People at Penn: Clothes

It’s just clothing. I don’t just know this I believe it.

But I like clothes. Some folks like sports, dogs, hiking, science fiction, or card games. I like a lot of those things too. To me it’s in the same vein.

I was raised in away and in a place where clothing definitely mattered but it was in an oxymoronic sort of way. One could not care or place too high a value on attire, this was materialistic and vain, but what one wears was also key in knowing who one is. Perhaps it was a sartorial version of being selfless, or conformist, which is the same thing in some ways.

“People who don’t know you, will treat you according to how you look”, my Father told me. “There is no way I’m paying $20 for a pair of jeans”, was my Mother’s lesson. My peers taught me what was cool, not why, but what. My budget taught me I was not.

I’m older now, a full fledged grown-up. I’ve travelled a bit and learned a little. The peers of my youth are not around to ask me who I’m trying to fool when I wear a tie. Dad can’t make me tuck in my shirt.

A friend used to call me “Brooks Brothers” at church. I could tell by the tone he was complimenting me, but I had no idea what Brooks Brothers was. This was only four years ago.

One thing I like about where I live is I can wear what I want. No one tells me what is cool; I’m too old to care. Shopping is still a compromise between desires and dollars and I know even better that people will decide who I am by what they see, but for the most part, clothes are like sports, dogs, hiking, science fiction, or card games.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “People at Penn: Clothes

  1. Great post! Love the shot of the gentleman in the cream suit, too.

  2. “… to old to care.” Ain’t it grand?

    As usual, great insight.

  3. You can wear what you want because of the place? Not so. I was actually stopped on the street by a stranger and told “we don’t wear those colors here.” (I was wearing a pastel checkered dress.) Philly was the only place in the US where I ever felt compelled, because of the culture, to pay attention to fashion. (I know, I know, you and Dad both tried to no avail to get me to care or dress in a more traditional manner . . . sorry, you failed. Teeheehee.) You can wear what you want because you want to wear what’s fashionable, and in Philly, that matters. I can wear what I want simply because I’m a little bit crazy.

  4. Bro

    Ber,
    While your argument has some validity, it is only some. The experience you mention is anecdotal and it does not match with mine. I live in a part of town where, no joke, wearing pajama pants out in public is considered in style.
    My tastes are admittedly main stream, but that stream has differing flows depending on location.
    Whoever that was that stopped you on the street deserved a poke in the eye.

  5. The girl in the white coat – now THAT’S a nice shot.
    The guy in the marigold suit – too pimp-a-licious for my tastes.

    I once dated a trad-girl who thought Brooks Brothers was a label to which one should aspire.
    “I’ll never wear Brooks Brothers – I wear Armani.” I said.
    She had no idea what/who Armani was.
    It’s just a big game of Rochambeau.

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