Growing up, I was never known to have the greatest fashion sense.  As a kid, this didn't really matter – I was always sort of off in my own little world and the rules of proper couture were about as interesting (and useful) as learning the proper way to clean out an oven.  Of course, my habit of committing the occasional fashion faux pas was in part derived from loving but somewhat misguided attempts by my parents and grandparents to give me "stylish" clothes; while some clothes may actually have been stylish at the time, I can definitively state that the almost-neon-yellow shorts I wore in 9th grade did not fall in that category.  My classmates who asked me how many batteries my shorts required did not dissuade me from wearing them, but made me all too aware of their….uniqueness.

And then there was my love of red pants as a kid:

I don't know that there's any excuse for these.  I do remember thinking they were uber-cool at the time.  In fact, I thought they were so cool, I wore a pair to my 8th-grade graduation.  Where I was valedictorian.  And had to give a speech in front of the entire graduating class and their parents:

While the red pants may be the benchmark of my fashion statement atrocities, there were many other times that I'm sure I came close:

I think the color scheme goes great with the carpet, don't you?Batting .000 in this outfitWhat? They said wear a sheet for the toga party, right?At least I'm in good company on this one

OK, OK, I may be going a little over the top.  I mean, when I did make the effort, I cleaned up pretty well:

Brothers in tiesYou're not styling unless you've got a cane...Shaken, not stirred, pleaseBrothers at graduation

I pride myself on having come out of the fashion slump somewhere around the end of high school, and now dress relatively sanely.  I can always count on my wife to point out my more egregious offenses, but since they're now few and far between, hopefully it's not too onerous a task for her to take on.

Of course, every once in a while I still have a craving for red pants.  But I try to ignore it, and bury the urge in something productive, like dressing up my daughter in a tiger costume.

Ross at Halloween (1980)Violet plays with her flashlight

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