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Wednesday, October 09, 2002

A Tribe Called Fashion

I Love a Man in a Uniform --Gang of Four

We all wear a costume or uniforms. There’s no way around it, unless you go around naked, and that’s the only way around it. What costume do you wear?

There are so many subcultures these days, all with their own strict dress codes. I walked by the Seattle concert arena the other night and all of the kids waiting in line to see Tool couldn’t have looked more alike than a platoon of new army recruits. I’m sure every single one of those kids thinks that their appearance makes them stand out from the crowd.

My favorite subculture is the Harley Davidson Guy. Have you ever noticed that the Harley dudes seem to prefer to pose next to their motorcycles than to actually ride them? With the current price tag of Harleys above $20,000 this subculture has long since passed from dirt-bag outlaw to 55 year old lawyers trying to impress chicks after their third divorce.

It’s easy to imagine the interior dialogue inside of their helmeted heads as they check off their list of fashion biker accessories: “Dew rag, trucker’s wallet with chain, leather chaps, official Harley Davidson leather jacket, Viagra pills, condom with a knot tied in the middle so the damn thing fits, rape whistle (I don’t like the looks of that 13 year old Hispanic kid who pumps my gas at the full service station). I’m dangerous and unpredictable, I’m Bill Roth, world’s toughest oral surgeon.”

Yet another subculture is the sandwich board tribe. These are the guys and gals who insist on doing a lot of free advertising for Gap, Old Navy, Polo, DKNY, Abercrombie & Fitch—you name it. It’s difficult these days to buy a piece of clothing that doesn’t have the label on the outside. Like I give a fuck where you shop? Why don’t you just have the washing instructions on the outside of your clothes, too?

If I had to label myself I’d say my camouflage fits in with the dipshit, semi-well-dressed, urban hipster look. I hate shopping and when I do make it inside a department store my actions are more like a smash-and-grab artist than a conscientious shopper. Get me in and get me out as quickly as possible. I just want to look like everyone else in my tribe.

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