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Without preppy style — not to mention other WASP values — to act as a guiding beacon over mainstream American culture, bad things happen. People are chronically rude and selfish. They don’t exercise. They’re suckers for false, gaudy dreck. They become obsessed with celebrities and long to become one on reality TV.

And their pants get really long.

The November issue of Vanity Fair includes a photo spread on the “new establishment” of technology, media and entertainment moguls who gather each year in Sun Valley. Surely some of these entrepreneurial brainiacs went to an Ivy League school, but as we all know (with Zuckerberg and his hoodie the most flagrant example), kids today don’t graduate Harvard having become educated in how to dress.

According to oral tradition — plus citations in film and printed matter — at some point in time teenage preppies began to wear their pants short either because they outgrew them, or had recently bought them but were aping the look of their betters, whose frayed and grass-stained khakis were purchased at an earlier stage of puberty. Likewise, Ivy-clad grownups wore their grey flannels with little to no break.

But that was the old establishment. Behold the new:

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According to sartorial science, however, for every style sin there is an equal and opposite one. Men who rise each morning bent on world domination but who can’t dress themselves without looking like a fool are no doubt terrified of looking like an altogether different kind of fool:

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I leave you with these words of Aristotle — “Nothing in excess”— and advise that your trouser length be neither too long nor too short. — CHRISTIAN CHENSVOLD

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