or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Streetwear and Denim › George Will: Denim is the Devil
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

George Will: Denim is the Devil - Page 3

post #31 of 59
This gentlemans opinion reminds me alot of my 81 year old grandpas opinion on jeans.
post #32 of 59
Never been a huge Fred Astaire fan. Maybe if he had mentioned "Gene Kelly" instead I might have taken him seriously.


post #33 of 59
Clothing used to be used as a way of differentiating social classes. The elite and powerful would clearly dress in a manner different from that of the peasants. Over time we have been drifting towards a society where everyone dresses the same, regardless of wealth or class. Some conservatives see this as a sign of Socialism. If you research the subject, you'll find that many of the hardcore socialists have advocated that in the ideal classless society where their is no oppression, everyone would dress the same! Personally, I think George Will longs for the days when he could dress in traditional men's clothing and be perceived as being part of the upper class. Instead he faces a society today where those whom dress in fancy traditional clothing come off as either arrogant, gay, or an old man out of touch with the current times. That he mentions having to buy a pair of jeans so he could "fit in" at an important social event is quite telling. BTW, I noticed there are a lot of people on the Ask Andy forums that appear to agree with George Will's sentiment.
post #34 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by BB1 View Post
Clothing used to be used as a way of differentiating social classes. The elite and powerful would clearly dress in a manner different from that of the peasants. Over time we have been drifting towards a society where everyone dresses the same, regardless of wealth or class.

Some conservatives see this as a sign of Socialism. If you research the subject, you'll find that many of the hardcore socialists have advocated that in the ideal classless society where their is no oppression, everyone would dress the same!

Personally, I think George Will longs for the days when he could dress in traditional men's clothing and be perceived as being part of the upper class. Instead he faces a society today where those whom dress in fancy traditional clothing come off as either arrogant, gay, or an old man out of touch with the current times. That he mentions having to buy a pair of jeans so he could "fit in" at an important social event is quite telling.

BTW, I noticed there are a lot of people on the Ask Andy forums that appear to agree with George Will's sentiment.

I guess it depends on what stream of conservatism you're talking about. I don't think George thinks it's advisable for anybody to wear jeans, no matter their class (unless, of course, they're a farmer or mechanic or have some other occupation where jeans would be a practical consideration.)

I would counter that a conservative should like denim because it's a uniquely American invention, and a part of the uniquely American cultural identity, unbeholden to European notions of class. It's not the idea of equality conservatives should be opposed to, but rather the coercive means used to achieve it. America has always been a "classless" society, and this has nought to do with socialism.

And don't we all know that being born into "high class" is the most accurate predictor of self-loathing leftism in adulthood? If you go around wearing trousers, you might as well start bitching about the price of arugula.
post #35 of 59
Denim is to blame for white american males under 50 being classless douchebags with no style? HA. HA.
post #36 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by tagutcow View Post
I guess it depends on what stream of conservatism you're talking about. I don't think George thinks it's advisable for anybody to wear jeans, no matter their class (unless, of course, they're a farmer or mechanic or have some other occupation where jeans would be a practical consideration.)

I would counter that a conservative should like denim because it's a uniquely American invention, and a part of the uniquely American cultural identity, unbeholden to European notions of class. It's not the idea of equality conservatives should be opposed to, but rather the coercive means used to achieve it. America has always been a "classless" society, and this has nought to do with socialism.

And don't we all know that being born into "high class" is the most accurate predictor of self-loathing leftism in adulthood? If you go around wearing trousers, you might as well start bitching about the price of arugula.

Weren't jeans originally designed to be worn solely as "work pants"? i.e. nobody would wear jeans everywhere like they do today.

I cannot disagree with what you're saying, but still there is something truly odd how jeans have become a common uniform regardless of a person's income or position in society. I'm not a clothing historian, but in the distant past was there another clothing item that was so ubiquitous across the entire populace (and for nearly all occasions) as jeans are today? Are we to believe this is due solely to the virtues of denim, or is it also due to a long term change in society? Didn't denim's popularity spring from the 60's counterculture and what did that represent?

