The women in our family always have fun teasing John about his fashion sense. I knew there was a problem when I first met him but it was part of his charm. The charm being, he is too busy enjoying his life to care about his clothes. That enthusiasm for life was very attractive to me. However, this is a man with beautiful blue eyes and dark hair and he was wearing a red orange jacket. A navy or very dark moss green jacket would have been more flattering. And then there were the high school prom pictures I saw of him in a brown tuxedo. It wasn’t even a dark, chocolate brown. It was a brick red brown. So, I knew when we were planning our wedding that
I would need to stay ahead of the game and make sure he chose a traditional black tuxedo or a classic ‘white sport coat’ before he could consider another color. He wanted to buy, not rent, because he wanted the challenge of fitting into his wedding tux for each and every anniversary that followed.
It’s not that I have high standards as far as current fashion or designer labels. Quite the opposite. However, I do want him to always look his best and, for me, it’s more about color choice than anything else. Dressing him has been very easy. He wears Levi 501s most every day of the year. They wear like iron and even though I complain about how distressed they look after about a month of John carrying wet, balled and burlapped root balls, one, two and three gallon plants, hundreds of nursery flats and hanging baskets, crawling around on the ground to check water lines, trapping raccoons, rats and possums, plus climbing trees and clearing out plumbing lines, they still hold their shape and look great on him. I have always wondered as the Levis have softened and faded in the wash, leaving brown and green stains on the upper legs, where does the green come from? Is it chlorophyll from grass stains or is a moss growing on the dirt embedded in the denim? As it turns out, whatever it is, it’s in demand. Who would have known that the twenty or so pairs of jeans he owns would become a family treasure? The Seattle Times ran an article about the very worn and distressed Levis Nordstrom is selling for $425; complete with brown and green stains! While I’ve always tried to have at least one pair of softened but not stained Levis for him to wear when he gives garden talks or we go to other important events, I noticed he wore the faded, stained and distressed Levis to our grandson, Michael’s graduation this past June.
I think he was proud of them. He also wore my favorite dark, mossy green, fourteen-dollar sport coat from a thrift shop in Spokane, along with a blue and white plaid shirt. He looked very handsome; not only because he still fits into his wedding tuxedo but because he was wearing some of his best colors. Now we can’t wait to see if he wears his black tuxedo jacket with a dark green V-neck undershirt and his best distressed Levis to our granddaughter Ellen’s garden wedding this fall. John is one classy Grandpa.