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March 30, 1984 - Image 28

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-03-30
This is a tabloid page

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Simple versus

By Leslie Pettis
W HEN I was in college (1970-75)
clothing was more casual and
pragmatic. Sure, we had our
"uniform," but it was jeans - Levi's
that is , not Calvin Klein, Sergio Valen-
ti, Gloria Vanderbilt, Chic or Jordache.
Have I neglected any? I hope so. Jeans
and flannel shirts in winter and T-shirts
or work shirts in summer.
My biggest fashion decision was:
Should I wear the shirt with the black or
white buttons, not what little animal
adorns the shirt front. You owned a
half-dozen pairs of jeans and rotated
the shirts. Come to think of it, that's the
way I still dress. Oh well, old habits die

If you wanted to dress up you wore
Levi cords. Hardly anyone had a suit
and if they did it was your basic wed-
ding/funeral/job interview suit,
preferably dark. Ties were paisley or
plain and passed around among room-
More important than what the
clothing actually was, was what it
represented. It was less status- or class-
oriented. Part of current fashion is
being able to afford it, and if you can't
afford the right clothing it's apparent
on sight. It bothers me that people are
made to feel awkward if they're not
dressed according to the fashion of the
moment. Yet it is quite possible that
this is for financial reaons as much as
anything else. Isn't it also interesting
that as you're working on your war-

drobe, the styles are changing so you
can never really keep up? Why worry
about what's out or what's in?
I think with the type of clothing we
wore then it was easier to get to know
the person inside. Now you can't get
past all that lavender and green. It also
seems clothing is used as means of
group identification.
We dressed to distinguish ourselves
from the business/professional world.
We wanted to"adopt none of the trap-
pings, including clothing, of what we
saw as a failed life-style. Now it seems
you dress in the uniform of the group
you aspire to. The last thing we aspired
to was the button-down world, although
some hid it better than others.
Rennie Davis sells life insurance and
Jerry Rubin works on Wall Street. In a
-decade we've gone from Yippies to
The undergrad years are a time for
experimenting and exploring. If you
don't experiment, even in something as
mundane as clothing, how will you
develop a system for judging things?
This is the time to be open to a diversity
of stimuli. Perhaps they dress now to show
that they fit in, or to project an image of

fitting in. My generation didn't (unless
you were in the MBA program) and it
was a hell of a shock to realize your
jeans-and-work-shirt days were over.
I think students now are preparing
themselves early for the impending
regimentation. It seems to me that
they're rushing it. Relax, you've got
over 30 years of dressing the part ahead
of you. As Thoreau admonished,
"Beware of all enterprises that require
new clothes."
Join the
Arts Staff.

II 1





Roxie blouse, $45; jumper, $63; Jacob-
Striped silk dress, wheat/white by Esme, Italy, $350 (left). Striped wool suit with sons pumps, $45. He's wearing Levis
pleated trousers by Antonio Fusco, Italy, $900; striped silk shirt by Daniel shirt, $15; Generra pants, $22, and
Schagen, W. Germany, $165; silk tie by Tino Casma, Italy, $45; belt, Peter Bar- shoes, $68. Clothes from Jacobsons.
ton's Closet, Italy, $65. Available at Renaissance. Background: Escoffier. Background: Saguro Plant Shop.

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16 Weekend/Friday, March 30, 1984

25 Week

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