I think that I pissed off some people yesterday. Of course, for folks who come into contact with me, this is not something rare or new.
I need a new suit. I got too fat to wear my older ones (and they were old and dying anyway) and was down to just two tweed sportcoats. Since winter is approaching, I wanted at least one new suit now for church, weddings, funerals, and just looking studely in general.
Well, I'm very particular in what I like and what I wear. This becomes apparent in my desires for a suit.
My first stop was Men's Wearhouse. I've seen their commercials and locations, but have never really been to one. They have a location close to where I pick my son up from school, so I stopped by.
I walked in the door and the first words I said, after greeting the sales lady, were: "I need a new suit. I will not wear anything that looks preppy. I also do not wear those faggoty assed pleated pants or any vests. I'd also prefer a Western cut if you have those available. The suit also needs to be solid color and dark brown."
Maybe I should state first off that I walked in wearing a pair of black Wrangler slacks, black Tony Lama boots, and a maroon Western style shirt with an Indian print. I wasn't wearing a Stetson, but "cowboy" was obvious.
This Men's Wearhouse was a giant location with thousands of coats, pants, shirts, and vests. My requirements, however, were just a little too hard. They had a grand total of one suit in the location that came somewhat close to my requirements. It was solid, dark brown, no pleats, not preppy, and very conservative. It was not a Western cut, but I could live with it.
The price, however, was a killer. It was $519.99 with only one pair of pants and alterations were extra. The sales girl's attitude also fell into the "take it or not, I really don't care either way."
Needless to say, I left.
I picked up my son and we were off "shopping" as he is a growing boy and needed a new suit also.
Next stop was the mall and J.C. Penney. I've probably bought 80% of all the suits I've owned over the years from the "Penney Collection" (and most of them have been Haggar). I was confident in my search.
Well, I went into the suit department with my son and he was in preppy heaven. I wasn't.
They had lots of black solid colors and black pinstripes and black patterned stuff. Everything had pleats except for one set of black pinstripe suits (and those of us who ain't Damned Yankees don't wear pinstripes!). They had nothing in solid navy blue and nothing in dark brown (though they did have a few tweed and tan sportcoats).
I waited while my son happily tried on clothes (we've finally graduated out of the boy's section and were trying on men's suits for the first time and recognizing that there was some variety).
In all of the time we were there, no salesperson ever came near us. I asked my son if he found anything he really loved or if he minded looking around the mall. He said that we could look around a little more, but he did have some stuff he liked (I think he wanted to check out what else was available in other places).
The next stop in the mall was Dillards. We went straight to the men's wear section and were greeting by Bruce Limpwrist in his flaming preppy outfit ("clothing" would not describe him and I must say "outfit").
I described what I wanted while my son started shopping on his own. I was told that I would be out of luck in his location as everything had pleats and that the only solid color I might find would be an occasional black, as "browns and solids are not in fashion right now."
I asked the fairy, "Does it look like I care one bit about fashion? I want a solid brown suit, though I will settle for solid Navy Blue."
The queer actually turned his nose up at me, rolled his eyes, and asked my son if he could be helped. Billy had seen the prices of the suits in his size, however, and knew that I was not paying a minimum of $350 for a suit for a growing teenager who would probably only wear it for one year.
Do you remember when malls used to have clothing stores that actually catered to someone besides teenage girls and their preppy boyfriends? I mean, that segment of the population should have their fair percentage of mall stores, but there should also be a few with men's clothing like there were in the old days. Right?
I think that with the exception of Victoria's Secret, every other clothing location in that mall was for teens. We couldn't look for a suit for my son in them, however, as they only sold "stylish clothing."
We walked all the way to the other end of the mall and tried Sears. You used to be able to buy anything at Sears. You could get a new sprinkler for your yard, a new chain for the garage door opener, a sack of feed, and whatever clothing you or your Mrs. needed (remember the commercials for "the softer side of Sears"?).
Well, they still have that softer side, but it doesn't include suits. In fact, they had a grand total of seven sportcoats. They were all made by "Docker's" (not the brand you trust for the professional, sophisticated look) and none of them were in either of our sizes anyway.
I live in a small city. Men's Wearhouse and the mall exhausted our opportunities (unless we go and look at Goodwill or another thrift store).
I guess that next week, we drive the 45 miles to El Paso, Texas and see what is available. In a metro area of over two million people, someone should surely have a dark brown suit (solid color, no pleats, not preppy, and possibly Western cut) in my size.