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Friday, July 11, 2008

Outfit Analysis: 7.11.8

We begin our Outfit Analysis series on this auspicious day, 7.11.8. (I’m not quite sure why I write the date that way, though I think it’s the most efficient (yet still intelligible) way to write it). For an introduction to what the Outfit Analysis series is, click the links in any of the "Outfit Analysis"'s in this paragraph.


To create a casual clean-cut outfit which expresses some edginess.

Although it is difficult, let me try to make these terms a little more rigorous. We’ll consider a clean cut outfit to fall within the general “preppy” paradigm, and consisting of simple, clean pieces. Edginess we’ll think of as strong symbols or colors, which may be indicative of “tough” people and interest groups. I’ll stop here, before I delve into completely ridiculous definition territory.


Shoes: Black Rockport Dunstable. I’m unsure as to their exact origin because they were a Christmas present. They are a low, long, black casual shoe (almost a “boat shoe”) with prominent white stitching.

Socks: Black Ankle Socks. (Not sure of the brand).

Shorts: Pastel yellow cloth shorts from Club Room.

Undershirt: Pink basic undershirt from Target.

Shirt: Black Old Navy polo with gray skull pattern detailing. I was unable to find it in the online store today, so it may no longer be available.


The outfit of consideration:

Here is a close-up of the skull detailing on the polo:

And a clear look at the shoes:


Let’s begin with the first goal; achieving a clean-cut outfit. The cuts/shapes of the garments chosen work well for us here. We have a non-sport shoe, without obvious logos or patterning. The shorts are clean, solid-color and are cut above the knee, as is considered standard. The shirt is a simple polo cut with undershirt beneath. All of thses cuts are common for a “preppy” look during summertime. Use of pastel colors in the shorts and undershirt, against black for the remainder creates distinct, simple color regions, keeping the look uncluttered (and thus, more clean.).

How about the edge? Well, the skulls are the obvious part. Come on, I’ve got fifty skulls on my shirt, I’ve got to be an edgy character. There’s a bit more subtlety to it though. The color black does dominate the outfit, taking up the entire shirt, as well as the shoes. We also leave the polo shirt fully unbuttoned to expose a significant portion of the undershirt. This increases the overall contrast level of the outfit, something which can be difficult when working with weaker (pastel) colors.


It’s not terribly obvious from the photograph, but the shorts are fairly wrinkled. This is intentional, because it’s often overlooked, or deemed unimportant. Certain garments do not require wrinkle-free wearing, such as jeans, undershirts, and sportswear. However, the whole goal of the cloth shorts is to appear clean-cut, and wrinkling obviously detracts from this. This also endangers the intentionality of our construction, making it more likely for someone to think the edge/clean cut combination was chance, rather than thought out fashion.

I also think that the outfit would have worked better with a stronger red undershirt, to increase the edginess, without sacrificing the clean, uninterrupted blocks of color in the outfit.

Finally, and this is nitpicking, a shorter sock (or perhaps no sock at all) may be better here, because of the very slight difference in color between sock and shoe. This does cause a slight decrease in the contrast intensity between skin and footwear.

Comments: Two kids mentioned that my shirt looked "pirate-y," and that this was "sweet."

Credit: I'd like to thank Susan for taking the main outfit photo. The detail photos were done by myself.

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