Aloha shirts and issues (some sartorial rules to live by for the middle aged man)

I have been somewhat of a clothes horse since I was a teen aged, now somewhat a youthful looking guy in my mid 50’s (my closest celebrity doppelgänger is Joe Scarborough). In a certain sense, being older frees you up to not jump on to every trend and hopefully age has given you the self awareness to dress for your body type rather than try and squeeze into something that while fashionable, looks ridiculous on you ( The late Scott Weiland (lead singer of the Stone Temple Pilots) was quoted as saying “There are a limited amount of years in which you can wear skinny jeans, There comes a point where whether you can or not, you shouldn’t “. I’ve got nothing against skinny jeans per Se for young men that are, well, skinny. I was rocking that look about five years ago and then I caught a look at a young guy who was built like me wearing some Levis 511’s and thought he looked like a California raisin, then I had an “oh shit” moment and out went the 511’s to be replaced by 501’s and 514’s (straight legs, see my previous post on Denim).

It is ok to stick with or go back to classics. In college and law school 83-90, I wore Levis 501, Ralph Lauren polos and button downs and Sperry Top Sider boat shoes and sneakers. Today I wear pretty much the same thing. The cut may change but it’s a classic look. That’s the key word, classic. Nobody wants to see the 40-50 something wearing a logo skinny tee. Clever Graphic tees are awesome for 30 something single guys to wear to brunch. They look sad on the 52 year old at the Catholic High School parents social. Same thing with shoes. I love Vans and the fact that my teenage boys wear them. I wore them for years but I don’t rock the checkers anymore and that’s ok. If you are in my demographic, you can wear Vans but they need to be the solid color Authentic’s or Era’s. The same thing with athletic sneakers, keep them low key, we are too old to be Sneaker Pimps. Lastly for the love of God, stay away from White New Balance sneakers, unless you are going to wear them with jean shorts, live in the Villages (huge retirement community in Central FL) and sport a MAGA hat.

There came a time when I tried to sport the big logo Ralph Lauren Polo’s. Huge mistake, unless you are Argintinean (and really play, think Latin Silver fox with a mustache) or a Narcotrafficante. Any logo’s should be small and understated. I don’t wear Ralph Lauren for the status, I wear it for the quality. I was wearing Polo oxfords from college in the 80’s all the way through the early 2000’s. As I type this, I am wearing a black Ralph Lauren tech polo I’ve had since early 2014 and it looks great. More on tech shirts in a bit. As far as other similar brands, Lacoste is great but the fit can be a little small in the wrong places. Vineyard Vines is great for the younger prep but in your 50’s you’re trying too hard (I do like Whales though).

I live in a warm climate so a lot of guys here wear tech shirts, usually with fish printed on them. That’s ok for some. My tech wear of choice is Patagonia or North Face. Columbia (who actually owns North Face) is great as well. These are adult brands. Again, wear them with pride for their quality and understated logos. I also wear a lot of LL Bean which checks the preppy box and the outdoor/tech box. However, big mistake a lot of guys make is wearing a button up fishing shirt in place of a dress shirt. Big no-no. I have a couple of nice LL Bean tech button downs that are a cool plaid. I wear them anywhere a polo or a tshirt would be appropriate but not with a sport coat or dress pants. I have a friend who wears Levis denim cowboy shirts, the really faded ones, with board shorts and somehow pulls it off, but its probably not a look for everyone.

By this age, you should know how to wear suit and if you have no suit game, I’m not sure I can help. My advice is to go custom. You can get a custom tailored suit for $1000.00. Owning 2 or 3 of these is much better than owning 5 or 6 suited separates. Stick with Blues, Greys and Subtle Plaids. In the South you can even go seersucker. Keep the lapels neutral because these suits last. I have one from 15 years ago that still looks great, I just need to have the pleats taken out of the pants and the legs tailored. A word on pleats, they come in and out of style (currently creeping back in) but they are not for all body types. Tall and slender yes, everyone one else, not so much. Use your ties and socks for creativity. As for your shoes, brown and black wingtips or cap toes for your base but maybe get a little crazy with some dress chukkas.

