Dec 13, 2010, 07:11AM

Velour Agonistes

Death to fake velvet.

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If cotton is the fabric of our lives, what is velour? What does velour—velour in clothing terms, not upholstery, so much—mean or symbolize, textually and contextually speaking? I’ll tell you what velour equates to, for me. Velour is throwing up in your mouth a little bit. Velour is the weird itch in an uncomfortable place that you couldn’t reach even if you lacked any sense of shame. Velour is glowering, awkward furniture half-remembered from friends’ houses, circa childhood, whose parents smoked indoors. Velour is Geritol, insolence, depressions, and pleather for chumps.

Velour is what you wear when you over-idolize Sopranos characters or Jersey Shore cast members. Velour, it seems, is everywhere, and not in one-piece compounded-peccadillo form, but as dual separates—which leads me to believe that it’s totally impossible to buy this shit unless it comes as a zipper-jacket/slacks set. Which means that people are willingly queuing up at department stores and putting down cash or credit for burgundy, pea green, cobalt blue, and matador red velour; then they are going home and modeling these outfits, usually with a white t-shirt underneath, noticing happily that the shiny, plush material hugs curves and spare tires in an obscene way, and then opting to wear the pieces together while running errands, renewing their drivers’ licenses, hitting the farmers’ market, et al. All of this will somehow being cognitively strong enough to pay bills and attend work everyday and pick up the kids and recall, however improbably given the circumstances, where the car keys are.

So there’s actual, honest-to-Hoyle cachet, it seems, in presenting oneself to the world as a walking theater curtain or mattress covers or 19th century parlor chairs or an actor on the original Star Trek series? Shimmering like a seal or a desert mirage or a hooked trout thrashing around on a boat dock—and thus calling tons of attention to oneself, one‘s form, one’s lack of sartorial daring or acumen—trumps, say, donning a cotton track suit, or going for sweats, or the ever-popular button-down/jeans combination? Unacceptable. Velour is couture suicide, and it must be destroyed.


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