by Tara Osipoff on November 29, 2012
The Day Ugly Became Cool
I remember it like it was yesterday. The air was crisp and the sun was bright, kids ate ice cream in the streets, and old ladies sat in their lawn chairs watching traffic. Little girls ran amok in flower print skirts and pink shirts. Birds flew in the sky on cue, not too fast and not too slow. Women pranced along the sidewalks in their finely pressed dresses and men strolled in their tailored suits. Everyone wore solid colours and regular, ordinary prints. The day was so perfect that it almost seemed like a rendition of Gary Ross’s Pleasantville. Then, right when you would expect the Brady Bunch to cross the road singing, a young fellow walked out of a coffee shop with a bit of an awkward swagger to his step. Traffic stopped, kids’ ice cream fell to the ground, birds dropped from the sky, and women gasped in shock and hid behind their finely dressed men. They couldn’t believe their eyes. The man was… well, he wasn’t matching!!!! He had on a short-sleeved button down bird print shirt, with red corduroy jeans and a pair of old, rugged Doc Martens. His hair was wild and unruly. He didn’t walk with a stick up his butt like the others; he was free of butt sticks. He swayed back and forth as though he was stepping to a beat that was playing in his head. He didn’t seem to care that people were watching. He glanced over at one of the women who stood, frantic, in the street, and he winked at her. She nearly fainted with surprise. Never had someone gone against the grain in such a way, and people were frightened. They all gathered at the town hall, dressed with their hair in neat and tidy bows, ironed shirts, and stockings with perfectly polished shoes. They voted to cast out the boy from the town. What would they do with someone who didn’t agree to follow their rules of what was correct, of what was appropriate and acceptable to wear in the town? He looked foolish amongst the rest! Foolish! If he dressed this way, imagine the rebellious shenanigans and disruptions he could make in the town. They had to put an end to this.
They decided they would protest in the streets… with signs and pitchforks. Signs that read, “We will not accept ugly shirts in a town such as this!” They marched in their butter yellow dresses and tucked-in shirts and finely combed hair. Outside the boy’s house, they waited. They were ready for the unruly boy to come out—ready to attack.
Come out he did, but not as expected. He simply opened the door and sat on the step with a cold beer in hand. He was calm, cool, and collected. He asked the town to hear him out. He explained to them that all his life he didn’t feel comfortable wearing a suit, that he didn’t like stripes because he found them boring. When he tucked in his shirt he felt restricted and that he wasn’t able to move freely. He explained that he didn’t enjoy ironing his shirts, and that this didn’t make him the town serial killer; he just simply didn’t like to iron. Although confused, the town seemed to like the boy. He was intelligent and creative and there was something intriguing about him. Although they were unsure just yet if they could trust him, they lowered their pitchforks, put down their signs, and sat in a circle around the boy while he spoke of choices, ideas, and imagination. The townspeople listened in awe as the boy brought out a guitar and played music they had never heard. They sipped on the boy’s beer and loosened their neckties. They talked amongst one another about a new way of life—a life with colour, creativity, and freedom.
The next day, things in town were different. Just as pleasant, but not so black and white. There was colour, plaid, and chiffons; men wore floral, and women wore ties and the colour brown. People played music in the streets and buskers sang music on the corner. People were painting and kids didn’t judge one another if their shirts weren’t buttoned to the neck. This was the day when ugly became cool.
Okay, okay. This probably isn’t how it happened, but this is how I like to imagine it. People generally fear what they do not understand, whether that is the pattern of a shirt or the ideas of a free thinker. Out of fear of the unknown or fear of change, it’s just easier to label things into a category in order to feel comfortable. Ugly is just one of those categories. If floral button downs are your thing, rock them like no one is judging. If a wolf patterned shirt makes you feel lovely—if it makes you feel confident and strong, creative or inspired—there should be no fear of whether it is considered “ugly”. Fashion is a constant evolution; we are always changing which trends are considered “in”. The people who set trends are the ones who don’t care if something is considered ugly or if it is acceptable to others. We need to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the only person there is to impress is the one looking back in the mirror. The trendsetters dress to feel inspired, creative, and innovative. Be you, be bold, and don’t be afraid to be judged, because the revolutionary people of this world are the ones who take a stand against the herd. They were the ones who made ugly cool, and they are the ones that make this world exciting
Go to www.iloveugly.net/ to find this fabulously hideous menswear line that I am currently lovin’. Follow them on Instagram and twitter to stay in touch with the lifestyle and latest gear they’re puttin out …
Thanks fashion lovers