I recently had to go shopping with my husband for a suit.
It didn't go well. Not well at all.
Now, I consider myself a reasonably fashion conscious person. I try to be well put together as often as possible - even if it is a yoga pants day. I may put my hair in a ponytail, but it will be brushed and I will shower with good smelling body wash.
And for the most part, thanks to constant vigilance, AirForceGuy generally matches and has the appropriate accouterments for each occasion. After all, it's fairly easy for a military guy to know what to wear - there's a UOD for everything, even if it's unofficial.
Now, AirForceGuy really has fashion issues on his own. We had to resort to our own version of the Garanimals system for TDYs where he is not expected to be in uniform. All of his dress pants are labeled in the inside waistband with a letter - A through whatever. Shirts that match are then labeled on the tail with the letters of the pants they can go with - for instance, a shirt might have an A, D, E, and G in permanent marker.
However, my fashion sense for female hippie clothing and ability to match colors did us no good whatsoever as we went shopping for suits for hubby. I was an utter failure. I could get some wonderful contrasts going with ties and shirts (hubby looks excellent in jewel tones), but the many cuts of suits and the different buttons and fabrics was totally beyond me. Three buttons or two? What suit fabric? How high should the lapel be? OOOH! A tie sale - we'll take 8 of them at $7.99 each!
Bad, bad, BAD move. The first suit we bought hubby, which I thought was a very nice navy blue with two buttons, made the poor man look like a *petty government bureaucrat. He was so uncomfortable - when he stood straight the coat didn't quite reach where it should. The fabric was too stiff - and a synthetic. For the record, despite the leisure suit fascination the Air Force holds for Blues, polyester of ANY sort, no matter how natural it looks in store lighting, is a very bad idea in a civilian suit.
Also, AirForceGuy has a quite sexy and pleasing "Y" shape to his upper body - something that the straight cut of the *PGB (see above) suit did a very good job of hiding.
It was hopeless, we needed help in a big way.
Luckily and thanks to the internet, I know people. Thanks to a very good friend of mine who happens to be not only a fashion consultant but an employee of the Air Force at her Day Job, we were able to do a little bit of studying and get hubby some suits that make him look like he could be in the Professional Attire section of an issue of Maxim. He looks hip, he looks comfortable, and most of all - he looks like he could work on Madison Avenue rather than in a cubicle at the Environmental Protection Agency.
Thursday night on SpouseBUZZ radio we will be joined by Stormi - who will give us some tips and pointers on how to dress those military men in our lives when they absolutely have to wear more formal civilian attire. Military people can't focus on what is trendy, because those suits have to last for YEARS and won't get worn often. Instead, we'll talk about classic cuts and looks that fit guys who are used to wearing uniforms without making them look like they are in sanitized uniforms. What fabrics? What cuts? Where should we get those good deals?
Thursday night at 9 pm we'll go into all those details, and I'll even post some before and after pictures of AirForceGuy to show you what a difference wool makes! Stormi and I may even be joined by AirForceGuy for a few minutes to discuss the trauma I inflicted on him with the navy blue polyester.
So make a list of your fashion questions, and get ready to take some notes. Most of all, get ready to spend an hour laughing as you learn from my personal faux pas (and there are MANY).
Can't wait to talk to you then!