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Friday Afternoon Confessional: Phoning it in

I confess that it was good to see E. Bolden last weekend. Perhaps she’ll realize the error of her ways and return to Chicago — certainly she must miss the beautiful winter weather.

I confess that it has taken me several weeks, but I’ve finally come to terms with the fact that buying cheap, packaged dress shirts was a bad idea. They puff out around the waist, won’t stay firmly tucked in, and — seemingly paradoxically — are too tight in the shoulders. The designers of this shirt apparently envisioned my weight being distributed very differently. I would’ve been better off with a medium from H+M.

I confess that one of my longest-lasting childhood complexes surrounds clothes. My family placed a real priority on me dressing well for school — perhaps for “class aspirational” reasons — and the result was that my closet was full of stuff that I felt very uncomfortable wearing. My response to this wasn’t to push back, but instead to try to avoid thinking about such issues, so that the cycle continued.

Only in the last couple years have I actually come to the point of thinking about how I want to present myself. In particular, in the last couple months, I’ve done two major purges of my closet, getting rid of all the stuff I never wear and all the oversized clothes that my family, being midwesterners, never fail to buy me. I think the results have been pretty good so far, but the dress shirt debacle shows me that I still have much to learn.

I’m getting really good at tying a tie, though, at least.


November 11, 2011 - Posted by | Friday Afternoon Confessional


  1. Being able to tie something around your neck may always come in handy.

    Comment by Guido Nius | November 11, 2011

  2. I’ve learned from make friends that even those department store shirts labeled as “fitted” aren’t always very. Try on several brands to find one that’s sufficiently skinnyfit. If you’re very particular, you can always use shirt garters.

    I confess I’m in Hawaii on vacation. I confess I went surfing! It was fun. I confess I have more than two days left of this trip and I miss being back at the office.

    Comment by jms | November 14, 2011

  3. I meant “male” friends.

    Comment by jms | November 14, 2011

  4. I’m very fond of Uniqlo fitted shirts. Unfortunately there are only stores in Manhattan, and I only bought one the last time I was there. But I like it!

    You might want to see about having your cheap, packaged dress shirt tailored. It might take a little hunting, but you can probably find an inexpensive, good tailor if you ask/search around.

    Comment by Josh K-sky | November 14, 2011

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