There is no better way to be different than to stay the same. Amish “plain dress” was once completely unobtrusive, but even Dior’s latest is less bizarre on Fifth Avenue. Those cutting the patterns for the zig-zag changes of fashion have this worked out. Everyone, especially every woman, wants to be different. She can’t bear to look like an ordinary woman. As soon as she returns from vacation, she must find a new fall wardrobe that will flatter her individuality. Of course, she doesn’t dream up a queer creation of her own. In fact, by studying the magazines, she has prepared herself for exactly what the better shops are offering.
This has to be different, the same difference for everybody who wants to be different. Now to make the different women different, style creators seldom think of anything new and different. In fact, this would be a waste of time when there is so much old and different. Therefore, the difference to which no truly different woman is indifferent is sometimes only different from the last difference, and may be the very difference by which women who are not different differ from the different! This Empire style, for example. Surely there must be a few recluses, in crumbling mansions or private institutions, who have never given it up.
The supreme act of courage is to stay with the difference after it is no longer different. Urge your wife to buy a sack at an absolute clearance, and wear it for three or four years. After all, aren’t you still wearing those bargain pink shirts?
Unfortunately, style consciousness is not limited to the world of haute couture. Theological fashion seems equally potent, and appears to follow the same rick-rack pattern. Those weary of the new and different, can be overcome ...1
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