I have now seen anything plaid referred to as "flannel." I have seen basketball shorts in a cocktail lounge, basketball shorts in a client meeting and jeans on a basketball court. I have lied about how much I paid for sweatpants. I have seen a drunk stranger wag a thumb at my side zippers to elicit dope har har from his friends. I have learned that when wearing a pocket square near drunks in square-toed shoes, expect that pocket square to get pulled out and to be asked, "What the fuck is this thing?" I have seen people in the street point and whisper, "Canadian tuxedo." I have heard girls say it's unattractive when a man knows more about clothing than they do. I have seen a man in a black JoS. A. Bank suit win "best dressed" because he was in "black tie." I have learned that there are actually intensities of "going out" shirts beyond very obnoxious "going out" shirts. I have now experienced—and am powerless to describe—a close order Polo Blue contact high. I have learned YouTube's most insidious purpose: teaching men how to tie absurd Gordian necktie knots. I have heard an acquaintance ask why I was wearing a sleeping bag when I was, in fact, wearing a knee-length fishtail parka. I have been told, to scurrilous laughter, that the '80s called and they want their Jordans back. I have learned #menswear's 2014 reach. To be specific: lots of places, just not where I live.

If a #menswear-head-turned-cartographer charted the habitat of swaglords, my data point would be tantamount to the Florida alligator they caught in the East River. So, surprise, the whole thing's a bad fish out of water trope. But more interesting when you consider that one definition of style orbiting the Internet is that it's how you dress when no one's around. But, really, the definition of style should be how you dress when everyone around you is thinking or saying, "WTF?"

It's tempting to hedge—to step out of the house looking less than full turbo. I've done it. Shit, I do it. It's hella practical not having to waste daylight explaining sartorial choices, the same way having a timer on your sprinklers is hella practical. In that light, then—the time-saving one, which is the ultimate 21st century luxury—dressing out of the norm comes across as quixotic. Like I'm looking for attention, when I'd actually love to be left the fuck alone.

In those moments, I draft questions for you guys who get to lope around SoHo and say "alphet" instead of only reading "alphet" on Twitter: Does the constant click of camera shutters get annoying or become unnoticeable, the way foghorns eventually become unnoticeable? Is it dope trying clothes on before you pay for them? Is brunch with the squad the goddamn brie's cheese? Wait, don't answer that. I'd rather not cry today.

Now, do I have the option of carpetbagging to a city like NYC at this point in my young life? Yes.

Would it be responsible to do so for the reasons I listed? LMAO NO.

You can live through almost anything if you tell yourself the right things. And right now I'm telling myself that there's a day, soon coming, when I'll be someplace you can't bouquet toss a cronut without hitting a hypebeast. The stunting will be plentiful and I'll breath deeply, take a knee, thank the man above and finally get back to the other 95% of my life.

Rick Morrison is a writer living in North Carolina. Follow him on Twitter here.