One Size Fits All – Fashion Advice from Cousin Craig

by on June 21, 2017

“There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, ‘Do trousers matter?'”
“The mood will pass, sir.”
P.G. Wodehouse, The Code of the Woosters

My dearest cousin asked me to write a post for “Odd,” and I asked her to give me a topic. She said, “fashion”. Now, most of you don’t know me, but if you did, you would realize just how strange that request is. I reasoned that I don’t know why some people like to receive flowers, but I don’t have to know why, I just need to know that they do. Similarly, I don’t know why some people’s clothes are so important to them, but I know that they are and I try to react accordingly. 

 Here are a few pertinent Cousin Craig fashion facts. 

1.  I do not own a tie, a sport coat, dress shoes, or even dress pants.

2.  I own khaki pants and khaki shorts, and I wear them every day (one or the other, not both).

3.  I do not shave. Please hear me out, dear reader. I did not say that I do not shave regularly; I said that I do not shave. I have not shaved more than once in the past 20 years. I do use a trimmer on occasion.

4. Haircuts are limited to once or twice a year. The rest of the time, I simply cut off hunks as needed. 

6.  I have one pair of shoes.

7.  I wear T-shirts. My favorite T-shirt has a picture of Jesus on it and reads, “I never said that.”

8.  On fancy occasions, I wear a collared shirt. 

9. I am not a pretty man.

Keeping these facts in mind, it is hard to understand why anyone would want fashion advice, tips, or even opinions from me. It would be like taking a blind person to a collection of paintings and asking, “Which one do you like?” For my cousinand in my efforts to climb out of the family’s pen of black sheep and into the realm of the somewhat acceptedI will give this thing a try. (“Odd” disclaimer: Cousin Craig asked for a topic, I gave him one of several. Where this one goes, I certainly don’t know, but let’s join him, shall we? )

#1 – Shoes and Belts. Please don’t misunderstand me, reader. I’m not saying that the following don’t make sense to some people; I simply want to illustrate that whatever genetic code makes them make sense has been omitted from my DNA strand. I cannot understand why someone would have ten pairs of shoes, unless they are triathletes. Why are shoes so special?* Aren’t they just things to keep the mud out from between our toes? Why do the color, width, and clasp of a belt matter? I have a black belt. It’s important because it holds up my shorts. It has no other function in my mind, unless I get shot and need to stop the blood pumping through my leg. (How often do I release the pressure on that again?) Anyway, I appreciate how nice you all look, but it doesn’t seem to be in the cards for me. (Craigaleg, because I love you and you work on a college campus, and attend family funerals, please click on this emergency first aid link.) 

 #2 – Hats. What’s the obsession with hats? Unless you’re starting at second base for the Cubs, you don’t need to wear a hat all day, every day. Women going to the Kentucky Derby should, of course, keep their hats on for the national anthem. If your one-size-fits-all adjustable baseball cap reads, “I am Thad’s bitch,” take it off during the national anthem, a prayer, or maybe even alwayseven if your ponytail is strung through the hole in the back of the cap (I know, the struggle is real). I like hats and have no problem with them in general. They are like gum to me: once in a while, chew some gum, but not all the time, BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT A COW. (I agree, and a backward baseball cap confuses me. Are you coming or going?)

 #3 – Swimwear. I am a guy. I try to be a man, but all too often, I find myself slipping into that comfortable station of being a “guy.” With that in mind, I have to ask the fairer sex a fair question. If I walk into a room, and you are wearing nothing but a bra and panties, I have seen you nearly naked and have violated your privacy. If I see you at the beach in something approximately the size and shape of a bra and panties, I can look but not stare. If I have any physical reaction to either situation, I am a pig. I can’t speak of women’s reactions to checking out hairy, penis-toting men, but I can tell you that your being mostly naked in a social setting makes just socializing harder. Please, for the love of God, if you don’t want me to see your breasts or butt, don’t show them to me. If you do show them to me, rather than holding my reaction against me, hold them against me. Men, nobody should be able to tell whether or not you were circumcised by seeing you in a banana hammock. Shorts please, no one needs to know that lefty is bigger and hairier that righty. (Ok. I can forget that imagery)

#4 – Wedding dresses. As I said, I’m a guy. I think it says a lot about a wedding that a man rents his outfit and a women spends six-month’s pay on hers. I think that if that make their hearts happy, then they should, by all means, have what they want. A wedding is a beautiful thing, which can make you cry from joy. Very few things can do that. Whatever my attitude toward fashion, I always defer to the bride on her wedding day. I leave the criticism of the dress and all snarky comments to her closest friendsher bridesmaids. One of them will inevitably say, “It looks OK on her, but I would never wear it.” Relax, Susie, your single and closer to forty-five than thirty; the chances are good you won’t have to worry about it. (Is that too mean? No, it’s mean to diss the bride.)

