in which dressing Middle for the prom is not as easy as it looks

So, Middle is about 5'7" and weighs about 100 pounds.
I buy him size 28 jeans, but if they made size 26 jeans with long enough legs they would probably fit him.
He's built like K. I guess I don't need to say that.
He's a tall drink of water.
He's like a willow branch.
He's really skinny.

Hoping to avail ourselves of my mom's employee discount, Mom and I took him to The Fancy Department store to look at suits.
While Mom was busy being hugged by her former fellow employees, Middle and I scouted out the goods.
The fancy department store staff is handy because there is a tailor on site and the sales people really know their stock.
Suits by Hugo Boss were recommended to us as they have a narrow cut - but, alas, not narrow enough for Middle. There is nothing a tailor can do with an extra foot in the width of a jacket.
We decided to check the boys department, and here, I have to hand it to Middle. He was awfully patient in the "boys" department as he is far too old to be anywhere near it. And while he technically fit into a boys size 18 the cut was too small for him. He looked like he was wearing a jacket made for a child. Which, in fact, he was.
One of the associates suggested we trek to a menswear store not far away and we decided to try it.
I've never been to one of those menswear warehouse type stores and I was pretty overwhelmed.
But Middle was good and put up with trying on a dozen or so black jackets. There were even a couple he looked pretty swell in, but he was not convinced and not comfortable.
It became apparent that we were going to have to find an alternate route.

In the car, in between singing (we were with my mom, you know how she loves to sing with the radio), Middle convinced me that he could find a shirt, jacket and pants on line -
and so our evening of research began...

We plied my mother with alcohol and fed her pasta and finished off with K's first ever batch of Guinness brownies.
And it's a good thing there was such good food because it was a long evening.

What a thrill it is to delve into the internet world of "alternative men's clothing."
Have you been by there? Have you googled "goth jackets?"

and these are only the A's

These are only the listings for the sites that begin with A. Middle and I are familiar with Angry Young And Poor as it not only describes Oldest to a tee but has supplied much of his wardrobe over the years. I don't know where YOU buy your leather studded belts.
I see now that I missed checking in at the Annihilation Time site for a black jacket for Middle.

He sat in the basement, er, OFFICE downstairs while I sat with my wine, on the couch, with my mom.
It became clear that a NORMAL man's suit would be completely out of the question. As was a tuxedo. And I understand. Middle is one of those creative types. He's got a slightly goth vibe going, but really only because he wears black tee shirts and jeans - not because he wears eyeliner.

teacher hit me with a ruler

Middle liked this shirt from Teacher Hit Me With A Ruler. At the Lip Service site. I think it was also available in white at the Bloody Wounds Of Death site. But he didn't like the tie. No problem.
It turned out that he liked half a dozen black jackets at sites like Fuck The Mainstream. No. I'm not kidding. I'm just imagining K, looking over the credit card bill and asking me what I spent a couple of hundred dollars on at Fuck The Mainstream.
But most of the jackets had buttons he didn't like. Which I think means: buttons of any color other than black.
By ten pm I was tearing my hair out and reminding him that I could change buttons but that we had better order SOMETHING within 24 hours or he would have to wear jeans.

man skirt in <span class=

Oh. The things I saw. Don't bother clicking for more photos. You don't need to see them.

It became obvious that though he is an "alternative" kind of guy, he doesn't have a pierced lip or black fingernails.
So the black jacket with straps across the chest wasn't doing it - but neither was J Crew. (Damn it.)
And that is when Urban Outfitters came to the rescue. I hope.
Edgy enough to be acceptable to Middle, without chains and nipple rings, I ordered two of everything (different sizes) and I THINK we will be okay. Uh. He will be okay. I keep thinking of the person who commented "where was his mother?" about her daughter's date for the prom.

machine washable


Aren't you so glad it's machine washable? I've always thought that more men's suits should be machine washable.



All in all, it could come together nicely.

Miss S is considering this:

possible date dress

And I can't wait to see them. I promise to post pictures.

Before I forget:


here's another bunch of wonderful brand names. Go. Have fun.


Ginnie said…
Sorry you're getting a headache from all this while the rest of us are getting the benefit of the entertainment.
Poppy Buxom said…
Master Buxom is the new Middle. At 12, he's 5' 9", weighs 115, and I bought him his first men's jeans on spring break. They're 29/32 and I think they actually stay up without a belt. Although a 28 woul have been better.

Master Buxom is goth-ish, too. His new jeans are black. He likes black t-shirts. And he's wearing a black trilby with skull-and-crossbones on the hatband.

