Chris Hutchins

A dude’s new duds

They say “The clothes make the man.” This is contrary to the saying “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” We all know it’s the contents of a book, not the pages or the ink printed upon them, but the stories, the ideas, and the meaning they convey are what’s important, not the cover.

In the same way, it is the contents of the man that really matter, the stories he tells, the ideas he lives by and what has meaning for him are what’s important, not the threads he wears. Even though I could stand to lose a few pages, (or chapters) this old book got a new cover.

Okay, so it has been a while since I went to actually buy clothes. Sure, I would pick up the occasional item here and there but I couldn’t really tell you the last time I went on a clothes shopping mission for myself. Was it back in ’96? Some of my clothes could get a driver’s license!

I remember shopping for some duds to slap on while trying to impress Damara back when we were skinny. Do I still have a couple of the shirts I bought back then? I am ashamed to say, yes, yes I do. Do I tend to hold on to things longer than I should? Yes, yes I do. Good thing I bought those clothes with room to grow into them. (Wink)

A couple of shirts and a new pair of pants can sure make a guy feel good. I actually put some money into my wardrobe and with a little assistance from my fashion consultant, Damara, and a few minutes invested in a fitting room experience, I came out with a whole new attitude. Is it like magic? Yes! Honestly, I can’t explain how good it feels to wear some fashionable new clothing.

Last week my wife wrote about shopping for a new bathing suit and described the exact opposite experience, but guys don’t shop for bathing suits that way. We look at the size, the color and the potential pocket storage. Most of the time we don’t even try them on, what you get is what you get. And besides, I believe there is a stress to pleasure ratio that is directly related to how much epidural real estate you intend to cover up.

So, with a little help from my spouse I was able to make a few purchases I feel pretty good about. It’s nice to know that she is most likely not stifling an urge to gag or burst out in violent laughter at my get-up since she helped (okay, completely guided) make the decision on what to purchase.

My experience was also drastically different because we were away from the children for a couple of days and therefore did not have to negotiate our shopping time with kids in tow. I actually enjoyed it. Thanks Honey, thanks absence of children.

As I was pondering the pleasant experience of bringing my closet back from the dead, it occurred to me that the old statement about the clothes making a man might have some truth after all. Maybe I had misunderstood the meaning of those words entirely or at least partially. Yes, obviously the appearance of a man and his clothing can make a difference in how others perceive him, but can it also affect how a man sees himself. Yes, yes it does. Try it guys. I know the macho side of you won’t like it, but trust me, you’re worth it. There, now doesn’t that feel better?