… they’re the American uniform at home and abroad.
UPDATE: Just wanted to add what inspired this:
And Far Away | Footwear that should be burned and buried
The way American tourists dress drives me crazy. Khaki shorts, worn-out and drab-colored t-shirt (or shirt), and the infamous sandlas, often with socks. Damn. It’s as if this “uniform” comes stamped out with their visas. I’ve never been to the US so I don’t know if that’s how they dress in their daily lives, but I sure hope not.
Yes, well, many Americans dress like this in our daily lives, because it’s easy, cheap, and comfortable. I was amused by And Far Away’s post, because it was totally true and funny. I actually wore khaki shorts to work today with those gawd-awful green Tevas, because we’re pretty casual at my office (especially in summer). As it happens, I was glad I had some water-friendly shoes on as I left (ON TIME for the first time this week) as it was raining pretty hard.
It actually felt nice to be out in shorts and sandals on a warm, wet evening. I got rain between my toes and thought about how fun it would be to run around without the umbrella, and just stomp in puddles like a little kid without a care. This propensity by Americans to run around stomping in puddles like a little kid without a care has gotten us into trouble before (see Bride, The Princess: Land War in Asia).
Not all of us can be fashionable people. Our neighbors to the North, Canada, routinely go out wearing much more stylish clothing than we do, especially on summer weekends, even before nightfall! Yet we Americans do not -we will go out to dinner so casually dressed that no one will look twice as we show up at a restaurant in what charitably could be described as “leisure” wear. I myself can’t stand to shop for clothes, and have very, VERY limited options in my closet for “dressing up.” So I “go casual” because it’s a lot less stress, angst, and self-loathing.
See those lumpy, bolsterlike structures up above my shoes and below my shorts? Those, my friends and robots, are my knees. Below them, if you care to look, are my cankles. There’s really no point in spending a lot of money on attractive shoes that draw attention to one’s cankles, is there? Especially if high arches require orthotic supports be worn in order to avoid extra foot, knee, and back pain. Sure, I’m now in my second week of avoiding processed sugar, reducing portions, and drinking lots of water. And I had a good workout last night at the health club, walked 2 miles with no major foot problems. So maybe I’ll be able to improve the look of my cankles with weight loss in a few months, and think about buying something nice to wear. Maybe.
I do have some nice slacks and tops that I bought for last year’s England/Ireland trip, and in fact I didn’t take a pair of jeans with me. Which is TOTALLY WEIRD, if you ask me. And then on a recent weekend trip, I once again didn’t take a pair of jeans. But I did take khaki shorts (sure, they’re big and roomy, and comfortable to walk in). And I took the Tevas, because they have some arch support as they’re built on a kind of hard-shelled chassis. My feet start to ache if I wear the older pair, the ones with soft soles and no support.
So I’m afraid that I, at least, will continue to wear the American leisure uniform of Fashion Slack. After being traumatized by watching too many episodes of What Not To Wear that never featured pear-shaped be-cankled women such as myself, I concluded that there’s just no point in bothering with fashion when you’re up against a multitude of competing figure faults in a weird size that’s too big for regular size clothing but too small for “queen size.” Comfort rules! Although I do avoid unflattering clothing as much as possible (I took that much away from WNTW), I just won’t wear uncomfortable shoes, no matter how fashionable they may be.
Like And Far Away, I think extra-long, extra-pointy shoes for either women or men are just one big steaming pile of NO. The examples from there were entertaining, but I recently encountered shoes too bizarre for real life:
See, I actually own an outfit a lot like this in Second Life – short plaid skirt, kitty tail and ears, braided hair. It’s kind of a common look on SL, that I like to call “Neko Schoolgirl.” I do like to dress up more in SL, because it’s…
wait for it…
… cheap, easy, and comfortable. You just click on an item, or a folder of items, in your game inventory, and presto! you’re wearing different clothes (or sometimes a body of a different species). It’s fun “shopping” for stuff to wear or attach (I don’t mean anything like THOSE sort of attachments).
But what is with those crazy instruments of torture on her feet?? They’re like platform shoes gone ballistic, or ballet shoes with buttresses. That’s just… so very wrong. Also, the claws and crouching pose are slightly disturbing.
Strangely though… I don’t think I’ve ever seen truly baggy khaki shorts and virtual Tevas for sale in Second Life, even in the most American of shops. Guess we’re not willing to look like slobs if it’s just as cheap, easy and comfortable to be stylish.
I can has iPhone?
Title: Shorts And Sports Sandals
Originally uploaded: 19 Aug ’09, 7.10pm CDT PST