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Men’s Wear

The other day a coworker posted a link to this shirt to a stagehand group.
A few people agreed with the sentiment and the belief we don’t need to dress up.
Now I can’t argue that at all.
Mine is a physical job and suits just won’t do.
Most clothing besides t shirt and jeans (or shorts) risk destruction by the job and even those hard wearing items become so worn they won’t even qualify for tasteful deterioration. 
The sloppy appearance of most hands is a readily apparent as a division between us and other theatre people.  Perhaps a badge of honor in its own way but also rather shabby and frankly I don’t need much help with that since I tend to look homeless without little effort.

Because I am aware of this I try to combat it.
Mostly with thrift store clothing.  Work shirts and other collared shirts that don’t cost much.  Pants that are not denim but still fairly robust.  Polishing my boots.  A cotton blazer or sweater.
Really small touches but still enough to be just a bit better dressed. 
Much for show but I also feel better in these clothes.  More confident about myself and more adult.  It was a scare myself summer thing to dress better and doing so has made me more aware of my body.
Not in a poor body image, stop eating,  work out constantly,  and join a pro ana forum.  But an awareness of my body and a work towards improvement.
Or finding better fitting clothing. 
Anything slim or trim cut won’t fit me well.  No shame and move on.  There are other fits for this reason.
It’s been tough because I’ve been an XL for so long to put on a shirt and find I can’t fully button it,  the sleeves cut into my arms, or  I fear the back will split open ala Tommy Boy.  Even worse when it’s a Dickies shirt and the fit has been changed because it isn’t a work shirt.
Becoming discouraged is easy.  Far too easy that giving up and wearing a black shirt and cargo shorts because it’s our uniform.

Or when entering a men’s wear section only be greeted by a Captain Peacock type to ask if I need help.  Mr Humphries would be ideal or even Mr.  Grainger but no usually a put together gent who wears business wear in a put together manner and then me out of my depths used to off the rack, while dealing with a sales person or tailor is too much beyond me.  Sure I’ve measured and fitted but by costumers or wardrobe people.  Solid theatre folk that I know and trust.

They know I’m a charlatan with a smattering of knowledge but no practical experience.  Too easy to see through me and give me poor advice,  dress me as they see fit. Outside my given style but complimenting me all the while.  All too much and easy to give up and walk away.
But worse is to be stuck with something I dislike.

In a week I will be attending a training that is to end with a. graduation where my union’s International President will presenting diplomas. I know there will be a pictures and probably end up in a news letter and I’d rather not be dressed poorly.
For that our dress is to be business casual but other days just casual.  Now I have a few things that could work.  Especially this green knit jacket but I’m using this as an excuse to break that barrier.  And get something closer to a perfect fit.  Instead of cruising thrift stores and outlets hoping for the best. 

This experience,  including the clothes shopping,  is inspired by my summer activity and while I am having buyer’s recourse (not usual when spending a bit of cash) the notion of a fitted garment is fascinating.  Also since I chose something fairly neutral I think it’s work well with the rest of my look.
So deep breath,  relax,  and scare yourself.

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