The Curious Case Concerning Chameleon Clothing

Posted: February 25, 2014 in Tim Braun
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

What you have right there is a serious example of alliteration. If you ever want a headline that grabs the reader around the neck and strangles him within an inch of his life use an awesome amount of alliteration – whether or not it makes sense.

This time however the headline DOES make perfect sense. I have discovered a plot amongst the various Socialist clothing manufacturers of the world to systematically destroy the very fabric (HA!) of civilization as we know it. You won’t read about it in the newspapers, they will categorically deny it, and you may never have experienced it….but someday you will, and if you read this blog with all of its punny alliterations that I could conjure up – you will be prepared.

I have long lived on the wrong side of the velvet rope, let’s be honest. So you probably don’t believe me. But let’s get an example all up in here. Nothing proves my point like an example. Innocently enough, I bought a pair of britches from Old Navy the other week. I bought them online. They were dutifully labeled as the color ‘Carbon’ when I bought them. Let’s take a look at some carbon:


Clearly, carbon is dark gray. So, equally clearly, that’s what I was expecting when the package arrived. I was like a kid in a candy store as I gleefully tore open the box and plastic wrap from the new trousers. This is what I got:


OK – I’m happy. Gray is as gray does is what I always say. Yes. I ALWAYS say that. So I put them in their little resting place in the closet until it was time to unveil them to the world. Yesterday was that day as I donned my gay apparel and proudly paraded myself in my carbon pants out to the world. I looked down and this is what I saw:


Huh? How could these pants turn blue out in the sunlight? You can’t possibly realize the trauma that this causes me – because it literally took me 15 minutes to find a shirt to match a pair of gray pants. And now my mind was blown, as was my fashion sense, in 1 minute of sunlight. I suddenly looked the fool. And I completely blame the fabric kings of the world – because they know me. They know what I’m going to do now – BUY ANOTHER PAIR OF TRUE GRAY PANTS. It’s all a big Fascist plot.

I would have just chalked this up to happenstance had it not happened to me two years earlier. I had been given a ridiculously warm and cozy wool sweater for Christmas that I loved. As you can see, it was a great sandy/brown/golden color:


I wore this outside one day (because frankly it’s too hot to ever wear inside) and was walking around looking stylish in my light brown sweater and an olive drab pant. I may even have been strutting a little because I felt so good. But as ALWAYS happens when I feel good about myself, suddenly I was plunged back into the world of Middle School locker rooms. I raised my hand to wave at a passer-by who was undoubtedly impressed with my garb, and lo and behold my sweater was now GREEN!


That’s right ladies and gentlemen – I was now apparently wearing a green suit that the Jolly Green Giant would have been proud of. I went in quickly to show my family the ludicrousness of the situation and of course when I got inside my sweater turned brown again. Lesson learned – I can now only wear that sweater inside OR outside – but not both. It takes careful planning to ensure that there is not a fashion faux pas the likes which no one has ever seen before.infrared goggles

So consider yourself warned. The next time you go to a dressing room, you may want to wear your infrared goggles to ensure that the fabric isn’t some sort of Communist plot to make you look like an idiot and take your money. In the years of this blog, I have warned so many good people of so many bad things I need to be given some sort of medal.

You’re welcome. From your consumer consultant caring carefully. And constantly.

  1. Anonymous says:

    That was me.


  2. Jeff Pollack says:

    Oh, good lord.


  3. Carrie Rubin says:

    I order a lot from the Gap and Old Navy, and I’ve received a few things not as advertised, but never have I experienced such color transformation. It’s like a mood ring but with clothing! Or maybe it’s you. Maybe your skin reacts with the fabric to produce all sorts of unexpected beauty. Fascinating!

    I love your alliteration, by the way. I’m a fan of the technique, though I try not to pepper my paragraphs of pearly prose with it…


  4. Jennie Saia says:

    What the heckballs?! I’ve had my eye on some fancy new nail polish that does this, but that’s it’s whole purpose.


    • I almost used the term ‘chromallusion’ in this story. That was the paint job that some NASCAR driver had a few years back and the car changed color from every angle. But I didn’t want to throw out too many NASCAR references. That’s the same thing my daughter has on her fingernails though.


  5. El Presidente says:

    Unfortunately I fell victim to a scam like this once, except instead of a pair of pants changing colors I bought a toy poodle only to discover after giving it a bath that it was a large blown out ferret pumped up on steroids. Needless to say, I boxed it back up and requested an immediate refund. I would do the same with your pants to send Old Navy a clear message that you will not tolerate being messed with.


    • There’s no question that they knew exactly what they were doing. I got a puppy from an Australian Shepherd rescue that turned into an 85 lb. hound dog when he grew up. I’m not saying that the rescue dog, your ferret and my pants are all related, but I’m not saying that they AREN’T either, ya know? Thanks for reading and sharing my pain.


  6. writerinsoul says:

    Not only do clothes change color, but clothes that looked fine in indoor lighting conditions, reveal mystery stains only when you have gone too far from your house to do anything about it. If you are but a mere 20 ft from your dwelling, they will stay hidden. Get a half mile or more away and voila! What is THAT?


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