Though all people were created equal we quickly jostle for position. We have come to know that our clothing is our calling card. People are known by their clothing, be it white collar, blue collar or “of the collar” which is also known as a person of the cloth.
Brown shirts may have a bad connotation for many years to come as long as there are people left who remember its implication during World War II and I’m sure if it were a good connotation UPS would be all over it.
The police are usually referred to as the Men and Women in Blue, though many police department uniforms are black or tan or gray. Let’s not forget the people in the white coats. Very few medical professionals dress in white any more. If you see a nurse in a white uniform with a nurses’ hat these days you automatically think of it being a retro costume.
Then there are ”the Suits.” When I see a “Suit” I just know someone is in for a screwing. Suits are a banner of manipulation, greed and hidden motives. Anyone in a suit is guilty of possessing at least one of those attributes and more than likely all three.
I once heard a local executive address the residents of Knappa as “The Carhartt Crowd.” I sensed he used the term as an insult. Though being a “Suit” himself I’m sure he would have spun it as a comment about their hard working, self reliant nature.
There are those who are really into their uniforms. They are proud of their association. They can identify one another quickly and form a bond of commonality. There are people who are attracted to someone in uniform. People in uniforms don’t want to blend in unless into their own kind.
Many of us are content to dress in anonymous clothing. We can be anyone and we are anyone, yet we still wear uniforms of our cultures. If you think you blend in well here, wear that same clothing in India and see if you still blend into the background. It’s interesting just how many unofficial uniforms there are out there. If you do some people watching you’ll be able to put most people with a group or a life style.
I have two uniforms and three types of shoes. I always wear jeans; that never changes. On top I will either wear a flannel shirt or an Oxford. That's my variation. Then I either wear sandals, garden clogs or wellingtons. I don't get out much so there no reason to go wild.
I was talking with some folks a couple weeks ago about going to the grocery store and how we all would rather be presentable because you just know you are going to run into someone you know. This is when I reminded them of the Youngs Bay Sentry store where the Ford dealer is in Astoria. That was a working person's grocery store. It didn't matter if you walked in there covered in wood chips and bar oil. Many of the other customers were in the same condition. Loggers, fishers, mechanics, welders and people who just never bathed all shopping together for the sake of buying groceries to get some food in their stomachs. They were not there for a social club event. They were not there to be seen. Damn, I miss that store.