Friday, March 09, 2007

The fashion evolution of Bone

A few months ago, I found myself in Cracker Barrell, standing in line behind a guy who was wearing a flannel shirt, tucked in to his slim fit tapered leg faded jeans, the bottom of which conveniently fell about two inches above his white Nikes. Yes, I was tempted to bend down and tight roll them.

Normally I don't pay attention to what other guys wear. But for some reason, this caught my attention. And I began to ponder. I think some people just get tired of trying to keep up with the latest styles and fashions. They find a look they like, and they stick with it from here on out. Look at Cracker Barrell Guy, for instance. I'd say he deboarded the fashion bus sometime around 1985.

That's fine if that's who you want to be. No judgment here. After all, I watched Cheers, I liked Sam Malone. My question is, where do people who wear these out of style clothes keep finding them? Because they can't all be wearing clothes that are twenty years old. Somewhere, some store has to still be selling them. Which means some company has to still be manufacturing them. That's what confounds me about all of this.

Don't get the wrong idea. I make no claim to be on the leading edge of fashion myself. I'm closer to the trailing edge, actually. But I do try to keep up. I even got a compliment the other day from a female friend of a friend, who told my friend, "He knows how to dress."

Still, I say all this very humbly, as someone whose personal fashion evolution includes the Wrangler and cowboy boot phase of the early nineties. But I survived that and am able to laugh about it now. And by laugh, I mean shudder.

It was during my heavy country music listening days. Which is the main reason I totally missed out on the whole Nirvana/Pearl Jam/Metallica explosion. But that's another story for another post. I was all the time going to country concerts. Alabama, Garth, Reba, George Strait, Clint Black, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Brooks & Dunn, I saw them all.

I even had a black felt cowboy hat that I wore to a concert or two. Yes, I was that guy. Except I didn't know I was supposed to have the hat shaped. So I wound up looking more like Howdy Doody than Garth Brooks.

I wore boots. And Wranglers. Tight, slim fit Wranglers. As in, if I had a toothpick in my pocket, you'd be able to spot the outline of it from fifty feet away. And tell if it was single-ended or double-ended. I also wore briefs.

I'm not ashamed of my fashion past. But now, thankfully, I'm a different man. With a different body. And different jeans. And boxers. I still occasionally listen to country music. But I could never go back to Wranglers. Or briefs.

Once you get used to that free-wheeling, unfettered lifestyle, I don't think it's possible to go back. It'd be like driving a Tahoe for ten years, then trying to fit back into an Escort. Certain parts of my body hurt now just thinking about it.

Most everything I've learned about fashion has come from girls I was dating at the time, female friends, or occasionally my sister. After all, why do guys comb their hair, shave, or wear nice clothes? It's not to impress the other guys, I can assure you.

Several weeks ago, I purchased a corduroy blazer with vintage suede elbow pads. Much like the pink shirt, it is the type of purchase that could only have been made with female accompaniment and approval.

Danger arises, however, when I go thru a dating drought. Female friends can help a little. But the fact is, no one is going to be as vigilant as the girl who has to be seen in public with you and known as your girlfriend. One might theorize some guys who are "out of style" are simply still wearing the clothes they wore the last time they had a girlfriend.

I'm pretty good at putting outfits together. But sometimes, I'm not 100% sure what jacket to wear with a particular shirt, for example. Some mornings I literally spend a minute or two agonizing over my outfit for the day. Here's where I think an outfit flowchart for guys would come in handy. (Not to be confused with a Jump To Conclusions Mat.) Yes friends, my name is Bone, and I'm bringing flowcharts back.

Every guy could have a girl in his life go thru his clothes and design one for him. We could just plug in a particular shirt or sweater into the oval box, then follow a series of lines, diamonds, and parallelograms leading us to acceptable jacket and pant combinations.

Another question I sometimes struggle with is: When is it appropriate to tuck in shirts for guys?

Personally, with jeans, I never tuck. Polo shirts, t-shirts, button-up shirts, I leave them untucked. Even with a sport jacket. Normally with dress pants, I tuck. But what about with khakis? And is it ever appropriate to tuck with jeans?

These are the questions I have. These are the clothes that I wear.

And don't discount the outfit flowchart.

"What's the matter with the clothes I'm wearing? Can't you tell that your tie's too wide? Maybe I should buy some old tab collars. Welcome back to the age of jive..."


