In some ways I fit into the occasional stereotypes of the gay man—I love theatre, and musical theatre and even (especially) showtunes. I don’t really follow sports, and I was never athletic. I sucked so badly in Little League, and the one year I played (sat on the bench) basketball in Jr. High.
In other ways I don’t fit the stereotype. My apartment is usually messy. I’m a packrat. Martha Stewart would go apoplectic or have a TIA if she paid an unexpected visit. Friends tell my apartment is very comfortable, homey and welcoming. That’s more important to me than making sure the magazines are in a perfect fan splayed across the coffee table.. I’m not an A&F pretty boy model. Now, I’m NOT butt ugly. I’ve just never been cover boy material. Sometimes I let my hair (what’s left of it on my head) grow long before getting it cut, usually have weekend scruff. I like to think that I dress well, but I’m not what fashionistas would call a ‘label whore’—with the exception of Kenneth Cole. I buy his clothes and shoes for three reasons: I like the cut and fit of his clothes and shoes on my build; I love his look; and I love that his ads are Left Wing (or anti-Right Wing) political. It took a hefty pair of gonads to do that when he first started out. Any corporate entity that openly (or subtly) bashes "W" wins my retail dollars. And the converse it true. I boycott.
Over the weekend, I happened to see a posting on Craig’s List for a garage sale. By nature of the location of the posting, I knew that it was gay men who doing the selling, and had listed lots of clothes. Over the past few years, I’ve lost over 50 pounds, and in particular, ~ 15 this past year. Most of my clothes are very loose on me now (which feels like a great accomplishment). Even my “skinny jeans” (remember Miranda, Sex and the City) are loose. I really don’t fit in the hip hop world, so having my pants below my butt crack is not a good look on me. I’m really not in a financial position to replenish my wardrobe. So, I thought “gay men’s garage sale? I should check it out”.
This garage was better stocked that some Salvation Army resale shops! I was finding Kenneth Cole, Hugo Boss, Ben Sherman (and even an Armani shirt that fit me—and it’s even purple!). Some may argue that the mere fact that I even know these names makes me a guilty party. OK, I was for a brief moment in time, a “label whore”. When I’d filled up 2 kitchen garbage bags, I stopped. Also, it was cold and I was getting hungry.
I went home. I tried everything on. All the pants fit very well. Some of the shirts a bit big, but I knew they would be as they were M and I can now pretty much wear S in most shirts. Having downed a sandwich and warmed up, I decided to drive back across town and hit it again before they closed down. Andy was bagging things up as I arrived. He remembered me. Andy asked what I was looking for. “31 inch waist and small shirts.” I was power shopping. Two more kitchen bags filled, and I was back on my way again. For $36. I got 16 pairs of pants, 13 shirts, 2 ties, and a wool scarf. Not bad for a Sunday. But I am a bit embarrassed that I bought the Armani and Hugo Boss solely for the names. Is there a 12 step program for label whores?
Oh, btw-my ass looks great in the Hugo Boss! © rle/wtf