I have only been writing for YGS for a short time but I’m already going back and re-reading what I’ve written previously. Partially it’s to make sure I’m not repeating myself (I’ve got a bad habit of repeating stories to the same person about two or three times but my record is four) but it’s also to see if I’m being as honest as I feel like I need to be. Looking back on it, I don’t think I’ve been exactly that. My first post was about dressing to be remembered and that is perfectly true but there’s another side to that. To have a place in everyone’s minds for years to come has always been the long term goal but on the morning that I put on a suit or something equally as dapper and for the day that I wear it, I’m not overly concerned about that. Rather, I’m more immediately satisfied with the thought that I’m probably putting you into some sartorial corner of shame.
A very slight dash of ego is rarely a bad thing (does saying I just put you into a corner of shame count as a slight dash of ego?). In fact, in the right dosage, it can prove to be quite beneficial. In college, a couple of friends and I began wearing suits to class every Friday. To honorably justify our bold break from the collegiate norms (sweatshirts, gym shorts and flip flops), we told ourselves and those who asked that we were promoting some kind of elevated standard of college-kid living and style. Frankly, I don’t think we were kidding anybody. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure we were doing it for the reasons that freshman boys with hormones resembling a Viagra® factory would do it.
As this sartorial Sabbath persisted, it became something else. Whereas before it was just a show for everyone else, we began to do it for ourselves. Suddenly, we just got a joy out of being suited up and softly barging into a classroom like some barbarian horde coming to pillage the small tribal village. You couldn’t help it as you fought the urge to smirk while you absorbed the gazes of everyone. Was this the feeling of… well, maybe the word “conquest” is a little dramatic.
I’m willing to admit now that there is a certain satisfaction in successfully peacocking, to enter a place and be the ruling aesthete. I might even dare to say it is something of a high and once a week we would get our egotistical fix. It’s still the same for me today and I can appreciate the desire to show off a little but do keep it tasteful. Having said that, I’ll end with some imploring: I’ve heard it said that the clothes make the man and to that I’d tell you to be sure to have some serious substance underneath what you’re showing off. I’m just being honest.