Wednesday, May 7, 2008
You are what you wear
In 6th grade the hat on your head told your whole story. If you wore an A’s hat then you had power and swagger like Canseco and McGuire. If you wore a Giant’s hat then you had style and skill like Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell. If you wore a 49ers hat then you knew what it was like to dominate and if you wore a Raiders hat then you knew what it was like to intimidate. Every 6th grader knew that the hat on your head said so much about who you were as a person. And it represented everything you stood for.
And then there was Kelly.
Yes, Kelly was a boy. A big, strong, mullet haired boy who transferred mid-school year. The girls immediately liked him and the guys immediately wanted to challenge his athleticism. He was fast and could shoot a basketball fairly well, so he gained the other guy’s respect. He came from Colorado so we were immediately curious as to his sports affiliation. He liked the Broncos he said. Elway was his favorite player.
And then one day it happened. Kelly showed up wearing a Chicago White Sox hat. It was black and white with the 'SOX' logo diagonal across the front. So I asked him about the hat. “You like the White Sox?”
“No”, the boy with a girl’s name said. “I just like the hat.”
My world went upside down. I didn’t get it. How could he make such a statement? Wear the hat just because?! I had never heard of such a thing. Little did I know that Kelly wasn’t really a Broncos fan. It was just the first team he could thing of. Kelly was a poser hat wearer. The worst kind of hat wearer. He acted like he cared and had allegiances but really he was just concerned with how he looked. It still irks me to this day.
In today’s world athletes, musicians, hipsters and tree-hugging activists will wear shirts and hats entirely based on looks. Look around. How many Giants hats do you see walking the streets? Now how many Red Sox hats do you see? It’s hard to believe isn’t it? It’s a world of Kelly’s out there.
In a world where ironic T-shirts and old frat sweatshirts still pass as acceptable work out clothes, I’ve come up with a system. A system of standards if you will. It’s a system that understands a guy may want to wear a shirt from a different NFL team or may have an old pair of shorts from a school he almost went to still lying around. But what it does is set a standard for guys everywhere. To avoid posers. To avoid more dudes like Kelly.
Here’s how it goes:
The untouchable. This is the only article of clothing that cannot under any circumstances be messed with. You can only wear hats that represent who you are or what team you support. If you’re wearing a Tennessee hat because you needed an orange hat to tie your get up together…fuck off. It’s not allowed. You’d better be a big time Volunteer fan if you’re bold enough to wear that shit on your head. And those stupid hats that say ‘Cocks’ or ‘Morehead’? Don’t get me started. If you can’t name the starting football and basketball coaches for the school’s hat you’re wearing then there’s a good chance you’re just being a dooshbag.
The next level down, the shirt should still closely mimic your passions and beliefs. I understand the irony factor here. Perhaps your girlfriend went to Oregon State and bought you a shirt. Maybe you went to visit a friend in Michigan and bought a Marquette shirt while you were there. Again, it’s understandable. But under no circumstances can you wear a shirt from a team you completely despise. It’s too much of a statement as a t-shirt. You wouldn’t catch me dead in a Washington State t-shirt. Fucking Cougars.
The most flexible of the items of clothing. Shorts, when worn in a workout environment, can generally be for any and all teams. At this point we’re looking for comfort and accessibility. We want to make sure the elastic waistband is easy to pull down when pissing and the material is not too thin should a spontaneous gym boner occur. Who cares what team is on your shorts. If they fit right and feel right then feel free to rock them proudly.
So the next time you think to yourself “I would look pretty badass in a flat billed Yankees hat”, think again. You’d better want to give A-Rod and Jeter a slow handy if you’re bold enough to wear that kind of statement on your head. Know what I’m saying?