In which I take a new, and uncharacteristic interest in fashion

I’ve been taking an interest in clothes since I lost weight, which is amazing because that was never anything that interested me before. And you might not even know about this interest to look at me most of the time. Most of the time I wear T-shirts, comfortable pants, and comfortable shoes, like always. In cool weather, like now, I wear a fleece. I work from home, so that just makes sense.

And yet I have bought a couple of suits, and enjoy wearing them. I bought a couple of pairs of jeans, after fussing some with the fit. I like wearing sports jackets, especially one particular unstructured jacket. I get excited when I find good jackets for under $100 at the local secondhand clothes store; I have one brown-leather 70s-style jacket with wide lapels that I love, and that I wish it was cool enough to wear more often.

Also, I bought, and love, a pair of biker boots, although I also think they might be too badass for a person of my build and demeanor to carry off. On the other hand: I feel all Mad Max and shit when I wear them. Though I worry that the black boots clash with the leather jacket and most of the rest of my wardrobe, which gravitates to earthtones.

Then I bought a pair of boot-cut jeans because I don’t like how regular jeans look with the boots.

Despite my newfound interest in fashion, I decided a week or two ago I was done buying clothes. I have everything I need until something wears out.

And yet, more recently, I’ve been reading about how dressier clothes for men are coming back. I guess I’m not the only one who likes putting on a suit. In particular, cardigan sweaters are replacing fleece and hoodies.

And suddenly I’m thinking: Damn. Cardigan sweaters are nice. Hoodies and fleeces are fine if you’re working the corners on The Wire, but a cardigan is a cool-weather garment for grownups.

This is how the fashion industry gets you, isn’t it? It’s worse than the consumer electronics industry. At least this year’s consumer electronics devices are better. You can argue whether they’re necessary — I mean, Benjamin Franklin didn’t have an iPad and he did okay. But this year’s consumer electronics are faster, lighter and do more than last year’s.

On the other hand, this year’s clothes are no better than last year’s. Last year’s are just as good as new. This year’s clothes are just different.

It’s a ripoff.

And yet.

Cardigans.

Damn.

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