Dressed to Thrill

Why is it that people who wear uniforms think they have figured out the way to be original?

Be they patchwork pants, jackets with lots of punk patches, or the emo outfit reminiscent of revenge of the nerds, it seems as though to truly entrench yourself in a group of true “individuals”, you need to get a head to toe uniform. You know, so that everyone else will know how much you really think for yourself.

I shop at Banana Republic, wear cologne, and have been known to wear shoes my friends describe as “frat shoes”. For this many of my friends make fun of me for being a slave to conformity.

At UVM, dressing like you want to be a part of the young republicans IS being original. If you look like all of your friends, you may need to reevaluate your definition of “thinking for yourself”.

I understand that affiliating yourself with a certain “tribe” has its benefits.

If you have dreads and patchwork pants, then everybody knows you listen to crappy music.

If you have big earplugs and tight black pants with safety pins all over them, it might be easier to pick up girls at the Thursday show this Tuesday.

But don’t confuse the fact that affiliating yourself with a certain group through the way you dress removes you from being able to call yourself “original”.

I know that this may sound incredibly pompous (guilty as charged), but I find it very difficult to assume that, luckily, most of the people on UVM campus happen to feel like looking almost exactly the same way that their friends do as a result of their desire to be original.

If you listen to jam bands, you CAN bathe frequently.

If you listen to Hip Hop music, you CAN wear clothing that will stay on you if you move suddenly.

If you listen to punk music you CAN wear clothing with no political messages on your leather jacket.

And if you are in a fraternity, you CAN turn the collar down on your polo shirt. And take off that damn Abercrombie and Fitch hat.

Admittedly, when I was in high school I was a walking advertisement for MECCA, 555 soul, and Tommy Hilfiger.

But that’s because I was a very little boy, who thought that if I had someone else’s name on my chest I could escape being myself. I learned, and now I do that by making fun of other people.

It is important to represent yourself through your clothing, and as much as my “hippy” friends say that’s superficial, everyone does it to a certain extent.

If you dress like you don’t care how you look, then you’re trying to tell people that, and if you dress like you listen to Hip Hop, then that’s what you want everyone to know about you. But can’t you be more creative than to represent yourself through an already established group of badly dressed wierdos?

I dress like I think I’m better than everyone else. I like it, because a select few rather confused individuals actually buy it.

Go figure. There’s a fool born every second, as Barnum said, and if you wear a top hat and vest covered in sequins, you may be able to convince them to shell out $25 dollars to see a big trained elephant.