Monday, January 12, 2004

Fashion Tips For The Uninformed

Argyle sweaters are a no-no. This according to Maureen Dowd in the New York Times. She doesn't like Wesley Clark's apparent attempt to appeal to women by trying to soften his image.
Dowd notes:

Is his staff watching "What Not to Wear" or "Style Court"? It's discouraging to see presidential campaigns succumb to the makeover culture. Obviously, appearances count, but clothes don't make the man. Sometimes, they unmake him.

But much more often they unmake a woman. Some news from the city of Kuala Terengganu in Malaysia. The city government:

...has banned non-Muslim women from wearing mini-skirts, tight fitting dresses, and even moderately revealing clothes such as short-sleeved shirts and tight jeans to work. Muslim women are being called to wear a headscarf known as the tudong, which has to be tightly drawn about the face.

This is supposed to drive out 'indecency'.

Two very different stories about clothes. One is about voluntary choices which may or may not be silly, the other about forcing people to dress a certain way. Yet I suspect that the first story provokes more outrage in its readers who expected serious political commentary from Dowd, yet received something which makes Clark look like a female politician: someone to be judged by the clothes she wears.

The second story actually is about women being judged by the clothes they wear, so perhaps its readers feel less dissonance. But it's the horrible one out of the two.