In the pre-COVID world, my daily clothing routine was this: get dressed for work, wear that all day, come home, immediately change into comfy clothes for the evening.
Back when the world was normal, I usually wore a coat and tie to work. On most casual Fridays, I would dress down somewhat, but if I had meetings and such, I would resort to my usual attire.
And I actually enjoyed the coat and tie routine. I have a fairly decent tie and coat collection I have assembled over the years, and I derive some modest pleasure from the different combos that I can put together (all, of course, approved by my wife, who most nights was greeted with me mixing and matching and bringing some combo to her to say, “Does this match?”).
But since March, I have worn a coat and tie one time. And that was to a video meeting with my department at work, and was merely done because (a) it was the last outfit I had laid out before our office shut down a month or so prior and (b) I thought it would give them a chuckle.
So most days, I don’t have to get dressed for much of anything. I do go into my office a few times a week, but because of all the stuff that now is the world, there really isn’t much need to get dressed up as I have in the past. But most of my work is now done from my home office, and most meetings are virtual. And since this all started in March, most of the weather has been warm, so it’s pretty much shorts, a T-shirt and sandals. When I need to look somewhat presentable for a video meeting, it’s shorts, a collared shirt and sandals.
In previous times, when cooler weather hit and I came home to change clothes, I would hang up my work clothes and slip into either my trusty jeans or a pair of old khaki cargo pants, both of which I’ve had for roughly 20 years. When the weather took a turn for the cooler recently, I realized that a good seven months had passed without me wearing long pants beyond what I don for going into the office. I went to put on my jeans and realized that they were super baggy and about to fall down. I chalk this up to a few things: (1) Perhaps like others I had shed a few quarantine pounds, although admittedly I didn’t really have a lot of weight to shed and (2) more likely, the realization that these pants were really old, and reflected the fashion of 1998 beautifully.
I told my wife I was going to go and buy some new pants, because these jeans felt like, well, MC Hammer pants. She said, “Well, you buy pants like every 20 years, so this is probably the time.”
While I am not at all looking to be a fashion icon in my lounging-about wear, I am very particular in what I do purchase, as I am really going for extreme comfort. I think the reason I held onto these jeans for so long is that they were kinda baggy, and I vastly prefer that over skinny jeans, which feel like they are blood pressure cuffs and would just cause me to complain constantly.
I went to a store and began browsing the racks. The first thing I noticed was the price. $44? Seriously? For pants? (I was later informed that prices had, in fact, risen on jeans over the past 20 years.)
I tried on a pair here and a pair there, and they all were just a bit too snug. I don’t need the super baggy deal going on, but I’ve got to have a little room here. And then I spied it — over in a corner, a rack with a big sign that said, “CLEARANCE — $15.” I found a pair of jeans my size, and tried them on. And it was … perfect. Apparently just recently out of fashion is just my fashion. I grabbed a couple of pairs (the tan ones are my personal faves) and headed home. Now, each morning I check the weather, and if it’s going to be on the cool side, I don one of my new pairs, and am comfy throughout the day. If I am going into the office, I know these bad boys are waiting for me when I get home, to slip into and take on the evening.
I hope these are high enough quality pants that they will last me for a good while, because I really like them. And I don’t plan to go shopping for casual pants again until 2040.