New Clothes

If you were a youngster growing up in the 70's, undoubtedly you know what a "Garanimal" is.

I can honestly say that I do not know the origins of the word "Garanimal" (and that link does little to fill it in for me, but I am sure someone will be quick to point it out to me). Those of you that are "a bit younger" than the rest of us, Garanimals was (and still is) a clothing line. Each pair of pants, shorts, skirts, shirts, and blouses in the line have a tag of an animal on them. There is the Monkey, Lion, Panda and Giraffe.

I was always under the impression that the premise behind the Garanimals line was that you could buy ALL your clothing with the same animal tag on it, and end up with a matching (better yet, a completely “mix and match”) wardrobe. That seems like the right premise, doesn't it?

I have been informed (by my wife) that I am wrong.

Read that paragraph again. This time read it a little closer.

Did you find where I was "wrong"?

You see, while it is true that the line was meant to help you put together matching sets of clothing, apparently Garanimals were NOT designed so that ALL your clothing will match and therefore you would have a “mix and match” wardrobe. It would seem that you can have multiple “Garanimals” in your wardrobe. In other words, you do not have to be a "monkey" – You can be a "monkey" today and a "lion" tomorrow, and a "giraffe" the following day.

Silly me.

Now, I do have to admit, this “multi-garanimal-wardrobe” does make sense when I think about it. I have items of clothing in my wardrobe now (albeit a very few); that I would not wear with certain other items. But let’s be honest with each other here – although not quite as “interesting”, wouldn’t life be easier if everything matched everything else (as far as clothing goes)? You could just open a drawer, grab a shirt, then open another drawer and grab some pants, and feel confident that you will look good, and your clothing will match!

I bet you are all asking where this is coming from… Let me explain a couple things about myself here.

#1 - I am a hobo.

My wife called me a hobo many years ago (many years before we were married) and I cannot deny it. I have considered designing a line of clothing, and calling it "Hobo" - it works on the premise of the "Garanimals" line, but it would be intended for the “fashionably challenged” adult men of the world (like myself). (Oh, and by the way – “Hobo” WOULD be a mix and match line of clothing - everything would match everything else.)

(Alas, after a quick Google check, I have discovered that Hobo is already a line of clothing, although not quite as I had envisioned.)

Clothing always has been, and continues to be a necessary evil in my life. As far back as I can remember I despised shopping (and especially for clothing). Perhaps that's why my original idea of what "Garanimal shopping" should be like has left an indelible mark on my psyche. It seems like it would make shopping so much easier! Pick an animal. Done.

#2 – My Fashion Background

I went to private schools (read: Wore Uniforms) my whole life. Private school uniforms are a “mix and match wardrobe”. I just grabbed any one of the blue pairs of pants, and put it one with any one of the white shirts, and voila! Dressed for the day! I now see why my parents had such a hard time getting me to remember to change out of my uniform after school. I had no idea what to put on instead.

Throughout my school age years (I would say up until 11th grade) my “non uniform” wardrobe came to me as gifts. At Christmas and my birthday I usually received some new article of clothing, or outfit of some sort. I rarely if ever went out to shop for more (nor did I ever ask for more clothing). I worked in a hardware store – so my uniform was jeans and tee shirt under my Brown (then Grey) “Coast to Coast Hardware” vest. Uniform to school (Private High School too…), and (after school) jeans and a tee shirt to work

My first real experience shopping for clothing came my senior year. I still remember it to this day. With the help of a “woman's touch” – (My friend Lisa - Many Things do not Fly - whom you may have heard me talk about before) I purchased more clothes than I ever remember buying at the same time. We picked out clothes that I would have never picked out on my own. White pants, a pink shirt, pastel stripes, shorts, even shoes! (Ok... Gimme a break… It was the 80’s) I remember feeling quite odd purchasing, and (at first) wearing them – but I got many compliments, so I got over the odd feeling.

This first shopping spree happened in 1987. I was still wearing most of those clothes when I meet my wife in 1990. Although I did “fill in” my wardrobe here and there over the next few years, most of the original shopping spree items were still in my wardrobe (but in pretty ratty condition) after getting married in 1993.

