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Who needs fashion?

You can't handle the truth
    By David Bookstaber

headshotForget 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 shirts—all 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 practical guy."

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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