Liquid Ink

The official website of Gint Aras, Finalist 2016 CWA Book Award

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Intention as fashion

I wrote this piece about coming of age in terms of fashion.

Some of my regular readers might be shocked to hear that I’m writing about fashion and clothing. I hope you won’t be. I should probably resurrect that old blog post from the first version of Liquid Ink that explained why I have the same level of interest in hockey and art museums. I like watching talented people express their talent, and fashion is one such way to do it.

Of course, there’s a contradiction here, because I don’t like things. Literally, material things bother me—when I’m surrounded by too much stuff, I end up anxious, and I learned only a few years ago that finding myself in a mess can trigger my PTSD. I don’t own very much clothing at all, and if I have a personal style, it’s to be simple and minimalistic. I still leave the house without ironing my shirt, and I teach classes in a sweater and jeans. In the summer, I’ve taught a class barefoot. I’m that guy.

But this isn’t to say that I don’t think about clothing. I do, very carefully sometimes, and I wish I knew more about how trends are set in fashion. Ironically, I actually think more about fashion when I’m writing than I do for myself. I carefully dress characters in certain scenes and wonder what particular accessories will suggest about them. I have asked my wife what characters should be wearing, and I’ve actually gotten into arguments with her about descriptions. The moment in Finding the Moon in Sugar when Andy accidentally stumbles onto Dana while walking his dog is one such scene. This is when Andy sees that Dana is mindful about her makeup, and she’s just that amazingly pretty to him.

I honestly think that if a man keeps himself healthy mentally and physically, cuts his hair regularly and buys good shoes, he can wear virtually anything and look good. We radiate ourselves. And if we’re assholes, no amount of clothing can help us.