This week's featured outfit: Uniqlo x Lemaire and vibes paler than my complexion. I paired this off-white top with distressed denim and some well-loved Greats Royale sneakers: the washed-out color scheme complimented each piece's structural details, lending the outfit a total effect greater than the sum of its parts.

photo: Kristen Eisenhauer

photo: Kristen Eisenhauer

photo: Kristen Eisenhauer

photo: Kristen Eisenhauer

However, there is one part of this sum that I particularly love. This Uniqlo longsleeve shirt, my favorite from their universally-lauded Lemaire collaboration, is described using exclusively the adjective "boatneck."

Boatneck. Boatneck. While I love the paneled design and athletic silhouette, the nautical naming convention was just too much to handle. What part of this neckline shouts "bouyant"? Was my neck missing part of the experience by being on land? There were many sleepless nights, but then, a moment of clarity: I couldn't properly wear my boatneck until I bought a boat.

So I did.

And just like that, my world snapped into focus.

Uniqlo x Lemaire/Banana Republic/Greats/Persol (photo: Kristen Eisenhauer)

Uniqlo x Lemaire/Banana Republic/Greats/Persol (photo: Kristen Eisenhauer)

Suddenly, I was part of an esteemed community of part-time sailors. I didn't just have friends - I had comrades. And oh, they were legion. 

Everywhere I looked, I saw other impulse boaters proudly wearing their gateway purchases - more importantly, they saw me. Boat shoes? Polite wave. Flag belt? Naval salute. A cute girl with an anchor sticker on her MacBook even agreed to watch my stuff while I went to the bathroom. As marina fees accrued for the 40 foot yacht on which I took out PhD loans to finance, something much more tangible was accruing in my little corner of land-locked Michigan.

photo: Kristen Eisenhauer

photo: Kristen Eisenhauer

It was belonging

Do I regret the crippling financial trap I've put myself into? Sure. Would I have done it any differently? Absolutely nacht. To any would-be boatneck purchasers out there: welcome aboard. 

 

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AS RAKESTRAW | The personal site of Alex Rakestraw.