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Serge and Monica Bielanko

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Serge Bielanko spent nearly 15 years living in a van and cheap motel rooms as a guitarist/songwriter in a rock-n-roll band called Marah, before turning to marriage, parenthood, and writing. For the past several years, he has written about the humorous side of being a dad and a husband on his personal blog, Thunder Pie. In addition to writing daily for Babble Dad and Babble Voices (He Said/She Said), his writing has appeared in places like Esquire magazine and The Huffington Post. Nowadays, this 41-year-old dude spends way too much time working on his first book in his garage in central Pennsylvania, where he chases trout, drinks beer, and lives with his wife, the writer, Monica Bielanko, and their two kids, Violet and Henry.

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Old Work Boots & Camouflage Cargos: How NOT To Let Your Man Fall Out Of Fashion

By Serge Bielanko |

Did George Clooney gain like a thousand pounds?

(This is Part 2 of a 2 Part article. You can view Part 1 here.)

Let it be known that the evolution of a fashion disaster is not something to take lightly.

I mean, c’mon, we learn from other people’s mistakes as much as we learn from our own, right? And let’s be honest: it’s a lot less painful to stand back and simply bare witness to someone else’s fashion mistakes, some other grown man’s carnival of faux pas than it is to experience it ourselves.

Plus, there has to be some kind of sociological value to putting yourself out there, in picture format, to be chuckled at by the masses, don’t you think?

It’s sort of like observing the lemurs leaping off the cliff.

We stand back.

Our jaws drop.

We back away from the cliff.

Lesson learned.

Thus, I feel the need to expose my true self to you, dear reader, as a man caught up in a conundrum of stylistic misses and missteps the likes of which the modern world has rarely known. I am a married man. My wife is still quite beautiful and she dresses with a certain ‘street savvy’ that would allow her to walk down any Broadway or High Street anywhere without knowing that heavy encumbering notion that afflicts those of us who just can’t seem to get our freaking look together.

So, I owe this to her.

My kids are cute and lovely and they make my world shine with their daily smiles, and someday soon they will be dressing themselves. And I am of the belief that they will take after their mommy (what choice do they have?!) when it comes to fashion and style and all and so I have to recognize the fact that if I continue down the ultra-relaxed path of Heinousness that I have been following the past few years, I run the risk of shaming them in public places just by showing up dressed like that tobacco chewing mechanic Cooter from the Dukes Of Hazzard, and I don’t want that to be the mustard stain on my legacy.

So, I owe this to them.

And you, you people out there in cyber-land, I like you. Okay, I don’t really like you all that much, but I don’t dislike you enough to watch you have to wander down through the dark lonesome caverns of shabbiness that I have had to pass on through. I wouldn’t wish that on a rotten anchovy, so I’m not about to wish it down on you.

So, this is for you, too.

This is a hard and riveting look into the mind of a husband /a father/and a man who slowly, but surely, descended into the madness known amongst the more fashionable set as “not giving a sh!t.”

So, belly up to your screen and watch and learn, ya’ll!

The laughs and cringes are all on me…

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Fashion Tips For The Totally Clueless

Joe Cool-ish

There was a time, not to many years ago, before kids and marriage whittled down my sense of fashion, when I managed to look half-decent. I even wore pink, which means you're fashionably confident, right?

More from Serge on Babble:

Big Daddy: The Life And Times Of A Beating Heart

No Neckties/No Cologne: 20 Father’s Day Gifts I Really Want

25 Things About My Daughter, Violet

You can also find Serge on his personal blog, Thunder Pie.

And on Facebook and Twitter.

Keep up with on Facebook.


25 things women will never understand about men
10 life lessons I want to teach my daughter
10 things you should never say to your husband… but probably do
15 fashion mistakes men need to stop making NOW
8 things I never thought I’d say… until I became a parent

More on Babble

About Serge Bielanko


Serge Bielanko

Serge Bielanko writes about fatherhood for Babble Dad and about marriage stuff for Babble Voices at He Said/She Said. His writing has appeared in Esquire and The Huffington Post, as well as on his personal blog, Thunder Pie. He lives with his wife and two kids in central Pennsylvania. Read bio and latest posts → Read Serge's latest posts →

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8 thoughts on “Old Work Boots & Camouflage Cargos: How NOT To Let Your Man Fall Out Of Fashion

  1. per se says:

    so… this was pretty funny… almost like a redemption kind of post, if you know what i mean…
    some of your writings definitely deserve a larger audience than the one at babble voices…
    as far as your style, don’t give up man… i mean, you can find designer jeans on sale at macy’s for the same price people pay for walmart sweatpants… it’s a fact…
    shoes… yeah, that’s trickier and more expensive – if you really want to make a difference… for now, just ditch the boots (unless they are truly appropriate for the work you would do)…
    care (and of course, don’t hate)…

  2. gina says:

    You sir, have morphed into The Dude.

    1. Serge Bielanko says:

      Gina, YES! Hahaha…good way to look at it!

  3. Barb says:

    I’m no fashionista, but, dude, your feet need to breathe! So, your wife said on her blog that you don’t like flip-flops, but for summer you’ve gotta at least try a pair of sandals or something. They have those rugged, hiking-type sandals for men…

  4. laurie says:

    serge, this piece made me laugh out loud…perfect blend of good writing, photos and the hint of self deprecation; hilarious! if it makes you feel any better, i can totally relate from the mom-side of it – by the time my youngest was 5, i was able to ‘get back to paris’! thanks for a great start to my morning.

  5. Lauz says:

    Am i the only one who thought, as i looked from picture to picture, that not one of your outfits were that bad?In fact i thought they were all alright. We have ALOT of men here in scotland who think it is perfectly acceptable to only go out in ‘shellsuits’ – sport tracksuits, with horrible too-small-for-their-head baseball caps on, giant gold jewellery and their trousers tucked into their socks. Thats not even the worst outfit i’ve seen recently. At least you do not wear skin tight 80s glamour spandex trousers and choose to wear them on a bus, on a tuesday, way to close to me. Embrace the Dude look. There is always someone who looks worse.

  6. [...] couple weeks ago my husband wrote a piece for Babble Voices that featured some photos of him and our 3-year-old daughter, Violet, sitting on our porch watching [...]

  7. HMS says:

    That thing about George Clooney’s bloated corpse made me LOL. You look a bit more dapper than that!

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