September 13, 2012

Fashion predicts an economic upturn and a victory for Romney.

Interpret this shirt:



That's something new, selected to illustrate the latest email from Macy's. Macy's — and the shirtmaker, Ralph Lauren — are in the game for the money, so they've got to predict where the mind of the American shopper is going (and where they can make it go, with some prodding). Anyway, you read the tea leaves, I will read the fabric print.

First: Ann Romney! How many ways does that shirt say "Ann Romney"? 1. Horses, 2. Animals boldly emblazoned on on your chest, 3. Unapologetically rich.

Second: The 80s! This thing looks like it sprang right out of the 80s, the Reagan era. Put aside your sorry old sweaters, your poverty looks. We're going to strut proudly into the Morning in America.

Did you know that Time Magazine, just last January, ranked Jimmy Carter's cardigan one of the Top 10 Political Fashion Statements"?
In Feb. 2, 1977, just two weeks after being sworn in as the 39th President, Jimmy Carter delivered a fireside chat from his West Wing study. Carter, a peanut farmer from Plains, Ga., was using the power of network television to "keep in close touch with the people of our country, to let you know informally about our plans."
Your plans to depress the hell out of us. Thanks, old man.
What caught the attention of viewers that night wasn't necessarily what Carter said, but what he wore: Unlike today's era of hyper-stylized image consultancy, in which everything a politician wears is scrutinized, Carter simply wore for the taping what he had worn to dinner. 
Oh, really? What was for dinner? Ramen noodles?
He asked his TV adviser and adman what they thought, and they told him to look at the TV monitor to see for himself. While Carter would have myriad difficulties in the coming years, that early high point was purely authentic. "He was folks, and folks is in," a Republican insider told TIME. "I hate to say it, but from a purely analytical point of view, I loved it."
Folks was in. But not permanently. We got exuberance later.

39 comments:

AprilApple said...

If Obama does not lose, say hello to 4 years of economic hell.

Freeman Hunt said...

Heh. I just had a discussion with my husband yesterday over a logo design. My position was that muted colors were soon going to go out of style.

Ann Althouse said...

Look for purple clothes. If there's purple, we will be rich. When they take purple off the shelves, hunker down.

Ann Althouse said...

And when they roll out the fuchsia... it's Morning in America.

Shouting Thomas said...

Does this mean that we've finally done sufficient penance for Jim Crow?

Sackcloth and ashes is over?

Dante said...

I was thinking that shirt says

"Let's do lunch."

"Where?"

"Sizzler."

EDH said...

But Carter's cozy cardigan quickly turned into a scratchy hairshirt, and he lost.

A hair shirt is a coarse garment which intended to be worn next to the skin, thus keeping the wearer in a state of discomfort and constant awareness of the shirt's presence. Such garments were traditionally worn by some Christian religious orders, along with individuals who felt penitent about certain actions or their lifestyles. The use of hair shirts is fairly limited in the modern era, but the term is often used metaphorically, which is why someone might refer to wearing a hair shirt when they perform some other act of self-imposed penitence.

Originally, hair shirts were known as cilices, in a reference to the Latin word cilicium, meaning “covering made from goat's hair.” Early hair shirts were made from sackcloth or coarse animal hair so that they irritated the skin, and later versions integrated additional uncomfortable features such as thin wires or twigs. Several characters in the Bible wore hair shirts as demonstrations of religious faith, and the practice was picked up by devout members of society and the Church. The term “cilice” is now used more generally for any object worn to increase discomfort.

Dante said...

P.S. thanks for the interpretation. I never realized how tightly coupled fashion and the economy were (seriously) =)

Shouting Thomas said...

By the way, Althouse, you seem to have missed us.

Dylan seems to have said that we have to do penance into eternity for the Original Sin of slavery.

Chip Ahoy said...

It looks Versace to me. Nearly. If it were more opulent, more wild, more bold, and contrasting with more gold in it and more saturated, then it'd be exactly like Gianni Versace, come to think of it, it's nothing at all like Versace, sorry I mentioned it.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

What does teal say? Because I've been seeing it everywhere for fall.

Upside of Ann Romney-as-First-Lady...Althouse can have a career as a celebrity look-alike. And name-alike.

Chip Ahoy said...

Hair shirt, mostly plaids, otherwise known as a Pendletons.

Patrick said...

In the early days of this country, green was the color of the rich. Green paint was made from scraping the green from weathered copper, and mixing it with oil, so only the rich could afford it. Mount Vernon has green walls, speaking to the wealth of its owner.

Shouting Thomas said...

Obama is yesterday's shoes!

Ann Althouse said...

"What does teal say? Because I've been seeing it everywhere for fall."

Teal was 80s. So that supports my point. Teal was a color that the 80s seemed to have discovered. It was everywhere, and then it was stowed away to be forgotten. It takes even longer than fuschia to regenerate as something that is new in a good way. We got really sick of that color.

