Summer 07 – Hawaian Shirts Strike Again!

Keen observers may recall from last Summer’s ongoing coverage of dudes in distinctively dapper tropical shirts, that I have a thing (Dede would say an unhealthy obsession) for Hawaiian shirts.   Hey, say what you will about ’em — mock if you must — but I contend that what was good enough for the likes of John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Elvis, & um… Tom Selleck is good enough for me!   Here’s a few other snappy dressers who know a thing or two about Summer fashion:

The IT staff sporting Hawaiian shirts

FiveFingers X 2 People = 20 Happy Toes

This year Rob joined Linda in wearing a pair of Vibram FiveFingers shoes at the MCH Springfest yesterday.   Last year Linda bought her a pair soon after Rob posted about them and wore them to the 2006 Springfest.   Rob had been dying for a pair of them ever since so I gave them to him last month as a very early birthday present.

Both of them claim that the shoes feel just like you are walking barefoot only you have some protection so that you don’t feel every pebble along the way.   Here’s a picture of them together showing off their "monkey feet."

Rob & Linda model their FiveFingers shoes FiveFingers shoes closeup

Reliving My Youth

I finally broke down yesterday and bought a pair of Converse® Chuck Taylor® All Stars® sneakers (aka "Chuck’s").   I’ve had my eye on them and tried them on numerous times over the past couple of years but I just never could justify buying them.   I used to have a pair of hi-top Chuck’s when I was a teenager and never realized (or cared) back then that they have zero arch support.   Foot comfort has become important to me since I left my 20’s and this is the main reason that I’ve held off buying them until now.

Yesterday though, I decided it was time to relive my youth, so I did it!   The color was a no-brainer — I had to go with the Caliente red/black combo!   My only decision then was whether to go with the hi-tops or low-tops and, in the end, the low-tops won out.   Below are a couple of pictures of me sporting my new Double Tongue Chuck’s!

a picture of Dede's new Chuck's a side view of Dede's new Chuck's

Distinctively Dapper Dudes

All Summer, I’ve been meaning to post photos in a continuation of the “Hawaiian Shirts & Manly Men” series I started back in May ’05, but I got a little busy & forget to follow through. So, finally, here’s a shot of some of the IT department’s most fashionable guys sporting stylish tropical shirts at a luncheon last week:

IT guys bringing it, Hawaiian shirt style
(You can backtrack through those older blog entries here.
Each post has a link to the previous one in the series.)

Linda Shows Off Her Monkeyfeet

Last week, I posted about an awesome new shoe from Vibram called FiveFingers that provides the support & protection of normal athletic shoes but does so while giving the sensation of going barefooted.   Well, naturally, I had to share this discovery with Linda.   Just a few quick days later, here she is modeling her funky new footwear…

Linda wears FiveFingers shoes

Update:   After seeing how revved up I was over Linda’s FiveFingers, Dede decided to splurge on a pair for me as an early birthday gift!   Check ’em out!

Fivefingers For Your Ten Toes

I was all set to post a link to Ian Fieggen's Ian’s Shoelace Site, an interesting (and maybe just a bit OCD) site that insists that maybe you didn’t learn all you needed to know about shoelaces in kindergarten…

But then I found out about something far freakier & much cooler for your feet — no laces required!

Vibram Fivefingers shoes

FiveFingers, from the mind of Marco Bramani, grandson of the founder of Vibram (the Italian company responsible for that elongated yellow octagon that’s probably stamped on the bottom of your hiking boots), are shoes designed to provide support & protection for your tender feets while still keeping the sensation of traipsing around barefoot.

FiveFingers' soles feature a high-tech rubber compound for traction and sipes — zigzag cuts across the ball & heel — so they’re very grippy on slippery surfaces even though the soles are not as ruggedly textured as typical hiking boots or athletic shoes.   Although they’re not specifically designed for such, I even stumbled (rimshot) across the blog of marathon runner Ted McDonald (a.k.a. "Barefoot Ted") who recently completed the Boston Marathon and a number of other long-distance runs wearing — and swearing by — his Fivefingers shoes.

