Friday, September 12, 2008

Little logic to dress sense

A few days ago, we visited Pa's old secondary school in his hometown, so he took the opportunity to buy himself a T-shirt printed in the school colours. Today, he wore it out to town and felt like a million bucks. Which may seem strange to some.

Admittedly, now that we're back in Singapore, nobody within a few hundred miles would have heard of the school - the name of which, in any case, wasn't even emblazoned on the otherwise nondescript T-shirt. It was, basically, a boring white and green affair, adorned with an anonymous crest recognisable only to die-hard school loyalists. Pa's feeling chuffed might make sense, some folks may suggest, if the garment could function as a form of identification, signalling to others a sense of shared identity and pride. But since even this factor was absent, whence comes the satisfaction derived by Pa?

But is there really any mystery to this? By wearing that T-shirt, he probably opened up some psychic channel to every pleasurable schoolday memory still half-submerged in his subconscious. Beyond the basic needs of shielding ourselves from injury or weather-related harm, we wear what makes us "feel good". Some people choose clothes - or dress their own children - so as to announce that they have "arrived", socially or financially. Others put a premium on comfort. Sometimes, though, things are murkier. But that's why people are more interesting than computer programmes.

What, then, is our approach to dressing Sonny? The little fella, still shy of entering his sixth month, wishes only that whatever coverings are provided be pleasantly chewable. We're not adhering to any rigid blue-because-he's-a-boy stipulations, though it's true that he only has one pink shirt (with a cute cartoon Highland Cow). Basically, we prefer clothes that can be easily put on and removed when drenched with milk or saliva. And nothing long-sleeved, please - as much because that puts far too much fabric within gumming reach as on account of the tropical weather.

A boring litany? We'll wait till he gets old enough, and he can make up for it by being a true-blue fashion eccentric. Whatever makes him "feel good", eh?