Sunday, 24 October 2010

Captain America is a court jester with a broken heart

Why do most people care about the clothes they wear? Up until a century or so ago, most people didn't. The richer people used clothes as status symbols while the majority of poorer people had to settle with what they could get. Now, however, clothes serve a major identification purpose: in a world where people need to strive hard to find their own identity, clothes are used by us all as a means with which we express ourselves. When you wear a certain piece of clothing, it is as if you are telling the whole world who you are.
By far the most popular articles of clothing are those promoting certain brands. As in, shirts screaming Adidas, hoodies with a huge GAP label all over them, shoes with the Nike check sign, or underwear with Calvin Klein popping at the back of way too low hung jeans. Personally, although my wardrobe is full of such clothes, I have a problem buying items such as this: if the main purpose of a cloth is to advertise its brand, shouldn't I get paid for wearing it? Why should it be that I need to fork my money out for the sole reason others can see I support a certain brand's line, as in - I deem myself a member of the market segment that specific brand has decided to position itself in for purely commercial reasons?
For someone who likes to think of himself an outsider in the great game of identification through clothing, I seem to spend a lot of money on specific items of clothing I like. My game seems to focus around the t-shirt arena, where much more versatility is at hand: while there are just that many pants designs one could wear, there are virtually endless t-short designs, starting from colors and moving through prints. My t-shirts feature praise for open source systems, science fiction motifs, pro evolution / anti creationism motifs, and as of yesterday's Internet order some superheroes featured by my Big Bang Theory alter ego, Sheldon.
Common to all my t-shirts is one major theme: I'm not into this branding game or the latest in fashion. I'm a geek, and I'm proud of it.

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