Sunday, 3 June 2012

#272: Retirees Who Dress Alike

When I first started writing this blog, I posted an item about things I would never do with my retired husband.  The list included such activities as looking for lost golf balls, using a metal detector for fun and profit, and bowling in matching shirts.

I should have included wearing matching anything.  Anything at all.  My daughter Jenny reminded me of this oversight when she sent a link about a couple who have worn identical clothing for 35 years.  True, they started to dress alike to promote their florist business, but now they coordinate their custom-made outfits for every public outing. 

Joey Schwanke and her husband Mel attribute their long and happy marriage to their penchant for matching clothes.

What must it be like to be married to someone who would embrace this particular kind of togetherness?  I can’t imagine.

I recall trying to modify Bruce’s “look” (if he could be said to have one) about 40 years ago.  Fashion was undergoing a seismic shift in 1970 and I attempted to push him ever so slightly in the direction of wide-collared, coloured shirts and patterned scarves. Maybe a belted vest and flared pants?  Bruce explained, ever so logically, that even if he purchased such an outfit, it would be the only remotely fashionable thing in his closet.  If he went out wearing such garb, he would feel as if he were wearing a costume. 

And that was that.  He went happily back to beige.

Whatever fashion influence I have had with my husband over the years is reflected now in a closet full of blue shirts, mostly button-down oxford cloth.  So we could dress alike.  It wouldn't take much effort on my part (and I would be the one who had to adapt), but why would I?  The point of matching outfits is to say to the world “We’re a fun couple!  We like to do goofy stuff”. In button-down matching blue tops, we would proclaim “We’re as predictable as the six-o’clock news. We like to do geeky stuff”.  Either that or we’d both look like we had McJobs.
Bruce and I could totally pull this off--but we won't.

I wonder if Jenny thought that her father and I might suddenly splash out in matching Hawaiian shirts just because we were both retired?

I don’t think she needs to worry. In our closet, individuality rules.


  1. I am trying to imagine you two in matching, coordinated clothes and I just can't.

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