Friday, August 15, 2014

Philadelphia Street Style: Marley Mac, Chestnut St

"Whatever" is about the most common answer I get to the question of "How would you describe your style?" "Whatever I like," I hear all the time. "Whatever I feel like putting on." "Whatever feels good." "Whatever's in my closet." Or, in the case of Marley Mac, featured here, "Whatever's comfortable." That last one is perhaps the most common of them all. We love comfort, here in the US of A. It's practically our national motto. But just what is comfortable? Well, that varies tremendously from person to person. For some it's a pair of pre-distressed cut-offs. For some it's a three-piece suit. There is nothing inherently "comfortable" about the clothes most people find comfortable. Comfort is as much a function of personal identity as it is a feature of fabric, fit, or breathability. It is a cultural claim, not just a statement of fact. Otherwise, as Miller and Woodward (2012) explain in their book on denim, no one would describe a pair of stiff selvedge jeans as comfortable. And yet they do. Jeans are the clothing equivalent of comfort food.  

In this shot, Marley Mac (not her real name) is wearing a pair of cut-off shorts she bought pre-cut and pre-distressed from some shop on South Street. Nothing says "comfort" quite like prefabricated wear and tear. People used to spend years breaking in a pair of jeans like this. Now they come with their hominess and familiarity built in.

1 comment:

  1. Pulling on that favorite pair of comfortable jeans is like being at home in your space or in the arms of a loved one. It's comfort on a whole new level. The fact that a three-piece suit is someone's idea of comfort makes me realize how far out of touch with fashion I am! :)


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