Stay-at-Home Dad 101: Tommy John Lounge Jogger Pants are Now My Official “Work Pants” (Includes Jingle I Wrote!)

DISCLOSURE LANGUAGE

Tommy John partnered with bloggers such as myself for this program. I received one free product of my choosing, for my time and creativity. I was not told what to purchase nor what to say about any product mentioned in these posts. Tommy John believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. Tommy John’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.

Now that we got that fun part out of the way, I get to talk about what I am calling my new official “work pants”, as a stay-at-home dad who works from home.

If you can imagine, since becoming a stay-at-home dad exactly 3 months ago today, I haven’t gotten out of the house much. I’m constantly taking care of my 21 month-old daughter all day, as well as my 7 year-old son, when he’s not at school.

I feel that I really put the “stay-at-home” in stay-at-home dad.

With that being said, it’s still important to me that I don’t look or feel like a slob; even if the only people who see me all day are my wife and kids.

So when Tommy John reached out to me and offered an item from their online catalog, I immediately thought, “I would love some new work pants!”

By browsing their Loungewear section, I ended up choosing their Lounge Jogger pants.

Once I received them in the mail this week, my preconceived ideas about these pants were true:

They are perfect for me as a stay-at-home dad!

The immediate thing I noticed is how comfortable they are. I feel like I’m really getting away with something, somehow. It’s I’m like wearing pants but I don’t feel like I’m actually wearing them.

I have to question, “Am I pulling a Donald Duck right now? Did I remember to put on a shirt only to  neglect actually put on pants today?”

Then I look down and see that no, I am indeed wearing pants: Tommy John Lounge Jogger pants, to be exact.

The next thing I really like about these pants is how they are just tight enough around the ankles, so that the bottom of my pants don’t drag on the floor.

And the pockets- ah, the pockets… perfectly in place where I need them.

I never know when I’m going to need to pick up a Cheerio my daughter dropped or her Peppa the Pig doll when she needs me to hold it for her.

After experiencing the Tommy John Lounge Pants, I just can’t imagine how any man would not love them.

But for me specifically as a stay-at-home dad, I am now spoiled, and don’t want to wear anything else for pants. I guess that would be my only complaint!

I have enjoyed my new work pants so much that I took it upon myself to write a jingle for Tommy John lounge pants and shoot my own commercial.  That way, when potential consumers search “Tommy John Lounge Pants“, they get to see me perform my awesome song! (Featured at the top of this post.)

Along the way, my kids apparently enjoyed hearing me write and practice the jingle, so we ended up even shooting a “kids’ version” of the song as well. My 21 month-old daughter is responsible for most of the dance moves for the jingle. (Featured below.)

It is plain to see, these Tommy John Lounge Pants have really enhanced my week!

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Are Jeans Really as Comfortable as We Think?

Jeans vs. regular pants… you make the call.

Paraphrased conversation from this weekend:

Me: Those are cool.  Did you get some new plaid pants?

My sister: No, I just think you’ve never seen them before.

Me: Oh.

Pause.

Me: Actually, usually when I see you, you’re wearing pants, not jeans.

My sister: Yeah, it’s because jeans aren’t comfortable.  They fit tighter and they’re thicker than regular pants.

Me: Good point.  Maybe I should just start wearing dress pants all the time too.

Scene ends.

In my mind, I like wearing jeans because they’re so much more comfortable than dress pants or any color of khakis or corduroys.  But I can’t shake my sister’s words.  She’s right.  Jeans aren’t really as comfortable as I’ve been giving them credit for.

Though I had always assumed that pants are uncomfortable, it’s actually what I wear with the pants that I actually have a problem with.  Typically when men wear dress pants, they also wear a button down collared shirt (tucked in to the pants) and dress shoes; accordingly, women wear a dressier “top” and nicer (painfully uncomfortable) shoes.  But when we wear jeans, we tend to wear a more comfortable shirt (maybe a t-shirt or something along the lines of a long-sleeved polo or sweater) and go untucked.  And obviously, we wear more comfortable shoes.

Everything we wear with the jeans is less restricting than if we were wearing nice pants.  But honestly, the jeans typically fit tighter and are thicker than dress pants.  Plus, I believe there is more pressure to “look good in jeans” than there is to look good in dress pants.  More eyes are critical of jeans than they are for pants.

