Apr 012014

Or What Anthropologists Wear.

Speaking of values, as I was earlier in the week, brought this link to my inbox Pandora’s box (follow it at your peril: it leads to what in my experience was a couple hours good reading, if you follow any of the links therein): Conference Chic, or, How to Dress Like an Anthropologist.

The Cliff Notes:

black + ethnic jewelry

To really fit in, wear a scarf 😉

This formula can be further reduced to the following universal template:

lifestyle segment basic required clothing
nod to your personal values

For the retiree, jeans and tee-shirt are the basics of the leisure lifestyle segment; white athletic shoes signify mobility, time, and money they can’t be white unless they’re new, right?

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For the elementary school teacher, business casual is the base and the playful element states, “I enjoy children”. Which is as it should be. While this type of dress seems normal in early elementary; at university, it is just confusing.

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Then there are those who use subtractive rather than additive methods to display their personal values: the very fit and the totally indifferent.

  3 Responses to “Adding Values to Your Outfit”

  1. I remember going down the same rabbit hole with following the links from that article.
    Your comment on “subtractive” caught my attention. Would the indifferent be wearing Normcore then?

    Hmm, retiree age. I’m 65 and I don’t own a single pair of athletic shoes but I do have a nice weathered pair of Italian hiking boots. I can’t say I own a bona fide tee shirt, either. Though decades ago I did find and wear a couple of cute snug boys? childrens? skimpy tees at a beach town. Plain in color. I do have various stretch knit tops, usually in leopard (browns or greys) or stripes, but I don’t consider them tees exactly.

    I don’t do Normcore because I feel a need to look hip. We have an ongoing floating clothing swap among folks I know and some I don’t. They funnel through my friend’s house. Some only take, some only give, some do both. I spotted a pair of bell bottom jeans yesterday and I laughed but tried them on for sport and loved them. They are a much larger flare than anything I actually wore in the 70’s. They are dark wash and are not vintage but not, either, the current look of tight in the thigh coupled with outsize flare.
    They are just the right degree of relaxed. They are not jeans for retirees.

  2. Normcore – yes! Lol. That would be the word that I was struggling for when trying to wrap this post in a hurry. Although the hip aren’t dressing like that out of indifference, it is absolutely subtractive. I was also thinking of those for whom stylishness somehow evidences a character flaw, perhaps immodesty or lack of intelligence.

    So glad that bland and ubiquitous is a trend now since I just bought one of those down jackets they call sweaters, with the very small quilting pattern – which suits my small features – and all the functional bells and whistles. Now that the lady at the front desk of the gym told me she has one exactly like it – and got hers at Kohls, while mine is Eddie Bauer – I noticed that everyone has one! I have this sweater dress that is a really good color on me and I had bought a piece of ribbon to carry with me to color match when shopping, never got the ribbon into my purse, but the jacket turns out to be the exact same color. It was a really good deal, super lightweight and comfortable, and flattering color; but I do get a little self-conscious when a look goes too popular. Oh well! I am determined not to worry about it. 🙂

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