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'Geezer' Tuxedo Suits Writer's Needs
After a marathon of rationalization unseen since the time I brought home a 1968 MG with a bad fuel pump and a tendency to grind on the shift from second gear to third, I recently bought a tuxedo, an experience which served mostly to show just how unhip I have become.
I told myself I needed the tux because I have some black tie events coming up and it makes more sense to own than to rent. True on both counts. I do have some black tie events coming up. That doesn’t mean I’m going to accept the invitations, but I do have them coming up. And I have always believed that it makes more sense to own than to rent, except of course for the 25 years that I lived in rented apartments and houses, and liked it just fine.
In recent times I’ve just rented a formal rig when I needed one, but this has always creeped me out a little. After all, let us remember the saying: The tux you rent today adorned some sweaty prom kid a week ago.
I just don’t like wearing someone else’s clothes. I think most men are this way. I’ve known women who borrowed stuff from each other all the time, but I’ve never known men to share so much as a necktie. I think we lack the clothes-sharing gene. Either that or we’re a little uncertain of each other’s hygienic standards, seeing as how we know our own.
Besides, a rented tux always has something about it that looks … well, rented. Maybe it’s in the way it fits – close, but no cigar. I see myself in one and I think it might as well have an out-of-state plate and a Hertz sticker on the back.
So, anyway, off to the store I went to go tux shopping. Which wasn’t as easy as it sounds. My tastes run toward what I consider classics and what today’s tux designers evidently consider laughable.
I like a one-button jacket with peak lapels, white shirt with a point collar, bow tie (self-tied, please), cummerbund, and patent leather shoes. In tux parlance, this is known as the Geezer suit.
I fall behind the hipness curve right away with the button and lapels. The modern American tux tends to have notch lapels and between two and oh, about 17 buttons, depending on how fashionable you’re trying to be. Wing collar shirts are the norm, and long ties and high-buttoning vests are replacing bow ties and cummerbunds.
Oh, well. At least I got the shoes right. Patent leather shoes are still preferred over sneakers, except of course at proms.
Eventually, I found the suit I wanted. Not only that, it was on sale. It’s a Geezer suit, sure, but Cary Grant wore this kind of tuxedo. I’m glad to be in the company of a Geezer like that.
All I have to do now is start wearing the thing.
I suppose this means I’m going to have to accept those black-tie invitations now, but that presents another problem. I drive a pickup truck, and there’s something about a pickup and a tux that just screams “Jethro Bodine, Double-Naught Spy.” Looks like I’m going to have to rationalize up a new car for myself to go with the tux.
Maybe another MG. After all, they’re classics.
© 2007 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.
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