Jan 032014

Much to the shock — and possible dismay — of fashion editors everywhere, last week Esquire named Pope Francis as “Best Dressed Man of 2013.”

Max Berlinger in Esquire‘s Style section noted “Pope Francis’ sartorial decisions have subtly signaled a new era (and for many, renewed hope) for the Catholic Church.”

The LA Times dubbed the entire thing with “the whiff of a publicity stunt” and quoted church notables defending Francis’ predecessor expensive, hand-made Italian red leather shoes as a salute to “the blood of martyrs.”

I think there’s a deeper message here, one that reaches out to the everyman in the world.

Do you know him?  I have an every man in my life.  He’s gone about ten hours a day, sleeps in pajama bottoms with picture of Homer Simpson on them, makes me coffee and cinnamon rolls on Sunday mornings, and wears the same black, orthotic-looking shoes that the Holy See wears.

While my guy has never gone in for ermine robes or fancy gold jewelry (except for the leisure-suit years when he wore a gold chain around his neck), he can relate to the simple choices of the pontiff.

Does the Holy See refuse to wear khakis and chooses pants with a wide waist-band reinforced on the inside?

Does the Holy See mate his own socks?  If so, does he buy only black socks that are all alike so he is not confused in the mating?

I hope my guy can learn a few things from the Pope.  For example, when Pope Francis travelled to South America last year, he  fit right in.

This is unlike my husband who wore an Allis Chalmers hoodie from Rural King when we ate lunch at the fanciest restaurant in Lugano, Switzerland.

I’m guessing that His Holiness doesn’t wear tee shirts at all, or if he does they are those vee-necked kind like my father wears under his regular shirts.  I just can’t see the head of the Christian church in the world wearing a tee shirt he’s had since college that has a huge pink “Mister Bubble” on the front and a big hole under the arm.

I’m glad the new Pope chose to ditch the red leather shoes. His humility does make him more accessible, even to the non-Catholics of the world.  Maybe I’ll mail him a nice Homer Simpson shirt for his collection.

Pope Francis offers hope to every Rockport-footed male out there.

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