The Tale of a Soldier, a Suit and a Salesman


Over the weekend, my husband and I went suit shopping. He’ll be in a wedding later this month and the one suit he has wasn’t adequate for the occasion. Shopping for a suit with my husband is not a fantastic experience. He would rather be anywhere in the world than inside of a men’s clothing store trying on suits.

Let’s face it, the military makes it easy on our spouses. They know exactly what they’re going to where each and every day, and their accessories are pre-selected for them. They have PT uniforms, everyday uniforms and formal uniforms. No guesswork required. Every day is groundhog day. I’ve often wondered if in addition to the pay and added responsibility that comes with climbing in rank, they’re glad to be promoted just to see something different on their uniforms.

There’s something to be said for wearing the same thing day after day, but I think our spouses pay a price for this. It seems they get confused when it comes time to dress for anything other than golf or a military outing. At least my husband does. I adore my husband. He hung the moon as far as I’m concerned. But having said that, he doesn’t have an eye for mixing and matching civilian clothing. And really, who can blame him? I think he forfeited any fashion sense he may have once possessed when he joined the Army.

I was chatting with some milspouses about this very issue not too long ago and I’ve come to believe it’s an epidemic. One of them threatened to institute a garanimals type of system for her husband so he would not go out of the house and embarrass himself. Not a bad idea…

The salesman who assisted us this weekend noticed very quickly that all questions should be directed at me. My husband put on a jacket which needed tailoring and proudly proclaimed that it would “do.” The jacket was the first one he tried on, and it wouldn’t “do” without tailoring. I kept looking, much to my husband’s dismay. His exit strategy would not be implemented as quickly as he had hoped.

Sensing my husband’s dissatisfaction with being in a professional men’s clothing store, and just before he figured out he’d be better off dealing with the fairer sex in this particular instance, the salesman looked at my husband and said, “Sir, you seem rather…..reluctant?” Well, that’s one way to put it.

But in my husband’s defense. I mean, um, seriously….

About the Author


Andi is married to an active-duty soldier and is the founder and former editor of SpouseBUZZ.

She is the founder of the Annual MilBlog Conference. The MilBlog Conference is the premiere event of the year for military bloggers. President George W. Bush, U.S. Representative Adam Smith, GEN David Petraeus, LTG Mike Oates, LTG William Caldwell, RADM Mark Fox, MG Kevin Bergner, MG David Hogg and The Honorable Pete Geren have addressed previous conferences.

While living in Washington, DC, Andi was the Ambassador to Walter Reed Army Medical Center for Sew Much Comfort, a non-profit organization which makes and delivers, free of charge, special adaptive clothing for wounded service members. Andi has worked with several non-profits to help our wounded heroes and their families. She finds that work to be the most rewarding and meaningful of all.

Andi strives to find humor in the good, bad and ugly of life and is a firm believer that laughter has the ability to cure most ills.

  • Marine Wife

    Currently, we’re in a situation that calls for civilian business attire. One of the Marines has given up and chosen to wear his uniform daily. I guess it was just too many choices!

  • wifeunit

    @MW that is FUNNY! I totally love that. Mark has suits with pants that have cuffs from his single days. A total horror show! ;)

  • tankerswife

    Too funny MW.

    Yep, this is a true epidemic. My husband would simply be monochromatic all the time, other than the assumption that anything and everything can go with all jeans. Yikes. Thankfully, he doesn’t give me too much static about getting him proper attire. I just sigh and shake my head when its time to get dressed, as I have to pick out what he should wear. It’s amazing how the man can be responsible for multi-million dollar deadly equipment and many men, but he can’t put a shirt and pants together.

    Nor can he tell when meat is done.

  • dagamore

    One of the things i miss the most is that lack of knowing what to where/when. I hated it when i was in the Army, got out in 99, but damn i miss it now. I have sort of build up a ‘uniform’ for my current workplace, and yes they can tell the day of the week by the color of my shirts. :)

    Tankerswife, its easy meat is done shortly after the cow stops mooing. Any more then medium and its shoe leather!

  • Andi

    Funny you should mention cuffs, wifeunit. The husband just called from the tailor’s shop and asked if I wanted cuffs or no cuffs in the pants…..

    dagamore – I’m with you. Love it medium rare.