Style: Wearing White

I wrote this post for a friend’s website – VeloBeats, check it out – that I figured I’d throw up here just to try and generate a little momentum in my own publishing. Enjoy.

Q: I just saw some pictures of Bettini in his white World Champion kit and it looked awesome. Can I rock the white threads? Is it like my white linen suit and Labor Day?
A: White is the fastest color. Except for black. Didn’t Spinal Tap teach you anything? And what are you doing with a white suit? This sounds ripe for a “what you think you look like – what you actually look like” infographic. Put down the white gloves: Michael Jackson is dead. The Luna Chix can wear white. If you’re asking this kind of question, chances are you can’t.
But if you’re asking this kind of question, chances are you already bought that white kit in the clearance section and want to hear “yeah, man! That’s baller! Do it!” For sure, your buddies aren’t going to make fun of you…
At our local world championship ride, two guys are known to show up wearing white: one looks so damn good people have been known to ask if he’s a pro, the other is so appalling that his own friends have whispered “what the fuck is he thinking?” just a few feet away. What’s the difference? Details.
It’s like putting on a suit: every piece matters. A two hundred dollar thrift store special can stand ground next to Armani’s latest with the right tailoring and carefully selected finishings. Fold your pocket square. Put in collar stays. Make your tie the right length. Stand with confidence. The suit doesn’t make the man, but it can make him look like a slob. So buy the matching white socks. Shave. Clean your bike. Wash the kit twice every time you wear it so people squint looking at it. Polish your shoes with bleach. Look the part from head to toe. White isn’t just a color, it’s a presentation.
And for the love of all that is holy, don’t put it on if it doesn’t fit. White isn’t slimming. If you can’t fit it, hang it on your fridge door and shame yourself in to skipping meals until your midriff doesn’t show.
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