"Fashion is what one wears oneself. What is unfashionable is what other people wear."
—Oscar Wilde, "An Ideal Husband"
It's one of life's little ironies that some of the world's ugliest clothes are running rampant on the streets of the center of the world's textile production. Or maybe it makes perfect sense, what do we know about the global economy? But does any of that matter when you're faced with crunchy, shiny, synthetic fabrics, tacky embellishments, ill-fitting cuts, buttons manufactured so cheaply you wonder why anybody bothered to make them in the first place, and a general penchant for way too much bling? We'd say not hardly.
In tribute to all the bad taste that's running around in front of our eyes every day, we present you with Chengdu's 10.5 deadly sins of fashion.
1. Nouveau Riche
What You're Wearing: Striped polo shirt, pleated, tapered-leg trousers, leather belt with rectangular metal buckle and attached cell-phone pouch, pointy-toed black leather shoes
What You Think It Says: I'm a successful businessman
What We Think: Same shitty shoes, same shitty slacks, same belt, same haircut, ugly shirt means middle-class and middle-aged. It all probably costs so much and somehow still manages to look so bad.
2. Monster Foot
What You're Wearing: Hairbows, trench coat, black leggings, and enormous fuzzy bedroom slippers
What You Think It Says: I'm cute and irreverent
What We Think: We don't know who deemed fuzzy hot pink stuffed animals acceptable footwear, but we're down with it. Not only because it is irreverent (until everybody else starts doing it, too), but it makes your foot look like it's about five times its normal size, which is amusing in and of itself. Not to say we'll wear the trend, but we'll watch bemusedly when you step into a puddle or when one of those miniature dogs tramping down the street decides your foot is its new enemy and attacks.
3. Monstrous Foot
What You're Wearing: Crocs
What You Think It Says: Practical, carefree, and smugly superior.
What We Think: A block of rubber with holes on it is not acceptable footwear, regardless of how young or old or clueless you are. Crocs, and all cheap imitations thereof, are out le! Especially those pink fake Mickey Mouse ones. Please, before our heads explode from the ugliness.
4. Duty Free
What You're Wearing: Suit, tie, and duty-free shop scarf
What You Think It Says: Professional, with a creative, and possibly European, touch
What We Think: You're so wrapped up in the corporate machine that one silk noose isn't enough; you need two?
5. Up Chucks
What You're Wearing: Blue-and-white-striped long-sleeved navy shirt or plaid flannel shirt, dark skinny pants, Converse or Feiyue. Bonus points for any of the many Converse knock-offs on the market. Optional thick-rimmed plastic glasses
What You Think It Says: I'm a scenester, and I'm different!
What We Think: We're getting bored of this hipster uniform. But we have to admit, we'd wear it. If you and 10 million other hipsters weren't already doing so.
6. I Wear My Sunglasses at Night
What You're Wearing: Aviator sunglasses, a baseball cap, and a hoodie.
What You Think It Says: I'm badass and/or Hip hop fo' life!
What We Think: There's no sun in Chengdu, pretty much anywhere, ever, and especially not in this dark dance club at night. Unless you're Corey Hart, there's no excuse for that.
7. I Wear My Pajamas At Daytime
What You're Wearing: Pajamas
What You Think It Says: I'm comfy and I don't give a fuck.
What We Think: You're comfy, and you don't give a fuck.
8. Pearl of the Orient
What You're Wearing: Qipao
What You Think It Says: I'm at work or I'm having my wedding photos taken or I look "ethnic!"
What We Think: You look uncomfortable, and, unless you're at work, ridiculous to boot.
9. Hurl of the Orient
What You're Wearing: Dreadlocks, a threadbare T-shirt, and fishing pants, or whatever those saggy-crotch things are called
What You Think It Says: One world, one love, roots, and blah blah blah
What We Think: Visually offensive.
10. I'm a Big, Big Girl in a Big, Big World
What You're Wearing: Coat with puffy sleeves and big bows, high-necked shirt, and bootcut jeans with embellished back pockets
What You Think It Says: I'm totally inconspicuous
What We Think: Conservative, boring, and not even tastefully so.
10½. The Girl With the Charm Which Attracts a Person Naturally
What You're Wearing: T-shirt embellished with Chinglish phrases
What You Think It Says: Actually, we have no idea. We can only guess it was either the cheapest thing available, or you think it gives you a dignified, cosmopolitan air. Or you actually think it's funny, in which case you should be told off for making fun of your host country.
What We Think: At best, bland; at worst, so hilariously inappropriate it could be performance art.