#3 – What do I wear?

Fast forward a few years, a couple of jobs, two or three children, about 80 lbs of “working-nights”, stress, and “sympathy baby weight” – and I am back to having hobo clothing again. Miss matched pieces here and there… Well, at least shirts…

My job provides me the luxury of being able to wear casual clothing to work (jeans and polo or button shirts, and tee shirts (without offensive slogans)) on the weekends. I don’t think I have worn anything but blue denim jeans to work in YEARS. At any given time, I usually have a stash of between 3 and 5 pairs of jeans that I just rotate around. Heck, they area even the exact same brand, style and size. If you had to guess, it would look like I wear the same pair of pants to work every single day of the year!

Oh, my wife has (over the years) helped me pick out items here and there. She all but begs me to update / replace my current lack of a wardrobe, but until just recently we have been a one income family. Clothing was even lower on my priority list than it ever has been.

Last week we went out for our anniversary. Alone, just the two of us, as in – "no children", as in - “that never happens”. Well we went out for dinner at the Roasted Pear in Burnsville. After a filling dinner, we walked the Burnsville Center to work off some of our dinner. Inside JC Penny’s they have a pretty nice “Big & Tall” (i.e. “me”. I am both big, and I am tall) department. Normally I do not even look in this department (as B & T clothing is “too expensive” for my "hobo" tastes). But the 50-75 percent off signs caught my eye, and I did actually pick through a rack or two.

What started out with one shirt that was marked down, from a markdown, from a markdown, from another mark down (A $1.97 shirt) then became a $1.97 shirt and a $6.97 shirt. My wife was all over these clearance racks finding all sorts of “outfits” for her “fashionably challenged hobo of a husband. (I think the thought of seeing me in ANYTHING except jeans was music to her ears (or in this case... eyes).

Well, about 90 minutes, an uncomfortable period of time in a un-air conditioned changing room (that involved several clothing changes) and the better part of $200.00 later, I walked out of JC Penny’s with a bag full of clothing. A bag that contained more clothing than I have purchased (at the same time) since I was in high school.

Now… (Checking to make sure my wife can not hear me) Don’t let my wife know this, but I kind of like my new clothes. I have only worn my blue denim jeans once since I got the new clothes. (Although due to a funeral for a close family friend, I have also had to wear my “Class-A’s” too… )

The only problem I am having with my new clothes is my inability to find out which Garanimal they are. Without my Garaniamls, how will I be able to differentiate which shirt goes with each pant, and which pant goes with each shirt?


  1. "The only problem I am having with my new clothes is my inability to find out which Garanimal they are. Without my Garaniamls, how will I be able to differentiate which shirt goes with each pant, and which pant goes with each shirt?"


    Leave that to our female co-workers I am sure one of them will let you know when a mistake has been made.
    Were there any denim shirts added?

  2. No, not one denim shirt. I already have three!

  3. Dave....

    I am commenting on a post that you wrote about your new clothes....

    They look nice!?

    What else is a guy supposed to say to another guy about his clothes?

    I am also glad you wear clothes!?



  4. I've given up trying to match my clothes and so has my better half. She got so frustrated, she said just wear whatever.
    She still buys my clothes to make sure I don't look completely insane.

  5. EXACTALY what my wife says...

    Even when I ask for help, she has gotten so frustrated over the years that her answer is always "Wear whatever".

  6. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA - Jeff said it, how much time had gone by when I noticed your new clothes the other day? It couldn't have been more than 2 minutes. I need to point out, I also complimented you for your matching ablilies, remember? "That shirt looks really nice with those pants and boots!"

  7. Yes, you were the first one to notice....

    My wife asked me who noticed and how long it would take.

    Two minutes is a stretch - it was more like 45 seconds.

    All the credit goes to my wife. Truthfully, the only shirt I picked out was the $1.97 shirt, and it could have said "Carter for President in '76" for all I cared.. Heck, it was only $1.97!


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