“J: Just try it on! A: But it’s not my style. J: You don’t even have a style. A: Well I just don’t like it. J: Okay try this one. A: No, it’s too tight. J: It looks great! A: No, I will never end up wearing it. J: WHY?! A: It’s too expensive. J: It’s $11 dollars!! A: Nah, I don’t want it.”
A replaces the 3 pieces of fresh new clothing back on the rack, while J pulls her hair out. They leave without purchasing anything.
Has this ever been you? Well, it’s our story at least twice a year (those two times a year when Adam is actually willing to go into the store and physically touch the merchandise). And every time we have one of these shopping experiences I ask myself “why, why, why”?!?
This experience tends to be heightened to the nth degree during wedding season. Oh my gosh. As if finding a basic pair of jeans and underwear wasn’t hard enough, lets try to find Adam a decent outfit to wear to a wedding! Throw in that every wedding is a bit different (casual, semi-formal, outdoors, indoors, on the beach, contemporary, formal) and good night folks!
I’ve picked my brain over and over again as to why “guest” attire, in particular my husband’s wedding guest attire, is so darn hard to come by. Why oh why is it that every time a wedding invitation comes in the mail I’m immediately shoving Adam in the car and racing around town in a sheer panic to find something for him to wear?
Well it’s a couple of things I think: 1. I know how much he LOVES shopping, creating an extended and painful experience for us both to enjoy. 2. It’s incredibly and HIGHLY likely that the one shirt or one pair of pants that would actually work ok is sold out in his size and 3. PRICE. PRICE. PRICE.
I am well aware that some of this attire anxiety comes directly from the price point that I know I’m going to be covering up with my hand, while distracting him with my obnoxious banter, as I maneuver the items and Adam into the fitting room. Why is it that decent men’s attire has to come with a price tag large enough to make me consider running back to a steady paycheck and financial security?? Is it too much to ask to find a suitable button-down and pair of slacks (never mind dress shoes!) that aren’t going to break the bank or fall apart in two washes? All the while which fit well, and make my husband feel comfortable, confident and dashing??
Well, I did a quick sweep of Seattle this afternoon (J.Crew, Gap, Banana Republic, Nordstrom, the list goes on…) and time and time again I find crazy price points for items Adam will either wear once, or shrink in the laundry on the first run through.
So this is where the brainstorming comes in. Where in the world can I find this perfect men’s guest attire that won’t send Adam screaming for the hills or send me off to cry myself to sleep in the fetal position? Well, I think it’s a combo of a few things:
1. Mix it up. There is no reason that a nice new pair of slacks can’t be paired with something that’s already in his closet. Even if this means digging to the bottom of the his laundry basket for whatever was worn to the last event.
2. Shop Vintage. Seriously. Try it out. I can’t tell you the number of rad clothing items I’ve found just by scouting the clothing sections at some of my favorite vintage stores.
3. Target. Target. Target. Seriously! There is some good stuff going on at that Tar – jay.
4. Online shopping. It’s amazing what you’ll find online that they don’t have in the stores and a lot of which is on significant markdown. Also, it’s not like I’m gonna get him into the fitting room at the store anyways, so I might as well buy online and have it shipped straight home…right?
5. Get Creative. Only purchase items that can be worn not only for this event or wedding occasion, but to work, out with friends or to some other fabulous affair. **Note: Thinking in this matter often eases the pain of a steeper price tag AND he seems to complain a bit less.
6. Accept it. Shopping for myself is difficult more times than not, so why would it be any different for him? Do your best to be kind and patient (take big breaths in and big sighs out) and know that it will all be over soon (and hopefully with a decent picture of the two of you next to the bride & groom to boot!).
7. Add a *bow tie* if you can convince him to wear one!
Steps to tying a bow tie:
Step 1: Place tie around neck and even out the left and right sides of the tie.
Step 2: Cross one end of the tie over the other, close to the neck.
Step 3: Loop one end of the tie between the tie intersection and your collar, just like a shoe string.
Step 4: Fold the right side of the the tie in half like a bow.
Step 5: Cross the right bow over the left side of the tie, then swing the left side over the top of the bow.
Step 6: Pull the left side of the tie through the middle of the loop to form a knot.
Step 7: Pull the bow tight by tugging on the front of the tie on the left side and the back of the tie on the right side.
Step 8: Bring the collar down and straighten out the bow tie.
Step 9: Dance around in a circle, cause you just tied yourself a bow tie!
**special thanks to GQ Magazine for the helpful steps!