Friday, January 12, 2007

Say it ain't so, Robbo...

Today my monkey was shocked...One of my heroes, one of my favourite quadrupeds admitted that he has, at times, worn 'business casual' to his office. A very large office, I am sure, at the center of our national government. I, for one, am shocked...How could this happen? Well, though the mighty have fallen and Jupiter is no longer aligned with Mars, good Lord, will I ever be able to sing along with the 5th Dimension again? But, I have found an explanation...

"...For in all societies, modes of dress are set by the great; and if they mock taste and celebrate its opposite, taste will not be held in esteem by the people, who by nature prefer kitsch.

When democracy gave way to egalitarianism, some began to complain not just that the old modes propped up unjust class distinctions, but that any standard of dress imposes conformity, stifles creativity, and suppresses individuality. Thus did they abandon any attempt to dress presentably and colored their slovenliness with the pious demand that they be judged not by how they dress but for "who they are."

Our yearning for comfort was discussed at length above. For two centuries, this natural and ordinary desire was the engine of innovation in men's dress. So long as it was constrained by considerations of taste, the results were welcome. But as taste declined, comfort asserted itself as the supreme measure of a garment's worthiness. Many men no longer consented to put up with any discomfort from their clothes but found even the smallest inconvenience intolerable. This explains the practice of wearing tracksuits in public, and also the rise of "business casual."..."

-from The Suit: A Machiavellian Approach to Men's Style by Nicholas Antongiavanni