Giving credit where it’s due, I first read about FiveFingers on Ottmar Liebert’s blog a couple of months ago and have been a little obsessed with these shoes ever since — but they've only just now finally made it to market.

Can't quite say why, but Linda (resident toe-sock aficionado) and I both think these things look like gorilla feets…   but in a funky, good way!

Update:   Linda & I both ended up with a pair of FiveFingers shoes!   Check out our happy feet!

Summer's Not Over

Ahh, the first few dry leaves have dropped on the lawn, the days are getting shorter, the nights are a little cooler, and there’s just that feeling that Fall is upon us. Poets often romanticize about Autumn’s crisp air, earthy golden hues, and mellower tones with sentiments like:

“There is a harmony in autumn, and a lustre in it’s sky…”

“The mellow autumn came, and with it came the promised party, to enjoy it’s bounty.”

“What visionary tints the year puts on, when falling leaves falter…”

“Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.”

Yeah, right. No sooner did the Autumnal equinox occur to officially signal the beginning of Fall did we get another near-triple-digit blast of blistering temperatures to remind us that, regardless of what the silly ol’ calendar says, Summer’s not over in West Texas just yet. And this just in time for the annual MCH Employee Picnic too!

And with the Summer-like temperature, there was also one last good opportunity to catch a few more glipses of dapper dudes sporting cool Hawaiian shirts. So, in continuing that series, here’s Harvey H. doing the stylish tropical shirt thing with a distinctive University of Texas flavor.

Harvey does a Hawaiian shirt a la UT style

More Men of Distinction

Seems like I was right on target with my previous blog entry about Hawaiian shirt fashion, based on the comments I’ve heard at work.   And again, I wonder how anyone can call into question style that was pioneered by such Hollywood legends as Lee Marvin, Bing Crosby, and hey, even Ernest Borgnine.   Here’s another coupla guys showcasing some classic fashion sensibilities:

Dr. Marchioni wearing a Hawaiian shirt Barry Hill wearing a Hawaiian shirt


Its Hawaiian Shirt Time!

The thermometer has already crept up over 90° a few times and, despite the stormy weather we’re having this weekend that might suggest otherwise, Summer is here.   Heck, Dede & I have already gotten – and recovered from – our first sunburns of the year.   (With a little luck, our trusty friend, Coppertone Sport Sunblock Spray will keep us safe for the remainder of the season but oddly enough you’ve gotta be smart enough to use it before it can do its job.)

And what would Summer be without “Hawaiian” shirts?   So as we prepared to go out yesterday, I threw on some comfy cargo shorts, a pair of breezy flip-flops, and a tropical shirt. Dede gave me a hard time about how I’m drawn to these darned things but I pointed out that, “well, its a guy thing.”   Hey, what’s good enough for John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, & Elvis, is good enough for me!   And here’s a few other guys who know a thing or two about fashion…

Rich wearing a Hawaiian shirt Buddy wearing a Hawaiian shirt

Topper wearing a Hawaiian shirt Rob wearing a Hawaiian shirt

And Topper rushed to my defense, “I think it looks comfy casual and smartly dressy depending on the setting.”   So, here’s some info that we assembled on the origin & finer points of Aloha shirts (a.k.a. Hawaiian shirts):

red check mark   History of Hawaiian Shirts & Hawaiian Clothing

red check mark   Hawaiian Shirts – A Colorful History

red check mark   Wikipedia’s take on the Aloha shirt

red check mark   Tommy Bahama – Purveyor of island lifestyles

So, go get yourself a fun tropical shirt or two and make your own fashion statement this Summer!   And if you’ll send me a photo of you sporting a stylish Hawaiian shirt, I’ll post it right here in this blog for all to see & admire!


Biker Jen

“Biker Jen” stopped by for a visit. This was the first time Rob and I had actually seen her on her Harley and in her biker attire. You go girl!

Get your motor runnin'...