So what is the solution?  The obvious answer in my head is to start wearing pants when I would normally wear jeans.  That means I would wear sneakers or Chuck Taylor’s with any color of khaki or corduroy pants.  And a Smurf t-shirt.  Already though, that’s starting to sound slouchy.  How ironic that replacing jeans with dress pants could actually lower the standard, but it sort of does.

Even still, if only a personal project, I will be making a conscious effort to replace regular pants with jeans.  For guys, baggy jeans are a thing of the past (they died out around the time that dark jeans became the standard), which means these days we aren’t able to hang loose like we use to, thanks to the new norm being tighter fitting jeans for guys.  And for girls, I get the impression that not only are jeans not comfortable to begin with, but they’re more trouble to look good in, despite what happen for all four girls in Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.

Challenge: Let’s replace jeans with normal pants with jeans.  I think we can find a way to make it work without looking like a slob.

Surprising twist ending…

Everything you just read was written exactly a month ago.  It was saved in my “drafts folder” because I questioned whether or not enough people would agree that jeans aren’t as comfortable as we say we are.  But today in church, my friend Tommy Axford told my wife and I that because he went to private school, he never really wore jeans until his sophomore year in high school, and after having worn khakis his whole life, he declared that jeans are not comfortable.  So much so, that he proudly proclaimed he even wears khakis when he’s just chilling out in his living room at his house.  It was because of this conversation with him that I decided this post must be made public so that others could have a chance to agree that regular pants are better than jeans.

Being that this was written last month, since then I have had the opportunity to take my own “try wearing khakis instead of jeans” challenge.  The result- I’ve continued to wear jeans in casual situations.  Not because they’re more comfortable, but because I somehow feel they’re more appropriate for me as a guy.  I have this fear of looking like a banker- and in my mind, male bankers never relax enough to wear anything besides nice pants.  But I do hope to get over this one day.  If it were truly up to me, I would wear pajama pants all the time, but I couldn’t feel comfortable socially.  You just can’t win.

Readers’ Expectations 7: Chicken with Teeth, Jorge Garcia’s Haircut, and the Adorability of Betty White

Scary mutant birds, instructions on how to wear pants, and a surprising Jewish conversion all brought me recent traffic here on Scenic Route Snapshots.  I attract a weird bunch, sometimes.

“chicken with teeth”- I heard a rumor several years ago that the folks at KFC invented “the boneless chicken” thanks to their ethics-out-the-window scientists who were trying to create a chicken with as much white meat as possible.  If that rumor is true, I would have to say that if anyone could create a chicken with teeth, it would be those infamous KFC scientists.

“who doesn’t like betty white?”- Her evil arch nemesis, Betty Boop.

“mystery hole”- Let’s keep it a mystery.  Please- I sure don’t want to know about it.

“ethnic routes to becoming American”- To become an American, ethnically, simply arrive from your native country onto our shores.  That will make you ethnically American.  Unless you’re Canadian.  Now, are we all clear?

"Out to get Betty White since 1930"

“wear khakis to club”– Two words: “Don’t’”.  Unless you are coming straight from your job at Best Buy or your Sunday School class.  Or the club you’re referring to is a high school chess club.

“wearing pants with a gut”– One word: “Do”.  Please wear pants, whatever it takes: drawstrings, rope, Velcro.  I’m trying to imagine how big and out of control this gut must be for a person to need advice on how to wear pants.  But worst case scenario, there is always the option of losing the gut, right?  After all, onset Diabetes and heart disease are surprisingly not worth the empty calories and lack of physical activity.  If only Jillian Michaels were omnipresent…

Voted "Best Men's Haircut" in 2010

“Jorge Garcia haircut”– He played one of my favorite characters on LOST; Hurley Reyes.  What a lovable guy.  But I have to admit I’m a little surprised to see a man searching for pictures of Jorge Garcia’s haircut to use as a model for his own upcoming haircut.  I would be less surprised if it was a women searching for this.  I could understand “Ashton Kutcher haircut” or even “Alec Baldwin” haircut, but “Jorge Garcia haircut”, not so much.

