By Greg Hamilton
Fall is here. The days are getting shorter; the night air is getting crisper. And so the melancholy procession of the short shorts and breathable cottons to the back of the closet gives rise to the march of long-sleeved sweaters and supple leathers triumphant march back to the coat rack. Not here in Baton Rouge, though. Maybe you can rock leather everywhere else in the country, but not here; at least not for another few weeks or so.
Here the climate allows us to linger a little longer than others in our summer attire. We can still tailgate on Saturdays in our favorite t-shirt and flip-flops deep into October. Head to our favorite bar and enjoy wearing our shorts…and other people wearing shorts. Around here it takes us a little longer before we are forced to break out the turtlenecks and boots with the fur, and hooded sweatshirts and boots without the fur. It’s hard for us to move on even when we know it’s time to, you know, the song from Frozen…let it go.
Like the beard trend…let it go. While the rest of the country is trimming they’re facial hair, we’re hanging on to every last follicle. Most of you know it’s time. Many a beard has been shorten in the last couple of months. But there seems to be a widespread phobia of allowing cheeks to come in contact with sunlight. In Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Chris Hemsworth’s Thor was rocking less of an epic beard and more of a 5 o’clock shadow. From Hollywood stars to professional athletes, the beard trend is fading away like Iggy Azalea’s career. Even Zach Galafinakis has trimmed it up.
I know it makes some feel more manly and macho. I mean if you are forced to go to your neighbor to ask for help opening a jar of pickles, growing a massive beard is a major accomplishment. And it’s not something everyone can do, so there’s that. Except everyone has been doing it. And I know most men have this image of themselves in their heads that this epic beard makes them look brawny and viking-esque (trademark pending), so the streets are overrun with a horde of duck-hunting barbarian heroes; the manliest of manly men. When in actually it makes most men look like an Irish setter trained to walk upright and dressed as a mini-person by his owner. The beard…let it go.
As for Hipster chic…let it go.
Is it ironic that a fashion trend intended to show individuality and self-expression of the fringe and alternative has quickly become a benchmark for conformity and hive-mentality of the masses? I don’t know. That Alanis Morrisette song has made me question what the definition of irony is. (Was it really about Uncle Joey from Full House?) I know I’m tired of the word though. I haven’t been this bombarded with this word since the time I had got detention and had to right it on the chalkboard a hundred times.
I understand and appreciate this trend’s origins. A mosaic of past trends fused into one with a collective motto of “No Ducks Given” (Wait that’s not right…damn predictive setting). It’s a remix of the classics, a mash-up of standards from different eras, Retro Metro (trademark pending)…the uncool being cool with caring to be cool. Nerds win.
But then everyone jumped on the bandwagon (like a Nickleback hater) and what was once a refreshing feast for the eyes that said with a glance this person is open to breaking from the norm has become the glare of the noonday sun when you left your sunglasses at home (is that in an Alanis Morrisette song?) The jocks have taken over the nerd kingdom. Gone is the aura of the 60s-hippie flower child and in its place is the pretentiousness of 50s beatnik. It’s like the country has all become the Goth Kids from South Park but in bowties. For a style that has been a celebration of the past, it looks extremely dated in just a short period of time. For Millenials, these will be the pictures that your kids laugh at and ask, “What were you guys thinking?” And like your parents before you, you try to justify it. Don’t. Just don’t. Hipster chic…let it go.
And as for skinny jeans…nope, I’m not going there.