* A writing assignment from the MFA program at the National University.

How would I define my style? The Oxford Languages definition of fashion is “a popular trend.” Style, on the other hand, is “a manner of doing something.” You can be fashionable but lack style. You can also have a style but not be all that fashionable. I am most probably the latter. Taking that in to consideration I have two very similar styles of dress, one where I literally do not give a fuck and another where I work hard to make it seem like I don’t.

In the first sense, I have things that I wear every day. Whether I’m running errands, reading in the park or climbing Mount Fuji; I am typically wearing the type of cargo pants I wore in the Army; with a t-shirt or hoodie of some kind. I also wear a lot of denim. My favorite pair of Jeans is a custom set I picked up overseas. Japan Blue Jeans have some of the most comfortable denim in the world. If you’re ever in Japan I highly recommend you get yourself a pair of jeans, I got mine in Osaka. I’m comfortable and functional and I do not give a fuck. The t-shirt or hoodie are typically recently retired from my “nicer” collection of t-shirts and hoodies. Footwear is also functional, typically trail runners or sneakers.

When (if) I’m being fancy, that’s when I try to make it look like I haven’t got any fucks to give. Secretly, I have given many fucks to look like I have given none. It takes effort to seem effortless. Similar to my adventurous days, my sexy nights are spent in designer hoodies or graphic t-shirts I picked up somewhere interesting. If the event calls for a collared shirt I have great ties that are conversation pieces for anyone who looks closely at the details. I like to look good, I lack reverence while doing it. Even if I’m wearing a suit or tuxedo I wear limited edition sneakers. I primarily wear Air Jordan’s. Not because they are the most comfortable shoe, Air Jordan 1s might be the least comfortable sneaker ever made; I have no idea how anyone played ball in those. Why do I wear them? That’s easy. When we were kids my parents couldn’t afford to buy each of us expensive basketball shoes. So, we didn’t get them. Now, I’m a grown up and mom can’t say no! Now, nobody dunks on my sneakers! I do not wear dress shoes; never, ever. Dress shoes are for try-hards, they are uncomfortable and I hate them. No thanks.

Tom Ford says men, real men, always wear something broken or dirty. He explained that men shouldn’t be “too put together.” I like that. In the graphics T/hoodie department, I like to wear shirts that speak to me and the cultures I love. Right now my Top 5 are :

  1. A white Pigalle Basketball t-shirt I picked up in Paris.

  2. A black t-shirt with a pink teddy bear that says “OPTIMISTIC” I picked up in Osaka.

  3. A black “SICKER THAN YOUR AVERAGE” T, from Brooklyn.

  4. A Groucho Marxist t-shirt I made “Groucho& Harpo& Zeppo& Karl”

  5. A Get Rich or Have Fun Trying hoodie I made.

You can buy the ones I made in my online store (wink, wink). The next level up in dressing like I don’t care involves sweaters. My sweater game is strong. I wear sweaters when I speak publicly or go to parties, typically over a shirt and tie. I feel like I have an essence of casual junior professor with street cred. I stopped wearing the hat (right) because people thought I was a magician. In my mind I’m saying “I’ll dress nice but I’m not going to the fucking prom.”

All a good metaphor for my approach to most things. I give a fuck, even when I pretend I don't. I’m just an adorable trouble maker from Northern New Jersey, I have my own style but I am in no danger of becoming fashionable. Don’t hate.