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A “whatsit” is perhaps the most endearing gimmick you will stumble across this sleepy Monday. A simple concept designed for a simple end. Put succinctly, a ‘whatsit’ is an item worn which is either anomalous, individual or calling for further information provided by the person garbed in it. Its purpose is to give people who want to talk to you, a reason to talk to you, and to give people a reason to strike up a conversation who otherwise would not, enthralling them by their own curiosity.

Now understanding the gimmick, plenty of instances jump to mind where you have responded to such a design, and it is entirely likely that neither yourself nor the person presenting the object thought that this was an aspect of what they were doing. It’s why people where items that ‘stand out’ why people will don extravagant clothing or the latest cutting edge apparel. It marks you as unique and confident individual, worthy of further inquiry about and the kind of person we all want to know.

It is an excellent way to break the ice or to start a conversation. You are talking to the person about something likely that is unique or individual to themselves, something from which they either derived or depended upon at some point and which forms a part of their character that hopefully they are willing to talk about. It is the foothold that has to be created by contrivance, hollowed from the rock, but that enables the foot to find secure purchase for a higher accent if done correctly.

If you are the wearer of a ‘whatsit’ try to ensure that what you pick has a story, a value, a position embroidered into its fabric, that inquiries about it will not be futile, and result in generic answers discovered from the packaging that the ‘whatsit’ came in, hoping that the uniqueness of the object as opposed to that of its story is where the real charm lies. Stories are the roots of information and interaction, and a starting ramp that launches one into a dead end, will cause many more accidents then a mere brick wall.

Try it out.

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