Everyone has a few skeletons in the back of their closet. Mine are not quite so old. They are more like fresh corpses; just like Norma Bates, when they are uncovered the look of horror on the discoverer’s face is always the same.
I sigh and explain, “Yes, I wore that…No, I’m not proud”.
My own personal fashion graveyard: dark, depressing, and just a bit smelly. In that small closet in my mother’s house hang the remnants of my teenage self. Plaid pants in every eye-aching neon color imaginable, and combat boots that had more business storming the beach at Normandy than completing whatever heinous ensemble my brain concocted.
At the very back of the closet is an article that, at first glance, could be mistaken for a primitive suit of armor. Upon closer inspection, it’s nothing more than an old jean vest. Patches of various bands are sewn erratically on every available surface. On the breast pocket, a crudely drawn stick figure throws a swastika into a trash can. The words “Throw that hate away!” is written on top. A friend’s handy work.
The front alone would have any fashion Nazi cringing in their chinos. The back, however, really tied the whole thing together. Or so my 14 year-old self seemed to think. Rows of studded spikes cover the top half, while beneath those spikes sits, to quote myself at the time: “The patch of all patches.” It takes up the remaining room on the back, with a picture of a red skull sporting a huge spiked mohawk. The skull’s mouth stands open in a silent, defiant scream. The word “Exploited” sits in huge, dark letters, at the bottom.
These old clothes, unused now, serve as relics of a past time. “Phase” would be too trivial a word to use. They served me well. In good times. In bad. In style. And out. I don’t begrudge them in the slightest. For all my fashion indiscretions, I have no regrets.
Except for the polka dot shorts…Those were a mistake.
--written by Nicholas Stone