Bermuda shorts, Hawaiian shirts and Michigan undies

As everybody and their Aunt Matilda have pointed out (and rightly so), Monday was a day to honor the American soldier and those who died in service of our country. Noble, yes . . . but not the point of this column, this week.
Nope, today I write that Memorial Day is also the historical day of seasonal fashion change. Yep. Officially, we can all now wear Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts without causing a scene or fashion faux pas. Ever cognizant of fashion trends, this is a good thing. I work flower patterns into my wardrobe rotation as often as possible. And, were it not for Jennie packing the summer stuff and hiding it for the winter, I’d wear fun clothes all year long.
I love ’em!
But, my love of clothing from the sweatshops of other states started me thinking. There needs to be some ‘cool? Michigan garments. When you think of Texas, you think cowboy boots and 10-gallon hats. When in Kentucky, you got to get a coonskin cap. When you come to Michigan, you get a cold or runny eyes.
We need something cool, and now is the perfect time to find said piece of clothing then promote the heck out of it — make it trendy, if you will. Now is the time because Jennifer ‘the babe gov? Granholm is currently promoting Michigan as a ‘cool? place. All across the great mitten state, villages, towns and cities are to promote the ‘coolness? of their individual communities.
So, for the economic well-being of our state, it is my belief Her Honor needs to get this garb thing going. We need some ‘cool? Michigan threads, man . . . wait.
Wait one cotton-pickin? moment . . . up in Kent County, in the little hamlet of Cedar Springs they are already known far and wide for some groovy get-up. Red underwear that covers from the neck down and everything in between — long johns some call them — is what they’re into. Red flannel underwear may not sound ‘cool? to you, but these undies also come with the handy-dandy trap door in back for easy Number 2 breaks.
Cedar Springs, ‘the Red Flannel Town,? even has a cool tradition of the Red Flannel Festival. Folks in town hang up plywood red flannel signs, drink red flannel drinks and have a generally good red flannel time. What’s more ‘cool? than that?
Michigan Undies.
I like the sound of that. It kind of rolls off the tongue nicely, don’t you think?
Maybe the Gov can make an executive directive proclaiming Michigan Undie Day, to coincide with the Red Flannel Festival? And, she can further proclaim that everybody sport their own red undie get up. I see lots of potential in this. And, it could really set the state up for an economic boom. If this Michigan undie thing takes off (and why shouldn’t it?) it could free us from the fickle grips of the automotive industry. No longer will Michigan ‘go as the auto industry goes.? If the world stops buying from the Big Three, and that industry hits hard times, we could still have lots of folks employed sewing red flannel underwear. Which means there would be more red flannel long johns and more places to purchase them. We could have Michigan Undie dealerships. The possibilities are endless.
It’s a win-win situation, because as it is now, the only true place to buy some Michigan red undies is at a little screen printing/embroidery place in downtown Cedar Springs called Flaunt It. There, proprietors Lea Dillard and Karen Sudhoff run the Cedar Springs Red Flannel Company. Folks place orders, mostly on-line, then Lea and Karen call their seamstresses (they employ a half dozen) to sew ’em the new flannel duds.
‘We have orders from all over the country — all 48 contiguous states,? Dillard said when I called her, adding most of their orders are from places outside of Cedar Springs and Michigan. Their biggest season for sales is from November through December. No big duh there. In Michigan, life starts getting cold by November. What better way to stay warm than to lay by a cracklin? fire, just you and your gal both adorned in red flannel underwear with the trap door in back?
Now that is cool — no, it is romantic. Love, Michigan style.
I’m getting tingly just thinking about it.
Dillard and Sudhoff’s shop is located at 34 N. Main Street in Cedar Springs. If you are up there, stop in and say ‘hey? to the girls. The red flannels come in all sizes — infant up to double X for big boys like me. Prices range from $23 to $40. Their toll-free number is 1-800-204-0680. You can also order on-line by visiting their website,
As fall is their busy season, if you want to order, now would be a good time.
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