my anxiety over wearing "some other guy's clothes".