Stockholm is a fashionable city. At least that’s what I’m told. Today made me question all of that.
In a two hour span after I left work this evening, my eyes were assaulted by fashion. Swedish fashion.
First, a girl, maybe 17 or 18, walked by with her friend. They had the standard issue Swedish teenager attire. Black tights under a skirt. Enough make-up to make Krusty look natural. And a striped shirt. Now, that’s really not that strange. Of course, one of the girls had a hat on. Again, not horribly strange. Except that the hat also doubled as a rainbow colored umbrella. It wasn’t raining. Nor was it sunny. While function may be style, this had no function.
Just an hour later another girl walked by. I’m going to put this one in her early twenties. Again, pretty standard uniform. Skirt. Striped shirt. Black tights. But then I noticed that the tights were shiny. Reflection shiny. She was wearing latex. And at that very moment I realized why when I have kids, they have to be boys.
After this realization, I sped past the Linnea Latex, only to be met by the ‘80s in a showdown with the ‘50s. The ‘50s won. Or at least won my attention. Because standing right next to me, waiting for the subway, was what Red would describe as a tall drink of water. I am a tall person. Over six feet tall. This man towered over me. And he was dressed in black. All black. Black boots. Black jeans. Black shirt. Black leather jacket. Black glasses. Black hair. All black.
Since moving here over two years ago, my definition of tight has changed. Tight shirts. Tight pants. There’s American tight and there’s Swedish tight. So when I notice tight pants at this point, they are tight. Uncomfortably tight. And his black pants were uncomfortably tight. For me. And I can only imagine for him.
Lucky for me though, I got to share a subway car with him. Now a guy that cool doesn’t need to hold on to anything in the subway car. Of course, subway cars don’t recognize cool and he was thrown throughout the car. In a pathetic attempt to make it look more natural, at one point he actually tried to break out some sort of dance move. While whipping his leather jacket (which had been draped over both shoulders like Dracula’s cape) off and twirling it into his hands.
It was during his dance move that I saw it. His black shirt. He had tucked it into his underwear. Sticking out of his all black, what turned out to be, façade was a pair of white underwear. And it was at this point that I made my second realization of the evening. I’ll stick to my four year old jeans. My Work Out West t-shirt from high school. My tennis shoes. Because I might not fit in, but at least I don’t tuck my shirt into my underwear.
Welcome to Sweden. Where fashion is all relative.
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