Hangers full of purchases to present an appearance to please someone else are what fill our closets. These are not clothing necessary to protect us from the cold or keep us dry but statements we wish to make to others.
This is our persona.
Perhaps if we look backward, just a little bit, when things were simple, we would wear whatever was in the dresser only due to cultural society requiring us to cover our parts in public. Other than that requirement, the shoes protected our feet from the rough walk, the coats kept us warm, and the hats protected us from the glare of sunlight. Our parents choose the style and material due to price and availability, but we didn’t care.
As societies grow and develop, styles must be conformed to. Fashion is one of our binding group activities being able to relate to someone else in a similar look. What the tag in the collar read made judgments on each other and whether that piece of clothing would allow you to communicate to each other.
And yet, to be accepted, we tend to conform to the mold presented by groups we wished to emulate.
The same was true for language. We listened to others and learn to speak like them to join the conversation. Perhaps laughing smoothed the lapse in understanding, but the overall gestures were copied and duplicated as if following was the intent.
Work presented a new set of conformity, with terminology of the trade or profession only recognized by those who worked in the same field. The jargon became a badge of courage showing the knowledge and excelling the experience for others to follow.
And the clothing always changed with the recognition. From the comfortable clothing of the youth, proper attire was conformed to and even in some instance, overwhelmed the closet.
We wore a uniform.
Depending on the occasion, the presentation of fashion could make a statement that could further a career. Just as the right smile, wink of an eye, holding of a glass of wine, or stance; an entire future could be made or broken for the appearance.
So why did I have so many tuxedos in my closet? Why did I have tartan wool pants? Why did I have red velvet pants? Why did I have a blue double-breasted velvet jacket? Why did I have so many cummerbunds and satin bow ties and white diner jackets?
It may have been what I was or what I appeared to be?
But don’t worry, the next time I see you I’ll be incognito.