In Florida, where I live, it seems like a lot of older men revert to wearing Hawaiian or Aloha shirts as their go to. This is ok sometimes, especially if you are married and your wife doesn’t care. They look great down at the Elks club. I recently wore one of mine (purchased on my honeymoon in 2002) to an event and I liked it, except the sleeves were a bit long. Reyn Spooner (the Cadillac of Aloha Shirts) is now making them fitted with a button down collar, I may have to test drive one. Tommy Bahama is another popular brand with married guys. It shows up a lot in Facebook Posts of my male clients before their divorce when they were overweight, emasculated and miserable. They don’t wear them as much after the divorce when they have lost the weight and started getting laid again. In fact most of them dress like I have written above, understated, body specific, flattering and classic. Words to dress by.

The Exchange (It’s Never Free!)

Disclaimer: There are middle aged men out there who feel like they are an oppressed class. I am not one of them. I have been known to say that Middle Aged Men, especially Middle aged white men, have been responsible for most, if not all, of the World’s problems for the last 2-6000 years. Prior to that, we didn’t live to middle age and were probably not so much a problem. The point of this post is not to play the victim but is truly a factual relating of how it is as a middle aged married guy, just like most of your clients and admirers (I bet).

There is from time to time, frequently now, it seems on Twitter posts about conversations between SW and other women where the non SW women follow this same theme: having sex for money is somehow different from their lives and that SW is a product of the lack of self worth on the part of the SW. Then there are tons of replies and reTweets and you can almost hear the laughter. So here is the real deal (I am stating the obvious) It is never free.

I once had a conversation with my wife who was bragging about how her friend group of fellow wives were all saying that except for one of them, none of the husbands got blowjobs. For context, these men were a surgeon, a few lawyers, a stockbroker and a home inspection business owner (he still got blowjobs). Married women like to generalize based on what is going on with their immediate peer group, so this conversation was like permission for all of these women to continue to talk pride in saying no to their husbands and limit what was available to them sexually. With the exception of one of the women (who is a lawyer) the husbands all provided the lions share of the financial support for the family.

As a divorce lawyer, it has been my experience that it is ok for a woman to divorce her husband because he has lost his job or his business isn’t doing well but if the man does the same thing or even verbalizes frustration with the woman’s lack of financial contribution to the marriage or relationship, he’s a huge asshole. Also, you know if the business isn’t doing well or he got laid off, he isn’t getting any at home if he is a professional. Blue collar families are much better at this. The Playboy Adviser once wrote in a column about a tour he did in the Rust Belt and his observation was that since so many men were laid off and spent a lot of time at home with not a lot of money to go out, most of them had figured out where the clitoris was.

A lot of modern marriage is conditional love. The sex is held out as a carrot. If I am visibly working in the yard or doing a big household project, I am probably getting laid. My wife and I have sex at least once a quarter whether we need it or not is my private joke. Many couples in our demographic schedule their sexual encounters like their other activities (Thursday night Kid’s soccer then private time) but most have this unrealistic idea that it should be spontaneous yet completely fill up their time so it never happens. It’s a great example of letting the perfect ruin the good. Also, you get really good at fucking in the shower. It’s one of the places that takes away all of the excuses like “already showered”, “falling asleep” or “the kids are still up”. I have it down to a science from knowing to not move my feet so I don’t slip to how wide my legs have to be to line up with my wife’s… well you get the picture.

Throughout the history of most relationships, the men have tried to do and say the right things so they can get laid. Some examples are: Third dates, flowers, jewelry, “let’s be exclusive”, “let me go fill up your car with gas and get it detailed”, “will you marry me?” And ” of course we can afford this house”. The difference between married life and SW is that the exchange is more honest, the financial part is a better deal in the long run, you don’t have to share a bathroom with the other person for very long, blowjobs still exist and nobody is nagging (the subject of a prior post).

One last hot tip, guys can be fucked into submission. I will say no to a lot of things but it’s really hard to refuse anything to someone who has sucked you to get started and fucked you in 4 different positions and who is curled up with her head on your shoulder and her leg wrapped around yours stroking your dick for round 2.

