Everyone, including my calendar, keeps telling me fall has arrived. Except that temps were in the 90s all of last week, and are hovering in the upper 80s this week – the weather folks are trying to sell it as a refreshing cool down. The thing is, here in Colorado we hit the 90s by early June this year, and have endured a brutally hot summer that seems unwilling to exit. But I have not come to rail against climate change or those who choose to discount it. I live at 5,000 feet of elevation – it will take a while for the oceans to reach me. The rest of y’all are on your own.
No, I’m here because, on the heels of New York Fashion Week, it’s time to introduce the new fall wardrobe. Of course, being in possession of the Y chromosome means there really isn’t much that’s truly ‘new’ about my clothing. It’s more a case of just breaking out the old stuff again, with the hope that I haven’t desecrated my boyish figure in the interim. Yes, I have a new henley to add to the pile, but that’s about the extent of it.
Because henleys are my go-to post-summer clothing item – those long-sleeved, waffle-fabric shirts with three or so buttons at the neck and no collar. I have a drawer full of them. I will live in them for the next 7 months. I will more than likely be buried in at least one. I am forever attempting to attire myself in them for all types of social interactions, including weddings and job interviews, only to be fashion-shamed by my wife with a sardonic “Is that what you’re wearing?” comment as I’m heading out the door.
The first henleys date back to prehistoric times. An early cave drawing appears to depict Neanderthals wearing similar garments while on a woolly mammoth hunt. Over the centuries they have evolved into multi-functional apparel that, woolly mammoths aside, no man should be without. Worn alone, they represent the epitome of casual-cool – no ties allowed. They also transition seamlessly to a serviceable pajama top for those times when you fall asleep in front of the TV. Or throw a threadbare flannel shirt over one and you have perfected the grunge look of the nineties, which I believe will be making a comeback in short order. Just as I am certain of the timelessness of my summer collection of cargo shorts.
My jeans, though tearing through at the knees due to age, will also be coming out of hibernation, as temperatures drop and less skin becomes the norm. Which begs the question, is the over-50 crowd allowed to wear torn pants, or is that considered generational-appropriation? For the record, I have no problem leaving the skinny jeans to the millennials due to circulation issues and a desire to not walk like the Tin Man.
And a regional note – one item of ‘clothing’ that never goes out of fashion around here, even on the coldest of days, is the flip-flop. People will show up at the grocery store in the middle of January with their toes on display, in what amounts to either a complete lack of common sense or an unwillingness to give in to the elements – an “up yours” to old man winter. Personally, I’m a big proponent of the ‘put the toes away after Labor Day’ maxim, but whatever works for you.
So happy fall, all you fashionistas.
Is that what you’re wearing?