Sweater Over Untucked Dress Shirt

New York City, New York

People like to say “clothes make the man,” but nobody honestly believes this is true. I mean, why would they? Fabric is merely fabric; wool is simply wool. I think a better (but perhaps less practical) cliché would be, “clothes make the mannequin.”

Last week I needed a sweater, which is always a problem. I don’t understand how to buy things; I always choke in the clutch. But in this instance I made (what seemed like) a brilliant decision: I walked into the Gap on 42nd and 3rd and immediately purchased every garment the most eye-catching mannequin happened to be wearing. I actively became the human incarnation of an inhuman model, primarily because (a) I assume that the kind of people who dress mannequins spend a lot of time considering aesthetics, (b) this eliminated decision-making, and (c) I am somewhat mannequin-shaped. What I bought, I suppose, is an outfit, which is something I’d never done before.

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—Chuck Klosterman

Chuck Klosterman is a writer for SPIN, Esquire, and the New York Times Magazine. He is the author of Fargo Rock City; Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs; and the forthcoming Killing Yourself to Live: 85 Percent of a True Story.

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