Jawn appropriation, contemplated profoundly
I once wore a carhartt pocket t and redwings (they were 🔥at the time) while in downtown Nashville years ago. The moc toes somehow gave me a pass with a group of local welders who took me in as their own. I then found myself walking bar to bar with the group, ppl would mention the boots and say “this guy knows hard work.” I was too afraid to let the group down and explain that I was just getting a fit off. I played the part, drank some kind of ‘bomb’ shots while bullsh*tting about tig welds. That night I retired my redwings after my overwhelming guilt. After reading this, it’s made me think it might be time to dust off the ol dogs and take em for a spin this fall.
Metal heads are way into the t-shirt as sub-culture. I have often had a great conversation with a stranger when identifying someone who was also into some heavy shit. They're purposely intense, purposely difficult to read, to look heavy, but also ward off posers. I dgaf if you wanna wear a Gorgoroth t-shirt, but I'm gonna ask you about it and letcha know what you're repping out of cultural exchange. As long as we both thought it was badass then it's metal. One might argue it's more metal to just wear something for the heavy 'gore.' I would never, however, pick up someone else's battle jacket and act like that shit was my own. Didn't collect those patches, didn't thrash in those pits. Same way I don't dig wearing biker gang patches (which is liable to get you fucked up), or military garments with specific combat missions on them. Like repping complex violence and governmental power dynamics where people brutally killed each other is not really a vibe - and more of a weird toy-soldier I'm so tough. I'm not off all military garments - they inspired sooo much menswear and world fashion. I'm just not wearing a silk tourist jacket with "Battle of Saigon" embroidered on the back. Gives me the creeps.
On another note I grew up in Arkansas and live in San Francisco now. A big thing for me has been how many people assume that I or my family are on some uneducated backwater Trump train bullshit. So I rep the cowboy boots, pearl buttons and big ass cowboy hat sometimes because it's my way of 1) wrapping myself in comforting reminders of home and 2) letting everyone know folks from the South ain't all like that (most aren't). I love the conversations I can start and shutdown if someone thinks I am secretly on some shit like that. Hell no the South ain't about your idiocracy.
Funny thing is if I wear that big ass 100x silver belly hat it can put people off too. There's a time and a place. I'm not trying to freak anyone out or make someone feel uncomfortable. And on the flip side in the South people will give me grief for stolen valor cause I live in SF now - like I'm not supposed to be Southern anymore or eat BBQ. But here's the kicker - I made that hat with my own hands. Built it at a cowboy making workshop put on by a real cowboy. Then that screws with their own corporate since of Marlboro man, Wrangler, only buy American jawn bullshit. Most people don't front though, but you do gotta know the etiquette. It's just a hat folks, it keeps the sun off my head.