Every nation out there has some peculiar clothing fad or fads of its own. But Alleneans would almost certainly stand out almost everywhere – in the opera houses of Reichskamphen, in the bank offices of Knootoss, or in the Mangalan casinos, Allaneans are always the odd guys out. Why it this way? And what would you need to dress like if the passion stroke you and you wanted to visit the Confederacy? This short guide will endeavour to explain to you the principles of Allanean fashion – so that you would be able to ‘fit in with the creeps’ once you visit.
Rule 1. Clothes are not a uniform.
In many countries, an unspoken dress code exists to define what you can wear, and when – almost as harsh, sometimes, as a military uniform. Line up some Knootian businessmen on a parade ground, and the ties and three-piece suits will begin to merge before your eyes into a single, mandated line of similar outfits – even if they are not all exactly alike.
Well, Allaneans really, but really, hate that. According to an Allanean creed – rarely verbalized, unless you’re talking to a fashion designer – your clothing is you. If anything, an Allanean would seek to use his clothing to differentiate himself from, well, everybody else. Clothing, according to an Allanean, would express you and what you’re about. This could mean a shirt with a political or religious slogan, a pair of shorts with a pink bunny tail stitched on your behind (if you’re a furry), or an imitation of a Starfleet outfit – if you watch way too much Trek. (Note that such an outfit would not in this case be a uniform. A uniform is something you wear to make you look the same as other people next to you, thus the word. If you wear it to send a personal message, it’s not a uniform no matter how camouflaged it is.)
Rule 2. Accessories rock.
Of course, if you wear too much personalized clothing, it can impair your day-to-day functioning. A bank clerk can well wear a set of Trek clothing or a fursuit to work, since the bank is air-conditioned or heated. Heck, he can even come naked – there’s no social or legal taboo on being naked in Allanea. But what if you’re a construction worker? A cleaner? A stripper? What if your job actually requires certain limits on your imagination?
Well, in that case, you can simply call on the Nifty Gods of Accessorizing to your aid. While you can’t come to the construction site in an Imperial Stormtrooper outfit, you can stake out your love of Lukas Arts by choosing from a plethora of pins, badges, and stickers to go on the lapel of them blue worker’s coveralls. And if pins and badges won’t do it to you, rings, chains, and other assorted ‘bling’ can attract the wanted attention you wanted to gather just as well.
Rule 3. Your body is a modular entity.
While this may be too much for someone who is just coming through the nation, Allaneans – as high-tech barbarians – have no problem with modifying their body to make themselves look neater and cooler. Tattoos? Forget that. I am talking extensive biosculpts, subdermally-mounted lights, cranial ridges and body piercings that look like medieval chainmail.
Rule 4. An armed society.
Allaneans, as you probably know, carry guns. With the years, those guns have become not only a tool of self-protection, but also a form of statement – a symbol, if you will, of personal independence and freedom as understood by the locals. As such, Allaneans will normally carry their guns openly – and choose their models not only for practicality, but also to make a statement. In fact, entire gun companies exist that supply custom furniture to make one’s rifle, handgun, or what-have-you to look as neat and expressive as you choose to make it. Pink-and-glitter AK-47’s, gold-plated MP-5’s and jeans-pattern Teen Dreams are the order of the day. Of course, some can’t afford such novelties, and merely carry some surplus military weapon – but even then, attempts are made to make them look special, whether with carved inscriptions, colored inlays, or aftermarket Xtra-L337 scopes.
In an interesting twist, this rule even applies to the military – since members of the CSAF keep their issued small arms after discharge, many are thus encouraged to spend a portion of their pay to improve, decorate, and modify their weapons, making the Army-issue ABR-8 look somewhat like an 18th-century Kentucky rifle with all the fancy inlaying, funky grips, and so forth.
Rule 5. Exceptions.
There is, strangely, a sizeable amount of Allaneans, particularly among the intellectuals and the very, very rich, that does not subscribe to this code of behavior. Those people wish to imitate foreign cultures [in particular, Knootian and Menelmacari culture]. Their children learn Dutch and Quenya, and their outfits are more formal and, well, sane than of any other Allaneans.