Friday, December 18, 2009

Youth rebellion takes dressy turn

A New York times piece on young men dressing better than their parents outside of work raises an interesting question.

Today the well-off 55-year-old is likely to be the worst-dressed man in the room, wearing a saggy T-shirt and jeans. The cash-poor 25-year-old is in a natty sport coat and skinny tie bought at Topman for a song...

“I think it’s a reaction against the homogeneity of casual wear,” said Gordon Henderson, the design director of Topman. “There’s nowhere to go with that in terms of personality, whereas a suit sets you apart. And now there are suits that are cut for young people. There’s never been that before, so it’s new to them.”
Why has youthful rebellion always been restricted to a narrow template of automatically rejecting societal norms and the signs of achievement?

I remember a class in high school categorized our political views and I was shocked to find myself in the dreaded republican camp. I didn't know any of the positions the different parties or philosophies took, but I had it in my head that Republicans were the bad guys in Washington. It was just the natural thing to believe after hearing all the jokes and snide remarks over the years.

As I came to terms with this, I realized that youthful rebellion was sort of stupid and predictable. Instead of taking it in the direction MTV wanted me to go, I ended up rebelling against my generation.

In college I started wearing suits, ties and vests for fun. I got it into my head after watching the scene in Trainspotting where Sick Boy dresses up for the big heroin deal. After college, I was the one guy in my newspaper office who regularly wore a tie. I now own more suits than pairs of jeans.

It's interesting to me that more of my generation has come around on this issue, although it took them a little longer to get here.

1 comment:

  1. I admire the fact that you do what you do, believe what you believe, and wear what you wear for the sole reason that doing those things appeals to you or goes along with your true convictions. Most people are easily influenced by, if not the blind puppets of "fashion," whatever the latest trend may be, whether it is in music, clothes, or worldviews.