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Someone wise once said, “Out of the mouth, the heart speaks.” I am about to poke some fun at the state of fashion in this new (temporary, please, God) normal. My hope is that, if it hits home, you laugh more than you cry. But, if it hits home, I hope it stings a little, too.
As with every piece of advice given, I speak from personal experience; while I am pointing my judgmental finger at you, there are 4 pointing back at me.
If the Instagram memes are any indication of this year, everyone is over it and ready to treat 2020 like the 13th floor of buildings. It’s been quite inhospitable and, while memorable, not worth remembering. Truth be told, there will be many important things we take from this year. On a much lighter note, I hope one of the lessons learned is, what not to wear.
Please, for the next few paragraphs, indulge me. Let me roast you a bit, shamelessly plug capitalism, and my own retail interests. Below are five things that I have thought about the fashion, um, dilemma many are facing due to the global slowdown and some ideas on how to recover as life returns to the real normal.
I get it. Trust me. In 2013, I took 3 years off. My typically #3 guard beard stopped getting trimmed at all. My wife commented on the exponential increase of expandable waist shorts and pocket t-shirts in the laundry.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the break. There’s nothing wrong with being comfortable and even experimenting with how your testosterone levels impact your beard game. I agree, there are wonderful things about the work-from-home phenomena sweeping many industries currently. But, man, take it from me, you are going to look back on the photos taken of you during this period of time and thank the good Lord it’s over.
Snap out of it. Get dressed. Trim that beard. Or, if it’s just a mangey mess, shave it. Your people will thank you.
Even working from the beach condo, have some self-respect and consider these products: Peter Millar, Duvin, or OAS, Jack Black Grooming Products, Olukai Sandals and/or ON-Running Sneakers (which aren’t just for running).
You will thank me. I promise.
You might still be working from home, but restaurants, parks, and attractions are open. Mask up and get out. Go on a date with your significant other or a good friend. I am not talking about the drive thru at Chick-fil-A, either. A real restaurant with table service.
Take a page out of my play book and grab an Emanuel Berg button up shirt geared toward your personality, tuck it into a great 5-pocket Brax pant or pair of dark wash J-Brand jeans, buckle your W. Kleinberg woven belt, and slip on a pair of soft-structure DiBianco loafers. Go the extra mile with a Canali jacket made from the magical combo of silk/wool/linen…don’t forget the reversible pocket square by Edward Armah. #NoNakedPockets.
True, you may be the only one in the dining room with a jacket on, but you will inspire others to remember the good ol’ days of fashion. Comfort isn’t found only in sweatpants, you can find it is every outfit we carry. Truly. The men who work at John Craig value comfort while still being dressed to kill (right, Craig?) at least 10 hours 5 days a week.
We all love the footage that comes out of Wal-Mart and ends up splattered all over our Facebook pages. But, none of us want to be that story. Right? Some of you are dangerously close. Sadly, this look is trickling into Publix and it’s not making my shopping experience a pleasure.
You have some great options for your grocery shopping or picking up takeout clothing. Opt for a Robert Barakett crewneck t-shirt and a Stone Rose performance short. Slip on the leather Olukai flip flops and, BOOM, you have a fashionable, albeit easy, running-errands-around-town outfit.
Best of all, this will avoid any fashion embarrassment when you run into your favorite John Craig clothing consultant on the Blue Bell Ice Cream aisle.
It’s a great time to take advantage of cheaper travel, whether by car or plane. The crippled hospitality industry is wheeling and dealing. Take a long weekend with the fam and explore. It’s still pretty warm in Florida so seize the opportunity to witness the changing colors and landscape, even just a few hours north.
I have one word for your fall trip: VESTS! Waterville, Peter Millar, and Robert Graham all have amazing vests you will love and be able to wear for years to come. Vests are great for the pre-winter weather outside of Florida as well as the very best top layer option for our mild Florida fall evenings and winters.
No more pizza, pal. It’s time to play golf, start running, or doing something active. Seriously, this isn’t college. Stop with the craft beer already….or at least reserve consumption for after the workout.
Greyson, Johnnie O, and Peter Millar all have great dry fit options. Again, as one who works out 5 days a week, you will LOVE ON-Running sneakers for all your activities. They are light, comfortable, and super stylish. Most who try them end up buying multiple pairs. We even carry women’s styles.
Thanks for letting me poke some fun. I realize this has been a difficult season. All of us at the John Craig Family understand. It’s been hard on us, too. More work, less pay, family members who’ve been ill, lost jobs, and communities devastated. We don’t take any of this lightly, but we do laugh when we can. We hope you can find some lighthearted moments as we move through the remainder of this crazy year. If we can do anything for you, even beyond the sales floor, reach out. The greatest thing about this nearly 25-year-old family business, and the secret of our success, is the relationships we’ve built with the friends who are far more than customers.
Happy Fall, Y’all!