I am not a fashionable person. I am sitting here writing this in a t-shirt I have owned since I worked as a janitor in high school. That’s about eight years ago. My shorts are stained. Personally, I’m impressed that my socks match.
Living in Sweden has made me a bit more fashionable though. For example, I own a yellow shirt now. Considering it isn’t blue, black, white, or grey, this is a big step for me.
All that being said, even I know that some fashion choices aren’t ok. A fashion faux pas if you will. And the other night night, something caught my eye. At first glance, I was convinced it might be the Grimace. But I was wrong.
I looked closely and instead of a large fat purple blob creature that loves McDonald’s hamburgers, it was a regular Swede. About my age. About my height and build. Short dark hair, conspicuous because of its lack of product. A decent size guy over all. For some reason, the fact that he was somewhat tall made what he was wearing look even more ridiculous.
My initial reaction to a purple creature wasn’t too far off. The guy was wearing purple shorts. Which, in and of itself, is just ridiculous. But it got better. Or worse, depending on your point of view. Because along with his purple shorts was a matching purple tie.
My old man never taught me much about fashion, but he taught me when to wear a tie. And while never explicitly stated, it was implied that a tie should never be worn with purple shorts. It’s a good lesson really.
The evening continued and I was transfixed by the purple man. It was like watching a train wreck. Here was as guy who was over 6 feet tall, wearing a purple tie to match his purple shorts while dancing around. He looked like a he should have just stepped out of a miniature car and started making balloon animals with a group of clowns. Instead he was dancing. With a girl. Who, by the way, was wearing bright red shorts. But no red tie to match.
That’s when I realized it. I will never be European. At least not that kind of European. I have an EU passport. I speak a European language. But European fashion escapes me. Despite my yellow shirt.
Welcome to Sweden. And purple pants.