wearing his heart on his sleeve

I’ve written a lot about my love for all-black outfits that feature some kind of eye-popping accent. Shadowy clothes with a weird detail say, “I can’t be bothered to think about colors but you’d better not think I’m boring,” or “I’m dark, but not that depressing.” Sometimes the detail remains hidden until you’ve had the chance to look for it, but sometimes it’s the most noticeable thing in your field of vision.

This guy was walking up the subway steps in front of me last week, exiting into East Harlem. The pristine white elbow patches on his jacket were the first thing to catch my eye in the gloomily fluorescent light of the subway stairwell. Then I realized that the shapes swimming inside of them were little black hearts. Were they another message? “I wear my heart on my sleeve, but be careful?” Maybe they’re detachable, and he has a whole collection of patches with different shapes to suit his mood like pocket squares. Is this the beginning of another movement of secret-message clothing like the hanky code? It’s a mystery for now, but let me know if you see anyone else out there flagging with their elbows.
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