Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Saturday, December 05, 2021

If the open-collared look on a shirt or blouse makes you feel a tad too guido or floozy, consider the visual language conveyed by the opposite option:

A fully buttoned shirt is the universal costume symbol for “special.” The buttoned-up look is often shorthand for retarded. (I mean this in the clinical sense.) Think Forrest Gump, Billy Bob Thornton’s Karl Childers in Sling Blade, or Sean Penn in I Am Sam. Slow but sincere, they wish to be perceived as serious, fully integrated citizens — and that top button is the key to what the Project Runway set might call their “image management.”

Nerds, eccentrics, and obsessive-compulsives also mark themselves with this over-buttoning aesthetic.

What’s the common thread? Certainly a general uptightness among these types is at play, but it must be something more than that. Maybe it’s a primal fear of exposing the neck. Or an obsession with completeness for completeness’ sake: Every single button on the garment has to be utilized. The personality profiles sync with those ideas. And others recognize such subtle signals.

This also speaks to how commonplace the top-button-off look has become. Once it suggested a casualness that was against the norm; now, it’s the expected sartorial default. The only exception is the required buttoning for wearing a tie, which lends an overall formality anyway.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sat 12/05/2021 04:49 PM
Category: Fashion, Pop Culture, Society
| Permalink | Trackback |

Feedback »
Say something! (with optional tweeting)


Comment moderation might kick in, so please do not hit the "Say It!" button more than once.

Send To Twitter

(Don't worry, your Twitter Name/Password is NOT saved.)