Proper attire or the Fashion Police

Una Smith una at
Fri Aug 21 09:11:23 EST 1998

Muriel Lederman <lederman at> writes:

>I have a hard time shopping with my daughter at this time - she's a rising
>senior at an elite-ish college in a major urban area. What I think is
>dressy, she will wear to class, and tell me that it's not really dressy
>since women come to class in Armani (!!)

Ah, a very familiar scene from my own undergraduate days.  I know it well.

Perhaps the hardest dressing lesson to learn is that expensive clothes
alone aren't enough, and unless your taste in clothes is stylish, it is
a waste of money to buy really expensive clothes (as distinct from well
made ones).  Besides, unless you are very wealthy or famous, you cannot
compete with or join the Armani crowd, you can only imitate them.

At Yale, *some* women come to class in extremely expensive outfits.  One
of my students was a professional model who missed weeks of classes while
showing couture clothes in Paris.  She always looked fabulous, but more
often than not she did it wearing jeans.  Her secret was in altering all
her clothes to fit her, and in having good taste and the special quality
that defines a model, "presence".

	Una Smith		Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
        			Yale University
	una.smith at	New Haven, CT  06520-8106

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