In high school, I played football and hung out with other football players who played skilled positions such as wide receiver, running back, and defensive back. We all had similar body types with broad shoulders, narrow waists and muscular thighs and butts. For many, that sounds good. Unfortunately for us, that also made buying and wearing Levi blue jeans a challenge. In high school, everyone wanted Levi jeans that fit well.
I tried a few approaches to overcoming this challenge. First, I would spend all day finding the “right” pair of jeans and then wash them just enough times to get a decent fit. At that point, you could never wash them again. Wearing a belt was a must. Second, I started wearing slacks from Britches of Georgetown, a now bankrupt men’s store that sold both casual wear and business attire. Third, during football weight training, I and the other skilled position players would sometimes try to avoid doing lower body lifting. We didn’t want our thighs to get bigger and make buying jeans even more challenging.
Clearly, this is the insane thinking of a teenager. Our bodies were god-like but we were stressed about wearing a popular brand of blue jeans. Also, as football players, we had a certain level of popularity that had nothing to do with our clothes. Today, as a dad of two young girls who would rather sing broadway musicals than toss the football (OK, they never want me to throw anything in their direction), I can almost imagine the body image challenges that they will have to overcome.
My oldest daughter likes to wear an Oakland Athletic hoodie which I think looks like crap. If she could, then she would wear that hoodie every day. After watching, I recognized that she is neither a big fan of the hoodie or the A’s. She is just trying to hide the parts of her which make her feel uncomfortable. When I made this observation (much later than I should have), I immediately went to the store and bought her a more fashionable vest. Over time, I’m going to place more UNIQLO and Under Armour vests in her wardrobe.
After college, I learned about a new brand of jeans made by designer Tom Hilfiger. For me and guys with similar body types, these jeans were a godsend. They fit and we could buy them and wear them right out of the store. Later I would also learn about Brooks Brothers suit separates. For a suit, the standard “drop,” difference between the chest and waist size, is six inches. So, any suit that guys like me would buy would require significant pants alteration until this Brooks Brothers line was launched. Recently, I met Conrad Simpson, founder/designer, UBI-IND (in the photo above). Conrad worked for Tom Hilfiger and continues to design jeans that fit me.
#imagematters #bodyimage #fasion