Rick Nelson and Claude Peck dispense unasked-for advice about clothing, etiquette, culture, relationships, grooming and more.

 

CP: Orange, they say, is big for fall. Yet I don’t see it filling your closet, or mine.

 

RN: I’ve exercised some rare self-discipline and have expunged it from my wardrobe. After all these years I’ve finally come to the realization that it’s no color for the Pasty Bald White Guy tribe.

 

CP: The rut I am in, fashionwise, is deep and abiding.

 

RN: Join the club. I was this close to buying a sort-of fall, sort-of winter coat the other day, only to realize that I already owned four near carbon copies of it. That’s no rut, that’s full-on canyon territory.

 

CP: The interest is there for me, but not the actual go-out-and-shop zeal. Should I blame myself, or have menswear designers failed to entice us with anything new and interesting?

 

RN: Don’t hit me, but perhaps our ages have something to do with it. We’re both on the wrong side of the coveted 25-49 demographic, meaning that we no longer reside within the orbit of most designers and retailers.

 

CP: Thanks for the reminder. It’s enough to make me give up and just go in for sports-logo-themed outfits from head to toe.

 

RN: If you do, and I see you in public, I’m going to pretend that you’re a stranger. Please don’t take it personally.

 

CP: Or Chinese-style black pajamas every day, which at least would be easy and slimming.

 

RN: Let’s back this up. When and where was the last time you found your shopping senses stimulated?

 

CP: I was excited at the prospect of some cheap designer duds for guys in the Phillip Lim 3.0 for Target recently. But since I didn’t swing by a store till a couple of days after the launch, the re-salers had scooped up everything that wasn’t XXL.

 

RN: Please, they had probably picked the store clean in four hours. Lim’s motorcycle-style leather jacket wasn’t exactly Marlon Brando in the “The Wild Ones,” but it was stylish. When Target had them in stock, they were $299. I just saw one on eBay for $450. Thanks, but no thanks.

 

CP: I bought the Lim camo sweatpant at $29, but I can’t wear that to an autumn soirée.

 

RN: This social pariah should be so lucky as to be invited to an autumn soirée. Although, what would I wear?

 

CP: Perhaps one of your fraternity-tested wardrobe staples.

 

RN: Even with sweater weather approaching, I fear that I’ll be run out of town if I show up in yet another cashmere V-neck.

 

CP: Don’t you have a nice Prince of Wales checked sportcoat from a few seasons back? Slip on a Paul Smith sock, et voilá!

 

RN: You mean the one that people see me wearing and say, “That again?” Although great socks can cover a multitude of style sins.

 

CP: Of course, after we urge our devoted followers to move into the slim-cut, dark-wash jean, the fashionistas say it’s OK to bring out the acid-washed loose fitters.

 

RN: Oh, geez, the return of the Dad jean. Now I’m never going to leave the house.

 

E-mail: witheringglance@startribune.com

Twitter: @claudepeck and @RickNelsonStrib