Thursday, December 29, 2005

Are twin sets outdated?

Before I get into this, I'll say my answer is "no", but here's the story:

While visiting my middle sis in MA, she gave me a bag of twin set sweaters that I'd sent up to her via Mom. J. apparently didn't know that they'd come from me, and so gave me this spiel about how twin sets were all kind of dowdy and out of date, and while Mom had a good eye for quality, she had no eye for fashion. I had, in fact, sent them to her because I wasn't really sure they were really good colors for me (red, brown, and green), not because they were out of style (and I've recently been regretting getting rid of them -- couldn't remember whether I'd sent them to J., or taken them to Goodwill). I didn't tell her they'd been mine; what I did say was that, around my office, twin sets were quite popular because some of our staff is engaged in the sort of fundraising where you're meeting with the moneyed set, and it is a good idea to look like the people with whom you are meeting. To be fair, J. is an electrical engineer, and I can see where twin sets might not be very popular in the engineering community. She also said that her church is one of those where everyone wears blue jeans and t-shirts to Sunday services, so she has no reason to dress up on a regular basis. But to be snarky, she really has very little native fashion sense; she showed me a lavender dress she was planning on wearing to a wedding, and the turquoise chiffon wrap she was thinking of wearing with it. If I didn't know better I'd wonder if she'd gone color-blind.

Earlier in the weekend we'd had a conversation about the difference in workplace clothing standards between where I work and where she works, and between DC and MA in general. I notice that men wear more sweaters in MA. It gets cold enough to justify it there, whereas in DC, my hubby and the guys I know don't wear them that much -- for instance, it's in the 50s here today, and while I'd wear a sweater in this weather, I think guys tend to run warmer and don't need them, generally speaking. I also noticed a difference between DC and NYC -- they wear lots more fur there, and are certainly more fashion-forward, whereas clothing in the DC area seems to be more on the "classic" or "conservative" side (which some might call stodgy, I suppose). Living in DC, I tend to look at pics in Vogue etc. and go "why on earth would anyone wear that?" But when visiting NYC, I could see where those fashions would look at home there, but be out of place here.

I noticed some twin sets for sale in NYC -- and, worn with a bias-cut tweed skirt, bangly jewelry and some funky shoes, they'd be quite fashionable. You could wear a twin set with blue jeans and boots; or you could wear it with a good pair of pants and pearls. Heck, you could even wear a twin set with a plaid skirt and Doc Martens and deliberately subvert the whole look. The twin set is sort of like blue jeans, the corduroy blazer, or other wardrobe classics. It's a canvas for your personality; it can go up or down depending on how you accessorize it.

So, no, I really don't think the twin set is out of date. But it still tickles me to be lectured on fashion by J., another nerd (counting myself as somewhat nerdy, fwiw).


Blogger Lisa said...

Twinsets better not be going out of fashion, because I'm still wearing mine. Just wore one yesterday, as a matter of fact.

Speaking of workplace dress codes, as a part-time telecommuter I'm likely to be found in sweatpants and a tshirt one day and a suit the next. It's kind of a multiple persoanlity disorder for me at times.

I know what you mean, though, about the difference in dress codes in different cities. I think you're right that DC does have a more classic attitude toward clothing, almost preppy at times.

No matter where you live, there's really no excuse for the too-low rise jeans that let the muffin tummy hang over it. I can't wait for that style to go away. I mean, if bending over makes you look like a plumber, you've got a problem.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Corbie said...

Re: lowrise jeans -- me either. I agree that they're not flattering on anyone but those with the luxury of spending a lot of time working out.

1:58 PM  

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