barefoot ben

smilebackwards  asked:

Turn headcanon: Tell me more about perfectly put together modern Ben. Is he just always dressed neat and tidy or does he care about fashion enough to wear labels and avidly await the Burberry Fall collection? Does he ever shrug into one of Caleb's nice, slouchy sweaters to get the coffee started in the morning or slip on Caleb's crocs to let their dog out at night?

Oh, my love, this is my favorite thing to talk about. I will tell you all about it.

At Yale. 

  • This is where he really starts dressing well. 
  • He not a suit level yet but he always makes sure he looks put together.
  • He judges those kids that roll out of bed and show up to class in the same thing they wore to bed. He hates that. It takes like, what, 60 seconds to put on actual pants and a shirt? 
  • He doesn’t care if the other kids wear jeans and t-shirts that are dirty or haven’t been washed in a bit so long as they are wearing them and not ratty sweatpants and shirts with holes in them. 
  • He super cares if he wears jeans and t-shirts that are dirty. He does laundry once a week religiously. He has quarters for the washer and dryer in the basement of his dorm all over the place. 
  • He cuts his hair at the start of his freshman year.
  • Is really upset that he missed the whole man-bun craze because he wants to be up on the current styles always. 
  • He bitches to Caleb about it every time they talk which is at least once a day. 
  • “It’s like they knew, Caleb. They knew the moment I cut my hair so they could make long hair a thing. They knew it.” “Who are they?” “Them. The people that decide this kind of thing.” “Alright Tallboy.”
  • Ben does not let it go. He gets coffee and goes to the bookstore and there are men with man buns and Ben just burns with jealousy. 
  • He tries to grow his hair out but it gets to an awkward length and he can’t stand it. It’s all or nothing and there is no in between so he gets it cut short again. Sulks over it. 
  • “I could have had it. If I had waited one more month I could have gotten in on this trend.” “Can you like, let it go?”
  • Caleb, who has been studying abroad in Greenland, Skypes him and shows him how long his hair has gotten and he turns to the side to show Ben his own amazing man-bun and Ben disconnects the call. 
  • Caleb decides to cut his hair in solidarity but doesn’t tell Ben about. Ben finds out when he picks Caleb up from the airport and Caleb opens the door to Ben’s truck and climbs in with a big smile at seeing his best friend again and Ben smiles back and realizes right then that he is in love with him and always has been.
  • Ben doesn’t tell him that. He just leans across the gear shift and kisses him. 

Now. Ben’s fashion choices in the 3 main professions I hc him in. 

Secret Agent/Modern Spy/Government Analyst

  • Always in a suit. 
  • Shows up to meetings and briefings with Sackett and the rest of the team looking better than Sackett and a thousand times better than the rest of the team who are all in jeans and t-shirts or running shorts. 
  • Has an endless supply of ties. 
  • Caleb likes the blue ones best on him so the majority of them are different shades of blue. 
  • They go on assignment to some fancy gala and Sackett tells them they’ll get him a tux and Ben shakes his head because he already has three and they all fit him perfectly. Like a dream. 
  • He has a very close relationship with his tailor. Ben knows his birthday and gets him Cuban Cigars for it. 
  • Anna calls him basic. He doesn’t know what that means so he googles it and doesn’t get why it’s supposed to be an insult because he thinks it means he looks classic and Benjamin Tallmadge is a mother fucking classic. 
  • Somehow also looks great in his tactical gear. 
  • Everyone else is sweaty and miserable and generally hate their lives and all their choices that lead them to this moment wearing all black in a hundred degree heat but Ben looks like he’s about to walk a runway in Milan in some avantgarde fashion show and everyone hates him.


