Thursday, November 7, 2013

Canadian Tuxedos

I'd like to open the discourse on Canadian Tuxedos. Depending on the situation and the extremity of the denim involved, they can be tacky (and memorable--see exhibit A below) or minimalistic and chic.


I was introduced to the Canadian Tuxedo when I was fifteen. At my mom's insistence that I spend the after school hours between four and six doing something other than falling asleep in front of ABC Family's afternoon repertoire, I had joined my high school's cross-country running team. I walked away after four years an expert on my town's topography due to my natural skill of cutting six mile runs down to two miles and armed with a drawer of neon shirts that said things like "fast girls have great times" in Comic Sans MS.

Part of the bonding experience that came from being a member of the cross-country team was wearing coordinated outfits to school on race days. So-called "psych wear" usually took the form of wife beaters and Nike running shorts, but the team captains sent an email before one race suggesting we make a statement the next day in Canadian Tuxedos. As much as I wanted the spunky, dirty-in-a-cool way senior girls to accept me as their equally spunky freshman friend, I didn't have the self-confidence to wear contrasting denim pieces to school. Plus, I had already committed to the usual wear and bought a new pack of wife beaters to show off my flat chest. That was that.

I stayed strictly anti-Canadian Tuxedo until 2009, when chambray shirts began to crowd the pages of Madewell.com. Chambray shirts had the same effect on me as donuts--I could never have just one, and I inadvertently introduced denim-on-denim into my outfit cycle. Then I went to France blah blah blah and saw the minimalist value of a Canadian Tuxedo, and here I am, preaching in favor of it. See below for some looks culled from my fav Tumblr, French Voguettes.

 




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