Tag Archives: clothes

2457.  Clothes don’t maketh the man

It could be construed that Sean was perhaps overly fussy. No sooner had he been diagnosed with terminal cancer than he went online and bought himself a complete new set of clothes.

“One doesn’t want to look shabby lying in a coffin,” he declared. “Or for that matter look shabby for an eternity.”

His new clothes arrived. He tried them on. He looked smart indeed!

He didn’t last much longer. He died.

Nora, his widowed wife, was a realist. “I’m not having him buried in those perfectly good clothes,” she said, handing the undertaker a set of old clothes that Sean wore when mowing the lawn. “They’re clean. I’m taking these lovely new clothes to the Opportunity Shop.”

2367.  Hats off

I seem to be the only one here wearing a hat. Maybe hats are a thing of the past. I thought every woman wore a hat to a wedding. How times have changed!

I can hardly take it off and leave it sitting on the pew. Besides, my hair is done to fit the hat. Hair and hat – they go together. I must stick out like a sore thumb.

You’d think the woman at Women’s Wear Ware would’ve told me about not wearing a hat. I suppose she wanted a sale. My suit is lovely. As the woman said in the shop, “This is really you. It suits you like you were born to wear it.” To which I responded with, “And what about a matching hat?” And now I’m the only one wearing a hat.

The handbag was another story. I can see a few women here with handbags. They’re clutching them like their lives depended on it. No one is going to put their handbag on the pew seat behind them. There are sticky fingers everywhere, even in a church. Of course a large number of women don’t have a handbag. These days women’s clothes seem to have pockets. But I always thought on more formal occasions such as a wedding, that a hat and handbag were vital accessories. Apparently these days I’m wrong.

I do feel overdressed. When you look at some of the get-ups that some of the guests are wearing, you wonder. They could at least have made a small effort to dolly themselves up. That one over there looks like she’s wearing her petticoat on the outside. I wouldn’t put it past her boyfriend, if that’s her boyfriend she’s with, you never know these days, to wear his grundies on the outside of his jeans. They don’t call them grundies any more – I believe it’s Australian. I don’t have a clue what they’re called these days – ever since my divorce. These days I don’t have to go buying grundies for the lazy sod.

Goodness! The bride and groom are about to exit down the aisle. I seem to have missed the vows. That’s a shame. It’s not every day ones daughter gets married.

2265. History is made

Theodora was a stickler for looking nice. She would never appear in public without first putting on her glad rags. A carefully made up face was a must, and always with lipstick to match her nails.

When an earthquake struck and she ran out of her home flat stick, people commented that surely she wasn’t dressed to the nines all the time. She must have known an earthquake was about to strike! But the reality was, of course, that she did care every day for her appearance in and out of the house.

It therefore came as quite a surprise when Theodora’s name began to be associated with Teddy Potts. Teddy was a local farmer and as rough as guts. Even the backside of his pants was worn and sometimes torn. He always had a bit of hay here and there on this woollen pullover. The self-rolled cigarette permanently hanging from his lips was rarely lit. It was there for effect.

Soon Theodora and Teddy announced their engagement. All were invited to the wedding on the farm. It was to be “Bring a plate” (which is the Australian/New Zealand term for Potluck). The big question was: what should the wedding guests wear? It was on a farm so dress casually; or it’s Theodora’s wedding so dress fashionably; or it’s Teddy’s wedding so wear your old gardening clothes.

Guests arrived wearing all sorts. What a mixed crowd! Teddy was in a tuxedo but with a cigarette still hanging out his mouth. Theodora arrived wearing a stunning ensemble complete with veil and holding a bunch of barley and wild flowers off the farm.

Everyone had a great time. Even the old cow just across the fence watched the proceedings and mooed when the couple kissed. Everyone laughed.

And so, Dear Reader, this tale is proof indeed that some plots don’t ever get off the ground. Most lives are ordinary. They’re not riddled with murder and intrigue but things happen in a lovely way. And no doubt this couple lived happily ever after.

