A great man once said, “You, me, bar, beers, buzzed, wings, shots, drunk, waitresses hot, football Cornell/Hosfstra, slaughter, then quick nap at my place and then we hit the tizzown.” That great man was Scranton’s own Andy Bernard, and that man relentlessly loves watching his alma mater play football while getting hammered, which is something I think everyone can get behind.
The downside of bars, beers, being buzzed, wings, shots, getting drunk, and naps is that having that sort of rotation in your daily routine is going to eventually take a toll on your already mushy body. If you’re one of the many men in the world who value leisure over weights and supplements, there’s a good chance that your body looks like a bag of milk come fall. Your tan wears off, the onslaught of grilled cheeseburgers from summer’s past settle in, and all of the sudden you’re in a whirlwind trying to figure out how to get back to normal (which is just having the body of a 37-year-old man, but still).
That’s where clothes come in. Obviously, you’re not going to work out, and dieting requires time and effort while completely infringing on living your best life. But with the help of a few staple pieces in your fall wardrobe, you can go from being overweight to unnoticeable.
You know what’s loaded with salt? French fries. You know what comes with every item on a bar menu? French fries. You know what causes your hungover face to get puffy because the salt is retaining all the water you’re pounding upon waking up? French fries.
All of the sudden, your face goes from acceptably okay to “can you take that photo again so I can stick my chin out and reduce the presence of my second chin?” Fat Face is a disease that’s plagued the hungover for years, and having more than the one chin you were born with is a dead giveaway that you either 1.) Have completely let yourself go or 2.) Drank enough pickleback shots the night before that the bar had to re-stock their Claussens the next morning.
Drape a scarf around your neck? The game’s done changed. While you run the risk of looking like Eurotrash, it’s better than being the guy getting screenshot while people wonder via text, “Does he just not care anymore?” You know you don’t have the stones to pull off a turtleneck, so you have to improvise and go with the next best neck-coverage.
“Vests are just jackets without sleeves,” the common man says. And he’s right. Vests are a delicate garment for delicate situations, and often times, they make less sense than trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. But vests are essential when you’re trying to cover up your disaster areas, also known as your love handles.
If it’s too warm outside, you don’t need a second layer. Too cold? You’re going to need something more substantial. But fall offers the balance that every man needs, and that balance can be classified as “being just cold enough outside to where you’ll spend most of your day in a bar watching football.” And considering most bars will maintain a steady temperature that hovers around 70 degrees, it’s the perfect temp to toss on a vest that screams, “I went out last night and am super puffy in this shirt, so I’m going to cover up my chest and love handles with this fabric draping over my core.” Even if you unzip that thing, you’re still covering what you need to cover while not overheating.
You’re too vest to be stressed, and that’s a thing of beauty.
Two words: Elastic. Waistband.
Autumn is a season in flux. One day, it’s 75 and sunny and you’re drinking pumpkin beers on an orchard with shades on. The next, it could be 40 and rainy and you’re cramped inside watching College Gameday rather than brunching. The only thing that fluctuates more than the weather is your body, and that’s because you’re doing two-a-days with chicken wings and beer every weekend. On Mondays, you’re bound to be puffy. On Fridays when your body has adjusted back to it’s resting state of being skinny-fat rather than just fat, you’re fixing to do it all over again. But if you mix in some joggers? Your waistband goes from being a solid 34-inches to being anywhere from 31-inches to 36-inches. They come in all shapes, colors and fabrics, and they’re actually acceptable to wear in public despite the fact that they’re glorified sweatpants.
Embrace athleisure. It’s here to help, not hurt.
Chunky Sweaters / Fleeces
There are a few staples of 1990s Romantic Comedies: faded jeans, Hugh Grant’s floppy hair, and chunky sweaters. Over the past five years, the world has gravitated to slim-fitting clothes – tailored v-neck sweaters, t-shirts one size too small, and pants that induce moose-knuckling. Now that baggy clothes are coming back into style? Skinny-fat people like us are dancing in the streets and busting out the hand-me-downs from our fathers.
Be it a sweater or a fleece, embrace the oversized nature of it and own your look when your doorknob friend Chris says, “Hey, nice sweater, bro” when you show up for the 1 o’clock games. Chris doesn’t realize you’re fashion forward because he’s wearing a Hollister sweater with one of those seagulls on it. Chris also doesn’t realize you’re trying to cover up your gut because you lived summer like you were in the “Livin’ La Vida Loca” video.
Plus, you can parlay a vest over it on a particularly bad day because layering is self-love’s distant cousin. .
Image via YouTube