In the past you could tell a person's profession, wealth, and status in society by their clothing. While this still holds true somewhat today, it is becoming increasingly difficult. The rich and poor both increasingly wear their denim everywhere (compare an airport today vs. 20 years ago), both enjoy the same entertainment (e.g. TV), and soon both will enjoy a "shared common experience" via mandatory national service.

Denim is the perfect symbol of the "everyman". Telling George Will he has to wear denim is like telling a self-loathing liberal he has buy his arugula at Wal-Mart!
post #37 of 59
Now that I think about it more, I agree with George Will's sentiments on denim being the standard issue pants of the common man or woman, but I don't agree that it is the cause of individuals being careless with what they wear. I think the acceptance of all types of casual wear is a double edged sword, in modern society it gives people the ability to deprioritize their fashion sense and to me is the cause of the common uniform, the common uniform is not the cause, if it weren't denim it'd be something else and even now we can see that sweat pants have become more and more popular in the 'common uniform'.
post #38 of 59
So is this a continual progression towards a more causal look? As you point out, more and more people are wearing sweatpants instead of denim in public lately. I have noticed this myself too. My own brother recently stopped wearing denim in public and is nearly always wearing sweatpants instead! I tried to get out of him "why" and all I got back is, "it's comfortable dude!" Then he tried to claim I was the strange one because I was so dressed-up wearing fancy looking jeans and a button down shirt. Suddenly George Will's point of view doesn't feel quite so foreign to me!
post #39 of 59
Every now and them some third rate conservative regurgitates this 'argument'. But he forgets that a lot of staples of classic menswear were introduced by decontextualisation: tweed was supposed to be just for the country, trench coats for trenches, etc. The problem is that of distinguishing between good and bad decontextualisation.
post #40 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by radicaldog View Post
Every now and them some third rate conservative regurgitates this 'argument'. But he forgets that a lot of staples of classic menswear were introduced by decontextualisation: tweed was supposed to be just for the country, trench coats for trenches, etc.

