I dread casual Friday every week.
Not that I don't enjoy donning just-so jeans and a relaxed cotton tee; indeed I'm a staunch supporter of laidback sartorial style. Dressing for a somewhat formal office means standing bewildered in front of my closet every morning, where I calculate comfort, expected maintenance (linen? Uhh, no.), and public reaction. The latter is perhaps the most important element of the decision; choosing a skirt that falls above the knee will earn me, at best, derision on the streets, and at worst, gropes, hoots, hollers, blatant stares from icy women, their sari pallus draped chastely over the face.
But despite these pitfalls, casual Friday is far more fraught with danger: danger for my eyes.
Let me imagine the snazzy young MNC worker as he begins his day...
Hrm. I want to be casual, but not too casual, so I suppose these track pants (with such a cool Nikee logo on the bum!) are out. But every other day of the week it's khakis, khakis, khakis, and starched, spotless white shirts -- when do I get to let loose? Show my personality? I'm hip, I'm happening. I watch the Bollywood. "I'm the Neal! I'm the man! Rock star, superstar!"
Today's the perfect day to demonstrate to my boss and colleagues what a with-it chap I can be. Acid-washed jeans, exported from America circa 1992? Check. T-shirt witih irreverent logo? (I'm not as think as you drunk I am...genius!) Check. Tub of hair gel? Check. Man, I love casual Friday.
For reference, I've included this picture from the Mall in Shimla. Note the excellent rendition of Marilyn Manson on the store's sign, as well as the superfluous grocer's apostrophe. Then, focus on the mannequins. These are my colleagues, down to the ridiculous coiffure. For a bonus laugh, squint and examine the duds on the dude severed by the picture's left border. Bulky jean jacket coupled with jeans of a different wash, punctuated by a flashy (if somewhat out of place) back pocket. Brava.