  1. RainGal:
    I loved your blog..its so readable n witty, n true-to-life...

  2. RainGal:
    will keep cumin.. :)

  3. I just finished watching'Ghost Rider',about 10 minutes ago,to be more precise[it must be because of the big screen,but that movie was exciting{and because I have not been to the theater in about 2 years)] ,and now I can't stop thinking how good Nicolas Cage looks in his leather outfit(and he sure is looking fit),I did,at least, say something about fashion.

  4. Only tuck in your shirts if you are meeting a mother/father of your girlfriend, going to church, or wearing a suit.

    I hate tucked in shirts.

    Cause men tuck them in too tight and they just like little boys.

  5. I almost peed my pants at the "Howdy Doody" comment. I love your writing, Bone! Where do you get this stuff?
    Don't tuck with jeans unless you're going to a rodeo, in which case you're supposed to tuck, wear a ginormous belt buckle, boots, and the aforementioned "shaped" cowboy hat. For all other situations, let it all hang out. With khakis: if they're casual, you can leave it untucked; if they have a cuff at the ankle, tuck and wear a nice belt and some loafers, please :)

  6. Yes, I also think you shouldn't tuck in when you wear jeans. It just doesn't look right! I hear I might see you tonight. Not completely sure I am going though.

  7. Boxers? I never knew this

    The corduroy jacket with patches sounds impressive--the beginning of your life as a scholarly writer--well one half is true :)

    Love the Howdy Doody reference and of course the need for women to dress men.

    I hope you wear the cord jacket with jeans of the moment :-)

  8. Yes, I was tempted to bend down and tight roll them.

    haha… now that wouldn’t have been awkward or anything. When he looked at you strangely you could have just said “Oh I swear I’m straight! I just miss tight-rolling pants!”

    But I survived that and am able to laugh about it now. And by laugh, I mean shudder.

    Try being a girl. Take a look at the hair trends from then. That’s all I’m gonna say…

    And a flowchart? You're a nerd. ;-) Just so happens that I've done a few of those though, lol.

  9. I think you are correct, that some people like a look and stick with it. It is those same people that keep the same hairstyle they had in high school. For me, I get complacent about, hair, jewelry, men. (just kidding on the last one!) That's why I don't get a tattoo. It's too permanent. I still some women wearing leggings and stirrup pants. For the love!! There are stores that still sell these fashions...they're called Salvation Army or Goodwill stores.

  10. hummmm so it seems there is a market, much like dog walking, for single men... 'style enhancer' she will come to your house, sort through your closet... clean out what should have been tossed years ago, then color code the closet with 'flow charts' including photos. Ohhhhh perhaps she could email you each morning and give you a suggestion for the day. If you had a big date you could ask for suggestions... She could do some personal shopping for you... and send you emails with online stores you could buy the items from! I like it! *wink

    Sounds like you have things covered pretty well these days country boy. Funny that you still are wearing hats! Are you a hat person? (I am referring to your photo here). I think you should post a photo of you in the patched jacket...

    As for my thoughts about tucking or not. If you are going dressy then tuck. If you are just doing casual then dont. I think tucking is a bit stuffy. Loose is more edgy and fun in spirit. Glad you gave up Wranglers, cowboy boots/hats and briefs!

    So have you ever dated a girl with awful taste and ended up dressing in clothes you look back on and cringe? lol I dated a guy once that liked women dressed in lace... I am soooooooooo not a lace person. We struck a compromise and it worked (actually that worked better than the relationship did lol) but I look back now and giggle at what I wore!

  11. i love that you are bringing flow charts back. you're my hero!

  12. RainGal: Thank you. Thanks for stopping by.

    GirlFPS: Leather? Hmm, I'm not sure I could rock that look.

    Eileen: Suit, church, definitely. But meeting a girlfriend's parents? Really?

    Jennifer: LOL I forgot to put up a "This post may cause uncontrollable urinating" disclaimer.

    Jawana: Yes, I was planning on going tonight. As long as somebody I know is going to be there.

    Pia: Sorry. I'll try to be more upfront about my choice of underwear in the future :)

    Yes, yes, good point. The corduroy jacket would be very writeresque.

  13. TC: You know it's funny. I won't let a guy slather sunscreen on me, but I do remember letting a guy tightroll my jeans once or twice.

    And please, I must request that the flowchart be done in English ;)

    Carnelian: That's why I don't get a tattoo. It's too permanent.

