Best Dressed Re-Enactors

Walking by the storefront of a mid-market clothes mill that made the $200 dollar pair of khaki’s famous I noticed a new line of clothing and cross-promoted apparel. A line of clothes inspired by the hit show Mad Men. The show has made us long for the days when casual Friday meant you could skip a tie clip, and when 3 martini lunches didn’t raise the problem drinking flag.

When the show first aired you could hear people muttering about how they wished we still had that much style and how you could still call a woman a hussy without reproach. You know, when men were men and women were women, or least both had more clothes to get off before hopping in the sack.

I don’t work in the corporate world so my need for suits is rare. I don’t know anyone who bought the Mad Men clothes, and I’m not sure who would admit it. I also don’t know if it was a successful marketing move or not, but I see a lot of tie clips out there on the streets. And I do see the occasional cigarette case used as a wallet.

I’m all for looking good and having style. I like the way pork-pie hats and fedoras are back in vogue, I don’t like that we wear them with shorts, but it is better than the trucker hat remix.

My problem is with those people who try to dress in a completely retro stye, maybe I’m bitter because my days of wearing a 42 are over and I look like an escape artist trying to get out of a straight jacket when I try clothes on in a vintage store. Throwing on the Mad Men template only makes it worse.

It dawned on me that the people you have most in common with, when you dress vintage, are Civil War Re-Enactors. Yep. I said it. You’re wearing a costume and acting out. You manage a hair extension kiosk at the mall, you have as much in common with Don Draper as you do with Stonewall Jackson. Having skinny lapels or a bugle doesn’t change that.

It’s good to have a hobby, it’s even better if you have an embarrassing hobby and you don’t care what people think. That shows you have heart and a sense of humor, or a need to be away from the house, like a dart club, a golf habit, fly-fishing, or a perpetual game of Risk with a guy in Rochester. Just own it. And remember that if you’re trying to be cool, you look like you’re trying. Says the guy who wore a customized extra large dog tag for 3 years. And wore it over the shirt. So I’m not throwing stones. I’m throwing well placed polished artisanal prayer stones with cute slogans on them.

August 7, 2012 / Posted by admin / COMMENTS (0)