Last night's shopping trip with a client led to several men's style “pearls of wisdom" I have to separate the experience into sections. He was generous enough to let me take some photos of him sporting men's common fashion mistakes. Note that he did this in the interest of improving the lot of his fellow man, a truly noble motivation, and would normally not be caught dead looking like this.
Let's look closely at the photo above. Hideous eh? The pleated pants, worn too high above the natural waist are also an inch too short, as a public service, if you are reading this and work in any of what are commonly viewed as "highly technical" professions, I must ask you to look down to make sure you don't have something similar going on. If you are similarly attired to be comfortable in high water then it is likely that people have been laughing at you. The good news is that it is not too late to get help.
Now back to our ensemble of "no". The ill-fitting pants play second fiddle to the rust - colored plaid tablecloth, um, shirt. What may not be evident in the photo is the shirt (okay perhaps tablecloth was too harsh, it could also pass as excess drapery fabric from your grandmother’s house) is made of 100% silk, appropriate perhaps for the limited category of metro sexual lumber jack. Please excuse the slight blurr of the photo, as I failed in my attempts to control my convulsive laughter. To top off what is an obvious fashion atrocity, this shirt retails for $128.00. If you have the desire to splurge on an extravagant item of clothing while maintaining that KMart Blue Light Special aura then this is definitely the shirt for you.
The real magic happened when the store's sales person entered the fitting room as I was snapping photos. Our eyes met and I opened my mouth to explain to her that this was a fashion "don't" photo shoot for my blog but my words were lost in giggles. My inability to offer an intelligible sentence gave the sales associate time to render her opinion on the outfit. "Wow." she said. Now my client and I thought for certain the words following that would be along the lines of courteous attempts to steer him off the path of certain social ostracism. Perhaps a polite "Interesting choice, let me find you something that doesn't deplete your manhood just by touching your skin." But, no, not even close. With a straight face and an extra ooze of sincerity she looked at my client and said "Wow, that's a great shirt on you! I love the pattern and the color! You should DEFINITELY get that shirt!." As she left the fitting room she yelled out a final "DEFINITELY!". Slack jawed my client and I starred at each other amazed to realize that there was not even a hint of sarcasm in her tone.
Next time you go shopping solo and a sales associate tells you everything you try on looks great, take a step back and assess the motivation of that sales person. Recognize that it is the job of a sales associate to sell more clothing; it may be directly adverse to that interest to acknowledge there isn't much in that particular store that is appropriate for you. Most sales people do not get paid to make sure you look your best and are getting value. Now before a horde of retail associates show up with torches and pitchforks at my front door there is something I must first tell you - - I have dogs. The second thing is that obviously there are exceptions to the rule, there exist sales people whose first priority is the client, and not their corporate headquarters, but those noble souls are in the minority. So when it comes to listening to the sales staff about whether or not you should buy their goods, stop and think- and take another real good look in the mirror and above all, always remember the first rule of survival for a spy, trust no one.