Who needs fashion?
You can't handle the truth
By David Bookstaber
Forget all the major headlines.
How long can we stay interested in the latest scandal of our country's
Rapist-in-Chief, the Y2K problem, Saddam Hussein's pathetic taunts at the
U.S., or delays and cost overruns on the International Space Station? I could
talk about the human egg market in the Ivy League, or respond to this week's
"diversity" activism. But I know what readers really want, and
after midterms it's certainly not critical analysis of current events. Which
is why this week I'm going to explain why everyone should wear only jeans and
white shirtsall the time.
When it comes to clothing, the most efficient thing to do is to decide what
the optimal outfit is and then just wear it all the time. I assert that for
ubiquity, versatility, and all-out practicality, nothing beats blue jeans and a
white T-shirt. Both items are universal and inexpensive. You can usually find
a pair of sturdy jeans for under $40. A three-pack of T-shirts costs $15. I
never worry about clothes because I know that wherever I go, a pair of 34-34
Levis and an XL Jockey crew-neck will take care of me.
The ease of replacing such an outfit is matched only by its durability.
Contrary to the label, a pair of riveted jeans may not actually survive being
drawn by two horses, but I wear them to play polo every week and they take the
abuse of riding and ramming better than I do. Besides, the really great thing
about this outfit is that it's perfect for almost every occasion. You can wear
it to classes, to parties, and to service activities. I've worn it camping,
painting, rock climbing, shooting, and spelunking. I wore it to a job interview
(albeit with Microsoft) and to dinner with Bill Gates at his house. For a more
formal occasion, it can be quickly augmented with a blue blazer for that hip
Miami Vice look, as I sometimes do for Yale receptions.
And talk about functionality! I spent two years in Mexico, traveling as a
missionary, but I didn't have room to carry around a pillow. So wherever I
slept I constructed one by folding up a pair of jeans and wrapping it in a
T-shirt. There are numerous other improvisational solutions out there for
people who have a spare pair of jeans and a T-shirt. For example, preparing a
candlelight dinner this Valentine's Day, I realized that I didn't have a
tablecloth. I carefully arranged some T-shirts on the table instead, and she
didn't even notice!
Jeans and white T-shirts are not only functional, but also practical.
Prewashed jeans don't bleed, so you can wash them together with the white
T-shirts from day one. You can put them through the harshest wash cycle and
the hottest dryer setting and they're fine. They don't have to be ironed.
Plus, white T-shirts have a built-in "wash" indicator you can tell
whether they need to be washed just by looking at them.
The best part of adopting such a universal outfit is that you never have to
decide what to wear in the morning. I wake up and face a pile of blue jeans and
a stack of identical white T-shirts. When I see other people agonizing over
what to wear, I wonder what's wrong with them. I don't have to pause to
contemplate which façade I want to present to the world each day, or
whether my clothing matches. All my uniform says to the world is, "I'm a
If my style were universally adopted, there would be enormous savings
worldwide. Shopping for clothes would become obsolete, freeing up billions of
man-hours annually for more productive endeavors. The enormous quantity of
resources currently funneled into the black hole of fashion and designer
clothing could go towards more worthy causes. The time people spend each day
trying to decide what to wear could be reappropriated for rest and recreation.
And finally, what better way to display Yale pride than by wearing the school
colors every day of the year?
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