CBS 2 Chicago wbbm7801059 670 The Score

Best Of Chicago

Clothes For The Awkward Male

February 2, 2012 2:00 PM

View Comments
(credit: us.topman.com)

(credit: us.topman.com)

Topshop/Topman

830 N. Michigan Avenue
Chicago, Il
(312) 280-6834

There’s nothing I hate more than shopping for clothes. Being the colorblind, style-less geek that I am, I’ve always depended on others to dress me. Not literally, I still put on my own pants in the morning, one leg at a time like a true American. I didn’t necessarily pick those pants out though, or, if I did, I had a lot of help.

Well, not anymore! Recently, I ventured out into the world of shopping all by my lonesome. I went to Topshop, a relatively new addition to Chicago, with the intention of dressing myself. Yes, like a full fledged grown-up.

pants Clothes For The Awkward Male

(credit: us.topshop.com)

What The Heck Are Chinos?

I think I may have previously heard whispering of these mystical “chinos” amongst groups of huddled, young peoples far better dressed than me. I didn’t know what the word meant though. Was it some sort of voodoo curse? Racial slur? A new indie rock band?

Pants. They’re pants.

My first mission in Topshop was to find a pair of pants I could wear at work that wouldn’t look too dorky if I happened to go out afterward without having to change. Eventually, I found chinos. They kind of looked like khakis at first, with a different shape to them. When you’re skinny as a stick like I am, anything that looks remotely baggy, looks extremely baggy. Dress pants always look weird on my chicken-legs. So chinos, with their thinner, straighter shape, seemed like a good idea.

I did notice that most of the pants here were labeled “skinny” or “thin” or some other adjective that’s synonymous. Skinny jeans and pants tend to make me feel awkward, so I bought chinos a size bigger in the waste than I usually would, which gave me a little extra room in the thighs. If you’re not the biggest fan of super tight pants, this might not be your first stop for jeans.

I hate spending any money on clothes, so was happy to find chinos in the sale section for $30. Cheaper is nice, but that’s not exactly breaking the bank.

plaid Clothes For The Awkward Male

(credit: us.topman.com)

Lumberjacks Wear Plaid

And therefore, plaid is manly. This must be the reason plaid shirts are so cool: skinny and plump losers alike want to be cool … like lumberjacks.

I’m a skinny loser who wants to be manlier, so I also picked up a decent looking plaid shirt while I was at Topshop. My intention here was to get something I could wear on a casual day at work, but also on the weekends. I think I accomplished that goal.

At $60 buckeroos, I think this may be the most I’ve ever spent on a shirt. Even dress shirts. (I’m really, really cheap.) And although I’ll never be certain of the colors on this shirt (again, I’m colorblind), I think I’ll be happy with this buy.

screen shot 2012 02 02 at 1 14 21 pm Clothes For The Awkward Male

(credit: us.topman.com)

Respectamable

That’s a word I just made up! It’s like respectable, except with more letters, and it’s meaningless. Maybe it’s a simile?

I did want to find a shirt that was a little more respectable for work though. Thankfully, I found this simple, light-blue, dress-like shirt in the sale section.

It’s nice and simple, which is what I like. You can’t screw up nice and simple, right? It’s also something that’ll go with plenty of my old clothes. My pairs of old dress pants and khakis I wear to work every day will all match this shirt. That makes it versatile, and versatile is great.

Plus, being in the sale section, it was on sale. $30 instead of $60!

So there you have it! We survived it! Our solo shopping trip! Yes, the whole ordeal was anxiety-ridden. Sure, the hip music, which I couldn’t name, playing over the speakers made me feel like I wasn’t cool. And yeah, I was paranoid the well-dressed employees were staring at me behind my back. And that super-cool looking guy in the bowtie? He was definitely judging me. But, you know, I don’t care. I don’t care what that guy or the employees or the pretentious music (especially) think of me. All I care about is clothes. I wanted some, I went to the store, I bought some.

Mission accomplished.

Now get out there and buy some of your own.

Mason Johnson, CBS Chicago
View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus