If I were a little more cynical, I'd think that George Will just got his hands on a bunch of Levis Jeans stock and was hoping to pump the price per share in hopes of cleaning up, because that's about the only reason I can see for this joke of an opinion piece in today's Washington Post.
Denim is the clerical vestment for the priesthood of all believers in democracy's catechism of leveling -- thou shalt not dress better than society's most slovenly. To do so would be to commit the sin of lookism -- of believing that appearance matters. That heresy leads to denying the universal appropriateness of everything, and then to the elitist assertion that there is good and bad taste.If George Will thinks that wearing jeans is the epitome of slovenliness, then he'd probably faint at the sight of basketball jerseys, sweatpants, flipflops or homeless people.
Denim is the carefully calculated costume of people eager to communicate indifference to appearances. But the appearances that people choose to present in public are cues from which we make inferences about their maturity and respect for those to whom they are presenting themselves.
I'll admit that I'm not the biggest fan of jeans--on me, that is. I've got one pair and they're reasonably comfortable, but they're rarely my first choice out of the closet--my khakis fill that bill. I'm a looser-fit kind of guy; room to move and all that. (Too much info? Sorry.) But I almost never stop to consider what other people will think of me if I'm out in public wearing jeans--I assume that they think of me what I think of them, which is to say nothing at all.
Of course, I try to avoid the sorts of places where the people who dress like George Will hang out, which is fine, because every time I try to dress like Fred Astaire, it comes off all wrong. Might have something to do with the fact that I'm at least twice as big around as Astaire was--I bulge out in some places. But when I dress like Grace Kelly? Fabulous.