Monday, March 23, 2009

Hypocrisy thy name is denim

According to the Wall Street Journal last week, "If there is a silver lining to a financial crisis that threatens to leave the entire country dressed only in a barrel, it is this: At least we won't be wearing denim." Oh really?
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.
Um, insensitive much? Although I prefer wearing dresses and skirts when the weather permits, I like wearing denim jeans (dark bootcut or skinny 7 for all Mankinds, thankyouverymuch), and I'm not "fat". (That is unless a size 6 is now the threshhold marker between "small" and "large".) The WSJ columnist has a problem with denim, but I think he comes off as elitist and snobby. Not everyone looks like a farmer in denim, unless of course you're wearing overalls (a la Tai in Clueless), which is always a big no-no.
If hypocrisy had a flag, it would be cut from denim, for it is in denim that we invest our most nostalgic and destructive agrarian longings -- the ones that prompted all those exurban McMansions now sliding off their manicured lawns and into foreclosure, dragging down the global financial system with them. Denim is the SUV of fabrics, the wardrobe equivalent of driving a hulking Land Rover to the Whole Foods Market. Our fussily tailored blue jeans, prewashed and acid-treated to look not just old but even dirty, are really a sad disguise. They're like Mao jackets, an unusually dreary form of sartorial conformity by means of which we reassure one another of our purity and good intentions.
Obviously there is a time and a place to wear jeans, but I think this is almost offensively melodramatic. What do you think? []


Anonymous said...

Whoa. Seriously? It sounds to me like this columnist thought getting a rise out of some jean-lovers would mask the fact that he can't come up with anything better to write about. Geez.

AllieInTheCity said...

$50 says that this columnist has at least 5 pairs in his/her closet. (S)he probably couldn't fit into his favorite pair anymore and had some penned revenge to pay!

Revanche said...

Good heavens, what's gotten under this columnist's skin? Denim isn't that bad. In fact, it's frankly utilitarian for many who aren't at all fashionable (hi), and looks quite nice on those who are. What does denim have to do with fatness or thinness?

Pf, he/she should just take a break from writing if this is the best he/she can dredge up.

Crystal said...

Haha, I'm glad we're all in agreement about this! Revanche -- really good point. I have no idea what denim has to do with fatness/thinness. The columnist obviously has a chip on his/her shoulder about, oh, everything (denim first and foremost).

Anonymous said...

Wow, did you just come across this article or are you a regular WSJ reader? Daniel Askt (the author) is always only half-serious. It seems quite obvious to me that anyone who would describe the "crimes" of an article of clothing as "legion" is not serious.

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