30 January 2007

Can't you be happy with a jade paperweight?

Why do people feel the need to integrate into their wardrobes - their professional wardrobes - wearable mementos from their "life-changing" week and a half in Mumbai, Bangkok, or any of the other resort towns where middle-aged, middle-income DC folk go to escape the Beltway traffic?

Another curious faction includes those individuals who over many years have developed a deep bond with a country - China, for example - and who demonstrates their cadre-ly love by more than occasionally donning shapeless silk Mandarin-collared Mao jackets with dragon and/or tiger embroidery. I'm not saying these people don't have a deeper understanding of the Chinese culture, in many cases they do, but what I am saying is that it's possible to fondly remember the many friends you made and the memories of the $.05 bottles of Tsingtao you drank without wearing a traditional qipao - or an interpretation thereof - to work.

As insufferable as the thuggish adolescents are who hang out in mall parking lots (and Sign of the Whale on Sunday afternoons) wearing t-shirts emblazoned with Chinese characters that read "sweet kitten" or "tranquil banana," at least they're not flaunting a pretentious look-where-I've-been attitude.

This grown up version of the middle school game, "aren't you jealous of my Jamaican braids?" needs to stop. If you want to incorporate a souvenir from your in-country travels into your look, try subtle touches like a scarf or pair of earrings or that skin-whitening cream that sells like mooncakes all over Asia.


Anonymous said...

"Jamaican braids" is so right on. And I know because I was one of the girls who did it!

NYC admirer said...

Do you even have a qipao? I think you'd look stunning in a Communist red one...