That title is a bit of a misnomer – i have plenty to wear, far too much really… heaps and heaps of things if i’m honest. Indeed, in real world terms, my sl wardrobe would easily justify the appropriation of a decent sized warehouse to keep it all in, and – i swear to you – i wear everything i own, or at least, it will get worn some day!
My sl wardrobe however is somewhat at odds with reality – back in the real world, my clothing needs are nowhere near as extensive, and outside the virtual world it’s very much a case of comfort first and – as these things go – i’m pretty frugal and restrained when it comes to clothing, mostly, (well, you can never have too many shoes, right?). Inworld however, something peculiar happens, and quite apart from the bloated state of my virtual dressing room, what is contained within also happens to be very different from the sartorial accoutrements you’re going to find on my clothes-hangers back in reality land.
To be absolutely honest, a large proportion of my virtual wearables are things that, frankly, i wouldn’t be seen dead wearing in rl – either that, or you’d have seriously good reasons for thinking it was high time to ship me off to the funny farm. In simple terms, a great many of the outfits that i have absolutely no qualms about wearing inworld, would bring into question both my sanity and good taste if i flaunted them in rl.
Quite apart from those outfits that are simply unfeasible in a real world setting, there are also vast swathes of clothing in my inventory that, in the real world, i’d avoid like a shopping centre during a zombie apocalypse – they are simply ‘not me’. Weird, huh?
Stranger still is my predelection for dressing-up in sl: Whilst, i’m more than happy to sport a costume in sl that would make the average Rio carnival outfit look low key, in the real world fancy dress is simply not one of those things that i can bring myself to even remotely consider enjoyable. Parties – for me – are bad enough, but preceded by the dread words ‘fancy dress’ and i’ll find every excuse in the book, and a fair few that have never made it into print, not to get involved. The whole weird scenario that dressing-up, cosplay and fancy dress involves leaves me cold – just the thought of it makes me shudder, and i will do pretty much anything it takes to avoid being put in a position where i have to participate in such things… “i’m very sorry – i won’t be able to come to your fancy dress party: i’m afraid it breaks the terms of my bail and i’m sure you’d want to avoid the ugliness of a police raid in the middle of all the fun! i’m sure you understand”, (told you i was good at excuses!).
It doesn’t stop there – my almost pathological hatred of dressing-up in the real world extends to a total lack of comprehension as to why anyone else could possibly derive any pleasure from such a pursuit. You can try to explain, but even then i simply won’t get it – it just goes against the grain, i’m afraid.
So why the hell am i so willing to wear, at the drop of a hat, the most freakishly, undeniably weird, wonderful and wacky outfits when i’m inworld? That is something that i’m at a complete loss to explain! It’s not a question that even occurs to me when i’m gettting kitted out – it just seems a natural and perfectly normal way to behave when inworld and, as far as i’m concerned, there’s no difference between wearing jeans and a t-shirt or a complete Snow White outfit… both are equally acceptable and entirely reasonable.
Dressing-up in sl is an unconscious, ‘natural’ act – just as much as not doing it is an conscious, natural act in rl. There’s no rational explanation i can offer as to why i should feel such discomfort in one setting, whilst being perfectly comfortable in the other – it is one of those unexplained quirks that we all experience, in one way or another, when trying to juggle the complexities of living in both virtual and physical worlds – some things make sense, others don’t and our behaviours can change quite radically for no apparent reason, depending on which version of reality we are immersed in at the time.
i’m happy to leave it unresolved and not to pry too deeply into the psychology of it… well, put it this way: there’s no way i’m going to follow any line of enquiry that might mean i have to clear out my wardrobe!
So once you think you’re in you’re out
‘Cause you don’t mean a single thing without
The handbags and the gladrags
That your poor old Grandad had to sweat to buy you
Chris Farlowe – Handbags And Gladrags