Monday, October 29, 2007
Clothes: Frivolous or substantial, cont.
Thank you to all who contributed asnwers to the "Clothing as Text" survey. I would like to feature Liam's full answer to the following question:
Is clothing a matter of frivolity or substance? Why?
in "walden" henry david thoreau wrote, "It is an interesting question how far men would retain their relative rank if they were divested of their clothes. ... I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes."
whether we like or not, clothes are one factor in defining who we are and can make or break a first impression. therefore they are extremely substantial. i'm not saying one cannot get away with not dressing well at a job interview by being well-qualified or charming anymore than a well-dressed person may get away with not being qualified or charming, but when one has the whole package, things run a lot more smoothly. anymore than someone as is the case with undercover police officers or transvestites, one can pass as something they are not based on how one dresses. i'm sure when barbara ehrenreich compiled research for nickle and dimed by working at diners and walmart, she did not wear her powersuit nor a donna karan sweater with anne klein trousers. her goal was not only to look the part but also to fit in with her coworkers.
graph per Ben Sherman USA