Thursday, July 06, 2006

Dressed to kill.

Okay so if I was dressed to kill I'd probably wear a hair net and latex gloves. I'd cover up in some old clothes that I don't mind burning too, so hardly ever do I actually dress to kill.
I did recently wear my bright red polyester suit out to a german restaurant on a date set up by a tv show and I realised how comfortable I was and how conservatively I dress for work, my work colleagues are all eagerly awaiting the episode going to air.
I love to buy pants. I buy pants from an opshop and then I go home and cut the legs off so I have shorts. I cut em long so that over time they can fray up to my knees and then I throw them out (or just to the back of my cupboard) and start again. Recently though I have taken to wearing knee high socks. It started with my Saints footy socks and then sick of my compromise on the candy cane south melbourne socks I couldn't find anywhere I bought some candy cane shops from one of those asian teen fashion stores, also getting some golf check ones and skull and crossbone ones.
knee high socks are fucking great because they turn a pair of shorts practically into pants, once my shorts fray to the point my knees are exposed it's time to get a new pair anyway.
So my dress sense tends to follow an infinite form follows function follows form follows function cycle. Like just about everything else in life, chicken or the egg questions.
But what is the function of clothing. Whats the objective? we have shows like what not to wear which is hosted by two highly unnattractive british clapped out tarts. so what is the objective of what not to wear? why not? evidently they are eager to demonstrate that no matter what you do with your clothes you will be stuck with your face.
Then we have our politicians. I'm told the reason beards went out of western politics is that it was two openly associated with commies. But why the drab suits, why do labour leaders make themselves over every time in a desperate attempt to lose all credibility?
Why do girls dress in as revealing clothing as possible while most guys dress in the most concealing homeboy gear they can get?
So clothes perform a vast array of functions but predominantly they are a form of communication. I wear clothes that seek attention and differentiate me. I figure it's better to have everyone talking about how badly I dress than everyone not talking about me at all.
I read a book called female chauvinist pigs which I highly recommend everyone reads. A lot of girls apparently are locked in a competition of dressing because they want to be wanted. Which is no different from how I feel except the outcome (sex) of this process is more like a byproduct and not viewed as its own worthwhile and pleasurable goal. This is substantiated by the low incedence of guys trying to dress "hot" rather than cool and the low relative incidence of cunna lingus to felatio in teenagers. (incidentally a colleague of mine recently described muff diving [not that muff really exists anymore] as "fantastic, nothing better than a girls wet mush all over your face, nothing better" which was delivered in such an affectionate centre that was really the enjoyment of another enjoying themselves that I am inclined to agree with him.) The irony of the 'who can dress the skankiest' was best summarised by a teenage boy who said "they don't get it, I'm pretty sure guys have always been into girls anyway even if they don't dress like a pornstar' again I'm inclined to agree.
Everything I've read about what attracts is generally "the eyes" and "confidence" as in chicks dig confidence. Nothing about clothes, makeup any of that shit. Then there's a whole variety of women into a whole variety of things like long hair or short hair, tattoes or naturale, homeboy or country road, punk or techno blah blah fucken blah. So you can see the assumption I've already made and clumsily wasted your time leading you towards: that clothes are about attracting the opposite sex.
It would be nice if it was because then you could have a show called 'What not to wear' which we do except the hosts are not very attractive.
We even have best dressed lists which make no discernable sense whatsoever. I admit when I go visit ballarat and see a 40 year femullet wearing a fear factory shirt and tights and moccasins I think 'what the fuck are you thinking?' but you know there is a beauty in the ugliness and its definitely a style. Infact what she is thinking is that she probably has no interest in striking up a relationship with a punk kid from the big smoke who ties his hair in pigtails (function over form over function) wheres cut off pants with knee high socks to cover the distance between ankles and leg hole.
Just like that. And may I say from a marketing background this is the true value of clothing. The true winning strategy. If I want to avoid picking up aforementioned bogan (though really I love bogans and bush pigs) I should communicate it, just like I want to communicate that I'm not really on the market for a country road and gap wearing med student. So my clothing choice is just as much about repelling as attracting. Mind you I've got in relationships and still found myself expected to cut my hair, buy some boat shoes and shut the fuck up while we order the house red in St Kilda.
But you would notice that people who try to have universal appeal either end up appealing to noone and having short lived shallow relationships or worse hook up with another hollow charicature and have long lived shallow relationships eventually appearing on 'the block' with Jamie Durie defending themselves against accusations of 'plasticity'.
With all the above in mind I was sitting at my cubicle where not even being able to pretend to be busy and looking around the office thinking of the quote from one of my favorite books Lost Japan about an account of a tibetan monk comming across a chinese ambassador in the Qi dynasty and he got off his horse and was wearing a bright blue silk gown with orange dragons emblazoned all over it. The author rightly points out how drab politicians have become through democracies 'everything to everyone' appeal although we are seeing some progress towards differentiation like in the bush administrations last election strategy.
Same in the office place. When I first arrived there apparantly there was a 'lilac shirt day' which was a bit of a novelty and a couple of guys coordinated as a joke. I've been buying exciting and impracticle shirts to wear since then and the office has become a bit more colourful too which is good.
But again why? the function of clothes in the office seems to be 'avoid notice and avoid offence' now there are so many ways one can cause offense and I am personally offended when some guy with big bleached teeth, gelled hair and a tan in a white business shirt with a 'power' tie tries to sell me something yet the tendancy is that this is the least offensive way you can dress. Yet it's obviously unnatural and bullshit. Yes the salesperson can have undue influence on what product someone selects but in the end an owner has his fucking business' profits in his best interest so fuck it if the salesperson's ugly. If a business leader is more concerned about people respecting their status than making money why be in fucking business at all? (answer to maintain your status)
So I bought a book called fruits for when I start my business, I plan to plaster the pictures of the japanese teenagers all over cubicles (if my business has cubicles) so people can think about the assumptions of what is the function of clothing? why do we dress like we do? and leave people free to dress how they want (excluding OH&S requirements) and you know fucking express themselves in the process. Open communication and experiences of shared meaning strengthen the outcome of all relationships so yeah that's what I want.
The other great thing about fruits is that the kids in it for the most part seem to beyond their affiliation group seeking phase and are more about pure self actualisation and expression. Some of it is defiance like those fuckhead emo's and their goth predessessor but you do struggle to find to kids in the same style on two consecutive pages of fruits.
Anyway I plan to implement this when I do have a company, and your free to come work for it unless you don't feel secure working for a boss who wears a hairnet, latex gloves and old second hand clothes.
Man that was a clever fucking ending, in reality I'd probably just wear whatever I stood on in the morning getting out of bed (which is where I usually mix my clean and dirty clothes together).

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