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Entries in Cleveland Indians (1)

Tuesday
May292012

To paraphrase Greg Proops...

"I'm straight as an arrow, but make no case for it."

With that out of the way, I'm going to talk about fashion. my personal fashion choices have affected me in some interesting ways over the years. Deep stuff, I know, but when struggling for relevancy, the clothes you wear can help to cut through a lot of the bullshit (if done right).

When I was in school, it would be generous to describe my fashion sense as being "in a growth period." That's not to say that I didn't have strong opinions, but these opinions tended to lean heavily on the sports jersey theme. T-shirts, hockey jerseys, basketball tops, even baseball uniforms all had an important spot in my wardrobe. Thankfully, my small frame and introverted disposition made it painfully obvious that I was not a frat boy wannabe. I just liked sports and what better way to show people what I liked?

As I got older, I started to understand the complicated mistress known as style. I began to incorporate things that I enjoy to this day--vests, both sweater and suit, being chief among them--albeit in a very awkward way. Looking back, it was kind of fitting (pun intended).

Now this is not to say that I am some type of style maven in the present day. I'm just saying that I'm more aware of trends and what I like and I do my best to marry the two into something that is as close to a fabric based representation of who I am.

"Clothes make the man" is a saying that I believe my father subscribed to whole heartedly. I have been fortunate to come across photos of my dad in his youth over the past few years. Taking the decade of the pictures into consideration, my father was always very stylish; more hip in his younger days and more sharp as he got older. Even looking at the labels of his suits, I could tell that he went to the best tailors in town and he took great pride in his appearance. He also understood how to dress for the occasion, whether that occasion was a party, business meeting or a new segment of his life. As he got older and became a father, he settled into a more comfortable, yet still put together look. Maybe he was no longer the best dressed man in the room, but he was still the best dressed man in his immediate social circle.

Starting in my mid twenties, that sensibility started to take over my way of thinking too. It started with almost mindlessly following and copying trends, be it skater culture, veering into hipster-wear or whatever was cool at the time. I rarely would don anything that I personally thought of as cool if it was not generally accepted as hip in the circles I happened to be hanging around in at the time.

Gradually, I started to introduce little personal touches of my own--I won't go so far as to say I was a trend-setter; usually even the first person to do something copied it from someone else outside of their sphere of influence. I like "dressing up," even if I don't have to, and sometimes there needs to be a conscious effort to even throw on a ratty t-shirt after getting home from work.

Because I'm the neurotic nerd that I am, I often find myself thinking that I should have gone more casual, or gussied myself up more. This is less of an occurrence now, but there's always that moment when I look at someone and think, "That's how I should have dressed for this event."

Self esteem issues aside, one of my great challenges is to evolve my style as I get older so that I don't become the 50 year old wearing a sleeveless shirt and backwards baseball cap. I'm trying to cultivate a style that I don't have to change too much to go from "day to evening" so to speak, and I think I'm finally coming close. Of course a lot of that has to do with how much--or little--disposable income I have, but that's another story. Who would've thought that being comfortable in my own skin would be helped by being comfortable in the fabric that covers it?

A younger version of me would have scoffed at the majority of what I just wrote. He never would have seen himself as someone who put this much thought into the clothes on his back. 

But then again, he never thought that he'd get over the Cleveland Indians losing the '97 World Series either.

 

 

(...it does still hurt a little though)