Friday, August 20, 2010

On Style: Or does homelessness lie in the eyes of the beholder

Taken from the Style Scout blog
Trolling through the English-Life Mattters website, I came across The Style Scout, a sort of Sartorialist-for-adolescents blog. I was completely perplexed by the picture that greeted me: see, the man in sad green cardigan on the side.

Now, if I met this guy on the streets, my first thoughts would be: “Oh, poor soul, do I have some pennies to spare!” I mean, to me he just looked homeless and starved. He even has a dog to complete the look.

But, obviously, the look was constructed and considered stylish enough to be featured on the blog. Apparently, he is “very grandma-chic meets sporty” according to one of the comment.

Obviously, I was missing something.

Then I realised I was being “so first-gen” (as Sid calls all the first generation Indian immigrants).

You see, the thing is that in India everyone looks generally poor and badly dressed. Life is too hot, rushed, crowded and painful for most of us to worry about how we look. So if somebody wants to stand out – he/she dresses well. Because if you turned up in holed cardigans and cotton Bermudas, you won’t be seen as a stylish wannabe-arty-person-only-masquerading-as-a-homeless-man, you will actually be taken for one and shooed away. On the other hand, if you regularly turned up in uncreased clothes, neatly blow-dried hair and make-up in place, people will be enthralled. For it is indeed a difficult look to manage with a four-hour commute in a breathlessly-packed train everyday.

On the other hand, as I am slowly learning, in the civilised world it works in reverse: the more holes in your cardigan, the better. Because if everyone is dressed in their Sunday best all the time, what better way to grab eyeballs then to turn-up in your Monday night pyjamas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i guess people always want to do the opposite of the expectiation as an attempt to identify themselves as being of 'the other'