Queer Eye for the Broke Guy

I enjoy clothes shopping about as much as I enjoy watching soccer, which is to say I do it begrudgingly about once every four years. But I recently got some unsolicited feedback on my clothes that suggested it was time to update my wardrobe. “Those jeans look like something my dad would wear,” said one friend, aghast. “And why are you wearing running shoes at a bar?” she continued, increasingly horrified. “Are those… tube socks?” she concluded, now on the verge of tears. I realized I was going to have to visit the mall and at least get a new pair of jeans. This was a troubling prospect, for a variety of reasons:

1. Clothing stores are an absolute nightmare. Have you ever been inside an Abercrombie & Fitch? Hell, have you ever just walked by an Abercrombie & Fitch? The air is thick with cologne, to the point that if you were to light a match the whole store would erupt into an enormous fireball like at the end of Die Hard 2. They play pounding techno and any pop music that managed not to make the cut at KISS 108. And everywhere you look there are enormous posters of chiseled, shirtless men that bear no resemblance to anything I will ever look like. It’s basically like the worst club you’ve ever been in, except that instead of overpriced drinks, they sell overpriced jeans. Which brings me to my next point…

2. Clothes are really expensive. “Think of it this way: you really only need one pair of jeans, and you’re going to wear them hundreds of times,” explained a friend of mine. “So you might as well spend some money to get a really kick-ass pair.” His logic seemed sound, so I went to a store that sold nothing but jeans. The cheapest pair they had was $80, and I was mortified to discover that instead of a zipper, the fly was just a column of buttons. I’m told this is called a “button fly,” and I’m not sure why it exists. They took one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century and replaced it with something stupid-looking and less functional. In fact, instead of replacing the zipper with buttons, why not replace the button with another, tiny zipper? Somebody sketch this out for me.

Anyway, all the other jeans were $100. It’s not even that I couldn’t find room in my budget, I would just feel like an idiot if I spent that much money on jeans. Who am I, Jay-Z? (I’m assuming Jay-Z wears expensive jeans; I’ll apologize if he’s out there rocking a pair of relaxed fit Wranglers.)

3. I have no sense of style. This has always been a problem for me. When I was a teenager, my standard outfit consisted of khaki cargo pants and a t-shirt of whatever terrible nu metal band I was listening to at the moment. As soon as they invent the time machine, I’m going to go back in time and kick my own ass. (Hey, someone else can kill Hitler; I have to beat the crap out of my teenage self for listening to Linkin Park.)

Things have changed a bit since middle school – my taste in music has improved (marginally), and I now make more of a conscious effort to dress in a socially acceptable manner. But I still tend to fall a bit short. Maybe I’ll get some nice shoes but wear the wrong color socks; maybe I’ll get what I think are nice pants, only to be informed that pleats are out, or in, or whatever. And I always seem to be a few years behind the curve on the big-picture fashion trends.

So I’ve always figured: what’s the point of braving the horrors of the mall and spending all that money, when I’m inevitably going to wind up buying ill-fitting and out-of-style clothes anyway?

So this time around I actually tried to make myself aware of what was in style. Specifically, I looked at what kinds of jeans guys on the train were wearing. If I liked what I saw, I went in for a closer look to see what brand they were. At the end of the day I wound up checking out a lot of dudes’ asses, but I guess sometimes you just have to look at a guy’s ass if you want to buy a good pair of pants. Or something.

Anyway, I wound up finding a good selection of jeans at the Gap, and got a decent pair for $55. It felt weird spending that much money on such a basic item of clothing, but I was pretty satisfied with my purchase, which isn’t usually the case when I try to go the cheap route. And I guess I did alright, because the other day someone told me my outfit (my new jeans, paired with a $6 t-shirt I got at Old Navy) looked nice.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is: if you see me in public in my fancy new jeans, feel free to check out my ass. I’ll understand.

Share this ONEin3 Post

1 Comment

  1. Yes, Linkin Park was a major mistake, but I have to say – the Jay-Z/Linkin Park mixtapes were some of the best mash-ups of all time. Me gustaaaa!

Leave a Comment