Friday, June 19, 2009

Naked is Best

So there’s been a bit of a draught here, and not because I haven’t been thinking about clothes. I have. Frequently. Fondly.

But there is a problem. When I think about clothes, it is in the privacy of my own tiny brain, and no one around me needs to know. When I write about them, I am proclaiming a superficial interest from the proverbial rooftops.

There really is no excuse to put such a great deal of time and thought and effort into clothing. The justification is always along the line of “Clothes tell the world who you are! They help you form an identity! They give you confidence and make people take you seriously! OMG, clothes are like totally so important!”

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Well, no. Clothes don’t tell anyone who you are - they tell people what you prefer, aesthetically. Actions tell people who you are. No one idolizes mother Teresa because of her blue and ivory shawls. Your confidence and identity are reflected in your clothing choice - not the other way around. And really - if you turn up anywhere in camo pants, crocs, and a too-small tank top, then of course no one is going to take you seriously. But assuming that you have any taste at all and the ability to know if clothes fit you, no one who matters will ever disrespect you because your sartorial standards aren’t cool, creative, or expensive enough.

Clothes and shoes and style - it’s all fun. It’s entertainment. And there’s nothing wrong with indulging such superficial impulses, as long as one remembers not to take it seriously. When clothing becomes the basis for your identity, a way to one-up others, or the only thing that you can intelligently talk about for more than ten minutes… things have gone too far. I like to think of this as “The Emperor’s New Clothes” principle. Clothes are great fun to talk about and experiment with, so long we don’t forget that we’re all naked monkeys underneath.

So the point I’ve been coming to is this one, and I guess it can be expressed best as a disclaimer: no post on any style blog, including this one, is important in any way. I like reading posts written by others, and writing my own for you. But for the love of god, go out your friends! Spend time with your family. Eat something that makes your mouth water. Volunteer for a cause that you care about. Have sex with someone fantastic. And think about how happy you are to be doing exactly what you are doing, and how lucky you are to have such a fantastic moment of pleasure in your short life!

And I promise - if you do it right, you’ll totally forget what you’re wearing.