“Review of Middle-Aged Men’s Fashion,” by Greg Davis

Oct 3rd, 2012 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

I recently glanced at a review of men’s fashion in the New York Times and I thought, “That’s total bullshit. I don’t know a single man who wears a “snowflake-embroidered topcoat, loose trousers and a logo cardigan.” I’ve never seen a single one of my friends wearing “a Mylar suit with elastic cuffs, worn with rubberized canvas boots.” In order to bring into existence a fashion review that more closely squares with what middle-aged men actually wear, I’ve created this short list of the most reliable fashion choices for middle-aged men this year.

1. The Weathered Look
When fidelity to one’s wardrobe knows no bounds and twenty-plus years of wear-and-tear haven’t diminished a man’s love for that certain shirt or hat, the result is a look that’s impressively moth-eaten and threadbare.  Understand that a man going for this look must replace old items at some point; but he can do so by purchasing ten identical items and then working them into his collection seamlessly. A closet full of indistinguishable button downs is a must!

2. The Golfer
Equal in uniformity, double in cost, the Golfer look has in common with the Homeless look a commitment to an almost insanely narrow range of apparel. Constantly at home in khakis and collared shirts, the golfer’s look hasn’t changed for fifty years and it appears to be holding strong for another fifty.

3. The Laid-Back Church-Goer
Even the most extreme opinions on matters of religion, race, and politics can seem charming as long as one presents them with the right sense of panache. In order to lead prayer groups in public schools or build ministries that foster an acute sense of xenophobia, it’s important to not present an image that’s too retro-50s. Go for argyle sweaters and stiff hair gel to appear more modern and accepting.

4. “The Geoffrey”
The Geoffrey look is for the man who has refused to grow up and wants the world to know it. Look for his trademark out-of-season jersey, blistered thumbs from gaming and “man-cave” accessorized with posters from Bud Lite and fathead.com. Stay looking fast, loose, and uncommitted by shaving every third or fourth day and stay away from pleats of any kind.

5. The Effete Intellectual
Weakness is strength for the effete intellectual whose look seems to say, “You might be able to kick my ass, but I’ll find some irony in the situation that you won’t be able to understand even if I explain it to you.” Scarves in any season, thick-framed glasses, and bumper stickers that aggressively support cycling and environmental causes may round out this look.

6. The Defeated Father
Given up on manhood? Shifted into auto-pilot for the foreseeable future? Looking to dress yourself in a way that cancels out any sense of sex or personality? Buy a small inventory of grey sweatshirts, labelless t-shirts, dark blue jeans and white tennis shoes and accessorize, perhaps, with a hat or button from one of your kids’ teams. No one may ever look for your individual identity again!


Greg Davis, who personally subscribes to the “Weathered Look,” allows all his clothing decisions to be guided by an incurable sense of circumspection and a painfully low budget. His work has previously appeared in Writers’ Bloc and Thunderclap.

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