“daryl hall” converted jewish–  Oh yes, you just now heard the word?  He’s changing some of the titles of his hit songs he recorded with John Oates to make them more Jewish, like “Kosher Eater”, “Sarah Silverman Smile”, “You’ve Lost that Shalom Feeling”, and “Yiddish on My List”.

“Hating seagulls I like being racist”– Having an enjoyable prejudice against a scavenger bird that hangs out at the beach doesn’t make you a racist.  It makes you a… specist?…

Don't make her angry...

You wouldn't like her when she's angry!

How to Wear Dress Pants, If You’re a Guy: Don’t Wear Them With Sneakers and Avoid Khakis

Despite what you heard, don’t wear khakis.  Just because these men’s pants are classic, it doesn’t mean they’re timeless.  In fact, they’re starting to represent a dull and generic image for men’s attire.

Some articles of clothing go with anything, like Chuck Taylor’s.  Then there are specimens like Hawaiian shirts, that arguably go with anything simply because they clash with everything, technically meaning they go with everything.  And then there are khaki pants, which truly look good with anything they’re paired with, in theory.

But not for me.  I’m very particular when it comes to wearing khakis:

1)     They’re the same color as my legs, so I kinda feel like I’m not wearing pants at all.

2)     Because of their good reputation (“you can’t go wrong with khaki’s”) and popularity, they are a bit boring by now.  It’s assumed that a man automatically looks better because he’s wearing tan pants.  I say, not creative enough.  Deduct one point unless worn in moderation.

3)     Despite popular belief, they don’t truly look good with anything.

What has put these thoughts in my head?  Surely just random observances over the last twelve years:

1)     In high school, every Friday the football coach had all the football players wear khaki pants, a white dress shirt, and preferably a tie.  But  many of them wore running shoes.  It came across as predictable and forced to me (which it indeed was).  You want to look nice?  At least change the shoes.

2)     In the movie 40 Year-Old Virgin, Andy (the lead character played by Steve Carell) wears khaki pants in almost every seen.  His attire is most noticeably awful when he first goes to the night club wearing a yellow polo and khakis.  Nerdy, man.  Nerdy.  Same thing in Sideways with Miles (played by Paul Giamatti).

3)     In the past 15 years, khakis and polo shirts have become the official uniform for employees of places like Best Buy.  So now khakis are starting to represent a dull, generic work uniform.

Instead of khakis, try this. Note: Black shoes with black pants. Not brown shoes.

Khakis have become part of a stereotyped outfit of an outdated man from the year 2000: Khaki pants, faded polo shirt, cell phone holder on belt.

Noted, there is a difference between what a man wears to work and what he wears to every other public events.  I know for myself, I don’t care that much what my coworkers see my wearing as long as I don’t look like a slouch.  So yes, I do resort to polo shirts and once every week or two, I’ll wear khakis.

But for many, work isn’t as a professional environment as we often pretend for it to be.  I don’t take as good of care on the clothes I wear day in and day out to work.  Who cares if they’re faded or a little wrinkled?

Bottom line: For a man to truly dress nicely, and appear to be modern yet not trying too hard, he should simply try doing so sans khaki pants.

How?  Charcoal colored pants.  Dark brown pants.  Slate (very dark blue/gray) pants.  But not tan.  Heck, even dark jeans can look better than khakis when done right.

P.S.  If you must resort to wearing khaki pants in an attempt to look nice, do not be temped to wear a navy blazer or jacket with it.  That’s for CEO’s who are 61 years old and don’t realize that it’s no longer cool.  Wearing a navy jacket with khaki pants is for guys still wearing Levi’s jeans similar to Jerry Seinfeld in 1994.

And one more thing… Now that you’ve read my take on pants, why not read my perspective on being a dad?  That’s right- parenting from a dad’s point of view.  I have been documenting my thoughts as a dad since the week we found out my wife was pregnant.  I formally invite you now to read my “dad blog” by clicking on the link below:

dad from day one

Comfortable Friday


 

Of all people, I should appreciate the quirky American tradition so many offices participate in once a week called Casual Friday.  After four hard days of working while dressed in a restricting long sleeve shirt, tie, and pants (or at least a polo shirt and khakis), the dress code nearly disappears on the 5th day.  Jeans, t-shirt, and flip flops are completely acceptable.  Goofy.  Just plain goofy.


