Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Autumn Shirt #4: Bob the Bus Driver

Autumn Shirt #4: Bob the Bus Driver, estimated Medium, $12 

For me, a huge part of the fun with vintage clothing, or secondhand clothing (or anything pre-owned, really), is imagining who may have worn it before...and how, and where, and why.  This doesn't necessarily mean that I'm inspired by any of those possibilities and sometimes I don't even want to go there, but, for the most part, I enjoy filling in unknown variables with fantastical back-stories and random associations the item brings to mind.  

This shirt.  I love the colors.  The exaggerated collar works perfectly for wearing it under a crew-neck sweatshirt and with bell-bottom jeans it's very original-Charlie's-Angels-esque in a girl-power meets tomboy-style way...  Can you see what I mean?


Sidenote: This isn't what I meant, but I like the idea... 
While I'd rock this shirt like a long lost, time-travelling Charlie's Angel, it reminds me of something my elementary school bus driver would have worn, sans any vintage irony or sense of nostalgia.  We assumed his name was Bob* because that's what his brass, nameplate belt buckle said (probably vintage). He was short and kind of stocky and had a beer belly. He had these crazy-exaggerated sideburns and a comb-over. And we'd never seen him without his (definitely vintage) aviators. And he always wore slightly too-tight seventies shirts like this with pointed collars unbuttoned just enough to see his chest hair.  

If I could time travel, I would love to hang out with him in the seventies, when he was a lowercase g. And, since I'm time-travelling anyway, I'd definitely want to sit in the front seat of the school bus and interview him about his style. As it was, I was way too preoccupied with various elementary school affairs: the pog trade (apparently, a form of gambling), tending to my Tamagotchi, predicting the future, and, on Fridays, studying for spelling tests and memorizing the multiplication table to ever really chat with him at length. The more I think about my school bus drivers, the more it's dawning on me that they were a pretty eccentric bunch.  But this is a special thanks to Bob, for making seventies fashions a part of his everyday wardrobe three decades later...and for stalling the bus on those days I nearly missed it and had to run down the street to catch it.

This shirt measures 23.25 inches across the chest/bust, and 23.25 inches across the bottom.  It is 31.5 inches long and shoulders are 17.5 inches between shoulder seams.  Tag size says 15 1/2.  Fiber content is 65% dacron polyester and 35% combed cotton.  There's a faint spot on the right cuff and faint grey marks in the bottom corner of the front patch pocket, probably from holding a pen, but not noticeable when worn.  Numbers printed near bottom front of the shirt-tail hem.  Brand is Newport Shirtmakers.

All of the plaid (and striped!) men's button-down shirts  featured on the blog (plus a few that aren't) can also be found in the Vintage Adoption Agency Etsy shop!  This shirt is part of my collection of plaid shirts. I wrote about them here.

*Bob.  I hate this name.  It just sounds...dorky.  And seriously why is it a nickname for William and Robert and why isn't anyone named Bobert?  Another one that bothers me? Gus.  Because of this.  (Cinderella says it's short for Octavius...which doesn't make sense either. And, on another sidenote, Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants reminds me of Gus. But the name Patrick isn't bad.)

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