April 18th, 2011

When Ryland Knight and I met for the second time, we were wearing almost exactly the same thing: green t-shirt, dark jeans, some sort of brown leather shoes. I joked about this being the “I used to be interesting and then it stopped” uniform. It also reminded me of a conversation a friend and I had in a Dallas thrift store like four years ago. It wasn’t the usual “this shit is picked over” bitch-fest, but real, material fear—a sense of powerlessness that came with the understanding that one day, all the good old shirts would be gone. Ours would fall apart, there wouldn’t be any left to replace them, and thrift stores would be filled with stuff that still felt recent to us (nostalgia slackens and distance shrinks from college on). We resolved that, when that day came, we would just go to well-made jeans and plain tees. And here Ryland and I were, livin’ the dream.

Writing this now, though, I’m realized that we’re still trying to have it both ways. Old clothes, ironic tees, and pearl snap shirts were always, on some level, supposed to be about not giving a fuck. Being overly clever, or too creative, was never really the point. Trying too hard was always out of bounds. At the same time, as relatively grown-up as we looked, we also weren’t dressed like 1996—it was entirely possible that style was on our side. I’m not so sure that anyone wants to look all that interesting anymore, at least not across a certain demographic. Call it backlash, or aging out, but I think it’s just as likely a re-packaging of pretending not to give a fuck. Incidentally, Ryland and I went shopping. I bought the J-Crew khakis, pictured above, to wear to court. 

  1. cfcollision reblogged this from bethlehemshoals and added:
    2 years ago, more or less, I had a thorough freakout whose slogan was I am too old to wear shirts with words on them. I...
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