Saturday, May 25, 2013

When is it Okay to Wear Matching Sweaters?

When I was in middle school, my parents bought me a brand new winter jacket. I can't remember where they found it, but it was warm and awesome and I loved the thing, and the first day I wore it to school I discovered that my friend's parents had bought him the same new winter jacket in a slightly different color. This is not the kind of thing that goes unnoticed on a middle school playground. In fact,  it was called "totally gay"on my middle school playground.

The emotions tied to this particular memory have become somewhat confused for me, as that friend of mine turned out to be totally gay, and because the guy who bullied us just bought this:

I have no idea whether that thing is cool or uncool, but I guarantee you that the former bully thinks it is. Obviously he's grown emotionally to the point that he can accept when two things look alike.

This has been on my mind lately because several times in the past week I've accidentally dressed to match my bicycle, which makes me feel kind of like this:

It's unclear to me whether dressing to match your bike is cool or uncool, though it's certainly uncool to dress to match your car. Usually when I've seen riders dress to match their bikes, it's because they're paid to do so and are all riding together in a paceline. Let's investigate how cool it is to be a bicycle chameleon when you're riding alone.

Example #1:

Looking good/dorky, he cleans the technical firepit section.

Example #2:
Surging ahead, he drops the garage.

I'm still not sure when it's okay to coordinate and when it's not, because we as a society don't have clear rules about this. It's confusing. Wearing the same jacket as your friend seems to be  socially unacceptable--unless you're Brittish and startled.

You can also dress like your buddies when you're in the aforementioned paceline.

One meat cube on this douche-kabob wasn't grass fed.*

I have one roadie friend who frequently sermonizes on the importance of aesthetics. He'll wear anything on his bike, as long as it's lycra, and any color of lycra as long as it's white, and any shade of white as long as it sears your eyes. He puts a lot of thought into how he and his bike look together, and he looks good when he rides.

My question teeters on the abyss of the form/function argument, and I wonder if--in the case of cycling apparel--an object satisfies both form and function at the same time, why not wear it? In the case of cycling apparel, "it's too expensive" is probably the answer.

So, I've decided I'm just going to find the most rad-tastic kit I can find and wear it all the time.

However, that kit matches my bike, too.

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