Fashion Fears

Listen. Guys. We need to talk.

I have a phobia...

of shirts.


Lame, right? But I've been thinking about how I avoid wearing one. I'll layer a dress under a skirt or tuck one into pants or throw on a onesie before I'll wear a normal-length shirt.

Is it because they require too much attention to matching? I never worry about that otherwise.

Is it because my midriff feels exposed? You might be aware that I am rather tall, so shirts are almost always too short.

Is it the annoyance of having to tuck it in? If it's too short, it doesn't stay tucked in once I sit down. I'm always trying to unbunch it once it's in there.

Is it the difficulty of finding a shirt that fits? I encountered so many problems when anyone used to buy me clothing as a gift; they were under the false impression that the larger the size, the longer the shirt. This resulted in my traipsing around in veritable tents that still offered myriad bellybutton glimpses. And the sleeves on long-sleeved shirts are too short, too, but I'm gangly, as I said. When I do wear a shirt, I can never put it on and say, "Well, glad that's settled." I'm constantly pulling at it, folding the collar, adjusting the fit. It's never right. I usually end up topping it with something else, like a sweater or a vest. The shirt never gets a chance to shine.

It's all of these things, folks, in addition to the fact that I'm not so sure what constitutes a shirt anymore. There are tunics and button-downs and baby-dolls, but I can't seem to settle on a style of shirt that I like. I want it to fit like a T-shirt but look office-appropriate. Does this exist?

Some people have legitimate fashion fears. You might fear wearing a cartoony shoe like this from Alexander McQueen:

But me? I'd wear those out in a heartbeat, with a frilly petticoat and a blazer.

Or you might draw the line at wearing a life-sized parrot applique, a tiki-totem dress in bumblebee colors, or an enormous portrait of Prince a la JC de Castelbajac:

I'd go clubbin' in these. I might ditch the eye patch, though; each of these pieces is enough on its own.

Or you might think an enormous bow on your head looks... well, stupid.

I won't disagree with you, but I still try it out every once in a while.

But my beef is with shirts, one of the most ubiquitous fashions since Adam and Eve realized that being naked was boring.

The point is that I'm open to all sorts of weird fashion things and feel little to no shame, yet I am petrified by the thought of a garment most people wear day in and day out. Am I ahead of my time, opposed to the typical, or just plain weird?

You decide. While you're at it, what are your biggest fashion fears, and how do you conquer them? Go Freudian on it if you want.

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