Monday, January 23, 2012

Justifiably Unfashionable

It has been said that "clothes make the man."  I understand the sentiment but disagree with it to some degree.  I think it should be restated to "clothes enhance the image a man wishes to project."

Aside from the obvious need to protect ourselves from the environment and the perceived need for propriety, why do we wear the clothes that we wear?  Perhaps propriety is a guise for protecting our public image -- face it, most people look better in clothes than out of them I suspect.  Obviously clothes are worn in order to project a specific image.

The following quote says it all:

"Fashion for the most part is nothing but the ostentation of riches." -- John Locke

I've always been a boots and jeans guy.  They are comfortable.  They are never truly out of style in the places I travel or among those with whom I associate.  They project a certain image; one of being associated with the cattle industry or horses.  Some people immediately associate the image with Texas.  I'm comfortable with such associations.  It is the image I wish to project.

But, what about the person who is constantly changing their wardrobe to fit the current popular styles?  I see this especially among young people.  What is it that they are trying to project?

The image of current style is one of insecurity in my opinion.  However, most who change the contents of their closet with the fickleness of popular magazine and entertainment culture most likely do so in the desire to be "just like" the icons of those industries -- television, movie and music stars.  I find it especially interesting that the same thread of fashion currently extends to the White House where the first lady spends outrageous sums on clothing so that media reviews will be favorable.  Is it a sign of insecurity with her as well?  Perhaps it is better that I don't judge.

Clothing in the current popular styles is expensive.  This is true even for the ragged jeans worn by many of today's students.  I am amazed that faded jeans with gaping holes and stains are more expensive than those without such signs of wear-and-tear.  Long before mine reach such a disreputable state, they are assigned to the work clothes section of my closet -- you know, the ones that I don't wear in public except possibly to the hardware store to pick up a part for some project.

Many of the clothes seen today are impractical.  Women's clothing is especially impractical unless its sole purpose is to attract an undesirable mate -- one interested only in the physical attributes rather than the complete person.  Clothing once suitable only for the red-light districts of major cities is now commonly seen in the hallways of our high schools.  Something has gone terribly wrong in a society which values such public display.  Is it merely a reflection of entertainment culture or is it a symptom of the underlying loss of morality?  Perhaps it is the natural inclination to find a mate expressed in an unhealthy way.

I am thankful I do not feel compelled to dress in the current fashions for men.  They quite frankly are often somewhat effeminate.  When I see pink ties and pastel shirts I immediately think that the wife has far too much influence on the man's clothing choices -- or that the male in question is somewhat unsure of his maleness.  I've heard it said that it takes a real man to wear pink.  I disagree.  It takes a real man to tell her no thanks, honey, I can dress myself.

Don't expect me to change the way I dress.  I will stick with my boots and jeans.  I can justify my behavior on practicality alone.  I may be unfashionable, but it works for me.

Well, so much for my thoughts on fashion.  Tomorrow I will choose a topic beginning with the letter "K."  As always, suggestions are appreciated.


1 comment:

CimA said...

I must have gotten my fashion sense from you. Practicality and functionality are all that matters. It's too time-consuming and expensive otherwise. :)