I had a great 80s winter jacket that was black with trim in teal, fuchsia, and purple. It was just perfect until it wasn't.

ricpic said...

Ann Romney wouldn't be caught dead wearing a double belt...or is that a triple belt?

Sofa King said...

Even Microsoft is jumping on this fashion trend, with their new start screen.

ricpic said...

Dare to wear purple! is always the call and with the exception of a tiny few it never catches on.

Yes, I know tiny few is redundant but I couldn't help myself, it's the purple inside me coming out.

creeley23 said...

Ann: Interesting. I was skeptical at first, but that changed when I clicked the image to see it full-size. The horses are very obvious.

Even though I'm an ex-hippie, I'd like to see some nicer clothes on people. Here in San Francisco, it seems everyone, the straights anyway, wanders around in worn t-shirts, vintage whatevers, and jeans. I have some nice Pendleton shirts that make me look like I'm wearing a tux in comparison.

edutcher said...

Anything would be an improvement over Moochelle, the next Jackie Kennedy.

AprilApple said...

The problem is the wish factor. People wish that the Obama/Krugman economic way will work.

It won't.

If Obama is re-elected, we will find out the hard way.

Darrell said...

Some of the red t-shirts are Che t-shirts. The idiots think he supported unions in his lifetime. Besides the Soviet Union, of course.

LoafingOaf said...
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LoafingOaf said...
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marybeth said...

After Jimmy Carter, the only man who could get away with wearing a sweater was Mr. Rogers.

Pessimism and optimism.

bgates said...

Look for purple clothes. If there's purple, we will be rich.

Heh.

"He was folks, and folks is in," a Republican insider told TIME. "I hate to say it, but from a purely analytical point of view, I loved it."

The Anonymous Republican Who Can't Help But Love Everything About Democrats has been a staple of political "reporting" for an awfully long time.

LoafingOaf said...

Althouse is clever at coming up with ground-breaking ways to spin for Romney, and I just might buy this theory...except the designer in question has had polo players on horses forever.

Also, the 2012 Fall Collection from Ralph Lauren is not very colorful, and is inspired by the romance of England -- because of the Olympics, I guess. Look at the collection on his web site: LINK

Wait! Do you see who's in the first pic at the top of the screen? It's Seamus Romney! :o

Here's a pic of Seamus: <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Seamus_Romney.jpg>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Seamus_Romney.jpg</a>

And the women are holding luggage outside of an old fashioned car. Are they going on a trip with Seamus? But it's a convertible. They're gonna have to let Seamus ride happily shotgun, luggage in the trunk. I hope!

bgates said...

Look for purple clothes. If there's purple, we will be rich.

Heh.

"He was folks, and folks is in," a Republican insider told TIME. "I hate to say it, but from a purely analytical point of view, I loved it."

The Anonymous Republican Who Can't Help But Love Everything About Democrats has been a staple of political "reporting" for an awfully long time.

Bill said...

Months ago, David Burge (Iowahawk) tweeted this:
"Everyone under thirty finally realizes what the 70s were like. Now it's time for them to learn what the 80s were like."

That quote has stuck with me and although it's too long for a bumper sticker, I really thought it captured what the campaign was/should be about.

The thought of what might happen under a Romney presidency fills me with optimism almost as much as the thought of four more years of Obama fills me with dread.

Crunchy Frog said...

Your plans to depress the hell out of us. Thanks, old man.

And yet you voted to reelect him. Pitiful.

Crunchy Frog said...

Your plans to depress the hell out of us. Thanks, old man.

And yet you voted to reelect him. Pitiful.

deborah said...

Oaf, fabulous link. I'd say Lauren's line represents 30's prosperity...that is, prosperity for some. Did you watch the fashion show segment? Awesome.

Christy said...

Half my wardrobe is purple. Wonder how long it's/I've been out of fashion? I've a length of purple challis in my stash I think I'll take out and use for a dress with a sweetheart neckline and flared skirt. Gold buttons on the cuffs and a shiny gold belt?

I, too, had a teal, fuchsia, and black jacket in the 80s. Ski jacket with myriad big hard metal zippers - saved my life - which I think I mentioned here before.

Come to think of it, zippers have been big lately. I don't like the way they are being used now, but I do see them everywhere.

Freeman Hunt said...

Loaf, those aren't the regular people clothes. Those are the fifteen hundred dollar sweater clothes. Click on RLX or Lauren at the top, and the (more affordable) style is completely different.

Freeman Hunt said...

The Black Label part of the store has all pictures with a funny Gattica vibe.

Freeman Hunt said...

She's comin' to get your blood sample.

Freeman Hunt said...

Audition

Freeman Hunt said...

The double-crossing wife who tries to have her husband killed and whose expected comeuppance at the end of the movie builds audience anticipation.

Ann Althouse said...

"And yet you voted to reelect him. Pitiful."

True. But I voted AGAINST him the first time.

There's only one person I've voted for for President twice and he was the first person I voted for who won (20 years after I first voted): Bill Clinton.