For The Boys: What About Fancy Jeans?!

Dressing Up the Boy

Recently my father sent me an e-mail asking what I would recommend he wear for his upcoming stint as a Grand Juror.  Yes, I even get requests from my Seventy-six year old Dad!  How cool is that?!

The request got me to pondering fashion challenges that guys have and I decided a little first hand research was in order.  So I toddled off to ask the men in my life deep probing questions about clothes, and more specifically about what their fashion challenges are.  They were, as you can imagine, thrilled.  Okay, so not really, but they did have some interesting insights. 

First up, I asked my own guy.  Silly me.  EVERY time I have a fashion question for him he selects the same exasperating topic, dying to see if I will ever address it, but pretty certain I am a little too stuffy to ever do so.  But I am undaunted and not nearly as stuffy as he thinks… so Honey, once and for all, “going commando” is not a fashion statement.  Sigh.

Next I consulted my personal trainer.  His challenge?  When is it not okay to wear your “fancy jeans”?  Apparently this topic has come up with his wife, and I agreed with her – no, fancy jeans are NOT okay to wear to weddings, even if you are wearing them with a nice shirt and sport coat.

At the hair salon I consulted the very fashionable young receptionist, Dino.  His feedback – he always struggles with finding the right thing to wear to weddings; especially daytime affairs in the spring and summer, when most suits seem too heavy or too dark.  (Weddings are hard.  In fact the whole wedding fashion thing is so complicated I may cover it separately in upcoming months.)  Dino also told me, in a scandalized tone, about a client who came in from jury duty in flip flops and shorts – “No respect!  So Tacky!”  On a roll, I asked him about Fancy Jeans and he immediately got it “Oh yeah, you mean really nice, high quality designer jeans in a dark wash without any weird stuff, distressing or anything, right?”  Yep, those are the ones.   “Yeah, those are good.  But you need a stylish shirt…or a great jacket…maybe some cool shoes or boots”.  Indeed, I completely agreed.

I proceeded on to harass a less fashion-conscious group, my co-workers.  For a bunch of engineers they were surprisingly aware of the need to dress appropriately for certain occasions, especially those involving the women in their lives.   Their biggest dilemma was hands down the question of what to wear on a first date or the married-guy equivalent – going to a nice (read expensive) restaurant with their wife.  The unanimous concern was that, here in Southern California a suit and tie seem too much, but jeans and a golf shirt aren’t nice enough.  I asked them about cool shirts, sport coats and “Fancy Jeans” and got confused looks from some.  Hmmm…dressy casual has clearly eluded the techy set.    

Survey complete, I returned home to Mr. Commando and shared my results.  “See, what we need is a magic formula, or at least a definitive set of garments we *have* to own.  That all match so we can’t screw it up. Keep it simple.  Just tell us what to do, and we will do it.”  So there you have it.  I will do a little research and get back to you guys on the must have items and if you have any more dressing dilemmas, by all means send them along!

PS:  So what did my Dad decide to wear?  Well I suggested he wear something business-like enough to show respect for the court without needing to go for the whole suit and tie thing(besides, you don’t want to be confused for a lawyer or a denfendant!).  Dad might meet a nice single retired lady on jury duty, so it didn’t hurt to look spiffy.  Clearly my father has never owned a Fancy Jean in his life, or any jean that I know of, but he took it from there and channeled his own inner cool dude.  Grey and brown tweed sport coat (with suede elbow patches), cream cashmere turtleneck, grey slacks, and his dressy brown Tony Llama boots (cool old school dress boots, not funky cowboy boots) – he hit every element Dino and I had listed.   Now I know where I get my sense of style.  Way to go, Dad!

One Comment to “For The Boys: What About Fancy Jeans?!”

  1. Outfit is so often contingent upon contexture. The warmer sunbelt climes scream ‘less is more’.

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