Merritt continues to openly express her love for pants on Suck It Trebek. I don't know why she likes pants so much that she wants a T-shirt that says "Pants," but this makes me think of a question that I've asked for years: why are Tommy Hilfiger's jeans so important that there are T-shirts devoted to advertising them? Maybe this is a question perfect for Useless Advice from Useless Men, but let me explain some more.
A few years ago, I saw a guy my age wear a T-shirt that said "Tommy Jeans." To be funny, I wondered if his pants said "Tommy Shirts." That was a no-go, so I've always wondered why the jeans, more than anything else Hilfiger puts out, are worth this kind of advertising.
Sure, I've seen a number a T-shirts that have logos of Lee, Levi's, Dickie's and Docker's, but no big plug for their jeans. Is Tommy Hilfiger, the man who designs such apparel, trying to make his jeans stick out more than all the other clothes he makes (and jeans in general)? As someone who has never worn Tommy Jeans, I ask this.
I see a greater function beyond the branding. Do the pants go from waist to ankle and don't feel uncomfortable? That's the main criteria I have. However, there is such a large market for wanting the best brand names out there. I won't lie that brand names aren't useful, but they don't make you a better person if you have their products. When I shop for clothes, the brand names that I've known to be reliable take some precedence over the no-name brands. With shoes, I'm pretty set on Vans, Reebok and Sketchers, but when it comes to khaki pants and button-down shirts, the fabric is what matters most. If it's relatively priced, looks good and doesn't feel uncomfortable, then that's what I go for.
But still, there's this lingering feeling that if you want to fit in, you have to wear such-and-such brand. If you have a lot of money in your bank account, you have to wear designer clothes. Well, something the pAper chAse's John Congleton (whom Merritt introduced me to for the book) told me about a totally different topic really pertains to this topic: just because you can doesn't mean you should. You make $60,000 a year? Well, that's a lot more than I make, but do you have to drive a $80,000 car, eat at expensive restaurants and wear all designer clothing? How important are these expensive things in order to fit in?
As someone who's never really fit in but has always wanted to be around people that share my core values and interests, this desire for the supposed cream of the crop lifestyle flies over my head. It's like a Jedi mind trick that doesn't work on me. Tommy Jeans might look good, but why should you put so much stock into their supposed worth?