October 15th, 2005

Meme Sheep

Clothing, Issues

So I was out and about with alienne Friday, running errands for both of us, and stopped by the Jackman's Fabrics, the place where kukla_tko42 and cos_x both work, and where alienne had some business to do. We ended up being there for several hours, which I spent wandering around the store. On one level, I found it absolutely delightful, pleasant, and amazing. On another, deeper level, I found it profoundly depressing.

Why depressing? Because here was a store that sells (and self-finances) reasonably priced semi-automated sewing machines that do everything but make the clothes for you themselves, and sells a nice selection of inexpensive and easy to follow basic patterns, and has probably something like 1000 different absolutely beautiful fabrics, in an amazing range of colors and textures. Which you may think isn't very amazing, for a fabric and sewing machine store, until I add this part: almost all of them eerily beautiful. So what's depressing about that? The fact that even among my supposedly unconventional friends, something like 95% them wear nothing but blue jeans and (depending on the season) a t-shirt or a sweatshirt. When I was wearing that outfit for the first time 40 years ago, it was still something of a radical fashion statement for a middle class person to wear that outfit, an expression of proletarian solidarity and an identification with the (then still just barely) revolutionary, radical, and socially offensive musical movement known as "rock and roll." Back then, it was excusable to dress this way. Now, the god help me, everybody except a few hold-outs among the professional class dresses this way, and dresses this way all the time, and express displeasure or discomfort any time they have to wear anything else.

Of all of the changes wreaked on American culture by the Baby Boomers in their youth and middle age, both positive and negative, well, everybody has their opinions as to which are positive, which are negative, and which are so negative as to be unforgivable. I think quite possibly my one pick for "unforgivable" is the imposition of the damned-near universally mandatory uniform of blue jeans and a t-shirt. And, oddly enough, I should no sooner get home, still musing about this, than I see a meme in somebody's LiveJournal to a fashion quiz. And when you look at the guy in the sketch that goes with my "exact opposite," what's he wearing? Jeans, a t-shirt, and a hooded sweatshirt. *shudder*

Collapse )