Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 12:24 PM
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#1 Son needs a suit. A suit that does not feature studs, bullets, pins, painted decorations or denim. A suit that doesn’t look as though it were painted on. A suit worn with a nice button-down shirt that hasn’t been “tightened” by hand with a contrasting color of dental floss. A suit that can be worn on formal occasions without his mother cringing. A real suit.

One wouldn’t think that would be a difficult item to procure…

Last Wednesday I was home sick and #1 Son was under orders to go downtown and find at least a jacket that could be worn last Thursday when we attended a friends wedding. He called me every 1/2 hour or so, each time from a different store. The conversations all went something like this:

#1 Son: I’m in [store name]. I’m not seeing anything I like that’s cheap.

Mom: Are you seeing anything you like that’s expensive? [note: he’s spending my money, not his]

#1 Son: Not really. I tried on a jacket that you would like but it was too big.

Mom: You do understand that a suit jacket fits differently?

#1 Son: Yeah, yeah… it was too big. I did see a casual jacket that I really liked and it’s not very expensive. It’s not really OK for the wedding, but can I get that?

Mom: No! Try a different store.

Lather, rinse, repeat through several stores. Finally:

#1 Son: I tried on a black suit jacket. I think it’s too big, but the lady says it looks good.

Mom: Buy it.

#1 Son: It’s kinda expensive.

Mom: Buy it!

#1 Son: I’m not sure it fits right.


And he did. And when we got it home it (1) was, of course, too big and didn’t really look very good and (2) still had the anti-theft ink doohickey which the clerk had forgotten to remove, and we didn’t have time to have removed before the wedding. So we made do on Thursday. He looked OK. Not formal, but not too punk.

Now we come to Mother’s Day. I insisted on finding a suit that fit and that he could stand to wear. I knew it would need to be tailored, and I wanted somewhere convenient to pick it up post-alteration. So we headed back to the west side to the Men’s Warehouse in Beaverton. Hey… you’ll like the way you look, right?

We wandered around the racks for awhile until a salesperson, let’s call him Napoleon, finally asked if he could help us. Yes, I said: Suit, shirts, shoes, socks, belt, tie. The works. Thus I signalled my willingness to spend a buck or two.

He showed us some suits in #1 Son’s size. Several jackets were tried on and discarded. Then a middle-aged couple walked into the store. Napoleon said, “just a minute I’ll be right back,” and immediately deserted us. It turned out that New Customer Guy wore a size that was on the same rack as #1 Son’s size. We were literally pushed aside so that Napoleon could show suits to New Customer Guy and Mrs. New Customer.

#1 Son had picked out a suit that he liked, so I suggested that he try the pants on while we waited to be helped again. On the way to the dressing room, another sales person, Tallman, said to go ahead and put the pants on and he’d call the tailor over.

The pants were tight. Really tight. Tallman thought they might be too tight to be successfully let out enough to be wearable. The next suit size up was too big. Tallman said that the only recourse was to by “suit separates.” They only offered one style of jacket and one style of pant. Napoleon could help us with that.

So we waited and waited while Napoleon finished up with New Customer Guy. Then Napoleon brought over the suit separates jacket. #1 Son hated it.

OK. I said. What about a separate jacket — one that’s not in a suit — and some nice contrasting slacks to go along with it? Napoleon led us back to the rack to show us jackets. In walked a couple with their teenage son Athlete Boy who needed a suit. And once again we were deserted by Napoleon.

Now… there were at least two other sales people — Tallman and another guy — standing around and not helping anybody. So I was beginning to feel a bit pissed off by the inattention, and I aimed a few snarky remarks in Napoleon’s general direction just loud enough so that he could hear them. Remarks like, “We seem to have become uninteresting for some reason. Too bad because I was planning on spending some money.”

#1 Son said “mom… I just don’t like any of these jackets. I’m not seeing myself in this style. I like the one suit.” OK. I said. Let’s talk to the tailor. We trooped back to the dressing room. Tallman started helping us again, but Athlete Boy went into a dressing room and Napoleon turned his attention back to us.

He was fairly attentive through the rest of the ordeal, although he did desert us a couple of times to help Athlete Boy. But he did come up with some cool shirt/tie combos and found some shoes that fit and that #1 Son liked. In the end, the suit pants could be let out just enough to fit, and we added another pair of contrasting slacks (slightly larger) just in case #1 Son gains a few pounds.

#1 Son looks great in this suit — great! — and it’s a very, very conservative suit. (yes, I’m surprised that was his choice)

At one point in the ordeal, #1 Son turned to me and said, “How do you stand to buy clothes for work if it’s always this frustrating?”

” It’s not usually this frustrating. I’ve never been invisible before when I had money to spend.”

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Stuff I Gotta Do

Follow The Leader shawl


entrelac wrap


Arabesque shawl


Jubjub Bird Socks


I Mog Di


Peacock Feather Shawl


Honeybee Stole


Irtfa'a Faroese Shawl




Fatigues henley sweater


Jade Sapphire Scarf


#1 Son's Blanket


Cotton Bag