Saturday, May 2, 2009

Jeans: a powerful force for evil

Yes, I know, we don’t wish to take advice on sartorial matters from an American. But Daniel Akst makes sense:
Never has a single fabric done so little for so many. Denim is hot, uncomfortable and uniquely unsuited to people who spend most of their waking hours punching keys instead of cows. It looks bad on almost everyone who isn't thin, yet has somehow made itself the unofficial uniform of the fattest people in the world.

It's time denim was called on the carpet, for its crimes are legion. Denim, for instance, is an essential co-conspirator in the modern trend toward undifferentiated dressing, in which we all strive to look equally shabby no matter what the occasion. Despite its air of innocence, no fabric has ever been so insidiously effective at undermining national discipline. . .

Although a powerful force for evil, denim has achieved a status that will come as no surprise to fashion historians. Like camouflage fabric, aviator sunglasses and work boots, blue jeans were probably destined for ubiquity thanks to an iron-clad rule of attire adoption. “The sort of garments that become fashionable most rapidly and most completely,” Alison Lurie reminds us in The Language of Clothes, “are those which were originally designed for warfare, dangerous work or strenuous sports.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Staying - slightly - with sartorial matters, the Dominion Post has invented a new word when discussing the new outfits worn by the All Blacks rugby team and the Silver Ferns netball team:

"The netball dress is a merino-polyester mix and features a stialised fern through it."