The Elizabethan Collar of The Damned I was dismayed to get off the subway on our first really nice day of the year on Monday to see that, now that people are walking around without coats on, a significant number of them are also making sure their collars are popped. At the time, I tweeted: "Looks like popped collars are back to being the wardrobe choice for the discerning douchebag now that summer is here."
I hate popped collars, and I can't quite fully understand why. Part of it is of course that it is a mark of the preppy, and i don't tend to hang out with preppy people. Actually, is "preppy" even a word anymore? Has the definition of that shifted as much as "hipster" has? It is taking one of the least interesting items of clothing in human history--the polo shirt--and making it "interesting" by flipping the collar up. If you want to wear something interesting, why don't you just actually wear something interesting and save yourself the trouble of looking like a douchebag in public?
I don't know why it bothers me so. I guess it's partially just that I think they look silly, and that they made extra effort to look that silly. "I went out of my way to look like a tool!" Oh good for you. ExGiff thinks this may come out of, and I quote, "I think you take pleasure in hating things because it feeds your sense of superiority," which may or may not be true. She seemed to say it with at least a modicum of affection. I think if anything it works the other way around: that my sense of superiority leads me to hating things because I perceive some sense of inferiority and weakness in them.
Keep in mind that this doesn't actually mean I dress particularly well, just that I don't put too much effort into how bad I look. People who pop their collars are lumped into my head in the general category of People Who Try Too Hard To Look Stupid. They are lumped in there with, among other people, Unicyclists. The head of a New York Unicyclists group said in an interview the other day, "A lot of people don't like bicyclists and bicycle politics, but everyone loves a unicycle." Which is of course one of the most ridiculous statements you've read today. Almost no one loves a unicycle. We may smile and laugh at a unicyclist, but that's in gentle...contempt is probably too strong of a term, but there's definitely some derision.
Anyway, popped collars bother me; there's only one instance where it is acceptable, and it is this: You are Harrison Ford, and you are portraying Rick Deckard in Blade Runner.