 #5 – Kids. Parents, I speak here from the outside looking in, but I implore you, do not make your children dress alike. Not ever. If they want to, fine. (What about matching dog and human outfits? Too much, right?)

 #6 – Models. These people who model clothes, who are they modeling for? I mean, I don’t want to see what the clothes would look like on someone nothing like me. They might look great on a bulimic six-foot model who eats less in a day than your average hamster. What does that have to do with us normal humans? The first thing I want to know about a garment is whether it will be ruined when I spill something on it. Mrs. Chris Hemsworth might want to know what a suit looks like on a demigod (because he plays one in the movies. Keep up, people). Most of us, however, look more like the guy with a whistle and a black button-up shirt with “Vince” written across his left breast pocket, guarding the door. You know, the guy who looks like he had the left side of the Wendy’s menu for lunch and is already dreaming of dinner. (You lost me but George Clooney always looks good)

#7 – Tattoos and piercings. Most will disagree with some of this post, but almost all parents will hate this part. Once your children become old enough to make their own choices, they will make mistakes. Guess what, you did too. You can try to advise them, but I assure you, your words will sound as hollow and ill-informed as the ones your parents gave to you. For whatever reason, some people like to put holes in or markings on themselves. This is their choice. I look at these things like the time I put a nail through my hand on a dare. It was a mistake; I still have the scar. But it was my mistake to make. All we can do is love them. We can help them up when they fall and help them along their way, right? And, of course, pray for nothing permanent on the face. (People used to pay a quarter at the circus to see the tattoos and piercings people wear today.  I have a few, or maybe a lot of, opinions on this subject. I’m judgmental.  My adult* and I are good on this topic.)

 #8 – Halloween. What happened to this holiday? It was once for kids. The average costume was cheap and so was the candy. Now, it’s more like whoreloween. ‘Nuff said. (Yep, last year’s costumes included a toddler slut.)  

#9 – Day to day. Wear what you feel comfortable in. Wear what makes you feel good. Never mind what’s socially acceptable; drape yourself in velvet if you want to. Just be willing to pay the price for your decisions. (I love my new purple crocs!)

 #10 – Work attire. Picture a person who is treated the way you would like to be treated. He or she may be a real person or someone in your head. This should be a person who has done what you are doing and is successful. This is a good place to start when asking yourself, what is appropriate work attire? For example, when I was a stripper, I looked at big Ron. He wore a thong and a leather collar. He made a lot of money, and I wanted to be just like him, so I wore a thong and leather collar too. This is the secret of my success and can be read about more fully in my memoir “Undress for Success!” Then there’s my dear cousin, who must have idolized Lola. She was a showgirl, a yellow ribbon in her hair and a dress cut down to there. She would merengue and do the cha-cha, etc. (One step forward, two steps back …)

 I guess there’s one thing I’ve learned while trying to write this post, and it’s that I know nothing about fashion. I hope that at least maybe it made you smile or even laugh a bit. At least we’re not like Cole’s mom, still in that dress she used to wear, faded ribbons in her hair . . . (Will someone please take me to the fair?)

Odd Loves Company,

Why are shoes so special?* Perhaps Cousin Carla can share on this topic (Kb)

* My adult, my dear son, the other of us, the millennial, Coleybear and sometimes Cole. (Kb)

* Yes Debbie, I posted the picture at the top with you in mind ♥ (Kb)

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Mike

Just one question that you failed to address—white before memorial day or not?
Thank you

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Campo

Mike-
I wear white everyday. Socks. As for Memorial Day I recommend staying away from anything too flashy with stars and stripe for fear someone might try to run you up a flagpole.

Thanks for reading-
C-

P.S. I really know nothing about any of this.

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Jen Murphy

Cinderella escaped her evil stepmother and stepsisters, found the man of her dreams and lived happily ever after, all because of a shoe.
The rest of your fashion points are well taken. However, my daughters and I did have matching sweaters one Christmas. As far, as I know it has not come up in therapy.

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Campo

Cinderella huh? In the original version she chops up her step-sisters, puts them into a jar of food, and sends the jar to her step-mother to eat. After finishing the food the step-mother discovers her daughter’s skull at the bottom of the jar and promptly dies of shock.

As for the matching sweaters, I’m sure you’ll be forgiven eventually. Enjoy therapy! LOL

All the best,
Campo

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Katybeth

But who cares about the original version–we all know that Disney has the best version…and it all happened because of the glass slipper. Happily ever after!

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Carla

So many questions . . . Who, in their right mind, asks my brother to write about fashion? How does he still not understand the importance of shoes? (I, his favorite sister have about 40 pair, and my daughter, his favorite nice must have 75.) How could he not mention purses or man-bags?

I’m sure many of you thought he was exaggerating about the lack of shaving and haircuts, not owning dress pants or shoes, thinking wearing a golf shirt is dressing up, etc. but rest assured, he is not exaggerating. Not at all.

I will be happy to share my views on shoes (perhaps in a poem) but I think it’s all been covered before.