    Ah, a woman after my own heart :) Oh, I still see people wearing tie-dye from time to time. Tie-dye!

    Kate: From your first paragraph, I can see you get what I'm talking about. And I actually rarely wear hats, except to football games and at the beach.

    I did date a girl who was kinda stuck in the past. She never made any suggestions as to what I should wear, so I just kind of kept doing what I had been doing.

    Lace? Interesting.

    Sizzle: I think I'd be OK as being forever known as the inventer of the Outfit Flowchart :)

  14. I really do think you should do the outfit flow chart. Patent it and make a fortune from poor guys everywhere.

    DH is so hopeless when it comes to dressing...if it weren't for the uniform he has to wear to work he would be waking me up every morning to dress him.

    Of course it doesn't help that DH doesn't like a lot of the styles that are out there for men... that whole extra big and baggy trend made him puke.

    And that visible toothpick from 50 yards thing was dangerous! Guess you had VBL too.

  15. omg.. those tight wrangler jeans that make a guys nut sack buldge are so disgusting! Of course, here in Oklahoma that 'look' is still all the rage amoung those cowboys. Some have transformed with the times... but you can still catch a glimpse of buldge.

    I LOVE to see men in loose jeans and their shirts untucked.... and shove the sleeves up to your forearm. It looks so comfortable and casual, yet nice and yummy :)

  16. I liked tucked in shirts, certain tucked in shirts. But ONLY if they accentuate a slim waist and not a bulging gut.

    Also, those shops...that sell "old" fashion styles... they are called "consignment" or the Salvation Army. :)

  17. You continue to amuse me beyond reason. When I need a laugh, I visit your archives.

    Having said that: I don't believe you about the Wrangler phase. I'm afraid that I shall require a picture as proof. Feel free to post it here for us all to see.

    PS - I'm very good at apparel flow charts. I'm shamed to admit that my OCD tendencies had me developing them for myself in Junior High.

  18. I won't let a guy slather sunscreen on me, but I do remember letting a guy tightroll my jeans once or twice.

    Seriously??? No, Bone, no. Please say it's not so...

    Oh, and I have no issues with a guy slathering sunscreen on me... what's your issue? ;)

    What other language would the flowchart be in, Mr. Suspicious? 0:-)

  19. And um, what's so wrong with Tie-dye?


  20. LOL ok so on the way to class today I ran into a woman that had a mullet!!! her hair went down to her ass!

    Dont get into flow charts...I have to use those about every day!!!

    Tie-dye rules TC!

  21. Renee: Yeah, there are occasionally certain things that are supposedly "in style" that I refuse to wear.

    What is VBL?

    Kerry: Well, the Strangler look just wasn't for me. Not anymore, at least.

    Please tell me the truck nuts phenomenon hasn't made it to Oklahoma yet. Scary!

    DCChick: OK, you say "certain" shirts, but I have no idea which ones. Thus the need for the outfit flowchart :) And I'm working on the abs. I got an exercise ball the other day. Geez.

    Avery Laine: I'm hoping that no photographic evidence remains of my Wrangler phase.

    TC: Well, you know, if you've just pulled up at the mall, and he's better at tight-rolling than you are :)

    And um, what's so wrong with Tie-dye?

    I know you just dih-unt. I'm going to assume that you're kidding.

    TagAlong: Wow. Are you sure it was a woman?

  22. I just spit on my computer from laughing at your Howdy Doody deal. That was just too much. That was an enjoyable read on men and fashion. Unfortunately...I am a woman and I still don't know what the heck is going on! If I can't take care of MY "fashion sense" then it is totally hopeless for my husband. He'd be happy wearing overalls for the rest of his life. I seriously think that's what I'm going to have him dressed in when he dies. Anyway...

  23. VPL is a visible panty line...

    so along that thinking a VBL is a visible brief line

  24. For some reason - I don't get it - my "mom" is laughing all of a sudden!

  25. I love the flowchart idea.

    Jeans, untucked. Dress pants, tucked. Khakis can go either way, I guess it depends on the place you are wearing them. A casual summertime BBQ (with flip flops), untuck. Church, tuck.

    I love a man who can wear Wranglers right. But I'm from Texas.

    I'll be happy to help you put together "outfits" or combinations. Send me pictures of your pants, shirts and jackets and I'll do it.

  26. darn,I'm stil fixated,or something like that, on Nicolas Cage(I didn't used to be,only after watching the movie [the 'Ghost Rider' movie is based on a comic book so the story is silly,but I had fun watching it on the big screen],though I did like watching him in other movies).

