Steal This Look

Fashion by Dad. Clutter by Abby.

Fashion by Dad. Clutter by Abby.

Sweater: Woolrich, neutral, bumpy

The sweater, of course, anchors the ensemble. Woolly, bland and shapeless, like its owner, the sweater’s neutral tones cry out, “This once belonged to my father-in-law, and the fact that it was free is its finest quality.” Preferably, the sweater should have no discerning patterns that would allow one to stand out against the wall of your average hospital corridor. No insignias or brands on the front, because you aren’t some corporate stooge. The only message you send with this nondescript pullover is, “It’s not quite time for sweatpants.” This is a sweater that asks, “What decade is it?” and can’t come up with a solid answer. Though this casual, all-purpose sweater is worn too frequently, it nonetheless cloaks a mystery: are there muscles under there or just blobby bits of torso?

The sweater is worn over a T-shirt that is, of course, tucked in.

Jeans: blue, Levi’s 501, button-fly, buttless fit
A timeless classic, and by “timeless” we mean “blue jeans all the time since the age of 12.” But not all blue jeans are created equal. There are dressy blue jeans, casual blue jeans, working around the house blue jeans, mystery stain blue jeans, and, of course, duct tape blue jeans. The possibilities are endless! As long as they’re blue jeans.

(A note about duct tape blue jeans: The duct tape in question is wrapped around the top of the zipper where several teeth have fallen out due to age – zipper teeth; I want to be clear on that. The duct tape prevents the zipper’s slidey part (note to self: research zipper terminology) from slipping out of its track and causing the fly to fly open – though what would be wrong with that? Why the big deal over one’s fly being down? It’s not like something’s going to spring out of there – unless you’re not wearing underwear. And if so, you have more to fear from zipper teeth than your fly being open.)

Slippers: moccasin style, filthy-ish
Remember as a kid when you walked around in bare feet all the time, oblivious to the cold, just you and your skin, as nature intended? Yeah, you can’t do that anymore. It’s slippers for you now. Pad around in these moccasin-style slippers that combine old-world charm with old-man comfort. With their useless leather ties, you’ll feel like the coziest of cowboys in your own home. Note: you want your slippers to be fuzzy, but not too fuzzy. Keep the fur on the inside. Otherwise, when you eventually change your fuzzy slippers for these stylish dirt-magnets, your mother-in-law will say, “Oh, I see you got rid of your girly slippers!” If this should happen, your only response should be, “Does your husband have any more sweaters?”

Glasses: outdated, chipped
Is there electrical tape holding the frames together? Carry on.

Beard: patchy, haphazard
Warning: time saved on not shaving will be negated by daily trimming of straggly and increasingly white hairs using tiny manicure scissors, plus weekly maintenance provided by a hair-clogged industrial trimmer (sideburn adapter) because that’s the best you’ve got. A beard means hours and hours spent in front of the mirror. But it’s totally worth it, because this beard sets you apart from the crowd… except for that crowd with all the beards. This beard isn’t so much a look as a project. It’s the rec-room of personal grooming where anything can happen and everything’s covered with crumbs. Never heard of beard dandruff? You will!

Hair: undefined, ???
If variety is the spice of life, this hairstyle is cumin, oregano and lovage. What the hell is lovage? Exactly. To get this look, you’ll need incredible patience, like 50 years’ worth of shampooing with whatever’s within arm’s reach and the conviction that conditioner is a racket. See your hair stylist, ask for the “Number 3,” then wait five to six months until the hair has lost all definition but not its sense of humour. Occasionally think about getting a haircut, but then think about all the money you’re saving by not getting a haircut. Eventually, you’ll require product to keep your hair out of your face. Whatever’s on sale will do. Product is likewise a racket. Finally, after showering, go for a walk wearing a cap on your wet, product-ed hair. Upon your return, put the finishing touches on the asymmetrical swooshes and cowlicks by taking a long nap. Now you are unkempt. You are complete.

