Saturday, January 12, 2013

Assuaging My Guilt

Ok, so I spent some money today. More than I usually do. I'm a bit, errr, umm,errr "practical" on my budgets. Truthfully, I know that I'm middle class for an American, which makes me wealthy for many other parts of the world. However, it's all about perspective and context. My family is, by and large, European, from an austere  background, but well-educated and currently enjoying the high standard of living afforded Finns, and Netherlanders, and Swedes and certain Ukrainians enjoy, so I always feel a bit behind. As you might suspect, I'm self-aware enough to know that my viewpoint is skewed, but not enough to convince limbic system....
So, I've got strangely arbitrary "rules" about what to spend on which items. It seems practical to me, but I know that it's a bit, ahem, idiosyncratic.So, partially, I don't talk about fashion on this blog too often because I'm hardly budgeting for trends.
Still, serendipity happens, and today, I happened to chance across a Neiman Marcus Last Call  . Thinking it was above my budget, I went in, just to please my wife. Now, I still spent more than my budget usually allows, but I was surprised, pleasantly. For men's fashion, there are few things I think are better than my "Trinity"- Ben Sherman,Original Penguin, and Fred Perry.  They had all three. However, I usually do not allow myself such things. $200.00 US for a casual jacket simply isn't allowed in my world. But, I purchased 4 Polo shirts, for under $100.00 US- 2 Original Penguins, and 2 Fred Perry shirts.   The Original Penguin shirts were in "The Earl" style, which I think is a pure classic that only some UFC-worshipping meathead would pass by, while the Fred Perry shirts were the original "Twin Tipped" style, which are a clue as to where my sense of style originates. Yes, I usually have rather short hair. No, I'm not one of "them". Yes, I do have an extensive collection of Dr Martens boots and shoes. No, I don't own anything by Skrewdriver.
So, while I feel guilty for spending so much on such frivolous things, I assuage my guilt by writing about it, because these things, this fashion helps to denote who I am, culturally. Yes, I think that plays into what I like in music, and what kind of movie will excite me, and so on. I don't expect to be held to some kind of tribal norm, however. I draw from where that style originates, but I'm not limited by it. Just like, if you came from Grunge, I would expect some flannel in your shirt pile, and some fuzztone on your stereo, but I wouldn't expect you to have stopped purchasing music as of 1997, and zero khaki trousers in your hamper. I also was more Anarchy than Fascism, and, as always, would be an uncomfortable fit into any one category, just like you. Still, I come from a Skin/Mod type of sensibility, and I think it's useful to note that.  While I enjoyed some Oi!, I was more drawn to Ska, Northern Soul, Mod and Reggae than to simplified punk rock. Mostly, though, I liked American Hardcore, so my take on Skinhead was much more filtered. I came to Skin by way of Youth Brigade more than by Blitz, and more Henry Rollins than Malcolm Owen. I still was aware of it all, so yes, Fred Perry over Hanes Beefy T, any day. However, I still don't like Sta Prest....

No comments:

Post a Comment