When people have asked me that question on what I consider myself to be in terms of lifestyle and fashion choices in the past I’ve always given them a different answer given the phase of my life.
When I was a tween, I was a mix of nerd, dork and grunge (cause I didn’t use underarm deodorant and liked STP) though very minimal. Music then really influenced me in terms of my choices in life.
If you asked me when I was a teenager, I probably without a doubt had said “Preppie”. I went to an all boys Catholic school and I fell into that lifestyle very easily rocking different ties and sweater vests and though Xaverian High School was as much Jock and Guido Juiceheads, as well. If they only did “Jersey Shore” when I was in High School, that would’ve been hysterical to see the reactions. I played sports, but no one would even even closely label me as a jock.
If you asked me when I was in College, it was a different answer for every year. Freshman year, I was pretty much a Sk8er and embraced that lifestyle fueled by watching the X-Games, hanging around Brooklyn Banks, bands like Blink 182 and Simple Plan and finding this awesome indie store in Manhattan that is no longer there that had all that Sk8er wear I really liked. I also had a crush on Avril Lavigne, who digged Sk8er Boy I mean she did sing an annoying song about them for a reason. Sophmore year, I would say Nerd because of my fascination with nerd culture which I always had a foot in one way or another and I was really bored in College so it was easy to Geek out for me on random pop culture. Junior year, I reverted back to Preppie when I started to take core “business’ classes to look the part especially when I began my internship at Sirius where I wanted to be business-like by still retain my youthful rejuvenile personality. Senior year, I started to become a Hipster, sad but true. I started to hang around Williamsburg and just got hooked into irony and the lifestyle because I got it but then it did start to get played out when you see 100 people in a bar on Berry Street drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon at the same time.
Hipster pretty much carried into my first job at G2. It’s was staring to wear thin with me especially when 50% of the office seemed to embrace that lifestyle also. I started to get into Preppie again though eventually after meeting those special friends I met at that fateful moment in my life (fateful in the great way) I started to go back to my roots as a Nerd/Dork with some Preppie/Sk8er thrown in, which is my most natural form.
I’ve pretty much have stayed that way to the present currently though some “Hipster” comes out especially my lust for Personalized Bowling Shirts that I love just because it’s cool to me though I don’t live in the Midwest and nor I am “The Dude” from “The Big Lebowski”. Plus there’s that fact I love Wes Anderson films, well with the exception of “The Darjeeling Limited” and the HBO show “Bored to Death”.
I’ve recently given it a lot of thought and I don’t think there is any label I can give myself nor would I want one anymore.
Wasn’t that the point of the John Hughes Films in the 80’s, that labels at the end of the day are meaningless? That the jock/cheerleader might not be the happiest/fufilled person in the world nor the coolest guy in school always has life “figured out” (SAVE FERRIS, had to say it). That the Ugly Duckling was really the most beautiful person in school in about 3 minutes thanks to the “Magical” filmmaking/screenwriting of “She’s All That”. Yes I am being sarcastic yet I love that ridiculously cheesy movie with Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rachael Leigh Cook. I still hold a torch for Rachael Leigh Cook, man she was hot but I digress from my main topic.
It’s true we are influenced by some form of lifestyle, but there is no rules or bylines suggesting we have to completely adhere to that lifestyle especially if we have other interests/preferences. You can love art, but you don’t really need a beret and a cigarette on one of those cigarette holders thingies to show that to everyone. While you “maybe be a redneck” if you Barbecued Spam on a Grill, it doesn’t mean you’re not an intellectual, in fact BBQ’ing Spam actually kinda sounds cool to me and now I want to google how to do it. In fact, I heard Chris Cooley, an All-Pro Tight End for the Redskins loves to do pottery in the offseason and has his own studio in his mansion, does that make him any less of a jock?
Personally, I love wearing my Nike 6.0 skateboarding sneakers, with jeans with a open buttoned shirt and rocking one of my vintage sports t-shirts and not thinking how people might label me for what I wear. Let’s keep labels on clothes and let you decide who you are, not others.
Enjoy your label-free existence!
-V. For Vinnie