William Gibson, Building a Wardrobe, and Lost Causes

Listening to Beck’s album Sea Change makes me worry about my marriage.

One thing that I worry about is whether I dress well enough to be seen in public with my wife, who is both pretty and well dressed. Lately, I’ve been trying to expand my wardrobe, but it hasn’t been easy.

I grew up listening to grunge music on a rural farm. There are advantages to growing up on a farm, but the urge to look fashionable might not be one of them. I was skeptical of fashion and figured that it would be best to dress functionally.

“This sweater is warm and it’s cold outside. I’ll wear this today.”

My wife takes a slightly different approach.

“It’s cold out. This sweater is warm and it makes me look good, so I’ll wear this today.”

Sometimes the stars align in surprising ways.

I have recently read a lot of William Gibson’s work. Gibson used to write about clones and cyberspace. Now he writes about fashion, and I think it’s brought him back to the top of his game. So while reading Gibson’s latest novel, Zero History, I learned that a lot of men’s fashion is derived from military designs.

(Gibson discusses writing and fashion here.)

So I’ve decided to start working on my wardrobe by looking into coats.

I may be wrong, but I think that coats are a good place for someone like me to start. For one thing, a lot of the military designs that inspired coats are still fashionable today. In other words, there is a tradition that is safe. If I invest in a nice pea coat or trench, I’m not going to regret it in five years.

It’s also been good practice for me to learn about researching clothing. There’s more to clothing than looking at clothes. Size and fit are not the same thing.

So I’ve been working on it.

And I like to think that when it comes to my marriage and my wardrobe, I’m not a “Lost Cause.”

The next step will be sweaters. Apparently they come without hoods now…


2 Responses to “William Gibson, Building a Wardrobe, and Lost Causes”

  1. wish I had an inclination on this one. I have never been known for my fashion sense. My only requirements of buying clothes is that they feel good, and they don’t obviously define me as the younger Brittany Spears generation or the older “Mom Jeans” generation… and usually, I try to shop diligently at second hand stores just to be slightly more unique and entirely greener…

    but a well dressed man is always a pleasure to recognize. I know your wife will appreciate this. I remember the day I convinced my husband that he could wear nice jeans on occasion instead of khaki “as many pockets as possible” cargo pants and polos all the time. (I dressed him down, actually… hm…) It was just so sexy, though. I think it’s just very romantic that you are even concerned in the slightest with what she thinks about your wardrobe. Very cool.

    • “I think it’s just very romantic that you are even concerned in the slightest with what she thinks about your wardrobe.”

      To some extent, I just have to get clothes that make me look like an adult. I used to wear trousers and a button down everyday, but it’s too cold for that here.

      But that’s between us.

      As far as my wife’s concerned, I’m highly romantic. : )

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