I've been reading Paul Fussell's book "Class," where he basically argues that you can tell someone's class (read: not wealth) by specific markers. I've listed off some exemplary ones below (I'm simplifying his argument/class rubric). The book is a product of the 80s and a bit old - what do you guys think?
- Natural fibers
- Lack of care (no collar stays, sitting on coattails, etc.)
- Well-fitted suits in experimental fabrics
- Three button suits (not sure why)
- Natural hair
- Lots of layering
- Handmade clothing
- Inoffensive, boring ties, no care as to quality of knot of bowtie
- Prep and other "we pretend we have a yacht!" sort of outfits
- Two-button suits (not sure why)
- Hair dye
- Pocket protectors, belt holsters for shit like slide rules (I suppose now the equivalent would be for your phone), etc.
- Slightly more layering
- Designer clothing
- More adventurous patterned ties, perfectly tied bowties
- General aspirations to dress exceedingly well because of fear of slipping into lower classes
- Manmade fibers
- Sparkly/excessively "clean" looking outfits
- Less layering
- Baseball hats ("Prole Hats")
- Clothing that affiliates with big brands or events
i guess these are sort of accurate? would you consider this dude high class though? taken in paris in 2016, so maybe not comparable to american class dynamics
Spontaneous reaction is that a lot of those points seem to be true, even to this day, though they're not exclusive to a class anymore.
I've found that people with money tend to let the quality of the garments speak for themselves, opting for anonymous clothing articles that are just well made and in a good fabric, as opposed to something like a Burberry scarf where people instantly recognize the tartan-pattern and associate it with money.
Yeah, that was a bit weird, but I'm guessing they don't mean the traditional three button suits with pressed lapels, but rather suits with a 3/2-roll, where the third (top) button is just for show and the suit acts like a regular two-button suit.
Yeah, I don't have a fucking clue either. He rants about how Reagan was decidedly upper-middle class because of his two-button suits, dyed hair, makeup use, and general trend towards wearing Western-style clothing in his off time.
Yeah, I don't think any one of these points in isolation works well, especially now.
For example, in another chapter, he discusses American homes. According to him, upper-class kitchens tend to be somewhat basic and under-maintained because of the expectation that others cook for you, whereas an Eames chair indicates middle-class sensibilities.
I always thought you could tell someone's class by how much they're carrying on the street.
Tons of bags = lower class, because when you don't have any money you have to carry everything with you (as opposed to buying things like lunch, umbrellas etc. as you go along). At the bottom of the rung are the semi-homeless with gigantic carts full of stuff
this is retarded
what if you, you know, have a life or a hobby, that means you need to carry things for it
haha look at that student with a backpack, confirmed bottom rung!
lmao that absolute plen has a bike with him instead of buying one on the street, imagine being that poor!
I read a post on here (I think, it may have been reddit) about how some trends/fashions have high cultural capital and some have low cultural capital. The ones with low cultural capital tend to be championed by the lower classes (e.g. Mullets, snapbacks, tracksuits) and so they fall out of fashion a lot faster and more violently. Fashion with higher cultural capital tends to age better - as it requires a lot more thought to pull off - but it is unattainable to the lower classes as they have to work long hours for less pay, so they have less free time to put in the research and have less disposable income to spend on higher quality clothing.
The working classes favour brand-recognition over material quality and fit because they feel they are getting more value for money. If you spent £500 on a buying a new outfit (not to mention the amount of time required to piece it all together) you will find that the only people who appreciate the effort and expenditure to be a minority. Conversely, if you spent that £500 on a new pair of "yeezys" then you will be more likely to be rewarded for your good taste, due to the much simpler appeal of a brand name over the more complex intricacies of composing a good fit.
At the time, traditional American sack suits were strictly two-button, notch lapel, and either single-vent or no-vent.
A lower class person would opt for something more flashy and "Italian", with pinstripes, and big peak lapels.
But high class would have a European (slimmer) cut, 3-buttons (which showed off they were healthier, and side vents.
You can still see this pattern, but now American department stores are carrying more "European"/high class details, as the middle class started to catch on.
