My Grandfather's Clothes

My sister and I reminisced about my grandfather's sense of fashion (or complete lack thereof) the other day.  We shared an endearing laugh over his mismatched plaid flannel shirts and whatever pants he could find.  It was not at all uncommon for him to wear two completely different patterns on the top and bottom.  Half of his clothes were threadbare or had holes in them, but he wore them anyway.  I loved this about him.  He dressed this way for three reasons - (1) he owned the clothes and they fit, so he was going to wear them, (2) he was far too frugal and practical to spend money as long as #1 was still applicable, and (3) he just didn't give a flip.  Period.

The conversation shed some light on my own wardrobe situation, as I looked down at myself and realized the t-shirt I was wearing was four years old and I counted it among my newest. I bought it for $6 from Ben's school when he was in Pre-K so I would match his class when I went on field trips.  The gray yoga capris I was wearing are so worn you can see the elastic through the holes in the waistband almost the entire way around.  From the day I bought them at Sam's Club, I knew they were going to be, perhaps, my favorite article of clothing of all time, and so I could not wait to get back to Sam's Club to buy another identical pair.  That pair is in slightly less appalling condition with one addition - a brown spot that won't come out from spilling wood stain on my thigh back when Sam made Ben's bookshelf about five years ago.

The good pair's waistband - in all of it's elastic showing glory.  No picture of the worse-off ones because, naturally, they're in the washing machine right now since I wore them yesterday.

Poor things.  You can see daylight through them.

A lesser person might have tossed these by now, but oh no, not me.  I will cry real tears the day I have to part with these.

(Like the time my favorite orange Mercer shirt got a hole in the armpit so large that technically the sleeve could no longer be called a sleeve.  It just sort of dangled there.  We happened to be on vacation at the time, so Ben and I ceremoniously tossed it into the dumpster at our condo complex.  It was a tough day.)

Add this to the three styles of shirt (polo, scoop neck, and jersey)  I have from Kohl's in various colors each, a couple of pairs of jeans, and that just about completes my wardrobe (slight exaggeration, but not much...ask Sam).

I dress this way for a variety of reasons, not unlike my grandfather.

1.  I have unrealistic price expectations, which, if a piece of attire does not meet, I will not buy.  For example, in 1996, I bought a pair of jeans for $12.99.  So from that day forward, any pair of jeans costing more than that is, in my mind "a rip off."  Inflation?  No.  That doesn't exist in my mind.

2.  Aside from having to be practically free, any article of clothing I purchase must be comfortable.  I'm talking can't-even-tell-I'm-wearing-it comfortable.  It can't pull or bunch or squeeze unnecessarily.  This is why my closet is full of t-shirts, elastic waistbands, and flip-flops.

3.  I'm boring.  When left to shop for myself I buy solid colors, mostly gray and blue.  On a wild and crazy whim, I let Abby pick out a dress for me at Old Navy the last time we went.  It was pink and floral and loud.  I humored her.  I've worn it twice and never received more compliments in my life.  My five year old has more fashion sense than me.

4.  I am a creature of habit.  I love buying shoes, and I have an unconscionable amount of them.  But when it comes time to leave the house, I put on my same crocs flip flops that have walked a million miles and no longer have any tread on them.

Sam and I have matching ones.  We bought them the same day.  This is what the bottoms look like:

Sam's bear an appropriate level of wear, whereas mine are practically smooth.  I've bitten the dust in slick conditions wearing these more than once.  And yet, I can't seem to part with them. 

The point of this post?  I'm sure there was one once upon a time before it took me two days to write this post, and I went off on a few tangents.  Instead here we are, with me proudly showcasing my tattered clothing. 

I'm pretty sure my grandfather wouldn't have done that.

Do you have any weird clothing quirks?  How about a favorite article of clothing that will cause you to shed real tears when it finally gives out?  What kind of shopper are you?  Do you love buying clothes or wait for necessity to strike?  These are the things I am thinking about today...


Debbie said...

You really don't need to hear my comment, right? Since you know me, you have seen my wardrobe/uniform.

The truth is that I get embarrassed at times because of my lack of taste and style. I live in the south, after all. Women are supposed to care about stuff like that here, right?

For the life of me, however,I can not justify spending what I consider too much for clothes. I'm cheap to a fault, and I like to wear them out, too.

Some women in my SS were talking about a missionary who had decided that the whole clothes thing was taking too much space in her thought process as well as her closet. She gave away everything but black bottoms and white tops and cleared the way for more important things in her life. They were all just freaked out by that as if she had decided to run around naked.

I, on the other hand, have been considering doing it myself ever since I heard it.

Personally, I tend to think more like your grandfather. I'm just not nearly as concerned by my wardrobe as I am with other things.

That's not to be all pious. My sin nature is as vain as the next person. I'm sure if I did change out to black and white, I would feel the need to make a button explaining my reason.


Debbie said...

World's record up there. Sorry.

Elizabeth said...

I was looking at old pictures on the computer with my son a few weeks ago and he excitedly pointed out, "Look, Mommy, you're wearing the same clothes as in the picture!" And then went on to find all of the other pictures of me in that outfit from various years. Apparently, I've been wearing the same green long sleeved t-shirt every year near Christmas since he was born almost 5 years ago.
And don't feel bad about point 1, my price point is about $7 for a pair of jeans...

Sharon said...

Jennie - no matter what you wear on the outside, all I see are your beautiful white robes of righteousness!

That having been said, I understand the comfort of comfortable clothes. And I'm going to answer your ending questions:

Do you have any weird clothing quirks?

Yes! I often wear men's boxer shorts under my dresses and skirts. I really like the comfortable feeling of wearing them. I figure no one knows but me, so where's the harm? Although my husband gives me a weird look from time to time.

How about a favorite article of clothing that will cause you to shed real tears when it finally gives out?

I've shed some tears over a few T-shirts that became more holes than shirt. I think they were older than you. Anything that I have now? Hmmm. Maybe my black rubber flip-flops. I had another pair a long while ago, but one of the pair fell out of the car on vacation once and was never seen again. (Not my fault - the husband was in HOT water about this one!) I guard the ones I have now...

What kind of shopper are you? Do you love buying clothes or wait for necessity to strike?

I especially DO. NOT. LIKE. trying on pants. I am short, but long-waisted. Nothing ever seems to fit! I'm only good for about an hour clothes-shopping. I get all hot and sweaty and frustrated. However, I have found that I have a lot more fun when my oh-so-patient husband comes along! (Maybe he does it 'cause he's still guilty about the flip-flops!)


Sharon said...

I think I beat Debbie's world record...

Debbie said...

Yes, Sharon. And I didn't air my baggie undies on the world wide web either. Just sayin'...

Katie J said...

i =Ished real tears over a sailor dress I outgrew when I was about 8. Since then I do not allow myself to become so attatched to clothing, remebering that heartache.

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