Okay, don't laugh: I subscribe to two men’s magazines: Esquire and GQ. Esquire (which I love) is more of a catch-all men’s mag, with sartorial issues being just a part of its editorial focus. GQ, however, is almost all about fashion, and that’s why I have no idea why I subscribe (aside from the ultra cheap rate). I hate fashion. I don’t own a suit. I’ve made life choices that reject the suit lifestyle. I hate suits. And usually, am not too keen on the guys who wear them. Oh, I can look presentable at a funeral or a wedding (two rituals on which I also have strong opinions, but not now). But my pants and my jacket will not be of the exact same material.
This is not to say that I don’t care about STYLE. Style, for me, has nothing whatsoever to do with fashion. Fashion is following trends, wearing what you’re supposed to wear, more about money and status than personal expression. Fuck fashion.
Style, on the other hand, is about finding a way to present your personality externally. I think I have a style. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m STYLISH (which, ironically, refers more to fashion), and I’m certainly not saying that my style is hip.... at ALL. In fact, certains aspects of my style are as unhip as a mullet (which I did once sport, thank you very much, although in my defense, it was more of the John Cougar Mellencamp variety.... not short on top, but my ears WERE cut out, so it does fall into that regrettable category).
While we’re down there, I despise sneakers. It’s tough to find a decent pair of sneaks if you’re of the Less is More bent. They’re either simple in design with absolutely no support, or they feel good but look like you should be using them to walk on the moon. With almost no middle ground. Besides, I have big feet, and shoes like Converse (which I used to wear 365 back when I was in my 20s) tend to look like clown shoes on me.
So, normally, you will find me clad in jeans with a simple black belt, a plain shirt, tee or button down and black shoes or boots. In the oppressive months of summer, I’ll bow to comfort and wear shorts (military in some fashion) with sneakers (whatever I can find that work) and a t-shirt. One of the reasons that I love fall and winter is that I can toss on the layers (I do love jackets) and keep on the boots. The more of me that’s covered up the better. Trust me.
My “style” has driven some of my girfriends a little crazy. One in particular, I’m convinced, broke up with me partially because of my lack of fashion sense. Others have subtly tried to liven me up a bit by giving me shirts with patterns or a splash of color. I appreciate the effort, but it’s honestly as lost a cause as hoping that I’ll someday stop buying Superman action figures. Another curse, I guess.
I have, however, recently begun adding just a tiny bit of color to my wardrobe in one particular item of clothing: Socks. I kinda like just a bit of orange or red to peek out if people happen to glance down when I’m sitting or engaged in some activity that exposes them (like fighting crime). Still, the odds that this teensy fluorish is going to lead to blazing orange blazers is slim. Hell, even my underwear is gray.
Now, the irony here is that I simultaneously have pretty strong opinions on what women wear. Not that I’d ever be so choosy as to reject a woman based on her sense of style (I can’t afford to), but how she dresses does affect how attracted I am. I’m not going to go into detail here, it would cross a line into creepy / pathetic, but just lemme say that my Less-is-More preference usually applies here as well. Show me a woman in beat up jeans with a strappy top (do they still say "top?") and clunky shoes.... whoooo......
But show me a woman who’s wearing the same thing as every other fashion victim clacking down Washington Street on a Saturday night.... zzzzzzz. C’mon ladies. Quit looking at TV or magazines or your hot friends for fashion tips. Fuck the Desperate Housewives. They’re all middle aged, anyway! (Okay, so am I, but even I wouldn’t go there). Find your OWN style!
I have a female acquaintance who is a stylistic chameleon. One night she came into my bar dressed like Daisy Mae.... and it worked. Because she has a sense of self and a sense of humor, she looked hot rather than silly. That’s what we need: More Sarah Silverman, less Sarah Jessica Parker. Please.