Around the area where I live (Florida) the dress code has always been one of relaxation. This sounds good to an out-of-towner because the sunny South is associated with vacation, retirement and peace. Work around a “vacation spot” for a few years and you realize that it is anything but that—unless you are Mitt Romney rich—because like anywhere else people struggle to get by.
In the South boys sag their pants, wear wife-beaters as tank tops and long shorts that seem to favor boxers. These same kids will wear flip-flops to complete the “I just got out of bed” ensemble but will wear long socks with it.
It would be fine if the fashion was the end of this movement but the people who dress this way seem to take on the attitude of sleepiness. At the movie theater I listened in on an assembly of teens all decked out in their bedtime gear and their speech was a forced act of slow, yawning, groan of awake Catathrenia which made me wonder how anyone could communicate that way.
For this adult who sees life as opportunity, drive and circumstance it makes me feel as if the clothes—in this particular situation—doth maketh the man. No kids or adults that I know who personally pushes for a better quality of life dresses as if they are going to sleep in public. Quite the opposite actually, they dress in a way that makes them look and feel good in the world.
Most of them aren’t even athletes…
The culture of flip-flops and socks seems most prominent amongst younger athletes who are in relaxation mode after a game or match. When the football game is over you hit the showers, slip into some comfortable shorts and a wife-beater, then put on your flip-flops to rest those barking dogs from the uncomfortable cleats.
Athletes have taken this dressing down outside of the locker room to eat out at places in celebration—or lamentation of the game and as a whole it is an acceptable practice. Sometimes I wonder if this was the start of this new craze of the walking dead in society who use it as their “going out” gear, or if it’s just a product of the sleepy Southern attitude.
I have many grown, adult friends who participate in the culture of sleepy but even as an athlete I didn’t understand it. I just know that when I see flip-flops and socks, sagging pants with boxers and a wife beater I want to summon a nasty demon from hell to slap a suit unto the person wearing it.
So what do you think of this phenomenon? Are we really what we wear out in public? I just know what I’ve experienced in my own short life and the people who dress, talk, and perpetuate this culture of “I just woke up” are always the ones complaining instead of doing something.
This is why I hate flip-flops and socks.