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Thursday, July 9, 2009

I'm too HOT for this shirt

I don't like to wear white. Let me just start by saying that. I don't have anything against the color, or non-color, as the case may be. I think white can make people look fresh and airy, and if that's something you'd like to go for, then white is the way to go. But white pants have a tendency to attract dirt, spaghetti sauce, and pen markings, and they also sometimes allow innocent passersby to see the pink and teal polka-dot underwear you've got on. No one needs that, friend. White shirts also tend to attract the aforementioned stains, plus they usually develop an unsightly yellow staining in the pits after several wearings. Finally, I see no way to keep white clothing white, short of washing in pure bleach. So, in short, I have exactly one white shirt, and it's a sweat-wicking hiking shirt, generally worn only for heavy physical activity to keep me cool.

Every other shirt I own, with very few exceptions, is either black, blue, brown, red, or purple. I noticed this fact recently, and decided that I need to expand my color palette, but that's hard to do when you are drawn to certain looks and know that certain colors look good on you. I don't particularly enjoy shopping for clothing and trying things on. Part of this has to do with the fact that clothing out there is not made for normal sized people like me, so most things really don't flatter my form. But I'm also pretty lazy and can hardly manage to get myself dressed in the morning, let alone put on and take off several things in a dressing room.

So anyway, I'm wearing a black shirt today, in the middle of July, no less. This is not an unusual thing for me to do. I don't separate my wardrobe into winter clothing and summer clothing, generally. If I wore white shirts, I'd totally wear one in the middle of winter like you're not supposed to do, according to that labor day rule that no one can ever seem to phrase correctly (because who the hell really cares?).

So I was walking back to my office after enjoying my lunch today, and I was just minding my own business on a street corner, waiting for my light to turn, when this stringy fellow on a bike, balancing an awkward rolled-up carpet on his handlebars, rode up to the curb next to me. I did my best to pretend he wasn't there, because I'm one of those mean people who ignore fellow pedestrians, avert eye contact, and generally behave like they're very busy and have no time for congeniality.

He must have noticed that I was trying not to notice him, because he rode over closer to me, and tried to initiate conversation. "Isn't it a little hot to be wearing black?" He asked, in a rather hickish Luke Wilson type of voice.

I looked at him from behind my sunglasses, raised my eyebrows high enough to clear the tops of the sunglass frames, so there would be no mistake that I was not amused, and mutely and slowly nodded my head.

He shrugged sheepishly, and scooted back over, nearly tipping over from the weight of his awkward carpet.

I got the impression that he had wanted to strike up a conversation with me, because I'm a female, and, hey, he likes females, but he didn't think through the fact that criticizing someone's choice of clothing is probably not the best way to get them to engage in conversation with you.

I'm actually pretty used to being criticized for my clothing and other things about my appearance. "You wear boy's T-shirts," I've been told. Well, if they made girl's T-shirts with awesome designs and a material that won't disintegrate upon first washing, I'd go ahead and buy those. Don't think I don't know they flatter the female form better. But god created sewing machines for a reason, you know. I have the power to adapt boy's T-shirts to a more flattering form. And there are a lot of really pansy and sissy girl's T-shirts out there. There are some girls who have non-lame taste, I'll have you know. Besides, boy's T-shirts aren't really boy's T-shirts. They are generic unisex adult T-shirts. I never even saw a girl's T-shirt until the early 90's. Nevermind that I don't actually remember much before the early 90's, since I was 8 years old in 1990, but I swear back before then T-shirts did not discriminate based on gender.

So the lesson to guys trying to strike up conversations with ladies: I know it's hard to figure out what to say. Most of my social interactions at one point or another involve me staring blankly at someone because I don't know what to say. But leave the fashion advice to Stacy and Clinton, mkay?



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11 comments:

heidikins said...

I give the stink eye to men--particularly strangers--who give me fashion advice.

More stink eye if they are wearing anything pointy-toed, embroidered, or sparkly.

xox

Melanie said...

How funny, I just bought a black and a white T-shirt. I love both colors (or non colors). I agree with everything you said about how difficult it is to keep white shirts clean, which I why I own so many of them. (PS: The best way to keep them white-white is to line dry them in the sun.)

What particularly bugs me is the really, really thin tissue t-shirts that are in style right now. If have to pay $12 for some plain t-shirt, I'd rather that it actually have some structure to it.

sov said...

Man, this post was all over the place. I'm still trying to decide exactly what it's about.

I LIKE white shirts, and own quite a few actually. One of my very favorite shirts is a white Hard Rock t-shirt I got in Vegas. Sadly, I have worn the hell out of it and it has now been demoted to "polishing rag", but I did indeed love that shirt when it was whole.

I've never had any issues with yellowing or sweat stains of any kind. I guess maybe it's something to do with body chemistry or some such. It's never been a problem for me at all, and I can comfortably wear white shirts for years and years with no marking whatsoever. White shirts and light-colored clothing in general work extremely well for me given my ultra-pale complexion. I prefer it. I also have no difficulties keeping white things white. I just toss them in with a cup full of Purex, and there it is.

I'm not trying to sound haughty or anything. That's simply my experience. Your mileage may vary.

Also, anyone that's ever met or seen me knows I have NO fashion sense whatsoever. One of these days I'm going to enlist Heidkins to give me a makeover. Until then, t-shirts and jeans are the norm, and that's pretty much who I am. I have no right or reason to criticize anyone on how they dress.

B.R. said...