  27. Well, you know, if you've just pulled up at the mall, and he's better at tight-rolling than you are :)

    I refuse to believe some guy is better at tight-rolling than you are, and that's why you let him tight-roll your jeans. No way. I'm thinking there is a story here...

    And um, I wouldn't assume anything about me. ;)

  28. There is a kid's clothing line called Geranimals (or something like that) in which the clothes have tags that are animal shaped and the kids learn what shirt can be worn with what pair of pants/shorts/skirt by matching the animal shapes. Perhaps someone should market something like that for guys.

  29. I think a flowchart would be fantabulous.

    I have difficulties with clothing options, too. I have a TON of stuff to wear, but I find a few items that I am really comfy in, or that looks particularly good in... and I stick with 'em.

    I 'spose girls should shop with men for approval too, now and then, huh?

  30. Actually Bone, there's a strict dress code at Cracker Barrel and the guy was only trying to adhere to it.. I guess no one let you in on that one..

    I was so into the Wrangler/hat/buckle guys ten years ago.. I was the Rocky/sometimes hat/somewhat smaller buckle girl back then myself.. Now I can't imagine wearing tight clothing either. Icky.. I don't even know if they still make Rockies..

    I just read rumors of a Brenda Barrett comeback.. Gag me.. Thoughts?

  31. Mama2: Hey, I think overalls may be coming back! I saw some at Old Navy the other day :)

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Renee: Ah, I gotcha. Then yeah, I'm sure there was probably VBL. Everything was pretty much visible in those days.

    Oh, and tight-rolling is, or was, um... well, here :)

    Lux: You have no idea how much this comment confused me, as I also have a human commenter named Lux. LOL Anyway, I finally noticed your picture. Glad your "Mom" got a laugh out of it.

    HotPink: Jeans, untucked. Dress pants, tucked. Khakis can go either way...

    OK, good. Cos that's pretty much what I've been doing.

    GirlFPS: Umm, OK. Well that definitely sounds like a fixation or something.

    TC: And um, I wouldn't assume anything about me.

    Hmm. Good point :) And there's no story. Honest.

    Xinh: Haha. I like that idea.

    Blondie: I 'spose girls should shop with men for approval too, now and then, huh?

    Eh, you could try. But I'm not sure most of us guys are much help in that department.

    Burg: A Cracker Barrell dress code. Hmm, now that you mention it... :)

    Yeah, I've heard rumors of Brenda coming back. I was never crazy about her like a lot of people were. I really liked Lily, actually.

    Not sure how I feel about this ghost of Alan thing, either. I hope GH doesn't start doing all this supernatural stuff like Days did.

  32. I can't believe that there was a Wikipedia entry for tight rolled jeans.

  33. Hilarious! I love your style. And I was going to mention the Geraniaml line too.

    Unfortunately, my guy has some of those very jeans AND he only had Dr. Sholl's tennis shoes when we first met. He has such a huge... personality, it overrode his lack of fashion so I didn't say anything for the longest. I didn't want to hurt his feelings. I finally had to buy him jeans, shirts and shoes because he was not going to catch a clue without help.

  34. I think it's easy, esp for guys, to stick to the same style forever, because certain clothes are always out there for them--I've noticed that. If you're an old fart, you can still dress the way Archie Bunker did. And I see women who still insist on wearing jeans up to their necks, too.
    Heh, I can relate to what you're saying about the body parts not getting back into some of that old stuff:)
    great post! I love the flowchart idea. And I hate to tuck--I think it's generally out, except for dress suits, but what do I know?

  35. GARANAMALS for single guys! That's my next business venture!

    Thanks for the great idea...because the man I'm seeing now...if he shows up in a hoodie and a baseball cap one more time...

  36. lol to Greenys comment... It made me think of the first formal event I went to with my spouse and he wore a greenish suit!!! WHO BUYS A GREEN SUIT? omg. But I saw past the clothes... and, as the controlling opinionated gal that I am I saw potential for change! =]

    Ya lace... I dont mind in undergarments, but not in shirts and skirts... trim... idk I am just a much more taylored styled person. No frills on the surface at least! *wink

    Why do you wear hats at games and at the beach? Just wondering as I am not a hat person myself. I own a couple but never really find a time to wear them... plus they mess your hair so you have to then darn them all day... idk

  37. another classic Bone! From a guy who hates country music but mostly wear jeans (except in the summer when it's shorts) with running shoes and dress shirts and Stetsons.

