I remember the first time I realized that I was not on target in the world of fashion. I was in 5th grade at Indian Springs Elementary. All of us were in the lunch room. I had arrived late so I did not get to sit next to my friends. As I sat in the only seat available, I saw my buddies all in a row facing away from me and noticed something very intriguing about their jeans – all four of them had the exact same label above their right butt-cheek, “Levis Straus”. Now I know that more high fashion brands have hit the mainstream since 1982, but back then, Levis jeans were what the cool kids wore. I checked my jeans and couldn’t find a label at all. I knew that I wanted to fit in – as if what I wore was necessary to maintain their approval – maybe it was.
My family was not well off and I knew getting the best brands was not really an option, but I did my best to look good. As soon as I was old enough to get a job, name brand clothes were my highest priority. This carried all the way to high-school where I made it my life’s goal to win one specific senior superlative. I am guessing you still have these today – things like ‘most popular’, ‘most likely to succeed’, ‘most school spirited’ and so on. Well, the one I was gunning for was ‘best dressed’. Every day, I wore Guess Jeans and Ralph Lauren or Tommy Hilfiger. By the time senior year came around, I was confident that I had best dressed in the bag.
However, when voting time came around, a group got together and thought it would be funny to nominate Scott. Scott was goth before goth was even a thing – in fact, he may have started the whole goth movement back in 1991. He wore Doc Martin’s before anybody had ever heard of them. He wore all black every single day. He wore a trench-coat. He even painted his nails black. Enough people got behind the joke and Scott won. My life goal was shot. I landed miserably in second place. The fact that I won ‘most school spirited’ was no consolation. I was sad for days. Actually, I still have a deep hatred for trench-coats and anybody named Scott.