Sunday, January 29, 2012

Big Boy Clothes

Jacketed me (in my mind)
I got to go clothes shopping last weekend.  Not just any kind of clothes, either!  Fancy clothes.  In preparation for my upcoming symphony work, I needed new fancy raiment.  I browsed a bit online to find local tailors and clothiers, and settled on an establishment that is practically across the street.  Because of the area I live in, I seldom go a-walking when shopping, because I'm not really "equipped" to purchase from my local merchants. 

By which I mean that asiago-and-port-wine bedroom slippers aren't really in my price range.

My excursion was to the local Joseph A. Bank store.  Yes, I know the sign says "JoS. A. Bank", but we are not Swedish.  It is not pronounced as though the store was the progenitor of the "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" screenwriter.  And while I'm on the subject, pronouncing "shoppe" as "shoppy" makes me like you less, even when done in jest.

The store was having a nice sale which conveniently lined up with my needs to purchase.  I bought a white tuxedo jacket which turned out to be "bone" or "cream" or "ecru" or "antique" rather than... white.  I assume it's a "thing" to have a jacket which is a slightly different color than the tuxedo shirt, but the symphony doesn't approve of that "thing".  Luckily, I was able to hide in all of the sci-fi colored lighting effects last night.  It's extremely difficult to tell if my jacket is an off-shade of white when the orchestra is bathed in red light and there are green and blue lasers everywhere.  I can only hope my performance with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in a few weeks is similarly "laser Zepplin-esque".

I was also shopping for a black suit.  The symphony has a two-page list of the various dress codes for performances.  Last night was a "number seven": tuxedo shoes, tux "ribbon" pants, black cummerbund and bow tie, tux shirt, and white dinner jacket.  The upcoming performances are "matinĂ©e stage" and require a black suit with "dark conservative long tie".

The suit looked nice when I first tried it on (I won't have it back from alterations until next week).  It apparently retailed for $895, but I got it for $199 (plus alterations) so I felt like a savvy shopper.  Or at least, I went there on the day when they trimmed back their profit margins from "yee gods" to "I guess I can still buy the BMW."  It is a beautiful wool fabric and immediately made me want to be in a job where I could buy and wear six more.

I do like dressing "up" on some days.  When I knew that I had to deal with the awful customer on Friday, I wore my gray pinstripe suit to work.  It made me feel more professional, and certainly more armored against further verbal abuse.  I also hoped for a psychological advantage to intimidate the guy.  It worked, plus three other customers were complimentary, and my fellow shoppies (the plural of "shoppe") were appreciative.  I would totally wear suits all the time because of their benefits, except that I do have a tendency to burn clothing on torches, get spattered with metal-turning oil, and generally get myself dirty moving dirty things.  I'd be sick the first time that happened in a nice suit -- I'm not quite so attached to the "DePaul Blackout '98" t-shirt with the giant Vienna Beef logo on the back.

Addendum:  It turns out that fine wool (what my purchased jacket is made from) is actually impossible to get to the "pure" white.  So it turns out my jacket is TOO fancy.  Who'd have thunk?

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