Saturday, October 08, 2005

Closing The Gap

Last night I went to Dave’s housewarming party with Kevin. Met some great people, laughed a lot, and a Monday trip to Six Flags is in the works. But I digress.

Last night, Kevin wore a black Russian Cossack hat to the party. It started off as a joke, something he discovered in the Lost & Found at BMG. The thing is he didn’t look that ridiculous in it. Which brought me to the realization that tall, lean guys can basically wear anything they want and it looks hip and acceptable. But put those same garments on someone shorter and thicker, like…. well…. ME….. and I look something short of ridiculous. On Kevin, the hat was almost charming. On me, it makes me look like Robin Williams in “Moscow on the Hudson.”

When tall, lean guys (heretofore known as THEY) jauntily throw a scarf around their necks, they fall perfectly into place. I wear a scarf and my head looks like a golf ball on a tee. THEY can wear layers of clothing for that desired, runway hipster look. I wear more than two layers and I puff out like the Michelin Man. THEY can wear colored shoes and look cute. I wear a pair of red Adidas and I look like I should lead the Ringling Brothers parade.

There is a reason beefy or thick guys mostly wear tee shirts and flannel – that’s all that will fit us. It’s why we all look like Gap ads from the 70’s. Designers and stores have not been kind to men built like me. When I try to dress hip or cool, I end up looking like Jay from Project Runway.

This is one of the reasons I have fallen under the spell of Club Monaco – one of my favorite stores. Finding this store was like discovering nirvana – a stylish oasis in a desert full of waifish clothing. After trying out Universal Gear, H&M and even Urban Outfitters (for God’s sake) and learning in those stores that a shirt marked XL will fit me like an M, I can walk into Club Monaco and, after the initial shock of actually finding my size, I can purchase just about anything in my sizes with the assurance that they will fit.

So goodbye to Gap, farewell to Target, adieu to Bert’s Farm & Tractor Supply. I am going shopping at Club Monaco to buy a stylish hat, then walk out on Michigan Avenue, spin around, and toss it in the air!