Sunday, March 13, 2016

Bad Genes vs. Bad Jeans

There are two guys at my gym, both in the Social Security age range, who came into the gym a few minutes apart last Friday wearing jeans. The difference between the two really struck me, as does the fact that so many guys of any age, but especially those over 50, are so clueless about clothes.

One of the gym guys never works his legs, which for an old guy is crazy. He has a decent upper body for his age, but is shriveled from the waist down, with a paunch that proves he doesn’t work his abs either, and he has no ass whatsoever. He was wearing ill-fitting thin droopy dad jeans which greatly accentuated his overall frail appearance.

The other guy looks like he’s been hitting the gym all his life; on leg day he goes at it heavy for well over an hour, going from leg machine to machine with a minimum of rest between sets. He walked into the gym wearing the classic Levi’s 501s, a style well over 100 years old and still the world favorite. He looked amazing because he filled up his jeans - his thighs and buttocks are better developed than most guys half his age, and dressed in a roomy but well-fitting polo shirt, his 501s, and boat shoes with no socks, he attracted a lot of admiring eyes. Also, because he works his legs and has impressive muscle, he WALKS like a young guy, while the other guy SHUFFLES along like he's ready to topple over at any minute.

It has only been in recent years that men’s fashion media has made the obvious point that clothes look a hell of a lot better on guys who are in shape, no matter their age. But even more so for older guys who work hard to build muscle, this means that they will be treated more respectfully in all kinds of social situations — in restaurants, the DMV, at the airport, etc.

People who don’t give a damn about how they look are sending the world a very negative message, and then they want to complain about being disregarded, or “invisible.” In the computer age, with endless blogs and websites to instruct and inspire, there’s no excuse for not searching online for role models. Although when it comes to our looks we might be tempted to blame bad genes, there’s no excuse for bad jeans. Lose the belly and go try on some 501s at Sears. 

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