You are what your wear
You've probably heard it said many times that you are what you eat, but how often do you hear the statement that you are what you wear? If this is a new thought to you, that you might just be what you wear, consider it well, and you will see that it is true, especially when it comes to music and popular band t-shirts.
I was in a club once wearing a t-shirt featuring the statement, in large letters, "More Human Than Human." This rocker type comes up to me and says, "Yeah Dude, Rob Zombie!" Now, the shirt I was wearing was actually from the movie Blade Runner, from where that statement originates, but the popular song by Rob Zombie became an instant point of reference by which the rocker meant to identify with me. So what exactly does this mean?
Rock bands represent an image, or an idea. You can not only see it in how they dress and act, but hear it in their lyrics. The lyrics of their songs may be dark, inspirational or even angry. A group like “Rage Against The Machine”, has something to say and are using their music and lyrics, as a part of an overall image to say it. They might represent anti-government or "getting out of the system" and their body of work puts forth a coherent message. Fans that sport their t-shirts not only identify with that message, but through their fashion choice, can begin to identify with each other.
In the heyday of Guns N' Roses, which spawned some of the most popular rock band t-shirts in the world, people flocked together behind the controversial lyrics and image of the group and showed their support through their fashion. Many t-shirts were banned in schools, due to an association with violence, and the wearers, thus, banded together as a group feeling they were persecuted. You see, there is this somewhat instant camaraderie between people sporting the same band t-shirts. They know what the band stands for, and therefore assume the other person is like minded.
This goes quite a bit beyond the shirt, of course, and into hair styles, accessories and something of an overall lifestyle. It creates cliques, let's people identify with each other and form groups centered on the ideas put forth by their favorite band. The music and lyrics entail some aspect of the wearer's lives and thus the t-shirts they wear let those of like mind immediately see who they are.
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