I’ve been chatting online (via a blog thread) with a lady who’s marrying a computer engineer. When she found out that my wonderful husband is also an engineer, she asked me about his wardrobe. It seems her fiance wears nothing but “plaid shirts with khaki or black pants” and she wondered if this lack of fashion sense was intrinsic amongst engineer-types. I assured her that yes, it is. Not only do engineers have little or no fashion sense, they rely heavily on the women in their lives to make sure that their outfits are reasonably color coordinated. Engineers with fashion sense are called Graphic Designers.
Now you make think I’m exaggerating, but I have proof. No. 1 – There are four guys in our church congregation, including Carl, who work for Rockwell-Collins. Yesterday morning, three of the four (including Carl) were wearing plaid shirts with either khaki or black/dark grey pants. The fourth guy was wearing a plain white short sleeve shirt and dark pants. The computer sales guy in our church was also wearing dark pants, but with a very colorful tropical print shirt. I think this is because engineer-type guys aren’t trying to sell anything to anybody, so they don’t wear clothes that (on purpose) draw attention to themselves. The computer sales guy, on the other hand, is trying to impress customers, so his wardrobe is a little more flamboyant. And if I was a customer, I’d be impressed. Really. For a tropical print shirt, it was very tasteful. No. 2 – when Carl went to Brazil (I think I mentioned this before) I helped him lay out all of his outfits before he packed them, and I made him a list of what to wear with what and on what day to wear it. And Carl wasn’t the only one with a list. There were other guys in the group whose wives laid out their clothes and sent along lists, too. That’s what we engineer wives are for.
My Mom was an engineer’s wife, too, but for a long time she had it easy. I mean, in the wardrobe matching department. For years the standard engineer’s work “uniform” was a dark suit and tie with a white shirt. The worst thing for Mom was ironing all those shirts. But then along came Permanent Press, so Mom didn’t have to iron anymore, and putting together Dad’s wardrobe was pretty simple. Somewhere, though, engineers started wearing colored shirts and non-black suits and ties (I think that was the 70’s) and suddenly women were rushing about, making sure that engineer-type guys weren’t wearing green-and-purple striped disco shirts with burgundy bell bottom polyester pants. I really can’t remember Mom having too much trouble with Dad’s outfits. I think he was pretty easy to please. But I know that later, after Dad retired, his outfit of choice was dark blue jeans and a plaid shirt. Hmmm….that sounds familiar. I really think there must be some kind of genetic link between engineering abilities and the desire to wear plaid shirts with dark pants.
By the way, today Carl wore a brown plaid shirt and dark slacks to work. I rest my case.