Monday, January 7, 2013

IS THAT ALL THERE IS? (with apologies to Leiber & Stoller)

I read a fascinating article yesterday by Judith Rasband (and which was originally written some 15 years ago I am led to believe) that states the US is going down the tube (here in Oz we use the term down the gurgler) as far as fashion is concerned because of its obsession with tee shirts and jeans. I think the writer has hit the nail on the head, and of course it's not only the US that has fallen into this mode of dress - it's obviously the same in Australia, and I suspect similar in the UK?  

Tee shirts and jeans have their place - don't get me wrong.  I've been on this particular soapbox for a long while now, and yes I do wear jeans and I do have some cami tops that are made from tee shirt fabric, but I mix and match a lot whether it be colours, or style of dress.  But why is it taking so long for "fashion" to catch up with what seems to be an apathy against trying something different?

This trend of tee shirts and jeans for "any"occasion (read "ALL" for many women) reinforces my observations gained some years back, and reiterated by Judith in her article where she says:

"With a wide range of affordable, attractive, and comfortable clothing choices available, Americans' choice of dress has descended to the level of T-shirt and jeans or sweats. Americans now own more T-shirts and jeans than ever before.

Levi Strauss and Company has called the casual dress movement "the most significant apparel trend of the century." What is most notable, however, is that decline in standards of dress goes hand in hand with cultural decline, manifested in productivity and participation, personal identity, manners, and ultimately, morals—with casual dress being both cause and symptom. In short, America is going down the tube in a T-shirt!

By productivity and participation, I refer to personal effort and output. Personal identity means individuality, personality, character, and independence of thought. For centuries, including the present one, manners has meant common social courtesies and traditional standards of etiquette. By morals, I mean self-control, respect, and discipline—social and sexual."

She goes on:

"Personal Identity 
Dressed in the androgynous look of T-shirt and jeans, we all look alike. When we look alike, we begin to feel and act alike. We lose variety, individuality, and personal style. Many become dependent on looking like everyone else–unable to cope with the thought of standing out in a crowd."

I would recommend the reading of Judith Rasband's article - as pertinent today as when it was written.  In fact even moreso, because we've become so used to not thinking about changing our choices, that the tee shirt and jeans phenomona has become ingrained and doesn't want to step aside.

Here's a photograph I took of a window display at a leading (?) menswear store in suburban Melbourne earlier last year.   The price tag on the jeans was $180.   Worth it?  Obviously someone would buy them and boast about them being the "latest"!!!!

Photo copyright © ZuzuGreen

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