Everyone - meet Ben. He's a 20-something software engineer whose uniform generally consists of a punny humor tee and the same trusty pair of jeans that he's been buying from the same store for the last 15 years.
A few months ago, Ben's girlfriend asked me to go clothes shopping with him. I didn't think much of it at first, but when she brought it up again I knew that she was serious. I'd never gone shopping solely to help someone else clothe themselves, so I wasn't sure exactly what I'd be doing. But I thought, what the heck, it sounded like fun!
We hit up Nordstrom Rack
on Saturday afternoon. Ben told me he wanted to upgrade his look, and on his list were shirts (casual, going out and formal/dressy), plus a good pair of jeans. Yup. This was definitely going to be fun.
We took over a dressing room while I kept pulling things off the racks and made him try them on. The jeans were surprisingly easy to find - Rock and Republic had a great pair of straight jeans that fit Ben like a glove. The shirts took more time, but we eventually found a sweet spot. Ben likes interesting patterns, and having an assortment of t-shirts has made him open to colors. The key with the shirts: not giving up after the initial fit didn't work. We made friends with the in-house tailor and had him pin the shirts a bit. We looked at shirts with darts and shirts that took the seam in altogether and...voila! Shirts that fit color, pattern, and cut criteria, all in one!
My personal favorite out of the shirts Ben bought that day is the bright green-and-black checkered short sleeve shirt from Ben Sherman
. He's even got a skinny black tie to go with it, and black Jack Purcell
Converse kicks to boot.
* I think I may shed a sartorial tear or two
. And high-five this guy who's embracing his look
instead saying that shopping is "girly" or "too much work" or whatever. So to Ben (and guys like Ben), way to go! And if and of you readers ever want to go out shopping - just say the word and Wearability will be there!
Here's more detail on the pics above:
- 'Before' pic: Ben in his t-shirt and jeans look. He was once told he looked like the turtle on the shirt, and that's why he's sad.
- Green-and-black checkered short sleeve shirt - Ben Sherman. Dark blue straight fit jeans - Rock and Republic.
- Rust shirt with blue floral - Hugo Boss Orange Label.
- Grey textured long sleeve shirt with white cuffs and collar - Ben Sherman.
- Shirt in lavendar/grey plaid - Boss by Hugo Boss.