Sartorial statement or fashion faux pas?
3-3-3 Tour: Day 13
Have you ever noticed, that when you start to notice something, you can help but notice the thing you noticed with increasing regularity? In China for instance, you may, after not such a long time in the country, notice a cute little toddler toddling about with what seems like an unfortunate tear down the seat of his pants. How unfortunate, you think, to have had a such an ass-exposing wardrobe malfunction. If only he could appreciate the feeling of shame at such a young age he would surely be rightly mortified. But then a little while later you notice another toddler toddling about with a similar tear down the seat of his pants. And then another. And another. Until you realise that this malfunction is no malfunction at all, it’s deliberate parental pantal sabotage.
It’s the same with fashion too. I’d noticed during my trip up China’s east coast the increasing frequency with which I was seeing couples wearing matching t-shirts. At first I thought little of it – a strange aberration which was in no way reflective of the general population. But after the first few instances had started to register, they just kept on coming.
I guess it’s kind of like a critical mass type of effect, the only difference being that it’s not the number of instances themselves that are increasing, but your perception of the frequency of those instances that reinforces itself with increased awareness. Either way, by the time I reached Qingdao, I was going out of my way to record this his ‘n’ hers phenomenon, stalking my prey through the city streets in the hope that my efforts may one day lay the basis for a future study of such neurosis. From his ‘n’ hers Angry Birds, to a whole family wearing matching DayGlo sportswear, exhibits A though E bear witness to the trauma.