Next time: How to pull off a long nap.

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About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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46 Responses to Steal This Look

  1. Paul says:

    Ahhh, perfection in ho couture (I think that spelling is correct – I get confused by times). I could not possibly make any suggestions to improve on this look and I show my respect by dressing this way daily. One important advantage that the reviewer has not mentioned, is that the lumpy woolen sweater can be used to hide many ills with the shirt underneath – for instance if buttons are missing or there is a large stain from your pen breaking or the shirt is so beloved that the material has frayed into a hole around the short pocket or there are some sketchy color variations from the last time you accidentally put bleach in with the colors, etc. This combination of sweater and shirt can extend the usable life of the shirt by almost double as shown in tests approved by 4 out of 5 doctors.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I have those bleach shirts! And exactly. Under this one, I’m wearing a shirt with a silhouette of Shakespeare that now looks like a Rorschach test — a fun game in itself, mind you.

  2. Marc says:

    Geez, until I got to the part about the beard, I thought you were describing me. Big sigh of relief. I am soon to mutate to my summer look: wonder if we’ll be dressed like twins again for the next six months?

  3. Karen says:

    I usually don’t follow fashion blogs, but in your case, I’ll make an exception. 😉

  4. I think I’m your female doppelganger, minus the slippers (fuzzy socks with all the fuzz worn off). Sometimes my sweaters have buttons, which makes me reflexively sing “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” a la Mister Rogers every time I dress.

  5. Ned's Blog says:

    That look! Style meets blasé flare. It should be on a fashion runway! Or maybe a runaway…

  6. You know, hipsters work for hours on end to try to achieve this look.

  7. byebyebeer says:

    What do you think about those hipster blue jeans you clean by putting them in the freezer? That has to be a joke, right? Anyway, you’re totally pulling off that look.

  8. Sheila Moss says:

    Ah, fashion blogs, such snobs. (Present company excepted) I prefer a casual look. Obviously, I have no taste. Please do not devote a column to your fingernails. I do not want to know.

  9. Is spring showing up there yet? Soon time for those socks and sandals!

  10. Liz says:

    Work it, dahling, you’re a DREAM. Looking forward to your summer line.

  11. The title alone had me laughing throughout the whole read… good one, Ross.

  12. ksbeth says:

    sometimes i wake up asking ‘what decade is it?’ and i don’t even have a snappy outfit on.

  13. The only thing missing on that sweater is patches on the elbows, professor.

    I’ve never owned a pair of jeans that fit. I got no ass! They won’t stay up! Button-up is a royal pain. They’re a lot of work when you’re standing up to do your business.

    I like your superhero pose. Ready to save the woyld. It looks like you just burst through that door.

  14. “daily trimming of straggly and increasingly white hairs”

    Beware, for one day a tipping point will come when you will find yourself individually addressing nearly half the hairs on your face. This is a condition known as “salt and pepper” and it is a crossroads for all men: Either own it or shave the bastard.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I think I’ll be fine with it. But right now, the white hairs have entirely different personalities. They’re like the extroverts of hairs.

      • Tell me about it. I have a mosh pit of curly silver extroverts at either temple that only submit after threats of extra-strength gel.

        I hear it’s because silver hair has a thinner cuticle than its younger, color-melanin-packed alter ego, which makes the outer layer more easily dehydrated and therefor coarse and kinky. So, you have a choice: slather on extra conditioner or get used to being coarse and kinky.

        I’ll let your wife take this one….

        • UPDATE: Well, you got me thinking (don’t do that) so I poked around the internet (don’t do that, either) and learned that Indian women have been softening their silver hair for centuries with coconut oil.

          Long story short: it works. Wake up, massage a little in, let it marinate for a few hours making you firmly believe someone, somewhere, is baking macaroons, and then wash it out in your morning shower. Still curly, but luxuriantly soft and far more submissive to hair gel. (sound of whip cracking)

  15. Hahahaha! Brilliant.

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