Monday, November 30, 2009

Fashionisticly challenged

This is my column for the December issue of "Wheel Issues", the Red Dirt Pedalers newsletter.

To my considerable annoyance, I somehow ended up on a mailing list for men's bicycling 'apparel.' This is not mere clothing. No, no, it's called apparel because the word 'clothing' is too plebeian. This stuff represents a lifestyle choice reflecting one's highly refined taste, fashion sense, and apparently, over-filled wallet.

Garrison Keillor said that he had some friends with lifestyles while other friends had children.

These 'apparel' people are trying to sell me a two hundred dollar pair of pants. Oh, they're nice enough, what with being made of some miracle fiber that repels coffee and wine stains while retaining a plush, lightly brushed surface that's oh-so-comfortable. Tell you what - I have a nineteen-year-old son working in a garage. Let's see if he can put some irreversible stains on these pants. Better still, let me wear them while I work on a couple of commuter bikes. How's that magic fabric stand up to chain lube?

Besides, I've bought old, used cars for two hundred bucks. My first 'adult' bike cost less than that.

One other thing - these are essentially knickers meant to be worn without knicker socks. I suppose it projects a cosmopolitan, care-free attitude as you cruise down the boulevard on your fixed gear bike, perfect for bar-hopping on weekends or making that run to the trendy coffee shop down the street. Honestly, unless you're going cross-country skiing, men over the age of 15 should not be seen in public wearing knickers.

Curiously enough, this company is based in southern California - where 'winter cycling clothing' consists of a long sleeve jersey. Let's try this stuff in North Dakota come January or February. I'm sure the frozen body will still look fashionably chic when the spring thaw arrives.

I can imagine the scene if I came home in a pair of $200 pants. She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed wouldn't give me a 'come hither' look and say, "My, you look so handsome and devil-may-care in those! Be still my heart!"

No, it's more likely she'd make a disparaging comment (or two, or three, or however many days we still have on this planet) involving my lack of intelligence, shortfall in common sense, and inability to think clearly and logically while various kitchen implements fly through the air toward my head. She's not very good at throwing knives, but I'd still prefer to avoid it.



Blogger Steve A said...

It's very simple. Just tell her it was either the pants or a new Hassleblad and you needed to be thrifty. Besides, you may be an idiot, but it was her that picked you out from all the future billionaires. Hmm, I've tried that latter line and maybe you ought to try something else.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed once pointed out that I was Her first choice......after some other guy. And my mother-in-law told Her that I could be a psycho. I reminded her of that whenever possible, and I'd still love to do so. She passed in February. We all miss her.

I've never lusted after a Hasselblad. But those modern Voightlander rangefinders that take Leica lenses, well, that's another thing.

I have two cameras coming from The first one, a Yashica Electro 35 Gt, should be here tomorrow.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Yokota Fritz said...

You might be surprised at your wife's response.

I tried on a pair of those Swrve pants last weekend in San Francisco. My wife positively growled her approval, and then she had to beat off those other women clamoring for a look at me in the fitting room.

1:16 PM  
Blogger Ed W said...

Sooooo, you're sayin' you didn't come out of the fitting room wearing those pants? A REAL he-man type wouldn't have tried them on in the first place. Unless there's photographic proof otherwise, I'll assume you had more sense than to parade around in public wearing those things!

Seriously, though, I've never bothered trying to avoid looking stupid or silly. And I have LOTS of practice.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Chandra said...

ah, hasselblad. i haven't heard that name in a while. quite refreshing to hear it, actually. the yashica electro 35 was hot when i was a teenager, in the 80s, if i am not mistaken. we were a contaflex family :)

1:40 AM  

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