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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/14694/ok-ill-say-it-i-was-right/

Ok, I’ll say it: I was right

November 19, 2010 by

A correspondent points out that I’ve made one good prediction in my life: this shows that this was correct.


Joop November 19, 2010 at 11:38 am

Ah yes, this is quite pleasant to see! As I have been sharing your recent book with friends, I too am working to instill in people a better sense of fashion. I didn’t see anywhere in the article, however, referring to how the recent economic times were the cause for the student’s change in dress. Just seems like high school boys trying to draw some attention to themselves. Hopefully the trend will catch on!

Curt Doolittle November 19, 2010 at 11:47 am


Yes, you predicted correctly.

But then the fashion industry knows full well that economic cycles affect tastes. Gaudy and free in booms, conservative and traditional in busts. Same for women’s tastes in men: effeminate in booms, masculine in crashes. Lots of similar behavior.

The most popular blog posting I ever wrote was when I stated tattoos were about to go out of fashion (for the middle class), and the second when I stated that the ‘outdoorsy’ look was going out of fashion. Write something on rule of law, economics, political economy, and you get a few eyeballs. But write something on trendy fashion and you get thousands it seems.

Now, to your proposition, I”m not sure.

It’s petty clear that the nearly-effeminate boom era clothes are under duress (English Laundry, Robert Graham). Its pretty clear that the designers are changing color schemes (first they went black and while, now they are pushing ‘grey’ jeans instead of black or blue) and textures (feminine use of lace and weaves, exposing legs, expressive but limited shoes, and soft tops.) So, I think there are texture cut and color changes in response to economic trends. But not ‘uniform changes’.

Men associate by uniform. CEO’s absolutely dress by CEO-casual rules. And it’s pretty easy to prove that wearing a suit equals asking for money. The west coast more so than the east coast. (How do you classify Auburn.) It is very, very easy to tell, by body language and dress, who the other CEO in the room is. Suit Straight collar, Jacket, no tie, subtle smile, a CEO. Add Jeans, definitely a CEO. If you’re wealthy, then no collar at all, tan, fit, some silk content, and a big smile.

As far as I can tell, the suit is a middle class uniform. It’s a mark of compliance. It says you want someone’s money. War-gen’ers, Boomers, Jones Generation (Gates, Ellison, Jobs – and guys like me – particularly wear ceo-casual as a remnant of yuppie sentiments), X’s and Y’s and Millennials all carry different variations. Upper middle class does not wear suits. Upper class does not wear suits. Proles wear bad suits that aren’t tailored. Political class wears whatever economic class it represents. (And you can see their social class in their body language as well as their tailoring.)

Fundamentally CEO dress is equal to rebellious 50′s and early 60′s college wear that use absurd patterns in formal dress in order to demonstrate rebellion, individualism. (You can still see this in some Ralph Lauren clothing lines.)

So what they guy is wearing on the bench is indicative of who is being unemployed, rather than a change in dress codes. :)

On the other hand, wearing bow-ties and adopting the dress of a charming intellectual is a uniform too. :)

I’ll stick with it: the suit is a middle class uniform. CEO casual represents that you’ve ‘made it’ but are still in play, and still care. THe upper class (out of sight class) dresses as if they don’t care about anything (which is the whole message carried by the dress)

As I write here on my way to a meeting where people will propose an international legal structure, and a convoluted five step process to avoid a tax event to me while I sit there wearing my custom-made (Justwhiteshirts.com) pink shirt with french cuffs, custom cufflinks, no tie, a Joseph Abboud jacket, Seven grey jeans and Robert Wayne shoes….. lol.

Cheers. Hope all is well there. Rough year for biz.

Havvy November 20, 2010 at 2:18 am

I am only appalled that they believe that they cannot hold doors open for other students every other day of the week.

I don’t think High-Fives are non-classy though…they should have kept them (I mean, even politicians do it…oh wait, that was a fist-bump…)

J. Murray November 20, 2010 at 7:10 pm

To be honest, I quit holding doors for people because I ended up being a doorman, with endless streams of people coming in and out. It’s not worth the effort being “polite” when they won’t let you get into the building yourself.

Jukka November 20, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Oh, what a lucky coincidence! I remember reading a similar article from LewRockwell.com long long time ago. Was never able to find it again, but it always has stuck to my mind.

Sarah November 20, 2010 at 4:40 pm

You were (and still are) quite right, and I’m so glad the youth are catching on! Chicks dig a guy in uniform. The type of uniform may vary, and the label or status level doesn’t matter nearly so much as how it’s worn. I’m quite fond of the dark jeans and dress shirt uniform, but as Curt & Little Orphan Annie pointed out, it’s the smile that ties it all together.

serpagx November 21, 2010 at 8:12 am

I dont really understand that discussion because I dont really relate to any of the people mentioned in both links. You dont have to wear a tie to be civilized and at work if you follow the dresscode and deliver no one will care what brand of shoes you are wearing…

Liam January 10, 2011 at 10:29 am

Stumbled across this on Google while resourcing for a fashion essay… The second article was a great little read but the first link is dead?

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