  • Hot teacher to the max.
  • So put together.
  • Everyone has a crush on him. Teachers, students, parents of students, the lunch ladies. (they give him free chocolate milk and cookies)
  • Think J. Crew Catalog. 
  • Pressed slacks, shined shoes, cute collared button downs under neat sweaters. 
  • Sweaters with elbow patches.
  • Blazers. 
  • Peacoats and scarves and cashmere gloves in the winter.  
  • Light colored pants with breezy button downs with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows in the summer.
  • Has Ray-Bans to complete the look. Doesn’t take them off (because his hands are always full of papers and mugs of coffee and a bagel he got on the way to work) until he gets into his classroom and he’s so cool and it’s a real problem for some (most of his) students. They all want to be in his class but they don’t want to be in his class, you know what I mean?
  • Has an endless supply of Tide To Go Sticks in his desk that are used by the faculty and students. They don’t even have to ask to use them they just go right into his desk drawer. 
  • Participates in Casual Friday because the 5 dollars the teachers have to pay to wear jeans go to charity. 
  • So he wears a pair of dark denim jeans and a fitted navy Henley and he doesn’t put his contacts in so he’s wearing his black rimmed glasses and he knows he looks good because Caleb told him he looked good before he left and he was ten minutes late (whoops) but it was worth it. 


  • You know all the good press Justin Trudeau gets for being stylish and well liked and an all around good guy? Ben is America’s Justin Trudeau. 
  • Men and women love him for different and similar reasons.
  • Caleb tells him that his constituents don’t care/don’t know what he stands for they just like the way he looks/dresses and Ben who is just jaded enough with the current political climate and knows that he’s on the right side of history with all his beliefs shrugs and says “a vote’s a vote.”
  • Has met the President looking better than the President.
  • Martha does not hide her crush on him well. She holds his hand for too long and winks at Caleb and when she’s asked about it by some reporter she makes a comment about how ‘sharply dressed he is’ and how lucky his boyfriend is and Ben is very uncomfortable around Washington now and can’t look him in the eye. Washington side eyes him every chance he gets.
  • Trevor Noah makes a joke about Ben and Martha at the Correspondence Dinner. Martha and Caleb laugh the loudest. George and Ben don’t laugh at all. 

Domestic nonsense. 

  • When he and Caleb go house hunting Ben vetoes the first ten houses they see because there is not enough closet space.
  • He only agrees to the 11th house because Caleb promises he can knock out that wall and get him the walk in closet he longs for and that ‘there will be plenty of room for your designer suits you pretty boy.’
  • Loves being called a pretty boy. You know that post that’s going around where they don’t understand the insult around being called a pretty boy and hell  yeah, call me a pretty boy? Ben wrote that. Call him pretty. 
  • 95% of what he owns needs to be dry cleaned. 
  • Caleb accidentally throws in one of Ben’s sweaters in with his wash and Caleb’s legitimately afraid Ben is going to break up with him. He writes down an apology (note cards and all) and neatly folds up what’s left of the sweater and presents both to Ben and he only gets through one note card before Ben is rolling his eyes and kissing his cheek and telling him not to worry about it and he can always get another one. 
  • He doesn’t understand jeans with holes in them. Caleb owns a few pairs and Ben hates them. He didn’t even buy them with the holes in them, he made them himself as he was working on the house or in the yard. Ben’s still not okay with it. 
  • Has matching pajama sets. You know, where the top matches the bottom and Caleb teases him non stop about it but Ben doesn’t care. 
  • “You look like a dad?” and Ben shrugs because he loves his dad. Nathaniel Tallmadge is a badass. Ben wants to be his dad. 
  • “You look like a granddad.” and Ben shrugs again because his granddad was legit. He wants to be his granddad. 
  • They make quite the pair working around each other in the kitchen to make breakfast. Ben in his cute pajama set and Caleb in boxers and an old concert tee (sometimes he forgoes the tee and sometimes, let’s be honest, he forgoes everything). 
  • They both have LL Bean slippers because everyone should have LL Bean slippers. Caleb’s are worn. Ben’s look like the day he got them. 
  • They always make quite the pair. When they go out to a bar or something Ben dials back his outfit but still looks good (dark wash jeans, unscuffed converse, a wrinkle free shirt) and Caleb throws on whatever is somewhat clean and smells okay and if it doesn’t smell okay he gives it a quick spray of Fabreze and he’s good to go. 
  • People think he’s kidding when he tells them Caleb is his boyfriend. Ben hates that. Has gotten into fights over it. Real, physical, call the cops, I got blood on my new shirt, fights. 
  • Sometimes Caleb catches him before it escalates and plays peacemaker by shoving Ben against the bar and shoving his tongue down his throat and totally wrinkling his shirt but it’s whatever. It’s good. 

