Q&A: How to Go as Fences

Your Chris Mansfield costume is closer than you might think.

If you don't have the frames to pull off a last-minute Black Keys look, Seattle's Chris Mansfield is probably your next best get. The confessional singer/songwriter's look—stocking cap, tattoos, T-shirt, and occasional guitar—might be on your person right now.

BTW, there's no reason this costume has to be for men only. Ladies like tight jeans and Pomeranians as much as the next guy. Just pull your ponytail under that cap, get creative with your eyeliner, and you'll be good to go. Of course, for those planning to attend Fences' Saturday show at Columbia City Theater, you could dress like the band.

"I think we're gonna all wear those skeleton costumes," Mansfield says. "I might have Greg [Garcia] be the shower so he can be bullied by us, like in The Karate Kid."

For those dead-set on working the Fences look this weekend, here's how it's done:

SW: Where do you get most of your clothes?

Mansfield: My girlfriend goes through the bins at the Goodwill in SoDo. [Clothes are], like, a dollar a pound. That's where she found the jeans I'm wearing now. Most of my jeans are really tight and really high-watered to a point of ridiculousness, I'd say. I wear these black shoes I get in the International District from a kung-fu store that are kind of like Zig Zag ripoffs that are, like, 12 dollars. They're called "Warriors."

Do you cut the necks out of your shirts?

No. When I have shirts, like boat-neck shirts, I usually get them at H&M or something. I started wearing those a while back. Now if I wear a regular T-shirt, it feels constricting for some reason.

What's your cap of choice these days?

I just wear, like, beanies from the Army/Navy surplus store on First Avenue.

I contend that the Army/Navy surplus store has the best customer service in town. Has that been your experience as well?

Absolutely. I've kind of made friends with those guys. They're awesome.

Where did you find your Pomeranian?

My mother works dispatch for truck drivers. I guess this trucker had gotten it somewhere in his travels. He was just riding around with her in a crate. When he stopped in Seattle, he wanted to get rid of it, and my mom got it. Then she gave it to me and I gave it to my girlfriend for her birthday.

Before you got permanent tattoos, did you dabble in temporaries, or drawing on your skin?

I was never super-into tattoos when I was young. I was kind of around a lot of men who had tattoos, and I was always kind of scared of 'em. I still am. If I see a guy with as many tattoos as me, I'm like, Jesus, that guy is probably bad news. Then I realize that I'm being ridiculous.

Would a Chris Mansfield ensemble include a bottle of booze these days, or a different beverage?

I would say root beer or hot chocolate. I don't drink. I drink Shirley Temples a lot at shows.

ckornelis@seattleweekly.com

 
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