Fashion, something I didn’t think would be so different once I was out of prison, and also something not a lot of people talked about during my visits or phone calls so I didn’t necessarily know how drastically it was changing out there.
Prior to going to prison and while I was in prison, I spoke with a few people who had been to prison. They all said the same thing, that the biggest change when you are gone for several or even a few years is technology.
And while that did progress and change a lot, I have to disagree. I haven’t been caught off guard by any tech yet, but maybe that’s because my access to still limited, as I can only use a flip phone.
So what has been the biggest change for me, leaving in 2013, and coming back now? Fashion, by far has been the toughest adjustment.
The jeans got skinnier, the shorts got shorter, the shirts got tighter, and I’m struggling to completely conform.
The jeans and shirts that I feel are now painted on, because of the fact that if I was wearing them in prison or near some of my old buddies, I would be made fun of relentlessly.
“Hey, Bergland, is that your sister’s shirt.”
“Oh, I see you got your daisy dukes on today.”
And as far as pants…khakis’ and sweats were our only options on the inside, I would wear a 38 in waste (I wear a 34 out here) and I would still get made fun of by fellow inmates, that my pants were too tight in the butt and thigh region, all the while they would be falling off my waist. I can’t even imagine what the guys would be saying to me now…
My fashion-forward sister has been the first to let me know that I need to get rid of my clothes that my mom so graciously saved for me during my incarceration. I guess the flannel cargo shorts and American Eagle T’s don’t cut it anymore…
I’ve also had to remind her, I don’t have a job yet nor can I leave mom’s house so if she wants me to wear new clothes, that’s on her, haha!
I have these pair of Volcom shorts that I love, I remember them being my favorite when I went into prison, and now I’m home and finding they still catch my eye. I have worn them a couple of times, waiting for someone to say something, and I thought Morgan would be the first…but it was my buddy, Sam.
As you can see in this photo below, they will go past my knees and I guess my bro is more fashion-forward than me and knows where they should be.
Then, my buddy, Sam came over and I noticed his shorts were all frayed at the bottoms, so I asked, “Did you cut these yourself?” He said he did because his girlfriend got on him about them being too long.
I was wearing mine as well and I said, “Like these?” He responded, “Exactly.” He then continued to tell me that shorts need to be above the knees now.
So what people are going to make fun of me? Sam replies, “Maybe not, but they will certainly know you just got out of prison.” That is if the 1985 ankle monitor, that’s the size of a backpack cell phone doesn’t tell them first.
So I gave in and took the scissors to the shorts in the meantime until I can get out shopping again!
So you guys, I need some help. What are some of your fashion tips for a guy that just got out of prison?