Some years ago, I was passing through the lobby of a Las Vegas casino, just as a Jimmy Buffett concert had let out. I found myself squishing through a margarita-mix-scented sea of tropical-print button-ups, Mardi Gras beads, visors, straw hats, plastic leis and even a couple of dudes my dad's age in full-body parrot costumes.
You know, it's not so much that I hate Jimmy Buffett or his music. I find it all kind of funny, and I've really got nothing against the man. For someone born in Mississippi, his definition of beachy, er, "tropical rock" has thoroughly pervaded an entire generation.
But when you see the fans, their weird khaki-colored bucket hats, loud prints and I'm-old-but-not-too-old-to-FUCKING-PARTY personas, that apathetic outlook on the music morphs from mere amusement to undying hatred.
Sometimes it's hard to look past the fans when it comes to liking a band. Ever wonder what Bob Marley was like before the college kids and Sublime fans got to him? Or Phish, without the Sigma Alpha Drinksalots? Marley led a peaceful revolution through peaceful people, and all I can see now are the Rasta-colored wall tapestries and other unlicensed merch hanging in every other freshman's dorm room.
Music, counterculture and fashion all tie in together. And usually once a certain sect of kids gets hooked on a certain genre of music, they're going to want to emulate those bands they admire. Or, at least, they're going to try.
Photographed here is John Jameson, bassist for the Delta Spirit, a San Diego- and Orange County-based band that's toured with other local acts such as the Cold War Kids and Matt Costa. John's got on a periwinkle-pink-and-yellow plaid button-up with cuffed sleeves; fitted single-cuffed jeans; and worn-in moccasins. John looks good.
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You're probably thinking he looks like the typical kid you can find anywhere from Costa Mesa to Long Beach to Los Feliz. You're kind of right.
Most of those kids, though, have on acid-washed or painted jeans, with those obnoxious fucking upturned neon bicycle caps and matching cheap Wayfarers, or a totally unfunny heavy gold chain—in addition to the pre-existing flannel, tight jeans and moccasins.
But the way to look good. to look ahead of the curve? Just don't overthink it. If you've got to come up with ways to be imaginative and unique and ironic, it's probably not going to be a good idea.
Guys, overcalculated outfits are as obvious as your lame attempts to grow some facial hair. Do like John—you can be stylish and stand out without all the extraneous effort. Don't overaccessorize, overdo it, or overcomplicate.