The term “fashion statement” is an interesting one. It suggests that a person’s choice of clothing says something about themselves, what they think, and how they see the world. Basically it’s a speech bubble connected to your body all day long, and visible to all. So it makes perfect sense that people should wear clothing that they understand. The bogan does not make perfect sense.
Bogans are particularly fond of wearing clothes with large numbers printed on them. One possible explanation is that it’s an intellectual statement about what the bogan feels to an excessively competitive culture, where everyone is made to feel as though they are in a race. This possibility can safely be eliminated, as the bogan does not think in abstract metaphors such as that. After careful thought, TBL can conclude that no other explanation can possibly justify this behaviour. It is therefore just baseless trend-trotting and a desire to wear something written in a large bright font.
The confusion does not end there, though. The bogan also enjoys wearing clothing that randomly pairs a foreign city name with a random noun, and a random number. If you ask a dilettante bogan why it is wearing a yellow t-shirt with “San Francisco Bears 74” scrawled across it, do not expect to get an answer that contains actual insight. If you press further, and ask it what its favourite spot in San Francisco is, the poorly travelled bogan will likely become agitated. Any further suggestion that San Francisco is America’s leading gay town, and that “bear” is slang for “overweight and hairy gay man” is certain to create a punch-on.
This trend of boganic fashion non-statements is happening on streets and dancefloors near you. Even in the hipster district of Melbourne frequented by TBL authors, a bogan male was recently sighted at an indie pub wearing a “Fretilin” emblazoned fitted t-shirt made by mid-price disposable 16-25 fashion brand M-One-11. The bogan was confronted, and asked whether he thought Xanana Gusmão had been a good president for the Timorese. It took a good 30 seconds to explain to the irritable bogan that he was wearing a politicised t-shirt relating to a country that he could not have pinpointed on a map, and knew nothing about. The bogan’s fashion statement can be summarised as “duh”.