The bow tie is Latin. People still read it when they come across it, but no one speaks it anymore. I am in and out of Manhattan twice a week, I live in Bedford, and my free time is spent in Rye and Greenwich and the last bow tie I saw other than my own was on my pastor last Christmas. If bow ties can die in Ivy, can anything be born?
Cultural appropriation came up this week while we were talking tartans. There is a difference between cultural appropriation and the unjust profit from unattributed culture. Appropriation is a silly term. It connotes theft but not really. I hear it to mean: you took this and while there is no law against you taking it you really shouldn’t have because it belongs to an otherwise penalized group. First, and judging from yesterday this is going to go unheard but I will say it anyway so that I can cite it later when I get criticized for being pro-cultural appropriation, the disrespectful use of anything cultural is insulting, offensive, stupid, and the sign of a weak mind. The use of a culture’s “product” for profit without attribution is disingenuous. Elvis is accused of that, but he didn’t do it.
“A lot of people seem to think I started this business, but rock ‘n’ roll was here a long time before I came along,” Elvis told Jet‘s Louie Robinson. “… Let’s face it: I can’t sing it like Fats Domino can. I know that. But I always liked that kind of music.”
Culture is stepping stones that make up the chorus of humanity. The more we borrow and adapt the more we have the opportunity to improve. We don’t always improve but at least the window is there. I thought Jarod in the comments gave a very well reasoned system of practices in this regard, that I am reprinting with permission:
My rules for respecting the culture of others when it comes to how I dress:
1. Is it demeaning in any way?
2. Does this particular piece have a strong spiritual/importance connotation? i.e. military service, heavy religious meaning, etc.
3. Am I supporting the people of that culture when I purchase the item or am I just giving some more money to a huge company that makes everything in China?
Decidedly not Ivy, but I come from a rural western background so cowboy hats, boots, and the like are a part of my style. I’ll wear bolo ties with native American designs if I buy it from a native person/business. I’m sure I’d do the same thing if I wanted to buy a kilt. I stay away from large feathers on hats because of it’s religious and military connotations to many native cultures just as I stay away from rank and unit patches on my fatigue jacket.
Scarves. How do you wear them? I want to wrap them once around my neck, but today’s scarves are too short. And, if I wear a scarf this way, I can skip a day shaving my neck.
I get a lot of questions, some of which I have no idea how to answer. So I have done two things. The first is to corral a few folks from the FB group (men and women) to help me answer them, and second I am starting an advice column here. Don’t worry, I do not take myself seriously enough (you DO see the picture above, right?) to think I know something you don’t know, but if we get an answer together, that might be fun. Also, it is confidential (meaning I won’t print your name), so email me here if you have something you want Me/Us to cover.
The backpack column yesterday got some attention. Of course, I was accused of mansplaining because I used an image to defend the backpack genre. I am a man, yes, but I wasn’t even explaining anything.
We keep an editorial calendar (on Airtable which I HIGHLY recommend for project management) and I was weeding through the ideas that were submitted yesterday. One was to cover wallets. The wallet is gonna be Latin soon, if it isn’t already. I have pared down myself, I carry this:
Which has a money clip on the back. Here:
Money clips work, but money clips on the back of cardholders never work. Which is fine because who carries money? Do you carry money?
The Wall St. Journal went so far as to present the argument for the cashmere hoodie (thank you Mr. T). You can check out the article here, or I can save you the time. Love the Wall St. Journal, this position is nonsense.