The V-neck—it seems harmless enough. It’s simply a “V” instead of an “O,” right? Yet, in my opinion, stripping away that little triangle of fabric is the metaphorical equivalent of shedding just as much of one’s dignity. And to top it off, there are the boat shoes; I didn’t know we had frats in high school.
Believe it or not, I can actually conjure up more than one reason as to why I dislike the male V-neck. Let’s say you’ve started growing a few hairs on your large chest, bulging from years of working out only your pectorals at the Jewish Community Center (JCC). Let’s say you’ve started growing more than a few hairs; in fact, your JCC-enhanced upper body is now crawling with the untamed beasts. The V-neck has empowered, rather than beaten back, the closeted chest hair enthusiast. Now, we are all prey to the vicious epidemic of free-range puberty, right in our own school and before our very own eyes. But what if you’re ashamed of your hairy chest? Thus, the V-neck effectively discriminates against those more dignity-inclined individuals. Eliminate the option altogether and the United States is one step closer to equality. Moreover, V-necks leave more room for experimentation. Saturday Night Live produced an ingenious skit a while back, featuring Ben Stiller parodying the varying sizes of said V’s. Satire though it may be, the bit brought to light an ugly truth. By opening the door to the uncharted realm of collar alteration, we’ve opened the Pandora’s Box of experimental fashion designers; who knows how deep the V could fall? Without going into too much detail, anyone who has seen Borat should be alarmed at this current trend of “deep V-necks.”
Meanwhile, the boat shoe is the current trend of footwear for well-off males. At the same time a symbol of unprecedented pretentiousness and the fraternities that make this country so great, the “Sperry Top-Sider” boat shoe represents an alarming trend in fashion. It’s not actually alarming (these are shoes we’re talking about), but disconcerting, to say the least. For one, the number of proud “boat-shoe” wearers who actually sail (I’m going to rule out the option of actually owning a boat for the sake of this column) is, in my humble estimate, roughly the same as the number of people who claim the addictiveness of a certain thing is “like crack” and have actually tried crack. It’s the glorified equivalent of wearing basketball shoes to school when you have literally no intention of playing basketball later, except with boat shoes, this trend is comforted by the guise of feeling “classier.” OK, fine; maybe sailing is an obscure enough sport (country club activity?) to let that slide. But there’s no mistaking the inescapable, “wannabe-frat-boy” air of those brown leather kicks. In striving to emulate Greek life of the universities we haven’t yet gotten into, we’ve crossed the proverbial bridge before we’ve gotten to it, and, in my opinion, we look like idiots.
But, most importantly, there’s likely some aspect to criticize concerning most fashion choices. Anyone could come up with a harsh attack on my own decidedly dull, colorless brand of clothing, and I’d be hard-pressed to respond with a legitimate defense. It’s just that V-necks and boat shoes make it too easy.