Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day 43 - Conspicuous Coveralls

My fall uniform saves me yet again. So far it has worked in many situations since it is black (generic) and it is in the form of coveralls (suggesting that I'm working. Or just finishing work. Or just about to start working). The one place that I did feel conspicuous in this suit was at the Toronto airport. I wore it thinking it would be easy and comfortable but as soon as I was in the security check line-up I started to feel like what I was wearing was somehow inappropriate. I just started to feel uneasy. People were staring and and luckily I had my giant leather bag as carry on to sort of bring my outfit back into the realm of fashion. Then security asked me to take my shoes off and put them through the x-ray which made me even more uncomfortable since they are handmade and have hand-cut aluminum shanks inside the soles that probably look a little suspicious. My fears were for naught, thankfully, but I continue to consider what kinds of signifiers were being identified by the people around me. The most obvious, in retrospect, was the worker signal. Why would anyone wear a work uniform to the airport unless they were working at the airport? Otherwise, the combined oddness of my outfit, (handmade, black coveralls being worn by a female who isn't working and is carrying a giant leather bag) is what really must have triggered the what is up with her? look that I wasn't imagining. I now understand that it was just a weird outfit and that's the real reason people were staring. So is the lesson here that not standing out is the key to comfortable travel? If that's the case, what kind of signifier set makes up the idea of normal? Is it even possible to identify this set? Or is it on such a subconscious level that we only recognize it as a hunch. More on this later...


  1. these are really cute!

  2. yeah, totally love them! wish i had a pair right now.