The unwritten rules of dressing

Brian PeckOne day in high school, my day started off normal.

I got out of bed about 20 minutes before school started, threw on some clothes, brushed my teeth and went out the door. Everything was normal, at least in my mind.

Around second period, I noticed people were laughing at me. I had no idea why. Then one of my friends said, “Nice man, rockin’ the plaids and stripes, Brian.”

What I did not understand at the time, was since the beginning of man, wearing plaids and stripes is a big no-no in fashion. So by means of public shaming, I learned to never again wear plaids and stripes at the same time.

This scarring experience got me thinking, “What the hell are these unwritten rules of dressing oneself? Who is coming up with these rules? I want to see this list!”

I will admit, at age 23, I still struggle dressing myself in a way that is appealing to the public. To me, wearing clothes is, for the most part, for utility purposes only.

My clothes keep me warm, and properly covered up in the places that people don’t always want to see. So what if the color scheme and patterns may be a little off to the astute dresser?

If my sense of style is unappealing at times, someone explain to me why backless shirts are in?  I was downtown this weekend and I saw someone wearing what was described to me as a “Miley Cyrus look.”

This girl was wearing a belly high shirt, and some form of overalls that were being pulled up too much. What the actual crap?

Another “no-no” in the world of properly dressing oneself is wearing brown and black at the same time. On the other hand, I bought a hoodie once (before I knew this unwritten rule) that was alternating brown and black stripes.

I wore it to school one day and my friends said, “Wow I never knew brown and black went so well together.” Yet, if I was dressing up, wearing brown shoes and black pants is another no-no. Wait, what?

Now, I know that brown and black go together and don’t go together. You can see where this leaves my mind exploding with confusion and anger. Seriously, what is the difference in those situations?

Sometimes, I unconsciously dress myself in one solid color so I will look like a blueberry, a poop-green blob or an angelical person. This unwritten rule is one that I understand and have miraculously learned on my own.

When I have to dress up for a special event, I enlist the help of my girlfriend to tell me if I am breaking any rules. I might wear a bright colored shirt and darker pants: nope.  I could be wrong on this next statement, because I still don’t understand the unwritten rules.

What actually works, is to wear solid earthy tone shirts with solid colored shorts/pants.  That looks so bland and boring. I don’t get it, and probably never will.

Unless, that is of course, someone would like to write these rules down somewhere for me and every other person struggling with this to refer to the next time we try to dress ourselves.
BY BRIAN PECK
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