on many occasions when i've met up with friends, the typical greeting of "hey, what's up?" is usurped by a slightly more aggressive yet jovial, "where are you going?" in regards to what i'm wearing, not-so-subtly implying that it's too much for the occasion. it always seemed laced with traces of judgment, whether intentional or not. but to that question i pose one of my own: does it matter? i'll add another one for good measure: must my clothing choices always reflect the banality of the destination or can i just be me and do me? as if my fit was somehow a judgment, so the answer to it was not even really an answer at all, but more of a preemptive strike.
if i'm honest, i did sometimes feel the need to dress somewhat in accordance with those around me. i don't want my sartorial choices to make anyone feel less than. but the truth is i stunt for myself. not to shit on others--unless an ex is present and in that case i'm dope enough to handle two missions. but what may surprise my friends is that i've only recently come to the point where i don't care anymore. i've decided to look to my spirit animals, lil kim, carrie bradshaw, and iris apfel, maximalists in their own ways, to get me through those trying times of self-doubt. my friends are just going to have to get used to me wearing long fur vests for trips to a friend's living room.
here at PLAYGROUND we like to tout maximalism as a rule of law. as we define it, maximalism is a hype exploration not only in one's individual style, but also one's confidence. it's not about being "camp" (thanks to the met gala we should all know what this means) or tacky. i don't think i even approve of the word "exorbitant" because it suggests an inappropriateness or being out of place.
it's not about wearing layers on layers. it's not about wearing expensive clothing. it's about the very conscious and purposeful move to do more when the situation calls for less. not because you want to stunt on anyone. and not because you want to meet others' expectations. but because that was your sartorial inclination at the moment. because you can.
once you get into it you'll probably realize that it's not "extra" at all. at the heart of it, it really is you just doing what you want and not being afraid of liking what you like and feeling what you feel.
i've heard a lot of friends say, "i wish i could dress like that" in regards to a level of extra. their reasons for not being "able" to are not a lack of money or lack of style. it's typically because they feel uncomfortable. or that "it isn't 'me'". to that i say: fuck that shit. wear whatever the hell you want. if i want to wear a two-piece suit to waffle house then dammit i'm wearing a two-piece suit to waffle house.
and you should too.