United States Boys' Clothes: The 2000s--A Minority View

Figure 1.--.

I suppose that I am one of the minority. In your website, you say that there is at least one "perfect boy" in the United States who voluntarily asks his mother if he could put on a pullover or coat. I suppose I am that one perfect boy. Or perhaps I am not, since I argued with my father every summer (until this summer, when he finally agreed that I am old enough to choose what I want to wear) when he tried to force me to wear short-sleeved t-shirts. Reading your website, it dawned upon me that you were unaware of boys who prefer long sleeves and formal wear. By writing this e-mail, I am trying to tell you that there are some exceptions to your generalisations.

My favourite outfit is a long sleeved shirt with a tie, dress trousers, and a woolen pullover, blazer, or suit. It rather makes me look like a British secondary school student, especially with the pullover or blazer, but nonetheless, I prefer the scholarly, "young-gentleman" appearance to the usual boy's outfit of tee-shirt and jeans or baggy slacks. In fact, I have never worn baggy trousers and have not worn jeans since I was 8 (I am now 14 years old). The only trousers I have are dress trousers and I have as many shirts with buttons as tops without buttons.

When I go to school (a public school in California), I don't dress up as formally as I would prefer, since my classmates and teachers would start asking annoying questions. During the winter, I would wear to school a blue coat over a grey or blue woolen pullover over a long-sleeved top tucked into dress trousers. In summer, I would wear to school a light cotton jacket over a checkered short-sleeved shirt buttoned to the collar and tucked into dress trousers. These outfits are still much more formal than most of my classmates', who never tuck their tops into their trousers and never wear dress trousers. For those classmates of mine who do wear shirts to school, they seldom button the shirts and never tuck their shirts into their trousers.

I never wear short-sleeved t-shirts unless my father forces me to. Even if I succumb to my father, I will refuse point blank to wear t-shirts to school, to family gatherings, or to the house of anyone I know. This summer, my father has finally agreed that I am old enough to choose what I want to wear. Therefore, I'll be wearing a shirt whenever I step out of the house.

I vehemently dislike modern teenage fashions. Boys appear too poor and too rebellious to wear decent clothes. My grandfather (who also prefers formal clothing) once remarked, "it looks like all the boys in your school stole their trousers, which are all oversized!" I really do not know what boys find attractive about rappers' and gansters' costumes. As for teenage girls' outfits, I find them even worse than boys' clothing. Modesty and conservatism are almost inexistent in American girls' personalities. In my school, many girls wear spaghetti-strapped tops leaving their shoulders and umbilici visible, and almost all girls wear flip-flop slippers or platform sandals during the summer. Utterly disgusting.

Clemens, 2003


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Created: June 7, 2003
Last updated: June 7, 2003