clap clap blog: we have moved

Monday, May 19, 2003
On that whole trucker hat thing: I know, I know, you're sick of hearing about it, hopefully--if you still care I'm not sure I like you--but the folks at Gawker have been griping continuously about them, and I responded to one particularly annoying post with a letter. You should probably read the Gawker entry first, but know at least that Liz claims that what's insulting about trucker hats is that poor people wear them because they have to, and rich people wear them because they want to.



Hey, there's a black girl in the office today wearing a trucker cap--should I yell at her for appropriating white culture?

Seriously, though, I don't get it--what's the point of the "poor people wear it because they have to" argument? I mean, a) they don't HAVE to--there's nothing about driving a truck or going to high school football games that physically requires wearing a styrofoam hat, and you know as well as I do that if if you're poor and you have a sense of style you can scrounge up a decent outfit or two from the Salvation Army or K-Mart or Target. Wearing Dickies is not a government-mandated requirement of being in a lower tax bracket. The reality is that the people you're talking about just have a different sense of style, or, even, have far less concern for clothes than Manhattanites. And that's OK--as you'd probably agree, that can be a very good thing. But let's not pretend that trucker hats are a symbol of oppression; let's just be honest and say that fashion is ALWAYS superficial and stupid. That's its appeal.

And b) what's the implication for the trust funders? If they don't wear it because they "have" to, then what do they have to wear? Should they wear pinstriped suits and smoke cigars and chuckle evilly so we can more easily identify them as the capitalist enemy? If you're admitting that they have the freedom to wear anything, why don't they have the freedom to wear trucker caps? Hey, if it gets 'em laid, more power to 'em.

I think the reality is that blue collar chic has been around for a very long time--that's where jeans come from, after all--and it's not going away anytime soon. Your reaction to it is probably far worse because you're living in New York and everyone in New York hates everyone else in New York because they were probably the fucker who stepped on my foot in the subway last rush hour, and everybody hates hipsters because nobody thinks they actually are a hipster, because hipsters are bad and I'm not bad, even though I listen to indie bands and dress a little bit like a retard and live in Brooklyn, etc. It's OK.Classism is a big, big problem in America, but I think fashion is the least of its problems.