Sonny Fulks
Sonny Fulks
Managing Editor

Sonny Fulks is a graduate of Ohio State University where he pitched four varsity seasons for the Buckeyes from 1971 through 1974. He furthered his baseball experience as a minor league umpire for seven seasons, working for the Florida State League (A), the Southern League (AA), and the American Association (AAA). He has written for numerous websites, and for the past fourteen years has served as columnist and photo editor for The Gettysburg Magazine, published by the University of Nebraska Press, in Lincoln Nebraska. His interests include history, support for amateur baseball, the outdoors, and he has a music degree from Ohio State University.

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If you’re trying to buy some pants for Dad for the holidays, you might want to take the time and trouble to ask him before you do…if he wants to be fashionable, or just comfortable.  I have my own opinion.

It’s come to my attention this holiday season that people do notice what you wear – and that I’m a boring dresser.

But like most aging men, I’m a creature of habit in that regard;  and a creature of comfort.

Specifically, it’s been years since I’ve worn anything on a daily basis other than a pair of Wrangler jeans.  And since I’ve turned 60…it’s been years since I’ve worn anything with those Wrangler jeans other than a pair of Tony Lama boots.  They’re sturdy, they’re comfortable, and they’re trouble-free.  It’s what I am;  it’s what I wear.

But recently my kids, my associates, and even a couple of business friends have shared, “Have you ever thought wearing something different?  At least more fashionable jeans?”

More fashionable, I ask?  Why?

For years I’ve worn the same Wrangler boot-cut, stone-washed style – 47MWZSW – because they just feel good, fabric, cut, and fit.  I’m like the old Bret Favre commercial for Wrangler.  All I want is just real, comfortable jeans.  I don’t care about fashion.  But I’m finding that if you wear the same look long enough people do notice.

I was in a sales meeting recently with three friends in Columbus, all wearing button-down collar shirts and probably a Mens Wearhouse suit.  I’m sure they were liking the way they looked, to mimic that company’s corporate commercial.  And since I’ve known these guys for some time now, during the course of the afternoon one turned to me and asked, “How long has it been since you’ve worn a suit?”

“Three sizes ago,”  I shared, laughing.

“I thought that might be the case,”  he laughed.

And no apologies to style.  However, it has been offered to me that if you’re going to wear denim…why not dress it up a bit?

“As in how?”  I asked a family member.  Why try to dress up what’s good the way it is?

“Well, you could have some different stitching on the pockets, and accents on the seams?  Something that looks more like business casual than cattle farming.  Would you wear them if you got some for the holidays?”  they asked.

“Look at me,”  I told someone recently.  “Do I look like the kind of person who wants baubles and beads on my a–?”

“How about a different color – something different from just faded blue?”

“How ’bout a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue Label, instead?”  I countered.  “That’s the only blue that I’m willing to compromise.”

“You’re impossible.”  they said.

“No I’m not.  A fifth of LaPhroaig is also good,”  I say.  “It goes with everything.”

But this business of what you wear – and how you look – at age 65 it really doesn’t matter to me, anymore.  However, I concede that I do like shirts.  I like the look and comfort of Brooks Brothers cotton oxford, or flannels, or the Larry Mahan outdoors line that you can only find from Cavender’s, online.

But if you have to wear pants…well that’s another thing.  And regrettably, the style of jeans I like I can only get from the Cavender store in Plano, Texas.  “It’s not that popular, anymore,”  admits store manager Brad Yoakum.  “How much longer you thinkin’ ’bout livin’?”

Hmmmm.

But to the matter of what you get your own dad, or husband, or boy friend for the holidays?  If you haven’t noticed before now, you might want to ask, as to what he actually likes and wants to wear.  For years now I put out the message – no T-shirts, no underwear, and no jeans.  I know what I like, I’ll take care of it myself…and it’s going to take a helluva’ influence for me to change.

And if you’re willing to take my word for it, Dads, I’ll repeat it.  47MWZSW, Johnny Walker Blue, or a little ‘GEO’ if you think you might stink.  You can’t go wrong.

If it feels good…stick with it!

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