Updated: Aug 23, 2021
I have my sleep-and-not-leave-the-house wear, which means whatever shirt and shorts combo I embraced into unconsciousness tends to stay draped on my frame upon waking until it is time for the general public to gaze upon my being. Once leaving the house is involved, there is an outfit change. Add a workout, public or not, now an entirely new set of duds is called upon to cover my sweaty flesh packet.
Although this routine is not uncommon for the modern fashion elite, where I depart from the painstaking trends of haut monde is that every one of my clothing choices looks exactly the same. I could get out of bed, head to the shops, then hit the local anatomy asylum without changing a thing and no one would be the wiser. Granted, this, as a daily redundancy, might soon carry an odor with it, but the visuals would be the same. Athletic shorts, dark t-shirt. 3 different versions of that within a normal day. Sounds simple enough, yet why not stick with just one set and simply change before bed (or after a particularly drippy workout... I'm not a cave-dwelling monster) into what will be the following day's regalia ? No one will notice.
The romantic speculator in me would like to call it Ritual. Each separate clothing swap represents an action and a purpose, despite the textile tautology. There is, however, a good chance that my costume changes are simply manifestations of being an active, if lo-fi, consumer. We all like stuff to some degree. This is my version of having stuff. Granted, there is a simplicity to said stuff. In fact, too much stuff makes me anxious. For me, getting stuff is fun, having stuff is annoying. The stuff must have a usefulness, and therefore I can justify the getting-stuff part if that stuff is wearable. If this were a video game of my life, that might be called unlocking an investment.
Even when we put a keen eye to the phenomenon of capitalism, and its pay-to-play participation outreach program, consumerism, we may still struggle to see the cultural difference between being part of versus being distracted by. Ironically, entire cultures emerge from the distraction of consuming, so you are free, heck encouraged, to participate in owning certain stuff, even if there is no purpose to that stuff beyond the ownership of it. You can be part of being distracted. Cool, right? Or is my sarcasm showing my age? Kids, get yer sneaker collection, Hello Kitty swag, and Supreme shovel off my lawn.
Applying the Need-vs-Want-o-Meter to our fitness lifestyles is such an easy target, it's almost embarrassing to admit how that was the original gist of this post, prompted by a recent comment on one of my YouTube videos inquiring about where I got my shorts. That caused a bit of a short circuit behind my eyeballs. That anyone thinks anything I wear is worthy of purchasing themselves gives a legitimacy to my lack of brand loyalty, or fashion sense in general. In my mind, I might pass in normal society, but I never represent anything, shall we say, cool. Here's Chip Conrad's Buying Guide to Shorts... Will they hide butt sweat? Cotton and organic fabrics = no. That shiny athletic fabric which is one melt away from being tupperware = yes. Will they cover my skinny-ass chicken pegs down to the knee which look like I skip leg day weekly despite being a prolific lower body power generator? Most trending brand names = no (damn the 70s resurgence and all the guys with great legs). Whatever is hanging from Target's closeout rack = quite possibly. Are they under $40? Clicking on the Facebook ad = 30% chance. Giving Jeff Bezos more money, but making sure I order them 2-3 sizes larger than listed = yup indeed. Now who wants to sponsor me and give me more stuff to wear? I'm practically an influencer. Dave Hall, the #Alabamesasquatch, and I had a decent talk about stuff not too long ago, in this case tech stuff and its relationship to our bodies. Give it a peruse...