Stuck in Time, Stuck in Fashion

by Jamison Koehler on January 25, 2013

My father used to wear black socks with shorts. As his fashion consultant, I told him he shouldn’t do this. Dad, I said to him. You can’t wear that. It looks awful.

My father seemed kind of surprised when I said this. Here, I said, taking out a pair of white socks from my suitcase. Take these. Put them on.

To my father’s credit, he listened to me. He wore those socks. But, Depression-era child that he was, he never bought himself another pair. As a result, those white socks got pretty old. If you looked in the top drawer of his bureau today, I am pretty sure you would find that same tattered and graying pair of socks still there.

Here is my theory on this: Men get stuck in a fashion that was in vogue at the time they were a certain age. And that age is when they were young and at the height of their attractiveness. Although I am not able to verify this, I assume that, in my father’s case, all the men were wearing shorts and dark socks sometime during the 1930s.

The defining time period for me was the early 1980s when thin ties and thin belts were all the rage. If given the choice, I will still go for the thin tie. Every time. No matter how unfashionable it becomes. Because, at one time in my life, 50 pounds lighter and a long time ago, I looked pretty damn good in that thin tie.

More like this:

Joyriding With Stanny Bum

The Ties Will Last You Forever

Knowledge Comes at Middle Age

From Tide to Tide in Cape Cod

7 Comments on “Stuck in Time, Stuck in Fashion

  1. Bravo, Jamie! I still have my 60’s era red, white, yellow and green psychedelic pants….and I can get one leg into them, with extreme difficulty.
    Channeling “mem’ries light the corner of my mind….”

  2. James: Thank you. Hold onto those psychedelic pants. They will be back in fashion before we know it.

  3. Great post. You have a remarkable ability to capture the foibles of “men of a certain age.” I am constantly being reminded by my kids that my fashion sense is slightly out of date, a proposition I categorically reject (to my detriment).

  4. SHG: Thank you. There is nothing better than our children at keeping us humble.

  5. It’s us “women of a certain age” who have a problem with the sartorial decisions of “men of a certain age”. Even the Smithsonian would sniff at some of the clothes in their closets.

  6. I have a friend who is a professional trainer. I was telling her about your blog, and she laughed because she remembered how her father used to embarrass her when he would mow the front lawn wearing shorts and black socks (she ultimately volunteered to mow the lawn in his stead to avoid continuing embarrassment). But today do you know what all the young high school studs wear when they show up at her gym? Shorts and long black socks.

  7. Sage: Just like James Morant’s psychedelic pants from above, it shows you that things will always come back around. My kids would probably see my father in the white socks I insisted he wear and groan.

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