DRESSED TO KILL? – Marilyn Armstrong

Garry used to be the best dresser in Boston. He spent a fortune on clothing. He loved looking good. His father was a tailor and for him, a suit that fit perfectly was like a hot sports car — and he had one of them, too. Did I mention his 1969 hot orange convertible Challenger? He actually had a matching wristwatch — gold with an orange background. That’s what he was showing Tip O’Neill in this now almost-famous photograph.

Garry wanted to be debonair. Like Cary Grant. He loved the way Cary Grant wore clothing and over time, Garry became quite a clothes-horse. You’d never know it from his stretchy pants these days, but in his time, he was quite the dresser. He still irons a crease in his jeans because they need that crease or they don’t look right.

Except he almost never wears jeans anymore. He is retired and so is his wardrobe. But he keeps a few things because every now and then, he has to stand in front of an audience and look good.

He looks good!

Recently – Photo: Garry Armstrong

I always felt slightly underdressed in his company — even when he was wearing shorts and a tee-shirt. Even my father — who rarely noticed anything other than himself (a consummate narcissist) — remarked that Garry looked better dressed in a grungy pair of shorts and shirt than most people looked in a tuxedo.

It was hard for me to live up to that, but Garry was a big help to me in finding clothing that looked good on me. He had an eye for drape and line. Even our granddaughter wouldn’t go shopping for a prom dress without his help. That is something!

At Broadcasting Hall Of Fame, September 2013

He never managed to help Owen much, though, but Owen was allergic to nice clothing. Greasy jeans and tee shirts with holes were his thing from very early on. Clothing that didn’t have paint stains on them wasn’t worth wearing. I guess that’s the flip side of debonair? Anti-debonair?

These days, it’s all about comfort. Elastic. I warned him, though. Once you discover elastic, you’ll never go back. it’s true. After you have learned to love stretch, nothing else feels right.

Yoga pants forever!

Categories: Garry Armstrong, Hollywood, humor, Marilyn Armstrong, Photography, portrait

Tags: , , , , , ,

36 replies

  1. Still lookin’ good, you two!


  2. Both of you looking good. Some say clothes make a man. My wife was the final arbiter of my “dress” clothes all the years I wore a suit five or six days a week, Except for a funeral, I haven’t been in one on since I retired and don’t miss them. Garry cut a fine figues, as is required in TV land…. looking back at pictures… they do add a certain charm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nat, thanks for the kind words.

      Dressing for work was a ritual. Everything needed to be coordinated, right down to the pocket swatch in my winter overcoat (Yeah, a bit too much, in retrospect).

      These days, deep in retirement, does not matter much.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hah — I was going to say I don’t own a dress — I do — I own, and wear, 4 denim house dresses, but my clothes of choice are all pants or shorts! It’s years since I’ve worn a dress other than the denim ones!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. These are wonderful photographs, Marilyn. You both look fantastic. Nice to see a picture of Garry as a young man too. Have a great weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, he does look very handsome in his suits. I always felt that a man looks best in a well-tailored suit. I dress my husband, help him pick out which tie and shoe, as well as the sox and which undershirt so it all goes nicely, no chest hair see-through, no black sox with a tan-colored suit. John is similar in size to your husband I think from photos. John is 5’6 140 pounds and wears a 30-inch waist (always has). He is suit size 38 short and wears a tapered shirt, always had his shirts tapered due to broad shoulders and arms, he has always been physical. I like a well-dressed man, my favorite song, “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top. “Every girl is crazy about a sharp dressed man.” We are more casual now BUT John does not like sweat pants or loose-fitting clothes, he likes his pants closer to the body and won’t wear activewear at all, no elastic waists. He even prefers his undergarments close to the body with fitted legs, even thermal underwear. I get it, he is not big, and baggy clothing just makes him look like one of the Marx brothers. I do prefer a pair of comfortable pants for example the Starfish brand by Lands End, a very nice fit and appropriate for many situations. I am partial to a flare leg, and I also wear nylon activewear in warmer weather with an elastic waist, drawstring tie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Garry didn’t like the stretchy stuff either … and then he retired and suddenly … stretch was king of the closet 🙂

      Our husbands could exchange clothing. I think Garry used to wear a 40 short, but he is thinner than he used to be, so he might take a smaller size, too.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Roberta, does sound like John and I are similar (clothing size) types. I envy his 5’6″. I’m down to 5’5″ as I shrink with age. My weight (genes, I think) is down to about 120-125. Yes, I am eating regularly. Marilyn has gotten me size “S” in the yoga pants because I had to double up the “M” pants at the waist. But dabbling with ice cream and frozen yoga is already adding on a few pounds during the summer (YAY!) months.
      I’ve always loved tapered pants and shirts. I adored the 90’s fashion look which draped easily and was very flattering even if you were not a slim Jim or Jane. Bit of a contradiction there? Oh, well.
      I HATE today’s Mens’ fashions. The suits always look too tight. The jackets have too many buttons and the men look like they bought the jackets one size too small. I scream at the celebrity athletes on post game shows (when we used to have games) because their outfits looked so ill-fitting. These fellas make plenty of money and usually have clothing advisors. So, what’s the deal?
      I probably look like a dinosaur when I “dress” these days. My navy blazer, grey slacks, button down shirt and striped toe with pocket swat in blazer. Hey, that’s me with shined loafers to finish the look. And, I like leather soles and heels because of the sound they make.


      • You keep doing what you’re doing because someone has to look classy and show the younger generation how it’s done. John loves his loafers and wingtips, always polished. He looks so handsome and gets many compliments when he dresses. He looks good in tighter jeans because he has a small waist and no belly bulge, he can wear a modern jean, but he is very fussy, Levi’s and Calvin Klein’s mostly. Strut your stuff, I think it is important for an older man to keep himself looking modern and doesn’t dress like the general “old guys”; elastic waist khaki cargo shorts, beer belly, and polo shirt with combat boots and a baseball cap YUK. You are a handsome man, strut your stuff. John is humble but he feels better when he looks good and gets compliments, confidence soars! Be well and take care, Gary. I am Robyn, as in Robyn Williams,


  6. Now there’s class for you!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the part about your granddaughter.

    Liked by 1 person

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