Not long ago the accountancy firm Arthur Andersen decreed that its 7.000 staff no longer had to wear suits for work. This caused many discussions, and The Times Fashion Editor Lisa Armstrong published a large article titled "You are what you wear". You are what you In this article L. Armstrong tries to prove that clothes, in some deep and not always immediately fathomable ways, are on expression of the person wearing them.
"Mao put one billion Chinese into identical suits in a bid to turn them into obedient drones. Arthur Andersen is gently encouraging its chaps into jeans and trainers with a view (in line with current management consultancy strategy) to making them think in an open, flexible way. The company apparently believes that a relaxed dress code is more appropriate to the "new economy" of e-commerce and Internet start-ups." "Clothes do, of course, affect the way we feel," says L. Armstrong, and "Feelings" are why rich but not necessarily brainless men and women spend thousands on couture and made-to-measure suits." And, probably, she's right, because "they might not look that different from ready-to-wear, but, as Paloma Picasso says, couture's exquisite internal workings "make me feel different - they make me feel good about myself." To continue this thought, L. Armstrong mentions that "ordinary women splash out on pretty underwear that will only occasionally be viewed by others".
Of course, clothes can't always influence people's feelings the same way. L. Armstrong gives an example : "Corsets can be an instrument of female oppression at the start of the century and the rebellious rock star's staple prop 80 years later. The level of discomfort is not all that different: what's changed is the wearer's relationship with that corset."
In the end of her article, L. Armstrong shares several thoughts with those who already accepted her opinion. But we haven't done this yet. Let' decide whether she is right.
I think that clothes really can influence our feelings. For example, I don't think I can put a business suit on - not only because it isn't comfortable for me, and I see no need in it; it just wouldn't allow me to say what I want to say, and to do what I want to do. The suit would forcr me to think, whether what I do is compatible with my clothes.
Another fact is that my favourite clothes are of black colour. And when sometimes it happens that I have to put on smth not black, I feel a little different.
But this influence is not very deep. It can only correct a person's feeling; maybe it can give, for example, additional self-assurance when it's necessary. But it can't change a person's character. That's why when "Mao put one billion Chinese into identical suits", he didn't achieve the goal "to turn them into obedient drones". There still existed people who were ready to resist. And we shouldn't forget that this action of Mao wasn't his only and main action when he tried to conquer his citizens.
However, we have to acknowledge that clothes, as I said, still have some influence on our feelings. And we shouldn't forget about this when we choose what to put on. And here we return to L. Armstrong who writes: "I need to have discernible boundaries between the different areas in my life, and clothing is one way of marking them."
Usually I don't read articles on the latest fashion. But L. Armstrong's article gave me smth very important. It explained to me why I don't like fashion and haven't been keeping up with it for many years already. The latest fashion tells me what to wear - it means that it tells me how to feel. And I don't like being told what pattern to follow in the questions I consider to be very personal.
- obedient drones-послушные, покорные трутни, лентяи
- encouraging-ободряя, поощряя
- in a bid-по предположению
- brainless-без мозгов,глупый
- couture-дизайн и производство модной одежды
- made-to-measure-готовый по мерке костюм
- oppression-гнет, давление
- staple prop-главная опора
- to resist-сопротивляться, отталкивать
- to conquer-завоевывать
- to acknowledge-признавать, допускать
- pattern-пример, образец
- to be personal-быть индивидуальным
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