Sex Workers and Family Law Part Deux Child Support

Other than child issues, the other issues in Family Law concern money. This falls into three different categories: Child Support, Property Settlement/Distribution and Alimony. Actually there is a fourth, one of my favorites, Attorney Fees. This post is focused on child support.

Child support is exactly what it sounds like, support for your child or children. In most jurisdictions, it is a mathematical calculation based on the parents incomes with time sharing, health insurance and child care costs as factors. The time sharing affects the support in that the closer you get to 50/50, the less support is exchanged. It is possible that if a couple makes roughly the same amount and one pays child care and the other pays health insurance it’s possible that no support would be exchanged if the parenting time is 50/50. I recently ran a calculation where if my client (Father) had every other weekend and one night a week, half the summer and other holidays his support was about $700 but if he had 50/50 it was about $120.

How this applies to the SW community is that you have to disclose your income as to amount. If you drive a Mercedes no one is going to think you work at Taco Bell. One sides income doesn’t skew the numbers that much so it’s dumb to lie about it.

The issue that comes up sometimes or a lot of time is when one side (usually the self employed dude) lies or obfuscates their income. The first thing I do in those situations is do a lifestyle analysis where I see how much that party is actually spending. If your financial statement shows income of $3000 a month and you are spending $5000 a month, guess what? Your income is $5000. Another point is that if someone is on their own business and they claim to make $30,000 a year, no one believes them. With all the brain damage that comes from being self employed, it’s not worth it to do it for that much. I’ve had Contractors that have paid for houses, 2 trucks and trailers claim to make only $30k, bullshit.

Sex Workers and Family Law

In almost 30 years of practicing law I have had a number of Sex Workers as clients. I have defended them in criminal court (a fetish model/Domme for speeding tickets), litigated against banks (escort/flight attendant in a number of foreclosure and breach of contract actions), Aromatherapy shop owners in landlord/tenant issues. I have even done a number of family law cases with and without children’s issues. In this post, I will focus on cases with children and in a future post I will write about cases involving alimony and property.

The initial thought for most people is that being a sex worker is somehow fatal to your parenting case. It’s not. I practice in Florida and I write from my own experience but the community standards are pretty similar in most urban/suburban areas. First, the court’s are way more concerned with parents with substance abuse or domestic violence issues than sex work as an income source. Also, the judges aren’t happy when people lie in court about their income. So if you are a sex worker but don’t have a drug or alchohol issue and disclose your income truthfully, you are 90% ok.

As a lawyer, I would play off the nuance that adult film actors don’t automatically lose their children so why should sex workers? The advantage I have when I represent a sex worker in a parenting class is that the other side thinks they will just roll into court and get what they want. The problem is that many times the Sex worker’s biggest problem has been the man she has kids with. She’s paying all of the bills with her “illegal” activity and he’s a trainwreck, no job, no schooling and a bad attitude. It’s probably a good trial strategy to categorize the Sex Work as a temporary financial band aid because the “father of the year” wouldn’t pull his weight financially. He is happy while they are together and she is paying for everything but as soon as the relationship has issues, her Sex Work is all of a sudden a problem. Luckily the judges see past this. They are more concerned with Adverse Childhood Experiences than someone’s career being a misdemeanor.

I once had a case where my client was paying alimony but had the teenage son full time because mom had some substance issues and couldn’t work. The son and his mom saw each other pretty frequently but no overnights. My client found her ads on Craigs list and also on TER so I filed a motion for her to pay child support which was actually deducted from the Alimony. The lady judge was only concerned about the financial aspect and didn’t care about the fact that mom was escorting. She, the judge, even joked about doing it herself to earn some extra bucks. It didn’t affect her contact with her son (I also didn’t pound the table about it). In another case, the client had a bunch of ads but the other side couldn’t prove anything other than she modeled for some pictures. In civil court, without the benefit of undercover police, actual sex work is pretty hard to prove unless the former partner was actually part of the business and then he is tarred with the same brush. Each case is different and tactical decisions are made all of the time about how to disclose certain information.

Remember, being a good parent, with a stable residence, with no substance abuse and a steady income outweighs any issue with being a sex worker.

