Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rod-Boy’s Fashion Tips for Summertime

As we head into the final stretch toward sho’nuff summertime in sunny South Carolina, many of you are wondering what the fashion trends of the season will be.

And, naturally, that means my email box is full of inquiring minds asking me for the inside scoop, seeing as how I have earned somewhat of a reputation as a perennial fashion trendsetter. (Many people depend on my advice to avoid making fashion faux-pas.)

Take clam-diggers, for instance. I’m confident that my all-time favorite summertime article of clothing attire is going to make a comeback. Nevermind the fact that I haven’t actually seen a pair of clam-diggers since I was six years old. This summer, I plan to find a pair somewhere and don them… and I’m pretty sure the trend will spread like wildfire. (I always liked the rope belt, which, when I was six years old, also came in pretty handy for tying up siblings.)

Here are the rest of clothing trends I’ll be setting in the coming months:

Shirts -- There are two basic shirt choices in the summertime: printed tee-shirts or alohas (aka Hawaiian). Which you wear depends largely on your belly size. (Get it? Depends “largely” on your belly size!) If you’re occasionally a big, fat, giant, hippo-pig-whale, as I am, you’ll want to stick with the loose fitting alohas, instead of the sometimes snug-fitting tee-shirts. I personally am a big fan of the alohas… mainly because I’m a BIG fan of the alohas! Printed teeshirts, on the other hand, do offer the extra advantage of advertising your favorite rock band, NASCAR driver, or allergy medication.

Color choices of shirts – and all summerwear, for that matter – depends largely on your choice of BBQ sauce, since BBQ is the meal most likely to be eaten in the summertime. If I’m planning on eating ketchup-based BBQ sauce, I’ll probably go with a red-toned shirt; if it’s mustard-based sauce, then I’ll trend toward a yellow or mustard color. Bottom line: If you go ahead and plan in advance to blend your shirt with your sauce, you’ll save yourself a lot of heartache from the almost-certain “drip and stain” eventuality. (By the way, I have found that a good, flowery, multi-color aloha shirt will hide virtually ANY summertime BBQ drippage you might encounter!)

Footwear -- Two words: Flip Flop! It’s the next best thing to going barefoot, which is really my favorite, but I know a lot of big city folks who read this column – from places like Pelion, Prosperity, Elgin and Huger – will reject my notion of going barefoot. If you can’t go barefoot, flip-flops are the next best thing, followed by sandals and old, worn-out sneakers. Socks, on the other hand, should definitely NOT be worn in the summertime. I mean, what’s the point? (If you feel you must wear socks, I recommend black socks, worn with sandals, so you will blend in with the tourists visiting from Up North.)

Pants -- While you’re waiting for clam-diggers to once again become all the rage (just because I said so), there are a few other acceptable styles of pants you can wear: Cut off jeans are a safe choice. Swimtrunks always work. And I seem to generate a lot of real nice comments, compliments, and approving smiles from total strangers every time I wear my plaid Bermuda shorts that my aunt gave me back in 1973.

Neckwear – This is the area of clothing which represents the greatest difference between summertime and the other seasons. The recommended neckwear(s) in the summertime generally fall into three categories: 1) Straps, such as sunglasses, guitars, or beverage holders; 2) Hawaiian leis, to match the highly-recommended aloha shirts; and 3) Bibs… very helpful when slurping up the BBQ which should be consumed at least five days a week during the summer months.

Neckwear which is NOT recommended during summertime is: 1) necktie (ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha… as if I even OWN one!); and, 2) jewelry, like gold chains, etc. This ain’t Jersey, you know.

Accessories – The Stylish Southern Male’s wardrobe can be completed with a few well-thought-out accessories: straw hat, sunglasses, and a white stripe where your wristwatch once was. It’s summertime! Who needs to know what time it is?

To select the appropriate straw hat, you’ll want to factor in the angle you expect your head to lay on your hammock, which is, after all, the most important pastime of a good summer day.

Your shades, on the other hand, say much about your personality… about “who you are” as person. (Mine, for instance, reveal that I am a confirmed cheapo who likes to shop at dollar stores and consignment shops.)

Well, that should cover the fashion basics, and allow you to head out into the summer sunshine stylin’ and profilin’!!!

There is, of course, much, much more I could tell you about fashion, but it will just have to wait until next week, when our fashion topics will be: “Tattoos for Great-Grandparents”; “Piercings After 50”; and “Elastic Waistbands: Not Just for Formal Wear Anymore!”

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