Roland Barthes tried to make a semiotics of fashion so you know you're dealing with a serious topic when literary scholars enter the argument, ja? :)

Having been called a tomboy since, well, birth, I could say a thing or 20 about your premise.

As a person living in the modern world who also finds the 'text' of clothing consequential, I have to say that one of my problems with the 'text' of gender and gender inequality is that it is so 'naturally' sold to us on a daily basis all in the name of fabric/fashion choices. Men should buy this and women should buy that and on and on. We can't have people regardless of anatomic sex buying the same thing now, can we? No, that would mean a whole lot of bizarre things. That's why I like Ben Sherman clothing. The lines between the various societal genders are blurry and therein lies a better pool of choices. I find.
B.S. is but an example, I just think that clothing company would do better business is they appealed more to the hypermodern thinking person. Enjoyed this.

B.R. said...

that's plural, companies. All this travel is messing with my subject/verb agreement....

Sra said...

Heidi: Since you are fashion: fabulous, I am surprised anyone would try to give you advice, but I suppose some people just can't keep to themselves. And being advised by someone wearing pointy toes and rhinestones would be infuriating, I'm sure.

Melanie: Yes, I have bought tissue thin T-shirts that literally acquire holes within the first washing. What a waste! If I'm paying good money, I want good quality!

Sov: It's true that I trail around a lot in this post (that's actually pretty true to my stream-of-consciousness style that comes when I don't try too hard to write), but I think it's all pretty straight forward. I'm talking about clothing, people who think it's a good idea to advise you on clothing, and some of the reasons why I wear things that people might feel they need to advise me on (like why I don't wear white and favor a certain color palette, and am thus more inclined to wear unseasonably dark colors, and like why you might see me in a regular Adult M or S [depending on how many cookies I've had lately] gender-neutral, aka "boy" T-shirt instead of a lame tissue-thin "girls" T-shirt). Also, I would like to dress you in sweaters, button-downs, and boots or loafers, but that's just me. I mean, as a T-shirt and jeans person myself, I really oughtn't judge.

B.R.: I admit I subscribe to certain gender assumptions in clothing -- like I really don't enjoy seeing a man wearing pink for the most part. Some can pull it off. But I realize that's unfair of me. I have seen some Ben Sherman, and it does have a sort of androgynous quality to it, which I always find appealing.

natabird said...

I'm with you... a T-shirt is a T-shirt. I don't own a white shirt either and I totally wore black yesterday.

natabird said...

I'm with you... a T-shirt is a T-shirt. I don't own a white shirt either and I totally wore black yesterday.

Sra said...

Heidi: Since you are fashion: fabulous, I am surprised anyone would try to give you advice, but I suppose some people just can't keep to themselves. And being advised by someone wearing pointy toes and rhinestones would be infuriating, I'm sure.

Melanie: Yes, I have bought tissue thin T-shirts that literally acquire holes within the first washing. What a waste! If I'm paying good money, I want good quality!

Sov: It's true that I trail around a lot in this post (that's actually pretty true to my stream-of-consciousness style that comes when I don't try too hard to write), but I think it's all pretty straight forward. I'm talking about clothing, people who think it's a good idea to advise you on clothing, and some of the reasons why I wear things that people might feel they need to advise me on (like why I don't wear white and favor a certain color palette, and am thus more inclined to wear unseasonably dark colors, and like why you might see me in a regular Adult M or S [depending on how many cookies I've had lately] gender-neutral, aka "boy" T-shirt instead of a lame tissue-thin "girls" T-shirt). Also, I would like to dress you in sweaters, button-downs, and boots or loafers, but that's just me. I mean, as a T-shirt and jeans person myself, I really oughtn't judge.

B.R.: I admit I subscribe to certain gender assumptions in clothing -- like I really don't enjoy seeing a man wearing pink for the most part. Some can pull it off. But I realize that's unfair of me. I have seen some Ben Sherman, and it does have a sort of androgynous quality to it, which I always find appealing.

sov said...

Man, this post was all over the place. I'm still trying to decide exactly what it's about.

I LIKE white shirts, and own quite a few actually. One of my very favorite shirts is a white Hard Rock t-shirt I got in Vegas. Sadly, I have worn the hell out of it and it has now been demoted to "polishing rag", but I did indeed love that shirt when it was whole.

I've never had any issues with yellowing or sweat stains of any kind. I guess maybe it's something to do with body chemistry or some such. It's never been a problem for me at all, and I can comfortably wear white shirts for years and years with no marking whatsoever. White shirts and light-colored clothing in general work extremely well for me given my ultra-pale complexion. I prefer it. I also have no difficulties keeping white things white. I just toss them in with a cup full of Purex, and there it is.

I'm not trying to sound haughty or anything. That's simply my experience. Your mileage may vary.

Also, anyone that's ever met or seen me knows I have NO fashion sense whatsoever. One of these days I'm going to enlist Heidkins to give me a makeover. Until then, t-shirts and jeans are the norm, and that's pretty much who I am. I have no right or reason to criticize anyone on how they dress.

Melanie said...

How funny, I just bought a black and a white T-shirt. I love both colors (or non colors). I agree with everything you said about how difficult it is to keep white shirts clean, which I why I own so many of them. (PS: The best way to keep them white-white is to line dry them in the sun.)

What particularly bugs me is the really, really thin tissue t-shirts that are in style right now. If have to pay $12 for some plain t-shirt, I'd rather that it actually have some structure to it.

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