Friday, June 24, 2011

A Case of Extremes

I love my new iPhone. I've had it for about a month, and every day I'm blown away by its capabilities. In a span of five minutes, I can be playing Angry Birds while listening to Internet radio on my Pandora app and be interrupted to respond to a text message about whether or not I received an e-mail on which I was copied. For a phone, it also has a pretty sweet camera feature that allows me to take a snapshot of something whenever the opportunity arises to do so. Hence, the photo you see above (I've covered the subject's face in both a fake mustache and a seemingly all-too-appropriate American flag icon, courtesy of Forgive the fuzziness; I'm a crap photographer and you people will just have to deal with that.

Anyone who rides public transportation regularly knows that it offers ample opportunity to see some full-blown ridiculousness. Sure, there's the standard fare: the guy who's been running the same "I have cancer and need money for medicine" bit for a decade now, and there are plenty of people hawking "CD's, DVD's, incense, and body oils" to passersby. More interestingly, I've also seen breakdancing trios and a cappella groups on subways, and I've drunkenly watched an elderly, insane homeless woman hurl change at people on a bus only to witness her exit that bus at the next stop and see her pants fall down, exposing her bare ass to everyone else unfortunate enough to be on a SEPTA vehicle at three in the morning.

But I digress. After I got over the initial shock of seeing the guy in this photo, I realized that this outfit is an extreme case of mixing two complete sartorial opposites. One way defines camouflage as "a device or stratagem used for concealment." In other words, wearing camo is supposed to allow the wearer to avoid being spotted, to blend in so well that he or she becomes nearly invisible. Donning a pink wig, on the other hand, has the complete opposite effect of camouflage and stands out even more with that as its backdrop. It screams for attention and will do nothing to help you blend in with your surroundings. There's no doubt in my mind that this man's enemies will spot him easily.

The lesson here? Feel free to blend the high and the low, but don't go crazy with it. Jeans and a tie can certainly look great together, but sweatpants and a suit jacket are a different story. If it's attention you crave, blending sartorial extremes is a good way to get it. It's negative attention, however, and it's important to remember that you'll be looked upon as misguided or foolish as opposed to well-dressed. Everything in moderation, folks.

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