I love clothes that say things. Not in a ‘wow that really speaks to me’ way, but clothes with actual words and phrases on them, clothes that can have conversations for me, basically.
It’s amazing how much high street fashion designers seem to know about me – they can basically sum up my entire personality in a pithy phrase emblazoned on the front of a jumper.
H&M is one such shop that does this particularly well, though there are of course other high street retailers doing their best to eek out the essence of humanity through well-placed phrases on a person’s chest.
Phrases such as ‘Out Of Office’, ‘Keep Smiling’, ‘Good Things Are Coming’, and ‘Nice To Be Nice’ are just a few that have leapt out at me so far. Somehow, they express the inexpressible.
Scrolling through the internet today, March 5, I was elated to find a kindred spirit who has also been drawn to such bold fashion choices the way I have, and she has even passed this on to her children.
Catriona Black had purchased a hoodie from H&M for one of her kids. A fetching green number, the jersey featured a panel of innovative sequins which, when pushed one way spelled out one word, and when pushed the other way spelled out another.
The phrases were ‘Born To Skate’ and ‘Born To Chill’, with ‘Skate’ and ‘Chill’ being the interchangeable words. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I’d definitely keep it on ‘Born To Chill’ too. It just speaks to me.
Catriona’s kids, however, being immeasurably cleverer than me, discovered that the two words didn’t have to be mutually exclusive, and decided to mix things up.
Here’s what they discovered:
Don't think H&M thought this through. My children did. You can take the child out of Scotland… pic.twitter.com/3uYw3Tlq6z
— Catriona Black (@CatrionaBlack) March 3, 2019
As you can see, the kids discovered the very relatable phrase ‘Born To Shite’. A much more fitting statement for – it’s fair to say – everyone. The new phrase really can speak for all people, rather than forcing them to make to difficult choice – do I skate or do I chill? What if I do neither? Or both at the same time? I mean, I know I love phrases on my clothes but I never thought I’d have to make this choice.
If, like me, you like your fashion to say words for you, the skate/chill top is available to purchase here, but be warned – it’s a tough life being so sartorially-minded.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.