2127. A perfect day for drying clothes

It was a beautiful summer’s day. There was a warm breeze; the type of breeze Erina imagined would be the breeze they had in heaven. It was a perfect day for hanging out the washing to dry. The past week had been wet and Erina didn’t have a clothes dryer. Not that she didn’t want one, but some things are too expensive on a pension. She had a clothes rack in her garage, but the dampness of the week had not been conducive to drying clothes. But today! Perfect! Perfect! Erina threw the lot into the washing machine.

It’s funny how one does things all one’s life, over and over, without realizing that one day you will be doing it for the last time. That was to happen to Erina. Little did she realize that after a life time of hanging out washing this time would be the last.

Her cousin Magdalen had dropped dead while doing the dishes. You see the point? A life time of doing the dishes and not once do you think you’ll one day drop dead while drying the dishes.

Then a niece, Gwen, left her home to go to work. She had left her home in the car at that same time for thirteen years, and then…

So, as you now know, Erina after thousands of times hanging out the washing was doing it for the last time. The last time ever.

After hanging out the washing she went to town to get groceries and a few other things. That evening she checked her lottery ticket. She won! She won!

The next day Erina went out and bought herself a clothes dryer.

1760. Penny-farthing excursions

I saved up money for a considerable time to purchase a penny-farthing. My wife wanted a new set of pots for the kitchen, but first things first. Nearly every male of age in this town is out and about on their penny-farthing every Sunday afternoon. My wife wanted to try riding it and I said, “Goodness me no, darling. Not in that dress!” Before one could blink the hem of her skirt would get tangled in the spokes of the wheel. And what a disaster! How very unlady-like! Of course, it would be my entire fault letting a woman onto what is clearly designed for the male anatomy. It’s a bit like riding a horse. But on a horse women ride side-saddle, and one could hardly expect a woman to ride side-saddle on a penny-farthing. How would one peddle?

The first time I went out (of course I’d been practising my balance in the backyard behind the house) I went with three friends on a Sunday jaunt. Such freedom! Such speed! The second time I went out was the last. I was with a larger group. We bicycled I suppose ten miles into the country and back. It was a wonderful experience.

As I said, that was the last time I went out on the penny-farthing. I wouldn’t be seen dead on it these days. You see, my wife and her so-called emancipated friends made fun of my tight pants.

1628. Tatty blues

Gazing out the window at his clothes on the line Bruce realised just how tatty his clothes had become. Not only that, but everything was blue. What was needed was a visit to town and some new clothes. Fliers advertising the coming season’s garments had just come in the mail. This was the answer to a prayer:

New range of colours in our Spring Collection! Join in the innovative springtide riot! Throw all caution to the wind with our symphony of hues!

Feeling a desire to “branch out” this was an invitation to recklessness. Bruce got in his old truck and headed for town.

There they were! Row upon row of the new season’s clothes! All black or a lovely shade of grey. The swimming gear was black with white dots. There was one white shirt in different sizes, and (ah! one colour amidst the dismal rows) three pullovers in dark, dark green.

The next time Bruce hung his washing on the line it was identical to the previous load of laundry: all blue and quite, quite tatty.

1606. Why be morbid?

The plan was to dress eccentrically. That’s what the invitation said. It read, well in advance of the event, that on the last day of the coming month, Shane’s funeral would be held after he had been put down humanely by Elaine and the rest of the family. Dress eccentrically.

Well! What a conundrum it caused! What a hubbub! Shane, who hadn’t been at all ill but was generally tired of life, was to be put down. There was nothing unusual in that. Elaine had done it twice before to previous husbands. In fact the joke went around that being married to Elaine was the main cause why her (now third) husband had requested a humane demise. But that was not what the hubbub was about. That was not the conundrum.

The bother that sent all into a tizzy was what to wear. What comprises eccentric? Is it colour? Is it design? Is it a combination of both? Shona and her two inseparable “friends” were in a quandary. In the end, on the morning of the funeral, they dressed conservatively in cut, but with fabric that Nigel had found on the cheap at the second hand store. It was partly floral, and excessively loud. If they turned up to the funeral with a brightly coloured cocktail and a handful of sticky spaghetti it would possibly steal the show.

And steal the show they did! Elaine said afterwards that it was well worth putting Shane down just to wring out of her three best friends such a display of bizarre vibrancy. She particular liked the spaghetti touch and Jock promised that when it happened again he would bring some meatballs!