 

The whole idea behind dressing professionally for work is to establish a mentality for the workers to act the way they dress. It also helps draw lines between superiors and those who answer to them, as managers and bosses tend to dress a little nicer, accordingly. But then that all goes away on Friday.  The playing field is leveled out, according to appearance.


 

If the way a person dresses does indeed reflect their initiative and performance at work, why play around with that once a week?  The answer:  It must not really make a difference.  Often, Friday is my most productive day of the week.  And I’m dressed like it’s Saturday morning.


 

Last week’s rerun of The Office addressed some of the tackiness that often accompanies Casual Friday.  Meredith’s lack of clothes, Oscar’s nasty feet, and Toby’s clashing colors.  It just makes me laugh: the double standard of dressing professionally for 80% of the work week and dressing like a slouch for the other 20% of it.


 

Typically on Fridays I wear my comfortable, worn-in/worn-out jeans (circa 2002 so they’re that light shade of blue that used to be the standard), along with a comfortable t-shirt (usually something I got for free from an event I participated in during 2002 and should now only be wearing to wash a car or do yard work in) and my 2002 Etnie skate shoes I wear not because I skate, but because they’re so comfortable- I refer to them as my Marshmallow Shoes because they’re so soft and cushioned.  The obvious recurring theme: clothing from the year 2002.  The other obvious recurring theme: comfortable.


 

Casual Friday is really Comfortable Friday.  If I dressed casually on Fridays, I would wear slimmer fitting darker jeans, an untucked collared shirt, and sneakers.  But I don’t.  And while I call it Comfortable Friday, “comfortable” can easily become a synonym for “sloppy”.  Sloppy is in the same word family as “slob”.  Slob Friday.  But I’m not complaining.  Some people like to play dress up to look and feel important at work.  For the rest of us, there’s Friday.


casual Friday

 

Stuck in Back in Time Like Ned Flanders, Dwight Schrute, and Austin Powers

 

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…

Like a good bottle of Pepsi Clear or a box of Pop-Tart Minis, every person has an expiration date. Of culture, that is. There comes a certain year in a person’s life where they no longer continue moving forward concerning the way they dress, wear their hair, speak, and use technology. I’m not talking about a 16 year old kid who buys all his clothes at Goodwill, proudly showing off his 1985 Huey Lewis & the News t-shirt, and fashions his hairstyle after Ashton Kutcher in “Dude, Where’s My Car?”. Being retro on purpose doesn’t count.

For me it’s most obvious when I’m at Wal-Mart and the cashier lady’s hairdo consists of teased bangs brushed back into a permed Brillo pad of a mullet: 1984.

Or the retired farmer who is still wearing his Dwight Schrute style glasses and refuses to use a cell phone or the Internet: 1979.

Sometimes it’s less obvious- maybe that co-worker with a thick goatee, wearing a cell phone belt clip, still saying quotes from Austin Powers like “Yeah, baby, yeah!”, and whose cell phone ringtone is “With Arms Wide Open” by Creed: 2000.

This concept became obvious to me when I was accompanying my wife as she shopped for clothes on a Saturday afternoon. I walked into a Van Heusen outlet and realized that while they did have some good deals, if I actually attempted to buy anything from the store, my wife probably wouldn’t let me wear it. Why? Because everything available in a Van Heusen store is designed for men who are stuck in 1994.

It amazed me that a whole company would purposely make outdated clothes. But the executives at that company know their audience. If these outdated clothing stores suddenly stopped making pleated light khaki pants, their abandoned customers would just pledge their allegiance to another outdated store instead. Customers who still say “been there, done that, got the t-shirt”. And the t-shirt they are referring to is a Big Dogs shirt with the quote “If you can’t run with the big dogs, stay off the porch!” Yes, because that’s still cool.

Even though I am well aware that every person at some point in their lifetime freezes in the culture of a certain year, my awareness does not exclude me from the inevitable. I admit that whether it’s when I start having kids, or maybe not until I retire, still I will definitely get stuck one year, not even realizing it until it’s too late and I’m either too stubborn or apathetic to change.