The senior jumpsuiter

As I climbed the stairs from out of the Hollywood and Vine Red Line station this morning, I found myself walking behind a doddering old museum piece. It was a 40-something-year-old original mint piece of happening, of hip, of 70s high style. He was old and decrepit now. I wondered what kind of pose he struck during his heyday back in 1973? Who knows, but whatever it was, I’m sure it bore little resemblance to the shuffling, meandering senior with a piece of paper in his hands as he ascended into the hot shiny fashionable air of Hollywood outside the W Hotel on a Wednesday morning.

In his mint condition tan jumpsuit.

The old man was wearing a jumpsuit! Circa 1970-whatever the hell it was. He was tall and thin and the jumpsuit was a very light cream-colored fashion throwback fiasco. It looked something like this photo I found over on retronaut.

I’ll give the old guy this: he didn’t appear to have gained any weight since he was tearing up the disco floor with John Travolta during the Nixon/Carter era. But I think it’s safe to say that his 2012 movements were much stiffer and less fluid than they were 45 years ago.

And who the hell wears clothes that are 40 years old? Forget that. Who still owns 40-year-old clothes that look as if they were dug out of a time capsule last week? The senior’s jumpsuit was immaculate and pressed. As if it had never been worn! The old man was retro styling. He could barely walk straight. He kept veering to one side like an old dog with brain damage and his skinny legs seemed lost in the jumpsuit’s legs. Watching him walk out of the Red Line station was like watching someone maneuver shakily on stilts made of plywood. He looked like he would topple over any second. If he did, what a sight that would have been as he went down while that jumpsuit flailed about fearfully with those long legs batting about like cockroach antennae. Who would get to touch his relic threads in an effort to assist? Could a straight face be kept? Many times I am tempted to take photos or video with my fancy Ipod Touch to adorn these posts, but I refuse. That is cheap visual whoredom. It is lazy in such a modern fashion. I prefer to describe and let people unleash their imagination. Let me just say that I saw this old man in a 1970’s vintage jumpsuit, that he was skinny and the jumpsuit was equally skinny and he was wearing dress shoes that were the exact same color as the jumpsuit! He had a distressing monochromatic Vietnam Era look. He was so weathered. Oh the day when he was young and dashing and tore up the dance floor over Tequila Sunrises. Long gone. Now a skeletal reminder of a bygone fashion.

I have known, and know of some, people who, though not as shamelessly outdated as jumpsuit senior, still appear to desperately grasp some old styles from their better days which they will not let go. I see this a lot in people my age who refuse to vacate the excruciatingly forgettable 1980’s fashion trends. They will not let the high waistbands or the Reeboks die a natural death. Nope, they persist in Frankenstein-ing the horrors of fashion past. Rise from the dead, fearsome fashion.

Hey look, I’m no fashion plate. Nowhere close. I can’t even pretend to be anything of the sort, but you will not see me wearing my 1989 acid-washed, mega-tapered jeans or lunatic day-glow t-shirt (mainly because I got rid of those clothes ages ago). I have some concept of what was trendy in the past because that is most likely the least classic look, the one which will cave in to the horrors of time’s verdict. Most trendy flashes in the pan styles are the antithesis to the “classic” look and are so peculiar and oddball as to not be timeless at all. In fact, many of these styles will date you if you persist in wearing them. Like a jumpsuit.

Aw hell, for that matter, you won’t see me wearing baggy jeans which were the rage just 5-10 years ago. I hate baggy jeans but I wore them because, after all, I am super trendy. I hate baggy jeans, I can’t believe I had so many pairs socked away in my closet. Baggy jeans are not a good look for short guys. That was a style that needed to die quickly, and thankfully, it did. I like the current style of “skinny” fashion. Men’s pants are sleeker and thin which is fine by me. I bought a great pair of slim jeans from the Gap a couple of months ago. These are my favorite jeans now. Only poor dudes in the hood wear baggy jeans now, because they are so cheap. Slim fitting crap is expensive now. Drive through the barrio, you’ll see a lot of archaic baggy jeans. In 5 years, maybe baggy will be back. Let’s hope not. When the next fashion trend hits, you better bet I will be riding that wave along with the other sheep because that is how I roll! I’ll tell you one thing. I will not be wearing Nike Air high tops or a feathered hairstyle when I’m 70. I refuse to be comic fodder for all the blog dorks to fawn over!