What a worthy lesson for us all! How much nicer is it to have a happy funeral, rather than mooch around like it’s the end of the world? All agreed. It was such fun! They couldn’t wait to do it again!

Now who’s next?

1524: Funeral arrangements

The cold, hard reality was that Amelia had nothing to wear. Now was hardly the appropriate time to go shopping for clothes. It was her own fault. She had been given a good six months to think ahead, during her husband’s final illness, and now that George had passed on she still had nothing fitting to wear to his funeral.

It’s not exactly true that she had been remiss in looking ahead. She had purchased a beautiful outfit. Black. The matching hat had black lace to hide her reddened mourning eyes. The dress looked fabulous once the jade and diamond brooch had been brought out of its bank vault to see the light of day; a green and dazzling piece of jewellery that was unspeakably beautiful against the black fabric.

Unfortunately Amelia had worn that ensemble to Fiona’s husband’s funeral three weeks earlier. Amelia wouldn’t be seen dead in the same outfit twice. It was most inconsiderate of Fiona’s husband to drop off just a few weeks prior to her George.

There was only one thing for it; in the closet, Amelia had a stunning floral frock. It verged on the outrageous; it was brash, garish, loud. She had bought it to upstage everyone at her daughter’s wedding but the wedding had most fortunately been cancelled. A despicable man; and not at all good-looking.

Yes! The floral dress was the answer. Amelia hastily penned a note for the newspaper’s funeral announcement: For his funeral George requested that we wear something bright.

1430. Frumpy Gabriella

There were two words in the English language that Gabriella despised: “frock” and “frump”. “Frock” because, even though it wasn’t, it sounded like something her great grandmother would wear. “Frump” because it sounded as if the woman concerned was dumpy, like a sack of wheat.

To be honest, Gabriella wasn’t God’s gift to the planet when it came to looks. She was slightly portly even though she was only sixteen. And she never dressed particularly fashionably because she didn’t have that much money in her weekly allowance.

She used to be teased at school. “You’re a frump in a frock” the other kids would shout. “A frump in a frock.”

Gabriella went to quite a fashionable shop to look for something nice that she might be able to afford, like a scarf or something. She did! She found a beret that she thought made her look quite smart. After purchase she filled out a form that asked why you would buy such an item of clothing. Gabriella wrote, “Because kids call me a frump in a frock”. And it won! It won! Gabriella didn’t even know it was a competition! She won ten thousand dollars’ worth of fashionable items!

1351. It pays

Robin was at the end of his tether. He was fairly well educated, highly competent, and unemployed. He had applied for dozens of jobs, got two or three interviews, and still no job. He wondered if it was because his clothes were a bit tatty. They weren’t torn or anything, but they just looked old and shoddy.

At last, he got another job interview! He washed his sole remaining respectable shirt, carefully decreased his trousers, and cleaned his shoes. But, oh woe! His shirt, for some reason, came out of the wash with blotchy blue stains on it.

Robin figured it was to be all or nothing. He had seventeen dollars left. He would go to the Men’s Wear store and buy a shirt for seventeen dollars or less.

Herman, the owner of the Men’s Wear store, was most disarming. Robin explained to him that he needed to buy a shirt for an job interview, but could spend only up to seventeen dollars.

“It’s your lucky day!” exclaimed Herman gleefully. “We shall get you shoes, socks, shirt, belt, tie, and trousers, and all for seventeen dollars! And,” he added, “we shall get you a fashionable haircut as well.”

When it came to pay, Herman wouldn’t take a penny. “It’s now on the house,” he said.

Robin went to the interview feeling like the King of Siam. It was an interview for a minimum wage job. Why he needed to be interviewed by the business owner himself for the job was any one’s guess. Robin thought the interview went quite well.

“You’ve missed out on the job,” said the business owner at the end of the interview. “I’m sorry.”

Robin was disappointed.

“But there’s another job I’d like you to take,” said the business owner. “It pays a tidier sum – like $160,000 a year. Would you be interested?”

Robin was over the moon. He accepted. He left for home on a high.

However, it always pays to look both ways when crossing the road.