I blame the hoodie: Can clothing can change your life?

I blame the hoody.

By: Michael J Melville

What? I know that’s what you’re asking because that’s what I would ask myself If I were in your boat. Not too long ago (just a few years in fact) I took great pride in the way I looked. I was the type of guy who put on jeans and a nice sweater to go to the grocery store at 1am for pizza roles. I was the guy who looked distastefully at the twenty-year-old college students I went to school with who wore sweatpants in public. I was the guy who believed that how you dressed was a reflection of how serious you took yourself and how serious you wanted others to take you. I wasn’t vain because I really wasn’t looking for compliments. I just cared about how I looked. It made me feel better. It made me feel good.

And then I bought a hoodie from American Eagle.

I loved that hoodie from the moment I got it at a great clearance price.  I wore that hoodie often. I still have that hoodie even though it has a massive tear in the right sleeve. Other hoodies followed that black American eagle hoodie. However, I blame that hoody for the downfall of my personal style and looking like I care when I went out in public.

As the years progressed I wore the hoodies more and more. Especially in the winter when I normally am all about sweaters. It is when I look and feel my best. As time went on, I wore my nice sweaters and dress shirts less and less, my nice coats less and less. I stopped trying, stopped caring and in fact became one of the things I dislike the most. I went from being the guy who people complimented on how nice he dressed….to that fat old guy who let himself go (no one actually said that to my face, that’s me saying that). You might be thinking big deal you bought a hoodie and I get that. But between somewhere around 12 and 33 I never owned a hoodie. Yes, you read that right. I hated them. I hated how they looked.

I don’t know the real reasons for it. I have my suspicions. After I lost my dog Harley I went through a really bad point in life where I stopped caring and let myself go in more ways than how I dressed. That wasn’t the only thing that set me down this dark path to occasionally utter disheveled laziness.  Somehow…. someway I became comfortable with not caring and it stuck.

Now at 37, I’m taking it back. Getting back to who I am and not what I let myself fall into. If I want to be taken seriously as a person, employee and as an author and writer I need to feel my best. To feel my best, I need to look my best or at least the best I can afford at this time.  Studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between how you feel based on how you dress. Any business professional can verify this.

A suit or even nice clothes can make a person instantly feel better about their selves. If you give a homeless man who is used to wearing tattered dirty clothing a pair of nice pants, nice shoes, a nice shirt and tie it gives him hope. It makes him feel like a man.  The charity Dress for Success is built on this idea and helps low-income women improve their lives by providing women around the world with professional clothing in order to boost their self-confidence and self-esteem while improving their chances on being successful and proud in a career. So me doing this as a male isn’t unheard of or uncommon.

I want to get back to the Michael who felt like I was at the top of the world even if I wasn’t actually at the top of it. Losing weight, a lot of weight and fitting into the clothes I like to wear is a start in the right direction. I’m still freaking awesome no matter what and I am always going to be a bigger guy. Maybe I’ll even start writing about fashion for bigger men. Jax, my son is almost two and the other day I had my first physical in almost 20 years. I was surprised at how well things came out with my tests and I’m really not that far off from my health goals. Fatherhood and being busy is no excuse for letting yourself go and I am realizing that now.

But I blame the hoodie.

It was a trigger.

No more hoodies and when this black one is dead its dead and will not be replaced.

BTW I found my cargo pants


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