What is “fashionable”?

Fashionable, adjective \ˈfash-nə-bəl

The aptitude for wearing what other people think you should wear.  Although this has long been thought a learned trait, scientists at the Universität Wirmachenkleider in Germany have isolated a genetic marker in some individuals that may indicate a higher risk for the disorder. Furthermore, a recent study at Dim Son University in Taiwan suggests that fashion sense may be inversely proportional to IQ.

Regarding the second study, I have seen enough exceptions to warrant further analysis. If, for example, the study had controlled for the distinction between the passive trait of having fashion sense and the active inclination to make others conform to fashion rules, I suspect that the inverse correlation to IQ may appear only in the latter subgroup.

Regarding both studies, I have my doubts about the accreditation of these so-called “universities,” as they sound almost like “made up” institutions to me.

For a thoughtful analysis on the topic by someone with impeccable credentials (an inquiring mind and a pint of Guinness), link to Letter from a Fashion Anarchist.

5 thoughts on “What is “fashionable”?

  1. I can see your point clearly here. I have this problem with my wife all the time and is a constant source of tension. I don’t know about the IQ correlation, but I do know that fashion is cyclical, based on the average time that people clean out their closets. When the cycle is complete, the old fashion becomes fashionable again. It is all driven by the need to waste money by those who think it buys them a place at the table of proper society..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You know I was gonna chime in on this one. I sincerely hope that IQ isn’t related to fashionableness, but then I always look more to create a personal style. Fashion always leads to a sense of exclusion to me because of the way the industry markets itself. There is some real artistry and beauty in the creation of some of those clothes and shoes, but on the whole, I think it’s infinitely more important for me to feel stylish. That means that I feel comfortable in what I’m wearing, pretty, confident, and the best version of myself. I usually include some pieces that are considered fashionable, but when I really love something I keep wearing it.

    Your friend Wayne is totally right about fashion being cyclical but it does change in subtle ways when certain cuts, styles, fabrics or colors come back. I like to think that true fashion in it’s most pure and art related form is something you can keep in your closet for years. A piece of clothing or shoes that maybe feed into a trend but transcend it in a way that is wholly unique. I have a beautiful linen vest for example that is over 10 years old. It’s cut well, it still flatters me, and no matter how much time passes, it never seems unfashionable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Sarah. I was going to ask you to chime in with just such a thoughtful counterpoint. I was trying to be satirical without being too abrasive (since fashion anarchy requires default approval of all styles from most to least fashionable, so long as the stylist takes a completely no-holds-barred approach to everyone else’s choice of what to wear). I knew your perspective would clarify my tone and take any of the “edge” off. So thanks again.


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