My personal reservations about it are the same as about many others. You’re trying too hard. It looks like a costume. He’s a hipster who doesn’t really need the clothes he’s wearing. These ideas and a conversation with one of my friends started to spark an idea for me. Most clothing choices throughout history have been based primarily on function. This is why so many different cultures around the world dress differently: they meet the unique challenges and demands of their environments in different ways. That functionality gives a valid reason to change the way we dress and then aspects of form or style can start to evolve from there.
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This means the current problem is that most of us live, work, and exist largely in digital or climate-controlled environments. We have almost zero functional needs for our clothes. I imagine that 90% of the US population would be just as functional in a pair of scrubs as they would be in whatever they’re wearing (me included). So without specific functional needs for our appearance, we don’t have an easy reason to start changing our styles. The counterpoint to this is that there is another reason for the aesthetic changes: symbolism. When we want to send a different signal, either to ourselves or to others, we can also do it with the way we see ourselves. But once again, we find ourselves deprived of many of these opportunities in contemporary Western culture.
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First, because we lost our fluency in symbolism. Now it’s all just logos and brands. There is no subtlety in the symbols we use now. And so much of it is aesthetically ugly that it just results in graphic Ts. Second, we live in a global society where the more unconventional you are, the less likely you are to find success.
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Yes, there are many sub-tribes within our general culture, but almost all of their aesthetic approaches still fall under the umbrella of what is socially acceptable. Street clothes or suits may not be for you, but they are not so far removed from you or people like you that they seem strange or hostile. The old symbols of the counterculture (dyed hair, visible tattoos, piercings, etc.) have been swallowed by the mainstream in our rabid desire to accept everyone and everything. And there are no visible symbols signaling a rebellion against that ethos.
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