I've long thought that I didn't have a particular style of dress. Mostly when I'm putting clothes on in the morning, I'm just trying not to look like an asshole. Recently, however, I've come to the conclusion that I do have a idea of what I'm trying to achieve when I get dressed in the morning and it's more than just the lack of assholeness. I've now realized that my desired style of dress is best defined as: non-descript, bordering on anonymous.
I don't want my clothing to say anything about me. I don't want my clothing to say that Mike is formal, informal, old-fashioned, trendy, grungy, invisible, or fearful of being identified by his clothing. I want my style to offer no information on who I am and to elicit no opinions from the people around me.
If someone starts a sentence by saying, "Mike, those shoes are really...", it had better end with "shoey".
So, I went to a party on Saturday night and wore some jeans and a black shirt that I found buried in my closet. It had been so long since I had worn that shirt that I forgotten I even owned it. It was a mock turtleneck, which isn't my favorite style (too warm!) but it had been worn so infrequently, that it was still a super dark shade of black. My few other black shirts are really just dark grey at this point.
Do you know what happens if you wear jeans and a mock black turtleneck to a party full of computer programmers? I do now. You get compared to this guy:
Doh! I was dressed in costume! Gah, party fail! That outfit is so tightly connected with Steve Jobs that there's a website where you can buy Steve's Outfit. Numerous people drew much delight from my outfit. The only saving grace was that I don't actually own an iPhone (although I covet them).
So, uh, I'm not wearing THAT again.