I love fashion but I hate you.

the balance

If you’re a person that dresses outlandishly, you’ll eventually come to realize an unusual conundrum: that you both want and don’t want to draw attention to yourself.

Firstly, you do want to draw attention, innately, as such is the goal of our craft, that we might express our internal individuality through out mode of dress. “Yes,” say our loud jackets and trousers and ties,”Look at me. Look at me and despair, O Mortal. Such is the fleeting nature of my awesomeness.” And so, especially when encountering other dandies, we find ourselves awash in attention, and it is good and righteous and true.

But secondly, we also draw scrutiny. And the call of our accoutrements and garments inevitably summons the hounds of total assholes. An anecdote: I once found myself in Hoboken, New Jersey for a friend’s birthday. The downtown itself was strangely charming, with bushes lining the quaint streets and small municipal buildings. Unfortunately, the denizens are another matter entirely. I forget what I was wearing, but since it didn’t fall into the typical Striped Shirt and Odious Denim School of Fashion, I got more than a my share of looks and comments. There is nothing like beer in a red cup to make every man feel like his opinion is worth shouting from across the street.

I digress. My story highlights the heart of the matter — must we accept attention in all it’s forms, both bad and good, as we are ultimately the source of it? Are we “asking for it” as the Red Cup men would undoubtedly level?

I say no. My outfit my be loud, but it makes no noise. Its patterns may be offensive, but it is never rude. In other words, stones can break bones, words can never hurt, but outfits are absolutely mute. In other other words, haters gonna hate.

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