Dressing down: “When the going gets tough, the tough shop the hardware aisle.”

My fashion sense is officially vindicated by the New York Times. In an article today, the Times declares that the classic utilitarian clothing of the past — Woolrich, Barbour, Topsider, Carhartt, Filson — is back in fashion as we slip into the Great Depression Redux.

Hell, right now I’m wearing:

  1. A pair of Carhartt carpenter pants picked up for $29 at Sears.
  2. A Filson wool shirt that cost over $100 and has to be dry cleaned, but is something that my grandchildren will fight over. 
  3. A Filson wool vest that looks like it was ripped off from Elmer Fudd (red and black checks) that was a gift from my pals at Lenovo.
  4. A pair of Sperry Topsiders

As Cousin Pete put it best — as I grow older and become known in the village as “Old Man Churbuck,” I need to declare whether I am going to go all green or khaki in my usual uniform of Dickies. There’s a certain Clamhead sartorial statement that involves Dickies, a white web/brass buckle belt, and baseball hat that is indicative of guys who work at the boatyard or drive the harbor launch. I’ve gone khaki big time. Welcome to the 1920s.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “Dressing down: “When the going gets tough, the tough shop the hardware aisle.””

  1. I am a big ass crack displayer — something in the “Churbutt” genetic make up and epidemic among Cotuit Skiff sailors who learn to moon the world while hiking out to windward.

  2. Please please please tell me that when you go out to walk the dog you wear a hat with ear flaps.

  3. Lisa’s right: i demand a recreation of Walter Matthau’s (or Jack Lemmon’s, i’m not greedy) outfit from Grumpy Old Men.

    preferably, documented with pictures, but whatever works.

  4. A true clamhead never leaves the house without a windbreaker … there may be an old hy-line windbreaker up in the swamp.

  5. You’ve got to start working on your lurch so when you’re stalking down Main St you scare the kids right good. Sounds like the knee’s got you halfway there.

  6. I own a hat with major ear flaps. A Grunden commercial fisherman’s thing that is wicked warm and guaranteed to cause passing motorists to say, “What a freak.”

    I may need to brand out into International Orange. There’s a lady in the next town that goes for a walk wearing a day glo traffic vest. That’s a fashion statement in my book. Add in hip boots and the picture is complete.

  7. Start wearing your Reel-time thong outside your Carhartts & walk around w/ your “Ouchy the Clown’ coffee mug & the soccer moms @ Cape Cod Academy will go insane as you patrol the sidelines hoarsely exhorting Fisher, who will pretend he doesn’t know you! Giddyap!

  8. So you think that your grandchildren will fight over a wool shirt that smells like clams and has fish blood on it? Is that a prediction on the economy’s future or how much love you think you will engender in the little unborn darlings?

  9. Please tell my you also wear the top of the calf rubber manure boots as well. Extra points if you tuck the pants in. Grand prize if the manure boots actually have some of their namesake plastered on them…or a barnacle…

  10. I think Cotuit is the “Strage Land” Heinlein referenced. but Churbuck is a true Water Brother and walks free, like a natural man.


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