What is 'natural' hair? Because few women (over 16) nowadays have 100% virgin hair. It's either balayage, highlights/lowlights or a gloss of some sort. Those who preach the 'natural is best' policy are usually granola girls in overpriced Free People boho dresses or wallflowers playing canasta with their elderly aunt on Fridays.
Pocket protectors, etc are not very current, and minimalism is very in right now so you don't really see layers and adventurous patterns as much.
What are sparkly, excessively 'clean' looking outfits?
Aside from that I guess it still holds true for the most part.
The first anon is saying that you can get the impression of someone's economic class from the amount of items they carry with them. His reasoning is that wealthier people will see that the benefits of not having to carry bags around with you, far outweigh the cost of buying the items that they may need at a later point.
For instance, we associate clutch bags with wealth and large handbags with poverty. Not because smaller handbags cost more money, but because they are less practical. A wealthy person is less likely to care about practicality as there are few problems that they will face that can't be solved by money. Instead of carrying a large amount of useful objects, the wealthy person will carry a bank card to buy the items as and when they are needed.
>What is 'natural' hair?
From OP's post it would appear he is referring to hair that is not dyed. The only people you see dying their hair are obviously trying to impress someone, whether it be Chads or fellow punk/goth/emo/subculture members or whoever. High-class people do not try to impress anyone. They give validation, they don't seek it.
>What are sparkly, excessively 'clean' looking outfits?
Think of that nigger at the corner store who always wears gaudy Nikes or Jordans and gold chains. Or the disgusting FOB chinese new rich plaguing American universities.
I must say I can't relate at all, there seems to be many thing specific for America.
I'd say high-class people wear refined cuts and materials and care about their appearance. That means some layering and dyed hair when older.
Handmade clothing belongs to the culturally interested middle class, just as a lot of layering. The usual middle class dresses ok, bust does not care that much. the lower class is all about appearance. whatever is trending and affordable.
But in general, I feel these stereotypes have broken up a bit, with outdoor brands, streetwear and fast fashion in general being worn by many people
These all have good points but the status quo of fashion is so different now that they don't "objectively" hold water
Still, good indicators and rules of thumb I supposed but you have to understand the context of the specific accounts to know which of these you can actually apply to a given situation.
good concepts but the idea was taken into the extreme with the car on blocks.
I agree with the basic concept of more money = more options, less dependence on possessions.
for example I see a ferrari owner being much less fucked when his car is stolen or crashed than a minimum wage owner when his is.
On the flipside of that, imagine the owners' reactions when their car is keyed. Its also a mindset that is arguably independent of wealth.
You'd be better off reading la distinction by Pierre Bourdieu but keep in mind that practices are changing and that today with internet and the individuation of people it is harder and harder to think in term of class or specific traits regarding practices and cultural, financial and social capital
>Its also a mindset that is arguably independent of wealth.
I feel like the whole 'being safe' is also a lot about mindset, I'm not rich but I try to own and possess as little as possible, I don't feel any safer by owning tons of shit. Lot of the safety also comes from my social life, I have friends and family that will help me and back me up in situations I can't handle on my own, they aren't rich either but I still feel safe when I know I'm never alone.
I don't get that stressed if something I own breaks or I lose something I own and that's more or less the mindset I try to have when I buy new things.
I feel like people who need objects to feel safe are just "poor" no matter their wealth, income, or class. This is coming form someone who's not poor but has seen every end of the spectrum. Don't get me wrong its nice to own things and enjoy them, but needing them to feel secure is different. I've seen poor people much happier and more socially functional than rich people. It's about self awareness and values.
>plebs wear clothing
>true patricians are nudists
Jumping in here: he was actually referring to men, and mostly the desire to hide grey hair. A lot of Fussell's argument is that effort makes you middle-class or upper-middle-class, as the upper echelons simply don't care.
He really does mean three-button, it seems. Checked again. Makes no goddamn sense. I think it's probably a sign of the times (the book was written in the 80s).
This is true, and something that even Fussell seems to concede early on: being rich and having a ton of shit doesn't make you somehow higher class or even happier/better/whatever.
I'd personally argue that minimalism is increasingly an upper-class trait - it doesn't exactly take a fortune to buy a bunch of crap and fill your house with it, as hoarders make readily apparent.
True. He mentions that preppy kids at ivy leagues avoid manmade fibers - that's far from the case now, at least in my experience.