  38. I have a very foggy memory of doing that... don't remember why. We didn't have a name for it...just did it.

    Those years were part of my past life...I don't remember all the details.

  39. Actually, you could do both flow charts and take digital pictures of all your clothes.

    Then you could have a friend or friends pick out all the possible combinations and copy the photos

    You can either keep the pictures in your computer or on a closet wall--but they have to be individual photos for additions and subtractions--or you can keep them both places

    Many women do this--and have photos on shoe boxes, sweater boxes and the like

    I keep envisioning myself doing this. I think if you envision with the right positive something it's supposed to happen.

    Hasn't. But wouldn't it be cool?

    I wrote about Archie Bunker's chair yesterday and for some reason thought of you

    The only thing that made sense is that both he's from Queens and Seinfeld is from Nassau and both are on Long Island

    Or maybe I can see you in 25 years writing an award winning column on your favorite chair

  40. i am going to begin leaving my blog url since it never takes, and I really do have a blog

    This drives me crazy, and for the record, I wouldn't comment on other blogs if my url refused to take but my like for your posts and your comment moderation is well documented--see roast a Bone or whatever you made me call it :-)

  41. Xinh: Isn't Wikipedia great! :)

    Greeny: Dr. Sholl's? Ouch! LOL Glad you were able to see past those. Thanks for stopping by.

    Actonbell: Ah, yes, the old high-waisted, high-pocket ladies jeans :)

    I think tucking is out right now, too. I'm just hoping someone will alert me when it's back in.

    Esmerelda: Well, in his defense, Jack Bauer sometimes wears a hoodie. And Jack Bauer is always in style. So I guess if your guy saves the world from terrorists, you can overlook the clothes :)

    Kate: Well at the beach, mainly for protection from the sun. And at games, to show team spirit.

    Ah, OK, I was kinda thinking along those same lines about the lace.

    Sage: Thanks. Hopefully, your Stetsons look better on you than mine did on me.

    Renee: Ah, so you've tried to block those years out, huh? ;)

    Pia: I guess I could take photographs. I could start another webpage,

    I sometimes think I'm better at comment moderation than blogging itself. Maybe I could hire out, and be a designated comment answerer :)

  42. Heh. I must confess that I am on the trailing edge of fashion too. I dress more for comfort. I actually need to go shopping.

    When I was younger, I was quite the fashion chick. I had the latest clothes.Heck I went shopping at least once a week for clothes. And now? Ha!

    I don't like some of the new trends. Like the jeans that sit on top of your hips or the snug sweaters. I'm not 18 anymore. Where are the comfy, old lady clothes?

  43. Your flow-chart idea made me think of "Garanimals"-
    Remember those???

    Yeah- ok, I kind of wish for the simplicity of that era too..
    And what's worse- some of the clothes my daughter wears (cute stuff from Target) I would wear too if they came in my size!
    They don't!

  44. Granimals! Those were so cool. My little brother had some. You just matched up the tags and you were good to go with matching clothes.

    I have always thought that men needed least every man that I've ever met.

    match the elephant shirt with the elephant tie & elephant pants. Oh and the bear goes with everything because it's neutral. LOL

  45. in certain areas of the country, I'm sure that the wrangler/boots look is still HOTT!

    I'm of the opinion that undershirts be tucked, overshirts for men should not be tucked into jeans at all! Khakis and dress pants it's ok to tuck. But only tuck with kahaki's if you're going for dressier looks.

    You crack me up. ;)

  46. Chickadee: Yeah, I don't go for all of the latest styles, but I can usually find enough things that I like.

    Mayden: Hmm. Seems like maybe some of the clothing stores are missing out on part of the market then.

    Renee: I don't think I ever had Garanimals. Just OshKosh B'Gosh and Le Tigre O:)

    Carmen: I'm sure. I actually liked it at that time. Well, except for the hat.

    Thanks :)

  47. I hopped over from Sage's blog - great post!

    While I was more of the Nirvana/Pearl Jam mode, I used to get dragged by friends to Cowboy Boogie where all the fellas were dressed just as you describe

    And as to the clothing flow chart, now you know why Garanimals are such a hit!

  48. Diane: Thanks for stopping by! And yes, evidently Garanimals are/were much more popular than I knew. Like five people have mentioned them in comments now.