I remember that one time when I put a t-shirt and a pair of pants on. I looked in the mirror and was like: ‘Goddammit, they don’t match!’ And then I was like: ‘Wait. I’m not supposed to care about these things. I’m four!’
But I did. That was the problem. So I came up to my mom and said: ‘Mother (not that I really called her ‘Mother’, but it sure does sound better this way), I need a new t-shirt. This one doesn’t work with the pants.’ She took a long pause, put aside her usual read (the Almanac of American Literature most probably), the smoke from her long cigarette was trembling in the air. She reached for her half-finished martini from a coffee table and finally set her eyes on me, rather absentmindedly. ‘Oh, I don’t know honey… It seems like a perfectly fine ensemble to me. Why do you think it doesn’t work?’
It was my time; the time to act like an adult, using sharp mind as my weapon and intelligence as my shield. ‘Well, because it’s… they’re… I think… ehmmm… I don’t…’ I had nothing. I knew I was right, but couldn’t find the right words to back my reasons. I wonder, why… ‘Coz I was four, that’s why!
So I did exactly what a kid in my age was supposed to do – I ran away crying and hid underneath the bed. Over there, in the darkness and dustiness of my hideaway, in the company of a long-lost teddy bear and a green sock I’ve sworn to learn every single thing about men’s style so I would never run away from the questions like this.
Years have past. I’ve learnt what ‘rollino’ shoulder is and how to pin-roll your pants, how to make a dimple on a tie and when is the good time to unbutton your blazer. I know a few things about suit construction, matching patterns, combining colours and accessorising. I can spot an ill-fitting jacket in one second and in five I’ll be able to give you some suggestions on either the alterations that could be done to better the fit or fun ways to get rid of that poor bastard (e.g. burning it and scattering the ashes around the store you’d bought it from).
I haven’t learnt everything of course – the oath I’ve taken hasn’t been fulfilled yet and it’s a long way to go. But I see my path clearly. And I’ve always got these words stuck in my head:
Some good people have bad taste. Some bad jokes are very good. Some dudes are bad-ass and others are badly-dressed. Be yourself, for better or worse, and wear your shit proudly.
I keep repeating this simple mantra and hope that one day you, my friend, are going to join me.
Welcome to Bad Wears Good.
Photography by: Max Lemesh