Spring Wine Tasting in California means layers. I felt cheeky checking out my own Husband last weekend, but hot dang he looked really nice. He had layered a Lululemon hooded long sleeve shirt with a Peter Millar vest and a North Face puffy, all worn over dark jeans. My only suggestion had been to untuck the Lulu shirt, which both surprised and pleased me.
I’d like to say that I wasn’t a judging or disapproving new Girlfriend when we first started dating. I was. Let’s just say that the fabrics and colors in his wardrobe didn’t meet my then-aesthetic. And was I ever surprised that in the early-eighties land of preppy, Angel Flight pants and shiny shirts were still available. He did own a lovely leather jacket. When I couldn’t stand his outfits any longer, and it became apparent that this man was worth way more than a few dates, I uttered the fateful words: “Let’s go shopping!”
It wasn’t my first foray into shopping for larger-than-usual humans, being one myself (and coming from a family sized similarly). But his beefy Offensive-Line hips and thighs added unusual challenges. There was a lot of trying on, and more than a little impatience from both of us. We persevered and found a few pieces to start a new wardrobe. He was game and enthusiastic about my suggestions.
We filled his closet over the years, focusing on fit and quality over quantity. He still owns and wears a navy cashmere sport jacket that thirty-four years ago we could neither afford to buy or not to buy (based on it being the only one that fit). What didn’t happen quickly was his putting outfits together. There was much discussion about “going” over “matching”, and more than a few trips back up the stairs for adjustments. I had to give up the gray v. khaki war (turns out he’s color blind); and eventually stopped muttering about Garanimals for men. (Remember? You can wear monkey tags with monkey tags but never monkey tags with tiger tags).
My Husband suffered through a lot of yelling over the years about his outfits. And let’s not start on the bickering over how he packed for trips, my crazed bitchiness setting an unpleasant start to a rare weekend away. Throughout all of this, he was gracious about wearing clothes I liked.
All along he knew how he looked was more about me than him. And it seemed that the more uncomfortable I was in my own body the more I took it out on him. I’m not proud of my actions. Worse, my Husband always, always tells me that I look beautiful, that my clothes are lovely, even when my outfits are less than optimal. THIS is my huge, and humbling, lesson.
There’s no need to be critical of his wardrobe any longer. Perhaps it’s due to his now-work-day standard of jeans, running shoes and Tommy Bahama shirts that need no discussion. Or the fact that in NoCA Men’s fashion, a white long sleeve shirt in a lovely fabric over dark jeans with a sport jacket goes anywhere from a BBQ to the Theatre (so unfair!). Oh, I raise an eyebrow when he pairs a kelly-green shirt with salmon shorts, but for the most part he’s on his own. And he does an excellent job nowadays, even when packing.
A few weeks ago, we went shopping, just for him. He was game and enthusiastic, of course, as I handed him different styles, sizes and colors. I might have peeked over the fitting room door a few times, just to see him changing. Hot dang.