This should probably be a post left for Tom, but I’m having such a good time observing this process, I felt it necessary to share my perspective.
Several of you heard Tom say, as he was packing (lightly) for this trip, “I’m starting over with a whole new wardrobe while in Europe”. His claim, and this is pretty on the mark, is that he spends very little time and money on clothes. His yearly purchases usually consist of a few staple items, one or two pairs of favorite shoes (read Keen Boulevard Series and running shoes or Montrails from Fleet Feet) and a team sweatshirt or two (the Cardinals dugout hoodie just came out of the closet for the fall). Oh, he gets a nice sweater or shirt as gifts from parents or in-laws, sometimes even me. But he works from home, so there isn’t a real need for excessive buying. He would say every 4-5 years he goes out and gives his wardrobe a nice update. My favorite was when Nordstrom set him up well with some business casual attire, the all-new craze in the late 1990’s. He had a whole Garanimals-thing going on with the mixing and matching he could do.
Keens scream AMERICAN. As do team sweatshirts. And you might as well slap an American flag sticker on your forehead if you are wearing boot cut pants or jeans. As Tom pointed out in an earlier post, you better get that cell phone (I’m sorry…mobile) off your waistband. Seriously, it’s almost as bad as wearing a ‘Kick Me’ sign on your back.
So the transformation has begun. A scheduled work trip to London next week necessitated some shopping trips over the last couple days. I have enjoyed being the one sitting outside the dressing room, giving my opinion on this shoe or that, and popping into stores looking for the perfect accessories that every European man must have. Someday it might be my turn again, but Tom’s right; this doesn’t happen often. And to build a wardrobe in one of the fashion capitols of the world? Well, why reserve that just for the girls?