Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Regional "Uniform" Watch - Phoenix

When Diane and I travel, I like to observe all kinds of things. How people act, what they eat, what they look like, how they interact with each other, architecture, art, food, sights, sounds, smells, history...you name it, I'm checking it out. In foreign nations, this is an all day extravaganza hitting on most of these things at all times.

When we travel domestically as we did this past weekend to the Phoenix area for a Presidents' Day sunny get away, the pickings are usually a lot slimmer for observing given how much of our nation is increasingly similar to all other parts.

But one thing I've noticed is that in certain areas of the U.S. you can pick out common "uniforms" or set of clothing that people wear that are not like where we're from in the Northwest. These are ways of dressing that I observe a high percentage of people wearing where we're visiting...but that are also not like what we see at home.

I spotted a number of regional "uniforms" in our trip to the U.S. southeast last year. You can check those observations out by reading my post HERE.

Anyway, the Phoenix area proved to the breeding ground for another unique and perhaps regional "uniform" that I clocked over our 48 hours in "the valley of the sun."

Namely, I observed that a high percentage of guys between the ages of approximately 18-30 were wearing this lovely combination:
  • A colored short sleeved t-shirt splattered with scripty black writing and designs that were not clear to read or determine what they were...just swirly scrip and lines.
  • Blue jeans with frilly back pockets and that flare out at the foot (often with a raggedy edge at the cuff).
  • A leather belt.
  • Pointy leather shoes OR fashion "athletic" shoes (not actual athletic shoes).
  • Some sort of modern looking sunglasses.
  • A healthy dose of hair gel.
You got all that in your mind? Imagine about every fifth guy you see walking around Phoenix or Scottsdale rocking that look. It's not something I've seen in Seattle or other parts of the country that I travel to for business or pleasure.

If you're like me then you may agree with the name I've given this look. Yes, ladies and gentleman, this look can only be dubbed what it is...The Duchebag.

Hey, I'm a live and-let-liver, and I realize that every generation wears fashions that piss off older people, but seriously...what is it about that combination that is supposed to be cool or masculine or rebellious? Could it be the the flared jeans for guys? The embroidered ass pockets? Pointy shoes? Vague pseudo-tattoo designs on the shirt? The answer is...none of them do the trick. It's a narcissistic, fashion design label worshiping, shallow Lemming reality TV generation look that shows little imagination and no rebellion whatsoever. Pretty lame.

So, reporting from the intersection of travel and fashion observation, I therefore leave you with The Duchebag look to ponder. See if you spot it in your area.

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