  • Pingback: More male jumpsuits in the news! (and on Social Extinction…) | Social Extinction()

  • Amy
    • Gay State Girl

      Can Bay City ever acquire the nickname?

      • David

        Bay City is in Michigan, isn’t it?

        SOUTH BEND – Some of you were very concerned early Thursday after an online radiation company reported readings that radiation levels were at a catastrophic level in South Bend.

        It turns out Radiation Network’s reading was a mistake, thanks to an equipment malfunction.

        Tim Flanegin, owner of MineraLab, the company that runs Radiation Network, said it was a false alarm.

        “My apologies to all. I have no idea what caused this. The alert level reading (Wednesday) evening appears to be a false alert from an equipment malfunction,” said Flanegin. “We use some form of radiation, almost everyday. We count on it for medicine, the sciences, communication and cooking.”

        Too much, though, is a bad thing. In fact – it’s dangerous.

        Radiation Network, which keeps an eye on counts across the country, issued a reading that radiation levels here were at a catastrophic level.

        That got people’s attention.

        “After that first call, another woman called, saying that she lives in Texas, she tracks it,” said WSBT News Producer Ashley Henderson. “She’s wondering what’s going on there.”

        Nearly a dozen people called and emailed Henderson. Most of them were worried.

        “I’m really the only person here doing the show and there’s not a lot I can do to figure this out,” said Henderson. “He (the caller) said you can’t wait that long – this is an emergency. You can’t wait to see what’s going on.”

        Turns out, it was all a mistake, and the Fact Finder team knows why.

        We called the Environmental Protection Agency and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. People there told us there’s no indication from their inspectors that there has been a radiation release. Nothing appears out of the ordinary. A spokesperson from the EPA told us Radiation Network’s information does not feature EPA data. All of their readings came back normal.

        • South Bend is where Notre Dame is. The radiation is just the end-of-the-year parties going on and the after effects.

        • Gay State Girl

          The BCR were British though weren’t they?

          Bay City is in rural Michigan. It is safe to say that we can never call it “Gay City” but it is the birth place of The Queen of Pop.

          • Amy

            They were SCOTTISH!

          • Amy

            Whoops, I “raised my voice.” It’s completely illogical of me to bristle at confusing Scotsmen with other sorts of Brits. It’s not as if I don’t have both Scottish and English ancestry, but for whatever reason the Scots retain a stubborn ethnic pride that sticks to you for centuries. I know what all of our tartans look like and have been to a number of those “Celtic Games” (you know, kilts and caber tosses). I have yet to try haggis though.

            The Bay City Rollers were Edinburgh’s answer to Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garrett, etc., except they didn’t look like girls, they wore plaid, and the music didn’t suck as much.

          • Gay State Girl

            I was referring to the material girl. I didn’t forsee that reaction.

          • Amy

            I was actually laughing as I typed, even if using caps is like shouting.

            I’m reminded of when a friend of the family said to my sister and I “what did you say that side of the family was…Navaho?” and both of us shouted at the same time “CHEROKEE!” because for some reason confusing the two rubbed us the wrong way. Then we looked at each other and laughed.

            The band actually *was* named after Bay City, Michigan–the story goes that they were trying to come up with a name and stuck a pin in a map.

    • David


  • OK, I did think of one good thing from the 70s.
    I mean, I have written it before, but today there would never be an “All In The Family” of “Sanford And Son” or “The Jeffersons”. And one of my alltime favorite crime dramas, “The Rockford Files”.
    But everything else can go on the ashheap. Especially the Mansuit or whatever it is called.

