I have been looking at my closet recently and have noticed something that almost brought me to tears. Looking into my wardrobe of style, the pieces of fashion that help me mark my identity I saw that I lost something. I am missing a part of me.
A little philosophical and heady yes, but when you sit around all day without a job or purpose you really hold onto anything that can define who you are. For me, that of course is my maroon pants. Pantalones Marron. My maroon pants whilst at the Little Bird Bakeshop and over the last year had become a James fashion staple. They were the creme de la creme of what I really liked about clothing. Not only did they fit very well, but they were very fashion forward for a town like Fort Collins. Remember, Fort Collins is the Chaco, Patagonia, Puff vest capitol of the nation so anything that steps outside of the green, brown, khaki, and black hues is a huge step forward. Anyways, I really fell in love with them and when I wore them with a dress shirt, suspenders, or even a flannel and boots on the weekend I felt like a man and loved them.
I think that my fascination with maroon colored pants stems from my early ages and romanticism of punk rock and hard core bikers. You know, the guys who didn’t give a shit and partied all night, fought all day, and played hard. I always imagined people like Iggy Pop and the Stooges or the guys from Easy Rider wearing maroon colored pants. The color unlike a bright silk pink or purple really pushed that line of androgyny without ever really stepping over it. It showed that men are willing to touch a little more femininity by playing with color but still kept a very masculine darker tone. It was like saying “come fuck with me, I dare you, because if you think I am a pansy I will cut you!”
I really see maroon as color that men own. When men wear bright pink, especially bright pink ties with their suits it doesn’t seem quite right. It feels like its a color that their girlfriend picked out for them because they liked it. (Or to show other women that she OWNS HIM!) Bright colors like that almost feel like you are striving for fashion and to be stylish but misunderstanding that fashion is wearing the clothes that fit you not wearing what is “cool.” Many times walking around a college campus and going by the school of business you always see these gentlemen in suits with pink ties or wearing bright colored polos and shorts. Now I know that I can’t bash other peoples aesthetic and the men who genuinely wear those clothes because they fit their personality, but I was raised with the “real man” aesthetic. The type of man who cuts down trees and rides a motorcycle, who is tough and has a chip on their shoulder doing man things but when they clean up and wear a tweed jacket or suit, you respect that man and dare not to question his authority on anything. The type of colors I always associated with that have been black, grey, brown, green, khaki, and maroon. For some reason, maroon is just enough edge but still maintains that strong alpha male aesthetic.
For me to not be wearing my maroon pants has been a sign that over this last two months of unemployment I think I have lost a part of myself. That part of my identity that identifies me as a true man. Being without a job, more importantly money, has really thrown me for a loop and instead of really trying to identify who I am as a person I have become overwhelmed in what I am not and in doing so, have not worn my maroon pants and have not accepted that part of me. That real man aesthetic. I hope by realizing this I will be able to tear my maroon pants down and own that confidence of those pants again because they are a part of me and my personal style. No, more than that, my personal aesthetic and if I am not confident in those, than how I can be confident in me?
Here is a video that kind of describes the aesthetic I associate with maroon pants