Category Archives: Haberdashery

Sock it to me

I really like socks. It’s odd, I admit that, but I’m a sucker for a nice pair of argyle socks or a solid pastel pair. Socks are rarely seen, but when they are noticed, they really pull an outfit together. It shows the world that you care about even the minute details. Just the other day, I picked up a light green pair of merino wool casual socks. Can’t wait to wear them. I feel that between my drawer of dress socks and my drawer of casual socks, I have all potential color combinations covered. No matter what pair of pants, shirt, sweater, jacket, suit, or occasion, I have the right pair of socks to fit the bill. I never want to be caught off-guard. This collection started in earnest back when I was about 16 and I still have some of those socks…from Structure…which doesn’t really exist anymore (it does, but under the Express for Men name).

Is that bad? Is it bad to still own 13 year-old socks? They are in good condition. I am, if anything, a stickler about trashing socks as soon as they begin to wear. The reason I ask about the Structure connection is because last week my man Petro told me about a Sirius satellite radio talk show on which he heard some guy get razzed for still owning Structure boxer shorts. I quickly replied that I, too, own Structure boxers (no, they’re not 13 years old). The reason they haven’t begun to wear out is probably because they’ve been at the bottom of my boxer rotation for quite a while now. They’re not my favorite by a long shot, but they’re still too good to get rid of.

I inspected my dress socks last night and, without making a formal count, discovered that at least half of them are from Structure. But my excuse is that, from 1998-2003, I was working in business-dress to business-casual offices. Neckties and socks were my thing. Any time I bought a new tie, I’d buy a pair or two of socks to match it. Sadly, my dress pants hang unused in my closet and my vast array of colorful dress socks go unworn as well. But on the bright side, that pair of navy blue socks with rodeo cowboys on them is bound to complete the perfect ensemble…someday.

What’s the Deal With That?

In the spirit of the Seinfeld banter going on between “Cosmo” and I (below), I have to say, “what’s the deal with pants shopping?”  I had what I thought was a very simple assignment last Friday night:  go to Men’s Wearhouse to buy a pair of black slacks.  I hadn’t owned a regular pair of black pants in years and I needed a pair for an affair which I had to attend the next evening.  I proceded to bounce around to no less than half a dozen stores, but at no point was I more in danger of being dragged out of the mall by a plastic cop in a Smokey the Bear hat than when I was browsing in Banana Republic.

Apparently, the Republic likes to keep their trouser prices a secret.  Or maybe they think the thrill of the chase only enhances one’s shopping experience, like a scavenger hunt.  I nearly tore a pair of pants to shreds when I couldn’t find the price tag.  I’m tensing up just reliving that moment.

Hmmm…these aren’t bad.  How much do they cost?  Is the price printed on this tag hanging down in front?  No, that’s not it.

Is it printed on this little envelope here?  No, that’s where the spare buttons go.  Is it hidden inside the little button envelope?  No, good try, though.

Is it tucked into the hip pockets?  No.  Back pockets?  Wrong again.

If you have to remove the pants from the hanger and rifle through them just to find the price, there’s a problem.  Since I nearly fell over when I finally did find the price, maybe Banana Republic’s (and about a handful other stores’) point is that if you have to look, you can’t afford them.  I will now be accepting applications for a personal assistant – just don’t reveal my pants size to the paparazzi.


2008 Election

I don’t like to get too political, but I stumbled upon this over at and found it interesting. It’s one person’s take on the 2008 election as a blatent parallel with the NFL draft going on this weekend.

I’m not familiar enough with Seamus’ knowledge of the political field to say whether it’s 100% accurate, but I will admit that it’s an cool take on the whole political situation.

It’s all about the lid

Sean Patrick O’Malley, archbishop of the Boston Archdiocese, was recently promoted to cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI.  I think it’s XVI.  Don’t quote me on that., the web site I love to hate, came through like it always does with a slide show.  That web site would be nothing without its slide shows.  While flipping through, I noticed one glaring issue above all else – Cardinal O’Malley might be making more money (since he’s a friar, I think he gives it away anyway) and he undoubtedly has more clout now, and he is now eligible to become pope (an American pope will always be a long, long, long-shot) but he took a major step back in the hat department.

As a bishop, you get a nice big chess piece hat just like what the pope wears.  It just looks cool.  That hat might be the reason so many men join the priesthood.  But the hat that cardinals wear (all these hats have proper names, but I can’t remember them) is much shorter, bright red, and has four pointy corners surrounding a half dome which covers your head.  I don’t know if this is enough reason to politely decline a promotion to cardinal, but it certainly sheds more light on why all the world’s cardinals clamor to become pope.