I am always available for a consultation,

Denim heads

Confession time, I am a recovering denim head. What’s a denim head you say? A denim head is a guy or gal who is into raw denim, often shrink to fit that fade naturally, often with selvedge. Before the 1940s, all Denim was shrink to fit which meant that every new pair of jeans would shrink about 10% over the life of the jean until the process of Sanforizing was developed. Sanforizing is the process by which denim fabric is prewashed and shrunk before being sewn into jeans.

For a time, I had a small collection (and fortune) of LVC vintage fit Levis 501’s in models from 1947, 1954, 1967 and 1976, each retailing between $200 and $300 a pair. The jeans were not just clothing, they were a process. There are many theories about shrink to fit and I practiced on some regular 501 Shrink to fits before graduating to the big leagues. First you have to know how to upsize as they literally shrink to fit. The waist is not as much an issue because the raw denim stretches about 1-2″ with wear. The proper length is the key. You can’t stretch the length but you can roll it up. Each time I would get the jeans, I would fill up the bathtub with warm, not hot, water and throw in a cap of Dr. Bonners soap. Then you soak the jeans inside out for twenty minutes than let hang dry. Some people wear them damp or wet but I found that doing that blows out the knees (yes I have worn them in the bathtub and also wore them wet). Then just wear them, a lot after they dry.

The problem with me being a denim head is that those jeans really only look good with a black t shirt and either boots or Vans. They dont really go well for business casual or with boat shoes. The real denim heads wear them with Red Wing boots. But I live in Florida and I have to wash my jeans more often than the every six months recommended. Also the vintage jeans are heavy 12-14 oz denim. When they shrink they become heavier. They also fit like, well 1947 jeans. The idea is that over time they conform to your body and the fades are yours not artificial. But really who has four years to wear jeans until they break in when for $40-60 will happily sell you a pair that fits right off the bat in straight, tapered, skinny, slim or even athletic fit. They can have stretch or not and every shade of denim. The last straw was when my wife started asking why I was wearing big leg jeans and I felt like a Grease case member always wearing dark jeans turned up and a black t. I hope the vintage Levis found a happy home after the Goodwill,

Currently, I prefer regular, non shrink to fit, normal human wearing, Levis 501s (button flys straight leg) or Levis 514 (straight leg lower rise) in various dark and medium washes with a bit of stretch. I also have a few pair of Levis 511s (slim straight fit) upsized to a 36 waist so they dont fit like skinny jeans. But writing this blog makes me think, maybe I’ll order a pair of regular 501 shrink to fits, fill up the bathtub and ……

A Cautionary Tale

Once upon a time not so long ago in a place not to far away, there was man who had a law practice and loved to ride and race his bikes. We’ll call him Steve. Steve was happy, his business was good, he spent a lot of time with his family and rode his bike 100 miles a week. Then one day, Steve got a text from the Mayor who wanted to have lunch. The Mayor (and Steve’s old campaign team from his 2014 State House run) thought it would be a smashing idea if Steve ran for city council the next year. The current councilman was terming out and Steve was a lot like him, a Centrist Dem with a small business and a family.

Steve jumped in with both feet, announced his candidacy, and started fundraising. 4 days a week were spent calling donors and asking for campaign contributions. Steve was strong on the environment, public transportation and affordable housing. Steve didn’t scare local Republican business people because he seemed like he would listen to everyone. Steve also made his manners to other local politicians and went to local party meetings and made speeches and connected with people. Steve was endorsed by the Mayor and many other politicians in both parties. Steve raised over $30,000 for his campaign and was considered a shoo in, until ……

Steve had been on Twitter for ten years and had tweeted, retweeted and replied over 30,000 times. Steve had used words like “Fuck” and “Blowjob”. Steve made a joke about lesbian arm tattoos (his wife’s twin sister is gay and has an arm tattoo). Steve tweeted once about a porn star. Steve even made fun of Trump, a lot and once tweeted about the word “poontang”. A new opponent entered the race and revealed 18 “offensive” tweets to the local media. Steve’s campaign team (who solidly paid themselves $15000 of the $30,000 yet failed to scrub his Twitter account before he announced) bailed immediately. Steve as advised to apologize so he did, on Facebook. Steve and his tweets were on the front page of the local paper, on Sunday. The local political website ran 2 stories a day about how Steve was a racist, homophobic, misogynistic bully. There were editorials by this same website lecturing Steve on morals. Steve didn’t want to leave his house, was afraid to look at the internet and there were even stories on the TV news. Steve had never felt so humiliated in his adult life.

