Thursday 4 May 2017

What to Wear 6

Airport chic
Class is dead, long live class.

The Times (March 16 2017) says that being thrown off a plane for wearing leggings all depends on the class of the wearer. The piece unveils a world of brand names, over-priced athleisure and being “upgraded to business class”. “We dressed for the seats we wanted – smart, unfaded jeans, with a plain but reasonably expensive T shirt, blazer and pair of Gucci loafers. I was convinced the loafers would swing it.”
It’s clear that "cattle class" exists to make business class seem more desirable. “Airport chic – there is no dress code less clear... Context is everything – and that context is usually the class of the person wearing the clothes.”

Apparently Claridges forbids ripped jeans in its restaurant – unless you’re a fashion editor. And you can dress like an Essex boy on a flight as long as you’re a “millionaire model”. WAGs and models wear athleisure to travel but every item is a brand and their yoga pants cost £300. They are “all too easily confused with the underclass” but thanks to their height and slimness “this rarely happens”.
Those who normally fly business class for work wear “skinny jeans, blazer or leather jacket and big scarf”. Who knew travel was so complicated and exhausting?

Of course hipster fashion is “American blue-collar chic”, in the same way that hippies dressed up as pioneers and Native Americans. (American blue-collar chic really is chic, though, in that US “if it ain’t broke” way.) My smart designer denim jeans are based on the work clothes of an American miner in the Gold Rush, and are worn with a striped T shirt that references sailors’ garb of the same period. My woollen “cardigan jacket” was designed for sporty lady golfers of the 1900s. A very expensive dress in fake patchwork is even more decadent.

In the 70s, lower middle-class Teales did not wear pink, they wore brown and blue. They were very shocked when I turned up at university with short black punk hair, and pink-framed sunglasses.

It was quite a milestone when people of my generation started wearing suits. But it seemed like selling out. We thought we’d be wearing purple velvet loons for ever.

Posh Caro and Samantha are secretly rather pleased that the UKIP spokeswoman is wearing a purple acetate blouse. It just shows, doesn’t it?

The conservative clothes of those papist families who seem to conflate Catholicism with corduroy trousers. (Catherine Nixey, Times Feb 2017)

Most parents had to make do with generic kids clothing from the high street until... (The Times being staggeringly snobbish in July 2016.)

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