Choose Your Clothes

747. Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Today was gorgeous in Seattle so I decided to walk across town to my studio. En route I saw six men dressed in full foliage-style camouflage. None were in the military. The first I barely noticed. Later when the second crossed my path I thought, “Oh. Bookends!” When, a few moments later I saw a third, my curiosity was piqued. One would not have caught my attention but six was a bowling team and a half so I began to ponder. What would inspire a man to dress in full camouflage when headed downtown? And, why so many camouflage clad men in such a short amount of time?

The point of camouflage is to blend in to the environment. Had they been wearing the taupe brick pattern or perhaps cement and asphalt design, their clothes might have served to conceal. I would have passed them without notice. Perhaps my subconscious would have alerted me to the oddity in the bricks but I would have glazed over it without raising their attire to my consciousness. Their camouflage achieved the exact opposite of its design! They stood out! Six foliage-pattern-peacocks sauntering down the urban streets of Seattle. Perhaps that was the point! To be seen in an environment that is otherwise anonymous. Amidst so many grey suits they were a festival of pattern and color.

Many years ago I used to buy green military cargo pants because the pockets were great for a painter. All kinds of rags and brushes fit in cargo pockets. They were comfortable and infinitely destroy-able so they were perfect for artist wear. Perhaps my bowling team and a half were dedicated to function and comfort. Had they been wearing only the pants or only the shirt I would have thought them artistic but no self-respecting artist wears statements of regiment and uniformity. In full regalia they were making a statement other than artistry.

Clothes are a statement. Mine are just as much a statement as are the choices made by my bowling team plus two. Perhaps that is what caught my attention. It is an odd statement of choice when a person dons camouflage while they have full freedom of choice. Sameness in the military serves an important function. To choose uniformity as a route to self-expression is a paradox almost too beautiful to ignore. Or, perhaps my guys are not comfortable with choices. Perhaps self-expression is too much to consider so military gear is a nice solution to overwhelming angst. I remember watching a film about a man who came to the USA from a third world country. The first time he entered an American grocery store he was completely overwhelmed by too many choices. It’s possible that my bowling team plus two suffer from option anxiety.

Of course, I am speculating. Perhaps their mothers still lay out their clothes; matching tops to bottoms is easier when dealing only with camouflage. One need not think too much when there is only one option.

2 Responses

  1. lets hear it for moms

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