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    Pushing The Shimmering Shirt Envelope

            In Burlington Vermont, I came across a clothing store that contained the best selection of explosively colorful shirts I had ever seen. For men. This excited me, because when it comes to fashion, let’s face it, women have it all over guys. They can wear virtually anything, even a tie, and not get looked at like they’re from another planet. The range of colors, patterns, designs, and styles that women can wear give them vastly more choices.
            This seems somewhat unfair. Men are up against very entrenched and long standing tradition if they want to expand their fashion horizons and dress unconventionally. I’m not suggesting that guys start wearing skirts or anything. But I challenge the accepted parameters because they make no sense at all to me.
            The way I dress occasionally startles people. Especially if they have relatively narrow minds when it comes to men’s fashion. In extreme cases, what I wear can even provoke hostility, usually of the passive aggressive nature. My choice of clothing can disturb extremely critical and judgmental people who don’t see the value and beauty of diversity. And it can sometimes even confuse extremely conservative people about my sexual preference. But such are the risks you run when you dress the way you want and don’t pay attention to conformity, established norms, convention, or what other’s find fashionable. Or acceptable.
            Maybe it’s shocking to see a man wearing a sparkly purple shirt. But to me, what’s far more shocking is for anyone to assume that, because of the shirt I wear, I prefer having a guy’s dick in my mouth instead of a warm, succulent boob. As far as I’m concerned, the jump from conventional oxford to unconventional purple satin is nothing compared to the quantum leap one must make in assuming that I prefer “love-stick” over “love-cave” based solely on my clothing. Society’s arcane and prosaic limitations on masculinity and sexuality are what’s absurd. Not the damn shirt.
            As a musician, dressing differently often comes with the territory. Although I know plenty of musicians with a rather conservative fashion sense, I know plenty, like myself, who push the envelope. Those of us on the fringe don’t make a distinction between what we would wear on stage and what we would wear almost anywhere else. Maybe to us, all the world really is a stage.
            I know I have a different way of looking at things. But is it so crazy to expand one’s horizon regarding what a man can wear? An ex-girlfriend paid me the greatest of compliments when she said, “It’s not that Clint thinks outside the box. Clint doesn’t know there is a box.”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.
            If you’re honestly not into colorful and expressive clothing, then you’re not into it. There’s certainly no foul there. But have you ever asked yourself why? Is it because it’s just not your bag? Or do you actually like flashy clothing, and don’t wear it because you’re afraid of what people would think? Is it because colorful clothing would attract too much attention to yourself, and that makes you uncomfortable?
            And if that is you, all I’m saying is try to break free of those self-imposed limitations. Express yourself more fully through what you wear. Clothing is such an easy and functional way to exercise your uniqueness. Take advantage of it. Dressing exactly the way you want is loads of fun. And it’s a simple yet effective way of helping you own yourself. It’s a step in the process of fully being you.
            It’s astounding to me how much attention I receive whenever I wear one of my favorite shirts. Does a part of me wear it to get attention? Sure. But it’s much bigger than that. If I didn’t love what I was wearing, and did it only to turn heads, then I wouldn’t be comfortable in it. And I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. But I love what I have on, and it shows. I’m not just comfortable in flamboyant attire. I’m energized by it. I become as electric as the shirt I’m wearing. Or, closer to the truth, the shirt I’m wearing becomes an outward manifestation of how I feel.
            But c’mon, man. It’s just a shirt. I search myself, and for the life of me, I honestly can’t see what the big deal is. Apparently, I’m in the minority. Which is fine. Perplexing, but fine.
            When all is said and done, I am my own fashion statement. And that’s how I’d like everyone to be. Maybe that’s my unconventional convention.

    ©2009 Clint Piatelli. All Rights (and a closet full of Wrong Shirts) Reserved.

    Reader Comments (3)

    Bother Clint, As you know I am a fellow sufferer of discrimination but I have found that after a ten minute conversation with the offending questioner, they no longer question my choice of clothing., hey wait a minute!

    February 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterThe Cuse

    Clint! Or is it Mr. Roth.... gotta love the human disco-ball shirt. hope you're well guy.


    February 9, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteryogajohn

    Thanx John. I'm coming from my heart, working on myself, and keepin' the faith, just like you dude.
    A note to any readers looking for another good blog - check out It's from the heart, and very spiritually uplifting.


    February 9, 2009 | Registered CommenterClint Piatelli

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