30 June 2011

Playground Attire

It can be tough to maintain a certain modicum of style when much of your day is spent chasing small children. This becomes exponentially so when it's hot and a large part of that day is spent outside in parks and playgrounds. I'll admit that comfort and ease of mobility are of the essence in these situations, and it's silly to wear a tie to push kids in swings and play "monster" at the play structure, but I'll be damned if I'm going out in a t-shirt.
A madras shirt like this one becomes a favorite in those situations. Real madras, by Ralph Lauren, acquired for one dollar awhile back. Don't say it, I know all about the extreme pattern mis-match of the pocket, but I'm sure that was done purposefully. It adds to the extreme casual vibe of the shirt. Lands' End "legacy chino" shorts with a 9 inch inseam are a great cheap commodity this time of year. I recently bought two pair for $25 each, one in "soft butter" and the other in "seagrass green". Truth be told, my current pair of "Nantucket Reds" are actually legacy chinos in "vintage brick" and I love those too.
Don't forget that madras is a particular type of cloth, not just a term for plaid Summer stuff. The real deal is weightless and gauze-like, with slubby imperfections throughout, and nothing wears better on a hot day. The fact that this example is rendered in a large scale plaid in purple, yellow and red is a bonus.
Sperry Topsiders have long been the shoe of choice with shorts. But with my current pair in tatters, brown suede driving mocs have taken that spot. These shoes are like walking around in slippers, only better, because they're Italian suede loafers. At $5.49, they are far from too precious for a trip to the playground. Someday they'll look great with less-than-blazing-white ankles. I'm working on that, but for now, this is what we have to work with.

Taking care of kids is a messy business, but it's also lots of fun. Sure you want to be comfortable, but there's no reason that style and comfort can't live together. In truth, it doesn't take much more effort to look well than it does to "just throw on a t-shirt".

p.s. some of you may have noticed that I took down my Facebook page last week. Today it's back up. I admit to being a fuddy-duddy when it comes to Facebook, and it's uses and usefulness continue to evade me. And though I don't much care for the way it made feel as though I could physically see my privacy packing its bags and leaving in a taxi, I've come to realize that it's extremely difficult to run an online business these days without it. So I'm back. To all of you who "like" me or "fanned me up" (is that the correct expression?) my sincere thanks. Please tell all of your "friends".

20 comments:

PYT said...

Affirmative.

Yankee-Whisky-Papa said...

I love the playground in my neighborhood. All the nannies split off into gossip groups designated by language, and the parents all stare down at something useless on their phones. That leaves me with about 40 kids (in addition to my own) to push on swings and to pick up off the ground when they fall from the varying equipment. Sometimes another dad will join in, or a particularly annoying hovering mother, but it's usually just me. That's why I can only wear boat shoes or something with non-slip soles because of the climbing and running, etc. The shirt and shorts you picture exactly my tune as well... just remember to take everything out of your pockets before you hang upside down from the monkey-bars.

Brad said...

Have always loved your style and your shopping savvy, but the tattoos just make it even better. Love reading your blog. Keep up with awesome work!

James & Amy said...

Nice post. I've got "t-shirt" friends, but I've felt for a while now that a bit more style couldn't hurt. Facebook has made me wonder about privacy a bit as well; especially since it's looking like they save absolutely everything that you write.

Anonymous said...

Dig the fit, but wouldnt wear for playtime @ the park, tennis shoes and tshirt @ the park..I play hard with my son!!!

Jho78 said...

I don't understand why people think they can't "play hard" in a shirt with buttons in it.

Giuseppe said...

Personally, I tend to play it to the hilt dressed like this, which is why I'm constantly in need of new casualwear.

Baseball unifroms have buttons on them, and the shirts are tucked in to the pants.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, tattoos and plaid are a little too busy together for my taste. Otherwise, I admire your style and attitude toward thrifting.

Anonymous said...

c'mon folks lets be real, a madras shirt and a baseball shirt are two totally different animals, if i dive and slide in a baseball shirt im all good, if i do it in a madras, im liable to get a "friction hole" in the shirt. Im just sayin.

Anonymous said...

Dude, seriously, get some sun on your legs.

Giuseppe said...

I don't play baseball, which is why I don't wear baseballl shirts

The stuff that a 4 and a 2 year old get up to in the playground doesn't ever require a slide into third base.

Jho78 said...

I spend a great deal of time rolling around on the floor with a 3 year old and two one and a half year olds and have yet to wear holes in any of my clothes, even my jeans.

RulingPart said...

"Dude, get some sun on your legs."

Pasty white legs are an Anglophiliac's bread and butter, my good man. It was pasty white legs that won Britain an empire. That and modern firearms. And they eventually lost the empire... Still! If you've come to this blog expecting tan, shaved legs then kindly pack up your Ed Hardy licensed toys and shove off!

Show me a pair of deliberately tanned legs and I'll show you a guy who subscribes to "Maxim" and thinks that things are "legit." This sort of fellow doesn't "wear" things, he "rocks" them. He also uses the word "dude" without irony. There is a decent chance that he has, at least once, posed for a picture which features him pulling up his t-shirt with one hand and pointing at his abs with the other.

Here's a blog which might be more to your liking:

http://hotchickswithdouchebags.com/

Plenty of tanned legs there, friend.

Peace (picture me kissing my index and middle figners and then holding them up in your direction... I'm not fluent in bro-speak but I think that's how it's done).

Argentée (Oh Jolie Laide) said...

I don't know what led me here but I'm enjoying the heck out of your blog. I'm on my own quest to find the female version of clothes that look pretty but hold up to a rousing game of Monster on the playground. And I must chime in that there is never anything wrong with tattoos and plaid.

Kensington said...

@RulingPart

Hear! Hear!

Thanks for saying what had to be said.

ADG said...

Damn. I thought my ankles were pasty.

Anonymous said...

Looks great!
I love this blog, especially during the summer!
lol @ RulingPart.. wow..

Giuseppe said...

ADG,

a Southern boy like you will never out-pasty a Northerner. Mine are ankles that know Winter well, but have only a passing acquaintance with Summer.

Anglo-American said...

@Anonymous who addresses people as "Dude":

More to your taste?

http://onthestreetofflorence.blogspot.com/2011/07/summer-gladiator.html

superchick said...

hey beppe can you find me a seersucker in 46 chest regular sky blue white, will send bucks