And, apparently, the modern suit descended from fin de siècle beach wear.
post #41 of 59
No. George Will is the Devil.
post #42 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimslade View Post
x-posted from MC. Columnist George Will broadsides denim today in a scathing column where he seems to equate denim with the decline of the USA. He still admires Fred Astaire and Grace Kelly as bellweathers of style. (He admits to owning one pair, bought for a Republican Senator's costume party.) I must say that I agree with much of what he says in terms of pretend-macho and faux working man uniforms. Here it is: Forever in Blue Jeans George Will Thursday, April 16, 2009 WASHINGTON -- On any American street, or in any airport or mall, you see the same sad tableau: A 10-year-old boy is walking with his father, whose development was evidently arrested when he was that age, judging by his clothes. Father and son are dressed identically -- running shoes, T-shirts. And jeans, always jeans. If mother is there, she, too, is draped in denim. Writer Daniel Akst has noticed and has had a constructive conniption. He should be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has earned it by identifying an obnoxious misuse of freedom. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, he has denounced denim, summoning Americans to soul-searching and repentance about the plague of that ubiquitous fabric, which is symptomatic of deep disorders in the national psyche. It is, he says, a manifestation of "the modern trend toward undifferentiated dressing, in which we all strive to look equally shabby." Denim reflects "our most nostalgic and destructive agrarian longings -- the ones that prompted all those exurban McMansions now sliding off their manicured lawns and into foreclosure." Jeans come prewashed and acid-treated to make them look like what they are not -- authentic work clothes for horny-handed sons of toil and the soil. Denim on the bourgeoisie is, Akst says, the wardrobe equivalent of driving a Hummer to a Whole Foods store -- discordant. Long ago, when James Dean and Marlon Brando wore it, denim was, Akst says, "a symbol of youthful defiance." Today, Silicon Valley billionaires are rebels without causes beyond poses, wearing jeans when introducing new products. Akst's summa contra denim is grand as far as it goes, but it only scratches the surface of this blight on Americans' surfaces. Denim is the infantile uniform of a nation in which entertainment frequently features childlike adults ("Seinfeld," "Two and a Half Men") and cartoons for adults ("King of the Hill"). Seventy-five percent of American "gamers" -- people who play video games -- are older than 18 and nevertheless are allowed to vote. In their undifferentiated dress, children and their childish parents become undifferentiated audiences for juvenilized movies (the six -- so far -- "Batman" adventures and "Indiana Jones and the Credit-Default Swaps," coming soon to a cineplex near you). Denim is the clerical vestment for the priesthood of all believers in democracy's catechism of leveling -- thou shalt not dress better than society's most slovenly. To do so would be to commit the sin of lookism -- of believing that appearance matters. That heresy leads to denying the universal appropriateness of everything, and then to the elitist assertion that there is good and bad taste. Denim is the carefully calculated costume of people eager to communicate indifference to appearances. But the appearances that people choose to present in public are cues from which we make inferences about their maturity and respect for those to whom they are presenting themselves. Do not blame Levi Strauss for the misuse of Levis. When the Gold Rush began, Strauss moved to San Francisco planning to sell strong fabric for the 49ers' tents and wagon covers. Eventually, however, he made tough pants, reinforced by copper rivets, for the tough men who knelt on the muddy, stony banks of Northern California creeks, panning for gold. Today it is silly for Americans whose closest approximation of physical labor consists of loading their bags of clubs into golf carts to go around in public dressed for driving steers up the Chisholm Trail to the railhead in Abilene. This is not complicated. For men, sartorial good taste can be reduced to one rule: If Fred Astaire would not have worn it, don't wear it. For women, substitute Grace Kelly. Edmund Burke -- what he would have thought of the denimization of America can be inferred from his lament that the French Revolution assaulted "the decent drapery of life"; it is a straight line from the fall of the Bastille to the rise of denim -- said: "To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely." Ours would be much more so if supposed grown-ups would heed St. Paul's first letter to the Corinthians, and St. Barack's inaugural sermon to the Americans, by putting away childish things, starting with denim. (A confession: The author owns one pair of jeans. Wore them once. Had to. Such was the dress code for former Sen. Jack Danforth's 70th birthday party, where Jerry Jeff Walker sang his classic "Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother." Music for a jeans-wearing crowd.) Copyright © 2009 Salem Web Network. All Rights Reserved.
........they're pants. get a real job.
post #43 of 59
It's an amusing article but kind of a moot point when so many people look just as bad in low-quality, ill-fitting 'dress' clothes as they do in jeans and t-shirts. The problem isn't so much a particular look or fabric as it is ignorance of and widespread apathy toward all manners of dress.
post #44 of 59
Quote:
Originally Posted by BB1 View Post
So is this a continual progression towards a more causal look? As you point out, more and more people are wearing sweatpants instead of denim in public lately. I have noticed this myself too.

My own brother recently stopped wearing denim in public and is nearly always wearing sweatpants instead! I tried to get out of him "why" and all I got back is, "it's comfortable dude!" Then he tried to claim I was the strange one because I was so dressed-up wearing fancy looking jeans and a button down shirt. Suddenly George Will's point of view doesn't feel quite so foreign to me!

Once Chronaug robokops those pleated Vibskovs, he'll be on the vanguard of the luxe sweatpants craze.

I don't notice many sweatpants around here, but flip-flops are epidemic around college bars. Whenever I see these people, I always wonder-- did these people wear flip-flops to drive here? Is that even possible?
post #45 of 59
Sweat pants will be the new jeans in another couple decades. After that if the world isn't a lifeless ball of dirt yet, I'm sure the masses will be robed in some sort of literal robe-like one-piece garment. The Snuggy is ahead of its time. The progression towards don't-give-a-damn casual clothing will probably result in something like a toga, but with none of the grace or identity.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Streetwear and Denim
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Streetwear and Denim › George Will: Denim is the Devil