• Brian Gallagher

Kick in the Attire


Jennifer Wade (Mickey) and Christina Filippidis (Florence Unger) in The Odd Couple - Female Version opening February 7.

“I feel the need for tweed” – The Office, Season 5

So beautiful people, what’s in your closet? I only ask because I just recently went through my own and realized something about myself. I am not (nor have I ever been) a slave to fashion. I can’t say I have ever been described as dapper, debonair, stylish or smart (let’s leave that last one alone, shall we? I’m sure my dear compassionate editor has an opinion). Seriously though friends, now that I am coming up on the fourth anniversary of my retirement from the corporate world, I find that my wardrobe has not changed since 2015. It has dawned on me that for most of the years of my life I was dressed by someone else. Now that I am left once again to my own devices I feel like I am lost and out of my league when it comes to choosing apparel.

Until you reach your teen years, let’s face it, you are not even on the bench let alone in the game. It was whatever Mom pulled and tugged down over my head or up over my bottom until I was able to do it myself. Once I was able to be a ‘self-dresser’ I would still every morning hear the gentle reminder coming up from the kitchen – “did you remember to put on underwear?” “Are those socks clean?” What made things easier is that I always knew whose clothes to put on since they invariably had my name written on them. I always wondered why that was – no one ever came back knocking on our front door with tighty-whiteys in their hand saying, “found these buried in the sand at the park – must be his.”

In high school I pleaded and begged to wear the same things everyone else did – plaid shirt, jean jacket, jeans. Not GWG, Lee, Wrangler, Lois or Levi’s; heaven forbid they were too expensive. My mom would buy whatever was on sale at Miracle Mart or Woolworths, buy them two sizes too big and ‘take them in’ so they could be ‘let out’ and ‘let down’ as I grew. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Go ask your mother (the other Google). North Stars on your feet (if your family had money it was Adidas – not the fancy ones they have today, there were only white shoes with blue stripes until they added a green model – quite avant-garde…).

The corporate world was also like going back to living with mom. For years I wore polos, shirts, and jackets not always with my name on them (but sometimes they did or at least I wore a name tag – kind of like how Mom made sure I knew I was me but at least this time others could see it too) but they always had some company name on them. I had one suit that I got married in so that was my one smart purchase seeing as I could now get even more miles out of that item by wearing it at business, wedding, and funerary functions. And by getting one new tie a year at Christmas it ensured no one ever caught on that it was the same suit for 19 years.

But now with no one to dress me and no one to dress for it seems that I am back in no-man’s land left to my own devices (and by devices I mean sweatpants and T-shirts with various musical or bar logos on them). Thankfully though, every once in a while I will hear, “you’re not wearing that to go out in public are you?” and I sigh a sigh of relief knowing that someone is still keeping a watchful eye on me and correcting my fashion faux-pas.

Whatever your style good people, I hope you are out enjoying all the shows, events, happenings and festivals still going on around us in this beautiful winter wonderland. I do mean you of course; I am still firmly locked up in sweat-pant hibernation waiting for blessed spring!

Don’t forget – tonight (February 7) is the opening performance of The Odd Couple, Female Version by Neil Simon by Lakeshore Players Dorval. The show runs until Saturday, February 16 at Lakeside Academy, 5050 rue Sherbrooke, Lachine.

Also on February 7, Kafe Poe in the Faubourg de l’Île Shopping Centre in Pincourt, 101 Boulevard Cardinal Léger, is paying tribute to Black History