I suppose Middle should get his hand-me downs.
Badger said…
Rockabilly Rumble? I would totally order that cocktail.
Dani said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dani said…
Maybe Middle would get some inspiration from looking at some red carpet photos? I've seen some pretty slick alternatives to tuxedos at the award shows of late.

(Second thoughts about that link, huh?)
vicious_pretty said…
i would've recommended urban outfitters had i known you were looking. that's what the internet is for! use us, to help you. : )
Joke said…

For a moment I was worried about him in a cassock.

Geggie said…
Shouldn't it be Mumbai Bandanas now? But, I suppose that doesn't have the same alliterative ring as Bombay Bandanas.
Cape Cod Kid was built like Middle for most of high school.Then he grew 6 inches in one year. He's
6'3" and finally broke 160 Lbs when he was 21. Whatever he wears that isn't black is charcoal grey.

He always shopped Hot Topic, but they wouldn't hire him because he had the face of a preppy.

Just think, you'll never have to be Mother of the Bride.
islaygirl said…
I can't stop laughing, and i hurt my neck (i feel bad about my neck) this weekend so every giggle is like a white hot laser of pain. which seems very appropriate for this goth-ish post.
Eleanor said…

Yes, Japan is the best place to acquire the perfect suit for a teenaged son. And after days of searching for said elusive suit I would gladly have taken out a second mortgage for the plane tickets, just to make the migraine go away, please, god.

It turns out that the tourist district in Sydney has suit shops which cater for Japanese businessmen.

I know, so helpful, Japan or Australia are my two suggestions.

But of course, you live in the land of beautiful (and amusing) internet sites with express delivery service. Sigh.
MsCellania said…
Oh, Lordy.
Herein lies my future. Oldest is already going a bit goth on us. At 7.
When he wants his first piercing, I'm going to take him for a 'preview visit' at a tat/piercing parlor. I will then bribe a customer by paying for their services plus an extra $20 to scream their fool head off while Oldest watches said services being are being done. There will be an extra $10 in it for a fainting scene with twitching limbs.
And that fainting, twitching person? Might just be me.
HA! wv is 'tosome'
Fannie said…
Here in the difference between boys and girls.
1. "Anything but black."
2. For the love of god, a dress that doesn't "over expose" the poor lass.

P.S. Her Prom was April 5th? WHY SO EARLY?
Jan said…
Oh no! My comment was meant to praise you for being attentive, not to ruin your weekend.
Someone recently commented to me that they missed prom prep/season now that their kids are out of high school. I replied that that was the only thing I didn't miss!
Anonymous said…
Oh I've missed you. Dear me, what a struggle to "get the look." I always thought that was a girl issue. You, Blackbird, are a saint to help your son so much.

And to post a comment on the "Vexing things." I totally agreed on all of them and I adored that you used the word "vex." Especially to describe the potholder.
Anonymous said…
It is truly an adventure, isn't it? You are such a great mom to help Middle without overdoing it. I am looking forward to the pictures.
Anonymous said…
Amy A. said…
I think I need to buy stock in prom wear. I forgot what a big deal it was until I saw my freshman looking at everyone elses prom pics on face book.

I think I could rake it in.

I've already told my daughter that we will shop off season when the time comes!
barbra said…
Wow, you sure are a helpful, patient, and understanding mom. You are an inspiration.

Can't wait to see a pic of the two of them. (From the side or whatever!)
alice c said…
So...a wing collar/white tie combo isn't what you are looking for?
jenny said…
My son will be wishing that Dick's Sporting Goods comes up with a prom section.

Looking forward to the pictures.
Unknown said…
Call any and all Jewish families with sons that you know, and ask where they bought their son's bar mitzvah suits. There is a speciality store or two in every Jewish community that will have suits that will fit middle. If you don't know of anyone you can call, try calling nearby synagogues.
Sarah said…
These clothes are so cool. And I bet they'll still look cool in 30 years, unlike the classic 70's powder blue tux with the ruffled shirt.
KPB said…
1. You made me snort at work.

2. Can't talk, too busy dividing my time between Angry Amputees, Stretch F*k'n Twill (now wouldn't that be a good name for a crafter's blog) and You Will Know Us By The Trail of the Dead.

I'm disappointed with her dress. Is that bad?
Grandma Cebe said…
Your description of Middle sounds like my youngest at age 17. He's now 22, 5'8 1/2" tall and maybe 125 lbs fully clothed. We have to be sure he never stands in a strong wind or he'd blow away.:) Urban Outfitters is his store of choice.

I hope middle found something great for the Prom.
Caterina said…
This was hilarious.

I'm sure I will not be laughing in about 16 years when I am in your shoes.
Alice said…
I'm interested in the Guinness brownies... He'll look great!

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