Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The making of an action hero pt8

Entry #7 How do you pick a style? Do you pick it or do certain elements of dress and accessory become emblematic as a byproduct of exposure? A good action hero has those things that are his, signature weapons, pieces of clothing, catch phrases…etc. Dirty Harry had his S&W model 29 .44 magnum revolver. Every pilot I’ve seen has a leather jacket and those mirrored aviator sunglasses. Jane Cobb had his orange hat. The terminator “will be back.” I suppose the real question is what kind of style am I looking for? When I was a kid it was Rugby shirts and slacks. In high school it was my letter jacket. I still have that jacket in my closet, though it’s a little small now. Harkening back to high school wrestling and chorus after almost 20 years seems a little silly. Likewise, the rugby shirts are a little too prep school. I want something uniquely me, something that diverges from group-think. Breaking it down, I have three areas I need to allow for—formal, casual, and work/country club casual. Formal isn’t that difficult. I have several suits, so all that remains is to obtain a tux, a cold weather jacket appropriate for up-scale occasions, and a few stylish accessories. The catch is, those items aren’t getting bought until I get back into something like ideal shape. Come to think of it, my current suits will probably have to go by the way side at that point. So for formal I need to work toward: • Several suits in gray, black, and blue. • A tux to include shirts, studs, cummerbund, tie, and monogrammed handkerchiefs. • Dress shoes in black and brown. • A selection of up-scale ties in black, gray, and other classic patterns. • A distinctive tie clip in silver. • A silver case for Cards. • A custom set of business cards. • A real leather briefcase. • A new belt. • A gentleman’s folding knife that is both stunningly executed and functional. • A wool overcoat for ruff weather. Most of these items require me to drop the pounds before I can begin shopping. There’s no point in looking for a tux if I’m going to drop four sizes between purchase and first use. So one of my upcoming projects will be to seek out the makings of the non-sized bits and set them on the reward tree. Work casual is an entirely different beast. Here I need something suitably restrained for work as well as stylish enough to pull off at serious informal gatherings. This is also where the question of style becomes more important. Formal is formal. My choices there run to grays and silvers in the European mode, but beyond that a suit is a suit. The difference here is that one has some variety of options to work with. Do I want business casual with polos and slacks? What about button downs in tasteful colors? Western string tie? Perhaps by the end of this I’ll be able to wear a cowboy hat without looking ridiculous. The end goal is to come up with a look, a few signature accessories, and an image that fits the new person I’m trying to become. I used to think clothes were clothes—no big deal. Anyone who’s been shunned for not wearing the right thing knows that’s not true. How you dress, your look, says something about you. Sometimes it’s something about who you are. Sometimes it says something about who you want to be. I want clothes that represent me as a person. I don’t want to pretend to something I’m not. Lately I’m trending toward a sort of geek sheik tactical look. Most of my jackets are scottevest wired apparel. My favorite footwear is a pair of Danner Acadia combat boots. My lunch bag is a maxpedition Fatboy versapack. Those are all comfortable and functional choices. They aren’t stylish though. Sometimes I feel like I’m trending towards an operator wana be. I hate that. Big, durable, functional…those aren’t bad words; heck in some circles they’re high praise. The issue being that I want more out of style than function…I want elegance and grace too. So I will lose the pounds, so I can remake my image. Not for everyone else, but for myself. Today’s intake: Breakfast=Small bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and a glass of cranberry juice. Work intake=A bag of mixed nuts and dried cranberries, a small container of my pasta salad, and an apple. Dinner=Chicken sausage and whole garlic cloves over pasta with an alfredo pesto sauce and a few glasses of water. I went to the store today to get some cash and a few groceries. While getting bacon for Saturday’s attempt at loaded grits, I got the hankering for sausage. I had to ask myself if it was worth it…turns out the answer was no. It’s weird going into a store relatively hungry and not buying a bunch of junk. So I substituted chicken sausage in and it came out very well. Plus, I used up one of our stashed alfredo sauces and a jar of pesto. For dinner I gave myself 2 small bowls rather than a single large one. Turns out my appetite is fine getting two smaller bowls, it’s the process of going back for seconds it cares about not the quantity of food involved. Weight this morning was 311 pounds. I don’t know how that compares, but it’s coming off. I just need to keep it trending down. Tomorrow we’re going out to lunch with friends. I’ve scoped the eatery out, picked my order (a red river salad) and am shooting for drinking water but may break down and have a glass of red wine. More on that tomorrow.

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