I think it's an interesting study,
but who gives a flying fuck. Honestly, judging someone on their fashion sense is one thing, but this "high class" stuff just reeks of insecurity.
you are a cancerous loser. you spend 8 hours a day here easily. i wonder if you even have a job, much less as a lawyer. the fact that you trip for attention is even funnier than your lame ass attempts at giving advice.
kill yourself dude
>how some trends/fashions have high cultural capital and some have low cultural capital.
can you expand on this pls? I recently learned about social/cultural capital in terms of schooling but never heard it in relation to fashion
As an aside, suits with lapels pressed flat look really bad to my eyes - I always take an iron and presscloth to the back of them to flatten out the crease in the lapel up to where it meets the collar so they can get a nice roll.
I don't really see 3-button suits much these days, but if I saw a well-fitting one on someone, I'd probably think they were higher class simply because it's been difficult to find a good 3-button, meaning that opting for 3 is a more traditional and conscious choice.
Low class women dye their hair unnatural colors and or shape them into odd configurations.
Even a person who has black/brown hair and dyes it blonde suffers from a mild personality disorder.
>>Three button suits
fanatastic obesrvation, upper class dress less treendy so its 3 or double breasted
The elephant in the room is real.
You are really going to sit there and tell me that women who dye their hair are 100% mentally healthy despite taking measures to alter their body?
some women do some very minor dying that looks natural and doesn't change hair color much at all. They're usually on the no-dye level.
HOWEVER, 80% minimum of anyone who dyes their hair AT ALL has problems.
This is pretty true for the most part. The only time I've ever colored my hair was when I was an underclassman in highschool going through a lot at home and probably really hormonal. I mostly dyed my hair to look like an anime character though, but it probably stemmed from the personal insecurity at the time.
At least it wasn't some neon color shit and I limited myself to a color that is at least genetically possible for a human to have. Still wish I wouldn't have done it though because natural color looks so much better.
That was years ago and I'm not going through puberty anymore and consider myself way more stable than back then. The only chicks I know who are still just as emotionally unstable and hormonal as a middle schooler/highschooler still color their hair and have relationships problems on a weekly basis.
There really does seem to be a connection IMO. I think it's spontaneity and compulsiveness that comes from being in a not very secure and unsteady mental state.
There are always exceptions of course. I wouldn't say 100% of people who dye their hair are fucked up. In most cases though this picture rings true.
>having such social status insecurities
The Sorrows of Young !!eZg4ZGkAk6j
the key is well-fitting
>well-fitted suits in experimental fabrics
This is a big one. Only someone with a lot of financial and social capital can not only afford to play with their appearance in the setting where suits are worn, but to do so with high quality stuff and pull it off well.
Reagan was a cornball. TV and move actors like him aren't high-caste. They're fucking entertainers, and not even entertainers to the higher classes. Only a pleb could think that's president material.
Go to J. Press, realize that it still makes a jacket that hasn't been stylish outside of Harvard final clubs for like 200 years, and you'll understand what kind of style has the tip-top social capital.
Under that is putting together pretty good outfits from pretty good clothes that may or may not be classics.
Experimentation, like Rick, is under that (yes, I know Rick is expensive).
Blatant brand-whoring of brands everyone knows is bottom-tier. That's how flyover-state public high school girls and rappers dress.
So basically inoffensive conformity is considered to be high-class by one man's opinion.
Anon, (because I'm not calling you by your fake name) and I mean this with the highest sincerity, get a life.
This guy is right.
Essentially, but you have to understand that upper class conformity is calculated in order to prevent imposters from passing.
Idiots like >>10940547 will never be upper class, no matter how much money they obtain, because they thing class is only determined by how rich you are.
>These all have good points but the status quo of fashion is so different now that they don't "objectively" hold water
>keep in mind that practices are changing and that today with internet and the individuation of people it is harder and harder to think in term of class or specific traits regarding practices and cultural, financial and social capital
Wrong, like most of the replies in this thread. OP didn't explain it well enough however.
The point about high class fashion is that it is timeless. It doesn't change.
Thus high class people will have the same suit their whole life, the same (non-dyed) haircut their whole life.
Trends are for poor and dumb cunts.