I’ve proclaimed many a time that I am not a fashionable girl, that I don’t wear makeup and that whoever said pink wasn’t a fashionable color was seriously mistaken.
And while that is all true (OK, I never actually said that last one, but it’s true nonetheless), I can’t help but feel like I’ve misled you just a little bit about myself. I have a confession.
It’s an obsession, really. Not the kind that could get me arrested or put on any sort of government watch list, but rather one that has incited giggles from my friends and family and maybe even a stare or two from strangers.
Polo shirts. There, I’ve said it. I have an unnatural obsession (I prefer the term love) for this comfy, cozy apparel.
I thought I had it under control for so long. I’d finally gotten past the point of salivating at the sight of them. But then I faced a setback. A hard one. The mere sight of one of those shirts with the flashy, raised collar, and I went nuts. I had to cradle it in my hands, to feel its cottony texture, to allow my eyes to be dazzled by the colors and designs.
If I had fallen prey to this menace — the sheer allure of fashion — is it possible for other seemingly unlikely candidates to fall victim to their own fashion of choice? Do the clothes really make the man, or woman, as the case may be?
My family has never been the ‘fashionable’ type — you know, those people who travel the world, well, namely Paris and New York, and sit front-row to all the glitzy fashion shows that highlight the newest dresses and other garments from expensive couture lines. But, we do take pride in what we wear. My sister is classic for her button-down shirts (I can spot a “sister shirt” on the racks a mile away). My mother is fond of brightly colored shirts with pretty flowers or other such patterns on them. And my father always felt at home in a simple T-shirt.
Me, I don’t play polo. I just sport the shirt. Some people may say I’m trying to be someone I’m not, but from the moment I put on my first polo, I knew I’d found something. It wasn’t true love, but it had to be the closest thing to it, I reasoned. According to my good friend Wikipedia, we can thank a man by the name of René Lacoste for the look and feel of the modern polo shirt. He, in all his infinite wisdom, decided that the polo shirts of yore (the one fancy-shmancy rich tennis players doned) were simply to stiff and cumbersome. The result? Jersey petit piqué: a white, short-sleeved, loosely knit shirt with an un-starched (take that, stiff shirt!), protruding collar.
My polo collection stands at around 20 currently, in every color and design, from red to blue to purple to orange to stripes; I hope to find some polka dotted ones soon. There is no limit to my shame, or, I suppose, lack thereof), to just merely marvel at the artistry that went into producing such a magnificent garment. I now have enough that I can wear a new one every day of the week if I want. Sometimes, much to the chagrin of my family, I do. I display my polo pride proudly.
But shouldn’t we all be like that? When we find a piece of clothing that suits us (no pun intended), we owe it to ourselves to revel in it. Because it’s not often that we can get so happy, so purely giddy over a piece of fabric. Clothes may make the person, but in the end, we end up putting our own spin on them. Our clothes ultimately become reflections of our personality.
So tell me … what’s your fashion passion? If I of all people was able to discover mine, I’m sure you are too. I’d love to hear about it.
You can find an entire album of me sporting polo shirts on my
Facebook page! Here are some to whet your appetite.