Just as Twittergate, (yes Steve got his own fucking ‘Gate) died down, the same political website called Steve and said hey, your name is on the Ashley Madison database. At first Steve denied it because he had forgot that he once went on the site in 2013 to do some oppo research on a case. The website called back, they had his credit card info and GPS coordinates, all illegal information. Steve said, “if I drop out , will it stop?” And the website said yes, so Steve dropped out.

Steve doesn’t tweet much anymore on his old account about politics and jokes. He is still followed on that account by all the old political people including a bunch that called him a racist, homophobic and misogynistic bully. Now Steve is happy again. He rides his bike, he surfs, he spends time with his sons and he loves practicing law. Steve has also started trying to be helpful to some folks, mostly women trying to help themselves and other women, with legal advice and a small donation here and there. Steve also started tweeting again, but under a different name. He is enjoying himself and he feels like he has a new twitter family. Say hi to Steve if you run across him on Twitter, he really is a good guy.


It’s been awhile but there used to be a show called “Everyone Loves Raymond”. The main character, Raymond, played by actor Ray Romano, was a somewhat bumbling likeable guy who was married to a strong confident woman. Raymond was always finding himself in situations where his own bad choices resulted in his wife both rescuing and lecturing him. Raymond was an archetype often found on television where the man of the family was outsmarted by his children, tolerated by his loving, patient yet far intellectually superior wife and generally seen as a likeable idiot. The problem with the show was that it seems like every woman that is married to someone I know watched that show and pigeon holed their husband as that guy.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about men. We aren’t all idiots even though arguably we have all made some bad choices. The problem with media portrayal of married men as idiots is that it goes counter to trust in a relationship. I’m not talking about trust as far as being faithful. I am talking about trusting your partner to be competent in simple things like changing a light bulb, picking a restaurant or god help us, grilling meat. That lack of trust leads to constant questioning and self doubt. Every relationship has a division of labor. If both partners trust each other to perform whatever things they each do correctly, life goes a lot better than busting each other’s chops. At the end of the day, most men just want a chance to be excellent for their partners. It’s the partner’s job to give them that opportunity. Raymond was a character not a role model

My First Blog Post

The World is a bit with me today

The World Is Too Much With Us
By William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;—

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not. Great God! I’d rather be

A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,

Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathèd horn.

As I read these words I reflect on the last 3-4 weeks where I have had court or some other proceeding every day. It feels like every day into the breach. I have won some and I have lost some. When I have these weeks where I am constantly speaking to someone or paying attention or on the phone in my car, it changes my tolerance and patience for minutia. It has led to some frank discussions which needed to be had. We have become a society of telephone tough guys and we shy away from hard conversations in person. We also want instant gratification. I spend a fair amount of time responding to clients and other people in distress situations, many times self inflicted. When I am busy like I have been, I spend less time hand holding (actually none at all) and more time having real conversations. In my professional life, I live in the world of facts not feelings and there is an art to conveying those facts.

One of the recurring facts that I deal with on a regular basis is the controlling sometimes abusive male/damaged (in his opinion) female. I have so many conversations where I am discussing with an intelligent, articulate mature woman her best plans for her and her child going forward and that conversation is colored by the control and anger of the absent male partner. In that scenario you have to deliver the message that their male partner’s anger is of no consequence in our legal situation but it’s always there, like another person in the room. I am currently reading a book about the Dominance theory v. the partnership theory in human sexual relationships and it makes me wonder, have 6000+ years of moralizing done this to our women? I have even seen women pick an attorney that is of the same vein as their partner and they can’t stand up for themselves to their own attorney, who by all accounts is supposed to work for them. I can’t save them all, but I wish I could. I know there are abusive women in the world that keep children away from their fathers but that’s a problem I fix pretty easily. In many respects, women represent to me a lot of what is good about life. You only have to look into an old woman’s eyes and see the young girl laughing to know what I mean.