Feature Article

A Challenge to Style From The Stylistically Challenged, Part Two: Me and My Monkey Suit

by Justine Manzano


  Welcome to Part Two of my Definition of Style--dedicated to anyone who has ever been asked what they were thinking when they wore their clothes and to

any 23 year old who has ever been told they dress like a soccer mom.

Me and My Monkey Suit

     Barbie is the fashion icon.   She can set the bar in the lives of young girls as far as what is and what is not fashion.  When a child goes to the store, Barbie comes fully dressed and accessorized in a chic and sophisticated outfit designed to make young girls coo.  This amazement can even last a while into the experience of owning said Barbie.  Then, something happens. 

     When it is time for Barbie to have a new outfit, Barbie’s owner goes to the store and picks out a new one for her, never bothering to bring Barbie along to make the choice.  What’s worse is that Barbie could not even put her own outfit together.  Try as one might, they will never duplicate the sleek stylishness once that original outfit comes off.

     Ladies and Gentlemen, based on the above description, I am Barbie!  Every day, I go to work in a business suit, or as I like to call it, my monkey suit.  I call it this because, to me, wearing my business suit is truly akin to strapping a gorilla suit to my body.  I do not like business suits—they are the antithesis of my wacky personality.  They are overtly serious and seem to have no sense in my overtly satirical and playful world. 

     Every year, a friend of mine, or most times, that above mentioned sister-in-law, takes me shopping in an attempt to make me more fashionable—a word I care nothing about.  Every time, when I walk back into work, I have been hand-crafted by my friend—I am Barbie, fresh out of the box.  I go through all of my brand new outfits once.  Then, brand new is over.  What is a Barbie to do? 

     Well, there are always new clothes, which usually come to me in the form of well-meaning gifts from people who have no idea what I like, but know a thing or two about fashion.  They have picked out Barbie’s clothes without her and Barbie doesn’t really like them, but has no choice now but to wear them whenever she knows she is bound to see the gift-giver! 

     Barbie can not seem to put her clothes together in the same ways as the chic do and somehow, no matter how she mixes and matches, her outfits never look glamorous like they did that first day.  They are tainted with my tomboyish and comfortable sense of style—they look as though I have injected some part of myself into them—the most wretched part in the eyes of uptight business women and the rigid fashion world. 

     The monkey suit never wins this battle.

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