Are We Being Dressed to Look Like It's a Depression?

For months, NewsBusters has been reporting media's desire to depict the economy as being significantly worse than it really is in order to assist the Democrats in taking back the White House this November.

In fact, it's been rather common for press members to talk about the economy as being absolutely Hooveresque.

Well, it appears the fashion industry might be aiding and abetting this deplorable effort.

The New York Post reported Monday a rather dreary clothing concept being introduced just in time for the upcoming elections (emphasis added):

Taking a cue from the grim economy, this fall's fashions at Banana Republic, Gap and H&M are featuring a distinctly Depression-era trend of cloche hats, pencil skirts, conductor caps and baggy, vintage-style dresses. [...]

"We associate the newsboy look with urban poverty - street kids of the 1930s," said Daniel James Cole, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

"Given that we're in an unstable economy and an uncertain political landscape, it's possible that a retro style has come back as a way to connect with our heritage." [...]

Al Thompson, 40, a senior employee at a recruiting company, hates the look - it covers far too much for his taste. He also predicts it won't last.

"Everything in fashion and economics is cyclical," he said. "This fashion has returned just as we're hitting a point in our economy much like what we faced in the '30s."

Are you kidding me? Do we have 25 percent unemployment, and people walking the streets looking for the nearest soup kitchen?

I know this sounds a tad conspiratorial, but might this be part of the plan to make everyone FEEL things are worse than they really are? If people start DRESSING like we're in a Depression, won't that increase the sense things actually ARE that bleak?

Furthermore, won't it be easier to cast President Bush as Herbert Hoover, and Barack Obama as Franklin Delano Roosevelt if everybody looks like the stock market has crashed and people are jumping out of windows?

Of course, something that will be missing in this discussion is the delicious irony surrounding just how much people -- supposedly in a bad economy! -- are going to have to spend to look poor.

After all, folks weren't dressing this way 75 years ago because they WANTED to. I'm sure this hypocrisy will be lost in the translation.

Alas, it seems we're now all being costumed to fit the media meme. What's next?

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Noel Sheppard's picture