These days, almost anything you find on the rack at the so-called “department” store is either “trendy” or “vice versa,” whatever that means. Which is to say that whatever you put on in the dressing room makes you immediately feel stared-at when you walk out the store without having paid for it. You know, how the beeper goes off and the “friendly” lady at the counter quickly asks you to step back into the store? Yes, and they invariably ask you to “take off that sweater, sir, the one with the tag.” How rude.
Indeed, they not only look brand new, but they all seem to have a “message” on them. You know the ones. “I’m with stupid.” “i heart NY.” “This is the only T-shirt I own.”
It’s just like the American police always say when they read you your rights: “Anything you say or do can and will be used against you.” (Not that I know what the police say when they read you your rights.)
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
In fact, there are exactly three things YOU can do to avoid making a fashion statement. I forget what the first one is. But the second one is to wear old clothes instead of new ones. Here’s how. Go to your closet. Find the last thing you bought. Throw that away. Find the second to last thing you bought. Throw that away, too. Actually, keep that for future use. Someday it won’t be the second to last thing you bought anymore. After you’ve been through everything you bought in the past year, put on the next outfit you find. It will be totally out of style. That’s a good thing. Go outside and see how it looks in the sun. Take a feather duster to it. Better yet, vacuum the dust off, or use chalk board erasers as clappers to shake the dust off. Try not to sneeze. Congratulations, you now have something to wear without making a fashion statement.
The third thing you can do to avoid making a fashion statement is to wear plain colours. Drab’s the word here. Focus on black1, brown, navy blue, and the occasional white. No bright, neon, glow-in-the-dark stuff. Those make you look like a techno dancer.
Oh, now I remember the first thing. If your hair is very long, get a hair cut. If your hair is very short, grow it out a bit. If you have no hair at all, well, good luck. Maybe wear a hat. Or a toupée. Nobody wears toupées anymore, so no one will suspect it. If someone asks, just pull his hair, stick out your tongue, and tell him if he wants it, it’ll cost him. Chances are, he’ll leave you alone.
Now you know how to wear clothes (and hair) without making a fashion statement. So next time you see your neighbour donning the regulation jersey with the latest sports star’s surname on the back, or the T-shirt with the hot new race car on the front, just remember, he’s a victim of circumstance, and feel free to laugh at him.
- Black used to be an automatic fashion statement, back in the 1980’s, despite the fact that it had been around as the main clothing colour for, say, 600 years, up until modern times anyway. ↩