What Not To Wear


It was 11:30 a.m. when the land line rang and — surprise! — it was not some annoying robocall about car insurance/home insurance/the IRS.

I glanced at the caller ID. My husband calling from work. He needed help. Outfit help. He came to the right person. Plus, his only other option would have been one of the dogs and they are all boring and stick exclusively to solid black or white with their own wardrobes.

Like Superman, he needed a change of clothes. Unlike Superman, he hadn’t thought to wear another set of fancy duds underneath his too-casual outfit.

And so the Man of Steel (only because he has a lot of gray clothing… and hair) needed to join forces with the fashion police.

I snapped on the too-dim light in his closet as he tried to guide me through his closet, a sea of blue and tan.

“I need a plain blue shirt,” he began.

Check. There was only one.

“Do you see a pair of black pants?”

I grabbed a flashlight because no matter what Nora Ephron says it’s really the rods and cones that are the first to go, not the neck. I couldn’t make out black from brown from navy, so I directed the bright beam at a pair of cotton pants. “Nope, navy,” I said, reaching for the next pair. Navy again. I slid the hanger over to examine the next pair. Navy again. Then it was down to just dark brown and tan.

“I see no black.”

“Oh, I guess they’re in the hamper,” he said. “I only have one pair of black pants.”

What?! And here is the difference between men and women: I have at least seven pairs of black pants — linen, wax-coated, skinny cargos, plain skinnies, tuxedo leggings, cropped… No wait! I have eight pairs, forgot about the silk joggers. Nine! And the tuxedo-stripe, washed-black chinos.

One pair of black pants? Oy.

“The brown ones are fine,” he said.

“Dark brown or tan?”

“Dark. OK, now I need a blazer. Can you please grab my brown one?”

I shined the flashlight on the hangers…

“The herringbone one?”

“No, the brown one.”

“Yes, but there is one with a herringbone pattern or I see plain tan.” I reached in to read the label. “Pronto Uomo?”


I explained that was the brand name printed on the inside of the herringbone jacket. How can you have only five blazers and not even know who makes them. I know who made each of my nine pairs of black pants. Heck, I even know my friends’ clothes by label. C’mon, dude.

Next I had to fumble for socks and shoes — which was super easy because he has, like, four pairs — and thank goodness he didn’t need a tie. By the time we were done 20 minutes later, I was honestly sorry that the person on the other end of the line was not someone trying to convince me to change my car insurance.

We met for lunch and I handed him the garment bag with both the herringbone and tan blazer, just in case. Turns out the herringbone one was what he wanted.

“So WHY didn’t you just say yes, I want the brown herringbone blazer in the first place?” I whined.

“Because it’s just a brown blazer,” he insisted.

Siiiigh. The nuances of fashion are fairly lost on someone who hates shopping and whose dream come true would be Costco selling tan chinos in a 12-pack.

But, that’s fine. We really don’t have the closet space for two clothes horses anyway. Plus, he has many, many other good qualities — even if he doesn’t have that many shoes.




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