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Katybeth

I think when you question my sanity–Odd immediately pulls your comment for moderation. Sorry about that. Why not fashion. Seems to me that Dear Craig’s take is as good as anyone else…except the chopping of hair in chunks. Bad.
Did we do shoes or did we just review shoes? I don’t think we discussed the importance of shoes or multiple pairs of shoes…and I know that shoes were not given poetic justice so feel free to wax on…

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Campo

For the record, I have never questioned your sanity. Why would I question something that doesn’t exist? I know this is going to sound unbelievable, but Abby’s (Carla’s daughter) boyfriend has met most of our family, he is an objective person, and he says I am the “most normal” person in the family. I know that’s like winning in award for being the sharpest spoon in the drawer, but it should illuminate what you’ve gotten yourself into on this website.

😜
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Katybeth

Your sister, my dear cousin questions my sanity so my comment was directed at her—however, I am completely sane and almost always nice.
His name is Mike.

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Jax

Cousin Craig,
It feels like I have known you my entire life and yes, even when you were a stripper back at FSU. One thing you didn’t address in your fashion dissertation was your thoughts on uniforms? Both as adults and for children. Inquiring minds want to know.

Reply

Campo

Jax-
This might be some weird sort of karma, or it might just be that I inhaled too much insecticide, because I went to college with a friend we called Jax, and he is a military/FBI guy. I hope that one day I will get him drunk enough to tell me all about the night he got bin Laden.

Most of my experience with uniforms was during the first 15 years of my career as an equipment manager, and it was washing them. I have a skewed perspective, because when you say uniforms I think of athletics, where most people think of police, military, or doctors and nurses. With that in mind, I will try to answer your question by sport.

Football – never wear white pants, regardless of memorial day. They never get clean!

Baseball – two things here. First, what is the code to dress up like a player? Secondly, I’d like to see the guys wearing baseball pants, not 70s polyester slacks that go all the way down to their feet. You’re on the ballfield, not in a disco.

Softball – since I have worked with this for a long time, I was involved at a time when the girls would wear shorts. Now I’m most players wear baseball pants so they can slide without creating a huge strawberry on their butts. I now I’m most players wear baseball pants so they can slide without creating a huge strawberry on their butts.

Soccer – we have a great woman’s team, and they were my favorite because they’re all tiny and you could wash all their uniforms at once. Have to go with White here, and goalkeepers choice of course for their jerseys. Special note – check for a colorful underwear before adding bleach. A friend made that mistake, I was lucky and never fell into that trap.

Volleyball – beach or indoor, I recommend tights as opposed to the 1980s bottoms known as “Buns”. And our young ladies play extremely hard and train even harder, so I’m for them wearing something they can feel comfortable in. Any color except white works.

Basketball – I believe and shorts bigger than Larry Bird war and smaller than the fab 5 made famous.

That’s all the sports I worked with. I guess the only problem I have with uniforms is that they all look… Uniform. Everyone should wear a minimum of three pieces of flair. If you don’t get that, Google it.

Thanks for reading, I hope this helps!
Campo

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Debbie

I knew that about the picture, haha!! Thanks — it definitely grabbed my attention!

Fashion is always especially interesting when seen through the eyes of someone who doesn’t particularly strive to be fashionable. I’m lucky to work for myself and “the boss” lets me wear whatever I feel like wearing, whether it’s bunny slippers, flip-flops, shorts, or a T-shirt. That’s an enviable spot to be in, and I appreciate it.

I can appreciate your cousin’s opinion on shoes, but he’d fall over laughing to count how many pairs of sneakers and boots I own. Don’t judge, Cousin Craig — at least I’m spending my money on the important stuff. I mean, who can drape themselves in diamonds all day when nobody gets to see them?!?
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Campo

I’m right there with you – wear what you want to wear and feel good in. During football draft preparation I would pretty much live in our training facility, so it was not uncommon to see me wandering around in bunny slippers during the day. Maybe that means I do have a style; I’m like a lost boy! Now I try to limit myself a bit more, but I do have a strong T-shirt game. Here are 10 sayings I have on T-shirts.

1. A picture of Jesus and the caption reads “I never said that”
2. “Nah” Rosa Parks, 1955
3. You’re killing me Smalls
4. A picture of a stick figure waving – the caption reads “I pooped today”
5. Some people say I’m condescending. (that means I talk down to people)
6. No words, just the Squigley line on the yellow shirt so I look like Charlie Brown
7. Unathletic department
8. Picture of a moose in the caption reads “Wally world”
9. Shhhhh! No one cares.
10. Vandelay industries – importing and exporting

I did have to institute a dress code at work because one of our young ladies and what go out to football practice wearing yoga pants and a sports bra. On the positive side, after that I got budget money to provide shirts and shorts for both the male and female employees in our office. If I knew that’s what it took I would’ve worn yoga pants and a sports bra a long time ago.

Thanks for reading!
Campo
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