blaire blaqua

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Are you dressing above your status?

Over the last couple of years I have come into contact with a few groups of people who go the mile financially to make sure their bodies are engulfed in designer fabrics and latest season trends no matter the cost these people make sure they look like the magazine editorial.

The interesting thing about this scenario is that most of these people are in their early twenties and don't have high paying jobs to match how they dress. But the illusion they create is very convincing, who would have thought that the girl decked out from head to toe in designers was the girl who worked full time at Mc'Donalds?

Seeing as everyone does what ever they want these days when it comes to sense of dress I am interested in the Cinderella Era ruffly 16th Century where dressing above ones status was against the law.

What would happen if we still had that law today? and in your opinion how would that have an impact on our society today? Is there a future for this old law?

What are your thoughts?

Blaire :)

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    Mar 28 2012: The real thing is undressing. In nude, status is equal in everybody, (literally)
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    Mar 25 2012: This yearbook from 2011 Burning man has some great dressing ideas
    I love the absence of status signals and the flourishing of unique personality there.
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      Mar 25 2012: Hi Tom,

      Very cool website great setting :)
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    Mar 25 2012: What would be the legal attire for a person of two or more extreme status positions, say a penniless(low status) yet brilliant mathematician (high status) ? What are undercover fashion police to wear?
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      Mar 25 2012: Hi Tom,

      Well if I were apart of the under cover fashion police I guess I would be dressed in a shadow black morph suit of some sort chasing you around on my hovering surf board trying to strap a calculator to your head that reads one million minus the zeros lol...

      I'm guessing if what we wore was main-streamed and if you had many professions etc.. That would allow you to have access to different suits of attire that were specifically made to best represent your calibre of status.

      But C'mon you must admit the world does have a lot of clothes? How much more exaggeration can be spent in the way we all express ourselves through the way we dress.

      Do you think there will come a day where we will minimise the way we dress according to status?
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        Mar 26 2012: Well there will surely be a day, when all the virtual world created around us by big corporate, will stop feeding our minds with exaggerated advertisements. We are letting ourselves ruled by others perceptions. Those who follow it blindly, are mentally not mature enough to understand this.
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          Mar 26 2012: "We are letting ourselves ruled by others perceptions. Those who follow it blindly, are mentally not mature enough to understand this."

          This seems to be the norm, not only with young adults but with many people.

          A materialistic outlook on life, and buying into everything you are shown through advertising is not wise at all.

 are very observant!! Great insight Vivek!!
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    Mar 31 2012: I don’t know were I’d come in the 16th century hierarchy of dress - probably poor relation rags or black sheep slops!

    I don’t think the worlds 1%ters wish to stand out so much anymore - not since the world’s economy went pop - too much a target for kidnap and ransom or a glob of spit if their lucky - hence only the economic low earners have the social credibility to bling it up. Good for them.
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    Mar 27 2012: It would exacerbate and extend segregation, if the law were in effect today.

    Clothes maketh the man but Appearances can be deceiving..
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    Mar 26 2012: This is an interesting thread but if I may ask,

    What would constitute as dressing above one's status? You gave an example, but why can't someone who works at McDonald wear a suit if they choose to do so? I guess this is the question that I am asking.

    and what justice would implementing an age old law do to ones liberty and what they choose to do in their personal lives?

    I honestly don't see what the problem is but
    maybe I'm missing the point
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    Mar 26 2012: I often wonder what would happen if parents instilled an appreciation of money and how to use it when children are small. Also, to value quality goods because they last a long time, so it is not necessary to buy new things all the time.

    I have gone through many mind-sets throughout my life when it comes to clothing:

    When I first arrived in this country I wore the same clothes every day to school. My mom made me put my skirt and top on a hanger as soon as I came home.

    When I started working, I would buy a new outfit with each pay-check..but always being careful to buy "on-sale" items.

    When I bacame a professional, I purchased anything I fancied......and still, each morning, I would open up my closet and find "nothing" to wear............I know, remarkable........that's the way it goes for alot of people.

    As my thinking changed, I have finally rid myself of alot of clothing........and have just what I need. I purchase on a "need" basis.

    It is important to adorn oneself with qualities that make us approachable, and kind. All that 'stuff' we buy is just that.....stuff. I have learned that one of the most important items in our wardrobe should be a smile. Because, like Annie are never fully dressed without a smile. :)
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    Mar 25 2012: If we still had that law today, the situation in society would not change a lot, it would just look more plain and boring. What you wear is a way to express yourself, to make a statement, to feel part of a group or a community. Take that away, and people will find other ways of making their statements. Isn't that what happens to school students who are obliged to wear uniforms? I am a bit lost though, I feel like I haven't really got the gist of your question. Can you explain better? I am interested in this topic.
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      Mar 25 2012: Hi Roberta,

      Well back when that law was current people feared going against what the kings or queens had said in dressing above ones status, obviously this law was made for a reason- to rule out commoners and peasants mixing in with courtiers and intellectuals.

      My point is that in todays society it was interesting for me to find that a lot of low paid people in their early to late twenties spend most of their pay checks on the latest fashions trying to implement an image created for a higher class of society which means people of higher status of income.

      Obviously this type of behaviour can be seen as individual and by all means people have the right to choose and do what ever they please that much can be understood, but at the same time it was interesting for me to find after speaking to many of my subjects that after wearing their garments of fashion meant for a higher class of society for more than one day or more they were either bored or not very satisfied with how it felt being dressed in clothing that did not best represent who they really were, and who they really were was identified by their status according to them in their own words.

      Which lead me to ask the question "are you dressing above your status?"

      See the thing is nobody has taken away our power in the way we dress, what is plain and boring is our need to express ourselves through the way we dress to the point where our wardrobes are full of exaggeration.

      And what do we do with all that exaggeration?

      This is where I thought that maybe there would be a future for mainstreaming the way we dressed by status.

      I hope I have clarified myself a little bit better :)

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    Mar 25 2012: Your observation is right....dressing for long (don't know since when) is symbol of status, power and many things more.....just as an example dresses even ancient Kings....elites etc which was mostly individual, culture and society driven

    Now with connectivity and power of marketing not only status but also more other elements are communicated to sell dresses i.e. Trendiness....Classicness.....Sportyness etc etc and people are convinced with those.... so paying what they can't afford even

    Gandhi could withstand ....comments like "Half Naked Begger" for his attire how many of us can do so...?

    Story of Sheikh Sadi.....

    Once he was invited to dine with the Emperor .......he went in his usual dress, palace guard denied to accept him to be Shiekh Sadi looking and referring to his he couldn't enter the palace.

    Going back , Sadi took a gorgeous dress as loan from some freind then went again....this time he succeeded to enter the palace....
    During dining Emperor observed , Sadi was not eating food , but taking all food in different pockets of his gorgeous dress....!!!

    Emperor thought poor Sadi wants to take lavish food back home assured him by saying ....."Hey Poet, please eat people will send more food to your home for your family & also for you for may be for many days.....

    Sadi , replied that is your great kindeness your highness but actually neither I nor my family deserve this food but this dress deserves.....
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      Mar 25 2012: Hi Salim,

      Love your story thank you :)
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        Mar 25 2012: Hi Blaire
        My pleasure, you are welcome :)
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      Mar 26 2012: Salim, what wonderful lesson inside such a short story!

      Thank you for sharing.