Fashion, part 1

As I get older, not that I’m old – just older – I have realised some things are true about life. In short, I suppose, the personality asserts itself, as fussing over what others may think and how one might fit in and not be considered unorthodox seems less important. And it’s actually a good thing to be an individual. (Of course serial killers might be considered individuals, many of whom are possibly proud of their perverted form of individuality, and it’s not really a good thing to be like that, so there are pitfalls, dangers even, with this individual thing. We should identify, in most cases, as somehow normal … mostly anyway.) People who are a bit different are interesting. They see things differently and react differently and that can make those around them think and reassess as well.

I was just thinking about caps. The wearing variety – not limits on mobile downloads or efforts to block off spurting underwater oil in a pristine ecosystem relying on the health of its maritime industries for all aspects of economic health and ongoing viability; no, not those. Headwear. When I was a teenager I wanted a cap, a good cap, and I thought myself a fan of the New York Mets baseball team, and Americans who know baseball will probably laugh as the Mets have only been a half-decent team two or three times in their whole history since the early 1960s, but I felt like there was an affinity there somehow. I’ve come to realise I am a fan of New York, one of the few places I would consider travelling to the US to visit, but the ubiquity of Yankees (the other NYC baseball team) fans/wearers of merchandise drove me away. So I got a cap, for my birthday. It was lovely and still is, it’s still in my possession and gets worn now and then. Recognising that it was very cool and feeling very lucky to receive it on my thirteenth birthday, it must have been – we saw Back To The Future II that day – although the film was perhaps released later than the US release date, as used to happen in those days, and so maybe it was my 14th birthday – anyway, the year isn’t important – I had a small, nagging doubt: the mesh. There is mesh at the back of this cap. I used to wish that it had cotton material all the way around, as baseballers wear when they play, but not for that reason; I wished it was meshless as that’s the way the kids were wearing them then. Which is silly. The silliness was brought into sharp relief a few years later when the ‘trucker hat’ began to have a certain cache: this was a celebration of the mesh – I even recall caps which had mesh all the way around them being worn and considered cool. Thankfully by then I was no longer in the kids age bracket, as it would have been all a bit too confusing.

It’s all fashion. And fashion is always following choices made by someone else. Choices that a critical mass has decided they agree with. Sounds like people power, but it often isn’t. People ‘decide’ much more in favour of certain expert opinions than the opinions of those who wear what they can afford or decorate their home how they like it or the way they did in their country of origin or who revel in being a little unusual. For some reason it seems easier to laugh at the extremes of fashion when they involve adult taste that seems absurd. But when I was younger it was more difficult. Or it seemed so.

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Published in: on September 14, 2010 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

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