Super Casual Ben

  • Ben in swim trunks (they totally have the American flag on them like a total bro but it’s okay because Caleb is the only one looking at him) as they lounge around the pool. Ben’s not one to just hang out in there. He doesn’t float around on an inflatable pool toy. He does laps, hops out, slathers on sunscreen, and tries to get a tan without burning. Caleb is a water kid. Lives in it. Gets out of the pool and shakes like a dog right next to Ben. Ben tackles him into the pool. 
  • When they go to the park with Abe and Thomas and Mary Ben’s in tan shorts and Caleb spends most of them time sitting on the blanket with Ben trying to see how far he sneak his hand beneath the hem of them before Ben bats his hand away (spoiler: it’s hella far).
  • Bonfires on the beach. Ben is barefoot (he left his shoes in the car because the sand would be in them forever and ran across the hot pavement and right into the water to cool them down) and his jeans are rolled up and he’s got his Yale sweatshirt on because it’s cooled down a bit and he’s leaning into Caleb’s space and Caleb is leaning back in their own little world as Abe and Rob bicker in the background. 
  • Caleb doesn’t bat an eye at Ben in a tux or a suit. He knows Ben looks great and turns heads and he could look at Ben all day in tailored dress pants but that’s not what gets him. 
  • What gets him is (and thank you for putting these ideas in my head) Ben waking up in the middle of the night when their puppy starts whining to go out and reaching down with a yawn for the first item of clothing he can find on the floor which is Caleb’s long sleeved tee which is tight in the shoulders and short in the arms but he pulls it on and Caleb mumbles something about stretching out his clothes. Ben tells him to shut up in a voice that’s so thick with sleep that it has zero bite to it. Caleb pushes himself up enough in bed to look out the window to watch him and the puppy in the porch light. He’s covered up Caleb’s sweater with Caleb’s jacket and slipped on Caleb’s truly terrible crocs because it’s been raining and he doesn’t want to get his feet wet as he stands on the deck and waits for the dog. He watches Ben throws this disgustingly muddy tennis ball a half a dozen times before he scoops the puppy up and brings him in. 
  • Sometimes Caleb comes home late and finds Ben in the kitchen in one of Caleb’s thick, chunky, sweater which is a size too big for him and he has to keep jamming the sleeves up as he stirs something in a pot on the stove. 
  • Sometimes he comes home and he’s reading on the couch with their puppy lying on his chest and he’s wearing one of Caleb’s t-shirts that has a hole around the collar. 
  • Ben has a cold and Caleb makes him stay home and Caleb leaves him in bed in his coordinated pajamas and comes home to him flushed with a fever so he’s down to his boxers but also having the chills so he’s wrapped up in one of Caleb’s softest flannel shirts that’s so worn the fabric at the elbows are practically see through. Caleb pushes his hair off his forehead to see how hot he is and Ben whines all pathetic like and wipes his nose on the inside of the collar and Caleb calls him a beautiful disaster before he climbs in bed next to him. 

We’re cooking lemon chicken and asparagus in lots of garlic and white wine. We’re moving around the kitchen, got the TV tilted toward us, the Kardashians are cracking jokes in the background. We’re drinking, we’re whistling along with the theme song, we’re moving around the kitchen like dancers - Ben cooking, me cleaning and clearing space. Coordinated, sailing. I’ve got that white wine buzz. I keep singing the hook to a song that played on the radio all the time five years ago. The wine is cheap and the food could feed four, but it’s just for the two of us, warm and flushed. I rub potatoes down with oil and salt, wipe up the little spills here and there. I press oregano between my palms. I smell like lemon juice. I got a copy of Marie Claire in the mail, tear out the free samples, test them out on Ben. We’re barefoot and tipsy. It’s Tuesday night and this is my life. It’s so nice. It’s so nice.