They say that clothes make the man. I suppose that could be true in some instances foreign to me, because I’ve never been able to make friends with fashions. And anybody who knows me knows that.

I have a closet full of ties and though I will wear one only if forced, I never know which ones are acceptable. Is it the wide ones this year? The long ones that come down past my belt buckle? Are stripes still a thing? And am I the only one who still wears clip-on ties? They are one of the world’s top ten greatest inventions, and my hat is off to whoever thought them up. And my tie’s off, too.

Am I the only one who hates shopping for clothes? The worst part is having to try them on in the store. You take in a few outfits and hastily get in and out of them while fellow shoppers are right outside your door, and there’s always the scary possibility that a store employee might use their key to barge in on you at any given moment and catch you in all your non-glory. I’d rather buy clothes, take them home to try them on, and then if they don’t fit, retire them to the closet and hope that the day comes when they do.

Believe me when I say I don’t pay a lot for anything I wear. Nope, I’m no fashionista who has to have the latest and greatest clothes. Threads, we used to call them, or duds. And I’ve always looked like a dud wearing mine. I will shop at second-hand places all day long, and I call them “dead people” stores because a lot of the clothes there surely come from widows or widowers who are getting rid of their late spouse’s wardrobes. I do check them carefully, though, for money in the pockets, cigarette burns, and bullet holes.

I do not trust the sizes that are printed on the tags of clothes because each manufacturer seems to have a different kind of measuring tape, and that drives me crazy. The XL size is often only an L, and me trying to force my body into something that I thought was my size usually makes me look like 10 pounds of sausage stuffed into a five-pound casing. A sight not for the faint-hearted.

My favorite clothes? Overalls, if I’m out and about because they have so many pockets to carry all my stuff around. Plus, if they get too snug, you can just unfasten a button on the side and you can suddenly breathe again. And no belt that’s trying to pinch you in half! At home it’s pajamas, and in retirement I refer to my existence as living in “PJville,” happily ever after.

However, I am not one of those people who go shopping in my pajamas, like we all see quite frequently on Facebook and all too often in person. When I do, I wonder that if this is what they wear in public, what do the wear at home? And then I want to rush home and bleach my brain because it sets off my too-active imagination, putting terrifying images in my mind.

They say that fashions come and go and many come back. If that’s true, though my timing is likely way off, because I look at old photos and see me wearing clothes that are still in my closet. I’m just hoping leisure suits don’t make a comeback, and I don’t think I’m alone in doing that.

I’m of the mind that life is too short not to be as comfortable as possible, especially where clothes are concerned. So if it feels right on me, it gets worn, even if it’s older than my children and even my children. I bet 50 generations of moths have been nibbling on some of my same clothes over the years. I do not “dress for success,” as some do. It’s more like I “dress for distress” instead, but that’s okay — at least I’m comfortable.

Oh yeah, and going back to that tie thing. I hate wearing them so much that I made my funeral arrangements ahead of time and will be cremated. My wife may put a tie on my urn, but at least that thing won’t be around my neck!


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