Thursday, May 26, 2016

Fashion statements

When Cliff and I first married, he wore Levis as his standard garb.  He worked at a metal-plating place in the city where they used caustic chemicals, so sometimes when he got splashed with the fluids, eating holes in the material of the jeans.  I've never been a seamstress, but Cliff's mom was good at patching, and she would mend the holes for him.  That job was really hard on clothes.  The aluminum to be plated had to be wired to a frame before it was dipped in the solutions, so Cliff kept pliers handy in a hip pocket, which in time wore a hole in the pocket: Another mending job for his mom.  That business of always carrying pliers stayed with Cliff, even after he left that line of work.

At some point in our marriage, Cliff discovered overalls.  He's always been a good-sized man, and overalls were just plain comfortable.  Wearing his Big Smiths, there was no problem with "plumber's crack", nothing binding around the waist, and always a place to keep his pliers.  He still kept jeans in the closet to wear when he went someplace.  

In the past several years, Cliff has decided that at his age, comfort is more important than style.  If he can't wear overalls to a place, it just isn't worth going; he'll stay home.  After all, a man never knows when he'll need to use a pair of pliers, and with overalls, there's always a place for them.  Cliff even wears overalls to church.  The preacher used to kid him about that, but he finally got used to it and left him alone.

Now, this is fine with me, because I like to be comfortable, and you won't see me dressing to the nines either.  

As years go by, one sees fewer people wearing overalls, so they have become a rather unusual item of clothing, drawing stares from strangers and eliciting comments from older folks we run into, a regular conversation piece.  On a vacation such as we just finished, a day seldom goes by that someone doesn't approach Cliff, smiling, and say, "My dad always wore overalls" or "Those overalls sure do bring back memories."  A trip to Branson really brings out the comments, due to the age range of most people who vacation there.  

This doesn't bother Cliff in the least.  It's his fashion statement.  You know how one sees "old hippies", guys who are bald on top, who still keep their hair long enough for a pony tail?  Does it make them look handsome?  Do they think it does?  Nope, but you can kiss their hineys, because that's one way a man lets the world know he doesn't care about fashion trends.  It's his idea of being a free spirit.  I think that's how Cliff is with his overalls.  That, and they're just plain comfortable.

As we were seeing the sights around the Grand Canyon the other day I saw ahead of us, near the Hopi House, an older man (our age) wearing overalls; I pointed him out to Cliff.  It wasn't long before the man and his wife caught sight of Cliff, and their faces lit up in smiles.  He pointed to his overalls and then pointed at Cliff.  They approached, and the guy said to Cliff, "Where you from?"

Turns out they were from Kansas, so it was no surprise to them that we were from Missouri.  Later on we ran into them again when we stopped for lunch and the guy said, "Say, I'm glad we found one another.  I want my wife to take a picture of us together to show my daughters:  They're always saying, 'Oh Dad, nobody wears overalls any more.'  I want to show them I'm not the only one." 

And here they are:  Two older guys from the midwest making their own statement, and just being comfortable.    When we parted, the fellow said, "Well, you go on back to Missouri and keep things in order, and I'll take care of Kansas."


Back Porch Writer said...

Love it!

krueth said...

That's great! Even down to the white t-shirts :-) My brother wears a 1 piece coverall but of light weight material and in a tan color...All the time when he is not at his school teaching job! He is now 66 years old and doesn't care either what others may think, Its comfy and that is all that matters. Wendy

Calfkeeper said...

That is great! Gary just wears jeans and Ts, but I have seen overalls being worn here in our part of MO, too. Gary's grand-dad used to wear them all the time. He used the pockets as a filing system for all of his bits and pieces of papers he used as notes.

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

Overalls are still very popular among older men in our area. What you see even less of here is those old poly/cotton snap up the front "coveralls" old men used to wear all the time. I know one man who still wears them.
Barbara, blogging at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

Margaret said...

What a great story!! I have a pair of overalls too, but only wear them during our Fair. :)They are tough when one has to use the bathroom!


Being yourself and being comfortable is the name of the game.