However, in those posts, I neglected to comment on what I like to call "Manufactured Slovenliness". I refer, of course, to the availability in, retail stores, of clothing which is deliberatly manufactured with holes, stress marks and frayed cuffs to look as if it is old and worn out. This fashion seems to be very popular among the Hollywood and, especially, the Nashville crowds. Although, truth be told, the "Country and Western" folks seem to appear more often in ripped and torn jeans than do the Hollywoodites, who are content, at formal black tie events, to just wear old, faded jeans and untucked shirts or tee-shirts where, at least, a jacket and tie (or even an open collared shirt) seems much more appropriate.
In regard to the Nashville bunch, examples of the old clothes look are rampant. Country and western star Alan Jackson leaps to mind along with others like Kenny Chesney and Miley Cyrus' no-talent father, Billy Ray. With those people it seems to be that you either see them appear in the world's supply of rhinestones or you get someone who dresses like an escapee from the "Our Gang" comedies of "The Great Depression" era (what my Grandmother called "Ragamuffins"). My question is: why do these people, who can easily afford to dress better, insist on wearing tattered clothes? Are they REALLY trying to make people believe that they are "just folks" and very poor ones at that? Especially when, after their appearances as down-trodden souls, they go outside the theater and get into their Rolls Royces to drive (or, more accurately, to actually be driven by their chauffers) to the airport where they board their corporate jets and fly off to the next performance venue where they will, once again, don the trappings of poor guys and sing about the crop failing, losing the farm and Bobby Joe going to jail. And their audiences seem to buy into this crap, because they too adopt the fashion of torn jeans and sleeveless shirts as their preferred manner of dress so as to be like their heros who are, after all, "just plain folks". And, as I said at the outset, the clothes with the rips and tears and frayed edges are available in abundance and at premium prices in any retail clothing store in the country. Which also begs the question: Why would you pay more to look destitute?
However, be that as it may, just the other day I witnessed what I am sure is the latest in the fashionable "already worn look". I had trouble believing it when I saw these items on the clothing racks at a local store. This is the phenomenon of the MANUFACTURED IN WRINKLES!! Seriously, now on offer are women's and girl's short shorts and capri pants which, clearly, come from the suppler with wrinkles pressed into the fabric such that they appear to have been worn by someone who was placed in a baseball catcher's crouched position for several days during hot, humid hot weather. The wrinkles stretch all the way across the front of the garment at the point where the legs join the torso and would develop naturally during a day of normal wear of, say, a pair of cotton short shorts. So, my question is: why do we, deliberately, manufacture the clothes to look as if they have already been subjected to a full day of vigorous activity? Are we, as a society, so lazy that we can't be bothered putting our own wrinkles in the clothes? Or is it that, if the clothes are already wrinkled in appearance when they come from the store, we don't have to worry about ironing them? We can say to any critic, "They were like this when I got them, so pressing them is not needed". It's right up there with, "It's not my fault---it was already on fire when I laid down on it...".
By the way, I am informed by my wife that even though I took the trouble to invent the term "Manufactured Slovenliness", I have missed the boat. She says the hip crowd have already named this fashion trend "Shabby Chic". Nice try, but the word is: SLOVENLY!