It is an all too common occurrence. Someone digs up a photo of you from an earlier decade and you are dressed like a complete idiot. You’ve got a rattail, you’re wearing a lime green sweatband at a dance club, your sneakers are bright orange, the works. In the picture you look confident. You KNOW you look your best. In the here and now, you look embarrassed. You KNOW you looked like an idiot. What do you say in your defense? The age old line, ?Hey, that was in fashion back then.? This, apparently, is supposed to vindicate you. Not with me it doesn’t. You want reasons? Oh, I’ve got reasons.
Let’s start with the fact that your excuse hinges upon me letting you off the hook for letting strangers dress you. That’s what fashion is, after all: People who you’ve never seen and who will never see you deciding what you should look like. And have you seen some of the people who run the fashion business? Fashionistas or Fashionazis or whatever made up word they’re using now are hardly role models. If you are anything like me you will notice two things right away. They are almost never dressed in the way they want you to dress, and they are not particularly pleasant individuals. A considerable percentage of the fashion world are the kind of people you would probably spend an entire party avoiding, and yet you let them dress you. It would be something different if it was a family member or someone you were in a relationship with that convinced you that the male tube top would catch on. At least then you could conceivably have been doing it for love or sex. A bad shirt is a little bit like vomit in that way. You should never leave it on you for very long, especially if it came from a stranger. Dressing like a moron because it was the fashion at the time is like letting a sociopath puke on you and waiting until the next day to wash it off.
Saying that it was the fashion at the time isn’t an excuse at all, if you think about it. (Though, if you THOUGHT about it, we wouldn’t be looking at this picture, would we?). It doesn’t matter that that’s what OTHER people were wearing at the time, because clearly you were still stupid enough to put it on. The real issue here is this: Either you actually thought that looked good, which means fashion doesn’t enter into it and you were just retarded at the time, or you let popular opinion overrule good judgment, which isn’t the sort of thing you should really advertise. Being impressionable enough to buy a whole outfit just because you heard it is what cool people do is what you might call an ?exploitable weakness.? You should keep it to yourself. Otherwise people might start talking about the hot new trend of ?giving your credit card number to the first person you see each day.?
There is something very simple that you can do to prevent pictures like that from happening in the future. All you need to do is look at the outfit you are about to put on and ask yourself, ?If I was a senior in high school, and I saw a freshman wearing this, would I throw things at them?? If the answer is yes, put it away. Here’s an example. The other day I was getting off of the train and I saw a grown man buying a ticket. His pants appeared to be women’s jeans, at least three sizes too small, yet inexplicably sagging enough to show a good six inches of bright yellow pinstriped boxers despite the fact that he also wore a belt. On his wrist was a dog collar with a watch face on it, and his shirt was a ?vintage tee,? which is available for either 75 cents at the local salvation army or $85 at the mall. I can’t imagine where he got his. If I saw someone dressed like that a few years ago, I would have assumed that a social worker would be showing up shortly to take them back to the home for their medication. Do you know what I was wearing? A t-shirt and jeans. His outfit makes him look like a total dufus to anyone but someone with their finger on the pulse. I could have been wearing the same thing back in the 50’s and not garnered a second glance. In five years, which of us will appear more foolish?
Now I’m not telling you ?think for yourself.? (Mostly because that is impossible advice to follow. If you think for yourself because I tell you to then you aren’t really thinking for yourself, are you?) All I’m saying is that you should either be more choosy about who you let do your thinking for you or stop giving me excuses. The next time someone shows you a picture of you wearing something you aren’t proud of, fess up. ?Yep. Rhinestone stilettos were a terrible idea and I never should have worn them. I was stupider then.? Sometimes the truth can be refreshing. Now if you’ll excuse me, my ?All your base are belong to us? t-shirt just came out of the dryer. That thing will never get old.