Steven (unzeugmatic) wrote,

Inadvertent Trendiness

Although I have a closet full of vintage wool topcoats and a big puffy down coat
and hood for the worst of the Minnesota mornings, I do need to own a basic
nondescript coat for those basic nondescript days, a regular old coat like
regular people wear. The coat I have been using for this purpose had gotten
pretty sad by this season, so the day its zipper became fully inoperable (it
had been partially inoperable for a while) I went off at lunch to the Burlington
Coat Factory, where I'd never been. I needed something to tide me over until
I decided what I really wanted here.

"Ah, this is where straight guys buy their clothing!" I thought. I had found
the secret cave of the style-free. Bulky acrylic sweaters patterned in white
and mixed shades of blue. Strangely-textured oilcloth down coats from China
with removable sleeves. Ill-cut sports jackets in stiff fabrics.

It took some looking, but I actually found a jacket at a reasonable cost that
suited my purposes, a basic quilt-lined canvas/duck coat with a corduroy collar
in an interesting shade of khaki-green, almost grey. It even had some nice
syling details The only problem was a stupid leather one-inch-square patch right
in the middle of a front pocket with the maker's name, but I own a seam ripper
and I know how to use it. Deal done, one-stop shopping. As it turns out,
I like this coat more and more as I wear it, and I'm not even going to look
for something else. I got off cheap and easy.

On Sunday night as I was leaving two-stepping at Lee's Liquor Lounge and saying
my goodbyes, my sweet friend Carl said, "Look, Steven has a nice new coat."

"Yes, it's new, but it's just a coat"

"No, it's not. Look at this." He held the zipper up, and read, "Carhartt"

I gave the baffled-hands gesture. "I was going for a coat that would call no
attention to itself. What's Carhartt?"

"It's very trendy right now. All the gay boys are wearing it."

At this point I thought Carl was having fun with me, so I pointed to the small
unfaded square on the pocket and said, "If I'd known that, I wouldn't have
removed the label." Carl assured me that this was true style, to wear a trendy
label garment but to remove the label. I laughed and strutted out the door.

Then this week in two separate places I read about Carhartt jeans being the
current uniform brand for trendy gay guys. I had never heard of the brand,
and suddenly the name keeps coming up. Evidently Carl was not joking.

For all I know it's just the jeans that have the cachet, and the rest of the
line still indicates its utilitarian work-clothes origins. But I seem to
have stumbled onto the latest gay thing, not only by accident but despite a
conscious attempt to walk in the other direction.

So what's the deal here? Has anti-fashion become the new fashion?

You can see a picture of the coat in a much less interesting color here. Evidently
my coat ended up at the discounters because the color has been discontinued.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.