“I can’t pick out a nail polish now without a pendulum!”

Call me old-fashioned, but I think I can skip a $1500 shamanic closet cleanse.  I’ll stick with the milk crate I toss my gently-(ab)used and out-of-date clothes into.  I’m so square.

Tip from Ed Driscoll, trying to make sense in a world gone mad, at the Instapundit.

Maybe clothes DO make the man

Here’s a school program that’s so off-the wall it might actually make a difference: providing washing machines in public schools.  It’s early days, with little data collected, but compared to Michelle O’s disastrous school lunch madness, it’s an intriguing experiment with potentially outsize benefits.  Virginia Postrel might have some insight into ideas like this.

Tip from Happy Acres, who’s gotten this a bit muddled with the more general notion of personal hygiene* as a component of good sanitation and public health programs.

whitemansoap

* I’m usually very critical of do-gooders descending upon folks and telling them what to do “for their own good.”  I call that the Bwana Syndrome, and progressives thrive on it, at home and abroad.  However, Bwana says “wash your hands” seems eminently sensible to me.  Can “wash your clothes” be that much different?

Don’t stand next to me kid, ya make me look bad

I just read what’s got to be the hoot of the month, Abercrombie and Fitch–once THE outfitter, but now a purveyor of wrinkled sportswear befitting a bag lady–is offering to PAY cast members of “Jersey Shore” to NOT wear their products.  Hey, you don’t have to be a doofus from Jersey to know that money in is better than money out.  I say go for it.  Of course, this could lead to widespread fashion anxiety, as millions of young adults find they may have to actually separate the laundry and wash their clothes at different temperatures, a #firstworldproblem if ever there was one.

Pocket squares!!

Yesterday was “Wear Red for Valentine’s Day” in my statistics classes; the students hit about 90% with reds, pinks, and plums.  (Well…it WAS extra credit).  To set a good example, I dressed up a black suit with a plum shirt, Queen of Hearts tie, and a bright red pocket square.  Briggsy had raised my consciousness about the squares, and one of his commenters closed the deal with a pointer to the finer points of pocket square folding.   All I can say is WOW!  Yesterday was the first day the monkey suit got any comment other than “Why are you dressed up?”  It was compliments all day, from faculty, staff, students, and–especially–attractive women.  That does it, no more suit without a pocket square.  Too bad it’s too hot for suits most days hereabouts.

Sadly, Briggs got some snarky pushback to his pocket square post, pretty much characteristic of modern men’s Slob Culture.  Lest you think I’m exaggerating, I live in the heart of it.  In 30 years of living in South Texas, I have yet to attend a formal occasion where there was not some mook wearing torn jeans, a guyabera, a black t-shirt*, muddy boots, birkenstocks, cargo pants, or some of those riduculous skateboarder shorts beloved of all the vatos wearing wife-beater undershirts.   C’mon, really–a tank top and seven-day shitter basketball shorts to a quinceanera?  Rumpled cargo shorts and flip flops at a formal wedding?  A black t-shirt to a rosary or funeral? What an effective way to say that you don’t respect the occasion, the people being celebrated, or yourself.

I suspect the real reason some folks diss things like pocket squares is projection, covering up their own thoughtless and careless attire.  All I can say is, there IS such a thing as a Fashion Statement.  What does yours say about you?

* In San Antonio, the Black T-Shirt seems to be Everyman’s All-Purpose Formal Wear, seen in restaurants, clubs, and churches all around town.