Thursday, April 13, 2006

Of fashion and matters sartorial, part 4 of 8

Every group and subgroup, every class and demographic, has its own fashion, its own range of acceptable dress. And that dress frequently looks odd, or even ridiculous, to those outside the group. From the wealthy ladies parading in their furs on Michigan Avenue to the kids hanging around the Dunkin’ Donuts on Belmont getting powdered sugar all over their tongue studs to the bond traders waiting for the train in their expensive suits on a cold morning, no coats, no hats—everyone looks silly if, for a moment, you don’t take them on their own terms.

If I’d realized that when I was twelve, middle school would have been a lot easier.

From Paul Fussell’s Uniforms: Why We Are What We Wear (2002)
The universal dilemma can be specified succinctly: everyone must wear a uniform, but everyone must deny wearing one, lest one’s invaluable personality and unique identity be compromised.

From Samuel Pepys’s Diary, 19 August 1661
To Worcester House, where several Lords are met in council this afternoon. And while I am waiting there, in comes the King in a plain common riding-suit and velvet cap in which he seemed a very ordinary man to one that had not known him.

From CĂ©leste Alberet’s Monsieur Proust (1973)
He didn’t wear his shoes out any more than his clothes. He always traveled about in taxis and never walked except on carpets and parquets. And then he was a person of habit; he hated any kind of change. He felt especially comfortable in things he’d worn for a long time. What’s more, choosing, buying, trying things on, were tiring and took up time. Also, we mustn’t forget, he only went out at times when the shops were shut. He never bought anything himself—he ordered it.

From Francine du Plessix Gray’s Them: A Memoir of Parents (2005)
I engaged in numerous diets that might help me to resemble the ghoulishly emaciated models who flocked to Mother’s parties: three days of buttermilk and soda water, three days of hard-boiled eggs and tomatoes, three days of stewed prunes and tea.

From my trip on the #6 Jackson Park Express bus the afternoon of March 30th (2006)
At 56th and Hyde Park Boulevard, a 20-ish Asian-American woman with extravagant, multi-hued hair extensions boarded the bus. She had a pretty face and was good-looking, though very skinny, dressed in a small, tight, white tank top and extremely low-rise jeans. She carried one of those long cruising skateboards, and she was plugged in to her earbuds, listening to music.

On her left hand was written, in big block letters, “BUY A SUIT!”

No comments:

Post a Comment