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    Dress Without Repress

            Have you ever wondered why you look great in certain outfits but in others you could haunt a house? Women probably have, but not many men give this question much thought. I have. And like everything else, it’s an inside job.
            If what you’re wearing reflects who you are on the inside, you look like a million bucks. Regardless of what you have on. You feel great wearing what’s you, and you exude a palpable ease and confidence.
            Put me in a pair of khakis. Really nice ones that fit great and that are ironed. Better yet, pleated. Add any pair of shoes that go with khakis and make them brown. Give me a collared shirt with an insignia over the left or right nipple. What do you have? A Nightmare. The kind that makes you wake up sweating and screaming for your teddy bear. Why? Because those clothes have absolutely nothing to do with what’s inside of me.
            Years ago, when I was young and foolish, I would let my girlfriends “dress me”. After the torture session, they would stand back and say “You look so nice!”.  I would stand there mortified, my head flush with blood, dreading being seen in public donning this clown outfit. Which is exactly what it felt like. Because in their quest to fashionably domesticate me, they were choosing only what they liked, with precious little regard for what I liked. They would mutate my style so drastically that it wasn’t remotely me anymore. And isn't love about letting someone be themselves, fashion sense (or senseless) and all, and loving them precisely for that?
            I’m not saying that women can’t help their men dress. It’s actually fun when they do. Sometimes even necessary. But it’s only a good trip when women work with their man, not against him. Guys, if you have to wear a monkey suit, then choose your monkey. Make it a suit you’re totally into. Make it, for example, a purple suit that’s professionally tailored. I have a suit like that. Love it. If the event is so conservative that a purple suit would get you arrested (there are events this stuffy, although I’ve thankfully never been to one), then go with something that’s still you within the parameters of the occasion. In every situation, there are options available that don't completely compromise who you are and what you want to wear.
            Male or female, it’s true that if you’re secure enough with who you are, you can wear anything and feel okay. But I’m not talking about feeling okay. Life is too short to settle for feeling “okay” when you can feel “Kick Ass”.
            So dress as yourself, whatever that means, always. If the event warrants a wig and spandex pants, like say a “Rock Star” Party, then by all means gentlemen, start your engines. Don’t let woman have all the fun. Always Dress to Kick Ass. For me, sometimes that means a long leather coat, jeans, and a t-shirt. Or maybe black vinyl pants and a shirt covered in tiny red mirrors. Another favorite are shorts and a flannel shirt (my current attire). Better yet, shorts and no shirt (my usual attire). It doesn’t matter. If it’s you, really you, it’s hot. Now excuse me while I get naked. That’s what feels like me at the moment. I’m taking a shower. Outside. No stall. No neighbors within three hundred feet. Looking out at the ocean. Now THAT kicks ass.

    © 2008 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and Wrongs) Reserved

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