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Friday fun: Conservative rebels in blue jeans

By Michelle Malkin  •  April 17, 2009 05:11 PM

From George Will, the weirdest comment of the week:

“Denim is the carefully calculated costume of people eager to communicate indifference to appearances.”

Er. Don’t know about you, but in my case, denim is the “costume” of normal people who like wearing something comfortable and inexpensive in the home office, to the supermarket, on the road, and at the kids’ soccer matches and horse-riding lessons. (And yes, even when they are doing Fox News segments!) Busy, budget-conscious wives are grateful to busy, budget-conscious husbands who wear jeans that don’t have to be ironed. This is not an “indifference to appearances.” This is attention to frugality, practicality, and time constraints.

I understand the conservative critique of our culture of casualness. Diana West wrote the definitive book on The Death of the Grown-Up.

But Mr. Will’s jeremiad on blue jeans is too much:

…the appearances that people choose to present in public are cues from which we make inferences about their maturity and respect for those to whom they are presenting themselves.Do not blame Levi Strauss for the misuse of Levi’s. When the Gold Rush began, Strauss moved to San Francisco planning to sell strong fabric for the 49ers’ tents and wagon covers. Eventually, however, he made tough pants, reinforced by copper rivets, for the tough men who knelt on the muddy, stony banks of Northern California creeks, panning for gold. Today it is silly for Americans whose closest approximation of physical labor consists of loading their bags of clubs into golf carts to go around in public dressed for driving steers up the Chisholm Trail to the railhead in Abilene.

This is not complicated. For men, sartorial good taste can be reduced to one rule: If Fred Astaire would not have worn it, don’t wear it. For women, substitute Grace Kelly.

James Lileks has a splendid takedown in his latest Bleat mocking Grandpa Will’s war on Demon Denim. Rachel Lucas has a ribald rejoinder as well.

But as always, a picture is worth a thousand words. Would Fred Astaire wear this anywhere (besides in the dark, I mean):

(Photo credit: Scott Ableman)

People in yellow pants shouldn’t throw stones.

Here’s hoping Will is cured of his intellectual wedgie soon.

Oh, and my prescription for what ails him in the above photo: A pair of Genuine Wrangler’s Loose Fit Jeans.

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