  • HA! Amy and I posted our first comments at the same time. Kind of, no it is, freaky.
    I was thinking however about your super trendy comment.
    So do you think that it is now trendy to be anti-establishment?
    Are you not just following a trend among many that makes one “cool” and trendy?
    I don’t know. Just trying to figure this startling admission out.

    • David

      No admission, only irony. I am aware of trendy shit, doesn’t mean I subscribe to it.

      • “I hate baggy jeans but I wore them because, after all, I am super trendy.”
        This is what I mean by admission. You are the one who rails against consumerist culture. But the dark reality is, you are as much a part of it as all of us. So, you DO “subscribe” to this aspect of trendiness. Fine by me because I do not reject consumer culture at all. I embrace it in my own way.
        I am just giving you a hard time about your new-found anti-establishment way. Because it is trendy after all!

        • David

          Hahaha, I am not super trendy. I am a clown, a goof who used to believe he could fit in and cared to. I’m a socially maladjusted dork. Just because I know what people are wearing does not mean I’m “cool.”

          • Maybe your one of those guys that reads gossip and fashion mags! HA! HA! LOL!
            It is quite OK to be “super trendy”.
            It is your right as an American to be such. Just don’t fight it. Welcome it. Like misery. Welcome that you are just another cog in the consumer-driven wheel. You are contributing to the economy. It’s cool. I am all for that. Just calm down that I called ye out on it.
            Maybe one day I can learn something from your consumerist, clothes-hog driven ways! LOL!

          • David

            I don’t deny that. I buy so much electronic shit it’s not even funny. I just bought a 32 GB Ipod Touch last week. My extravagant purchases are no secret around here :) I’m just not trendy.

          • Ahh, but your electronic purchases are trendy in electronic geekdom!
            Again, we all channel our consumerism in different ways.
            Some like to spend it on the latest fashion trend.
            Some like to spend it on the latest electronic trend.
            Some like to spend it on cars.
            Some like to spend it going to entertainment. Me, sports events (hmm, we should get together for a Dodger game), movies (matinees and only if Mrs & I can agree) and concerts.
            Some like to spend it on travel. That is probably where most of our money ends up.
            There is nothing wrong with consumerism. There is nothing wrong with being trendy. There is nothing wrong in admitting it ;-)!

  • “I will not be wearing Nike Air high tops or a feathered hairstyle when I’m 70.”
    There are two reasons the hairstyle won’t happen.
    One, and it is a possibility, is that you won’t have much hair when you are 70.
    Two, and current, is one cannot feather Brillohair.
    Hmm, this is why the 1970s were a disaster. Not just the lack of fashion, but well everything.
    I would also be impressed seeing a dude in a ‘leisure’ suit today. I am sure they can be found at a Goodwill store. For a costume party.
    But seriously, the 70s were just as awful as anything.
    BTW, you, Mexihermit, that eschew the modern world are super trendy? Why? Is that not a part of the disease that you believe has taken over? Is not your trendyism part of the consumerist culture that you have decried in many a post here? You can’t be super trendy and NOT be a consumerist.
    But ye are correct on one thing.
    Ye are NOT a fashion plate! LOL!

    • David

      I’m going to start an internet meme based on your photo. Call it “Literalist Mark.” I think it will be great.

      • Huh, I KNOW you won’t be doing any of that by the time you are 70. Hell, you’ll be lucky to make it to 69 ;-)! I just wanted to mock you once again. Hey, I get all the mocking I need right here.

    • Gay State Girl

      In twenty years, there will be lots of old people with tattoos and piercings.

      • David

        Tattoos age terribly.

        • On this we agree. I just do not think these people who get tatted out at what, 20, realize what they will REALLY look like when they hit about our age. And they gain weight, etc, etc. All I can say is I agree they age terribly and BLEECH!

  • Amy

    That jumpsuit might go for a bundle on eBay or in some chichi vintage clothing shop!