1. Exquisite Tweets from @_alexrowland, @kitewithfish, @MockRamblings, @UrsulaV, @sashiebgood, @DrFloraPoste, @DocVonAwesome, @MZGunter, @TonyHighwind, @MorgynLin, @az_louise, @knkeegan, @jetdillo, @JosephBrassey, @Bobo_Du_Hobo, @danablankenhorn, @bnwlfsnNYT

    blechCollected by blech

    Okay you know what, I'm pissed about some stuff so that means it's time for another thread about fashion history. This one is for all my boyes suffering under toxic masculinity. Thread af.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    BOYS. MY BOYS. Do you know why you dress Like That? Why you have that haircut? Do you know whose fucking fault it is that "acceptable" colors for men are: black, grey, navy blue, olive drab? It is because of one man.

    ONE MAN.

    BEAU FUCKING BRUMMELL

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    i need to take a moment to seethe with rage, hang on

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    ok we good.

    BEAU FUCKING BRUMMELL -- ok no actually we not yet good, maybe a nap and a cup of tea to calm me down

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    so BFB (i'm gonna have to keep stopping to grind my teeth if i type out his whole name) was one of the most famous dandies in Regency Engla-- wait you don't know what a dandy is, do you

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Dandyism was a whole aesthetic movement -- you know how in the 80s/90s there was that whole trend of "cynicism is cool"? The cool guy in shades at the party, lounging with studied carelessness against a doorjamb and smoking?
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dandy

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    And dandies were also really concerned with physical appearance and dress. And the king of the dandies was BEAU FUCKING BRUMMELL *throws a chair out the window*

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    BFB was not a gentleman or an aristocrat. He was just Some Guy. He was Some Guy so fucking hard that IN HIS LIFETIME he wrenched men's fashion in a totally new direction. And i hate him so much. So. Much.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    See, he couldn't afford fancy jewelry or expensive fabrics, so he made it unacceptable for ANY MAN to wear jewelry or expensive fabrics. He convinced everyone that it was vulgar and effeminate.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Which is how, in less than 50 years, men's fashion went from this:

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    And then men's fashion functionally froze. It went that far and then no further for *two hundred years*. Do you know why men's suits have long pants? Because Beau Brummel thought breeches and stockings were for losers.

    His style is the DIRECT ancestor of modern suits

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    There is a statue of BFB on Jermyn Street in London, with the inscription:

    "To be truly elegant one should not be noticed."

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    He's THE LITERAL AUTHOR OF THAT PART OF TOXIC MASCULINITY. He is the *inventor* of the reason that many men today feel self-conscious in anything eye-catching or unique. Shapeless hoodies and jeans or cargo pants for everybody! A suit that looks exactly like everyone else's!

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    And now we have a whole culture where men are *aching* just to BE SEEN, to feel cute or special or unique, to get validation on their physical existence, and they... don't.

    And then they don't understand why catcalling women on the street is wrong.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    (A post I saw on tumblr described this as "Someone dying of thirst in the desert can't understand what a drowning person has to complain about" and that's so fucking apt. They just don't have the framework to empathize with that kind of life experience, it's totally alien)

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Ahem. Now, the dandy philosophy might initially strike you as quite egalitarian, right? Dressing more plainly, more subdued fabrics and less overt ornamentation -- it's a fuck-you to the aristocratic class, riiiiiiiiiight?

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    well fucking no, actually, because Brummell dandyism demands flawless bespoke tailoring, and an *incredibly* painstaking approach to dressing (literally 5-6 hours to dress). Brummell recommended having your shoes polished with champagne

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Oh, and the clothes were so fitted that you literally could not get dressed without the help of a valet.

    So between the tailoring, the leisure time required, the champagne, and the valet? This is not fashion that's accessible to the masses.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    So we have THIS GODDAMN ASSHOLE swanning into Regency society, making everyone feel shitty about themselves unless they conform exactly to his standards.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    And then we come to the Oscars last night (and the red carpet recently in general), and there's Billy Porter, like a shining star of hope and joy, wearing a huge velvet dress, or that gorgeous satin sash, or that pink-satin lined cape

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    And it actually does make me tear up a little bit, because it's a sign that MAYBE, FINALLY, we are getting better

    Maybe we are finally learning that Beau Fucking Brummell was a goddamn snotty shithead who should have been slapped repeatedly until he stopped gaslighting everyone

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Here's a list of 30 times Beau Fucking Brummel was an appalling dick to someone, I am fully prepared to believe all of them are true and accurate: regencyhistory.net/2012/11/30-bea…

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    It's just.... It's so hypocritical, right? Because the whole goal of dandyism is "subdued elegance, don't draw attention, be reserved" and at the same time the goal is also "sleep in front of ur mirror, be SO FUCKIGN CONCERNED with urself and ur appearance and ur Performance"

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    It is an artificial construction of casualness -- "look exactly like everyone else, don't stand out," but to do that WELL, it requires you to put yourself at the ABSOLUTE CENTER OF YOUR ENTIRE UNIVERSE

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    You don't need to be Seen by anyone else because YOU are giving yourself all the Seeing you require and just fghjklfghjklfghjkl this is so unhealthy, the mental acrobatics required to get to a point where this is sustainable is just... mindboggling

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Boys. My boys. What would be fun to wear? What would make you feel cute? Brocade waistcoat? Do it. Weird pants? Do it. Bright colors? PLEASE DO IT, Y'ALL ARE SO CUTE WHEN YOU WEAR COLORS

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  2. This sounds like Robert Pattinson in Twilight when they gave him a collared shirt that had wires in it so it could be tweaked to the precise level of pretentious dishevelment.

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    kitewithfish

    Kitewithfish 💖💜💙

  3. You don't have to live in the cult of Brummell anymore! There is a world outside! You can be Seen! People will compliment you on your physical embodiment!!! You are special and unique and you deserve to look cute as often as you want to!

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    DFGHJKLDFGHJKRTGHJK LITERALLY EXACTLY THAT THO!!!!!!!!
    that was why cravat-tying took so long, because it had to be exactly the right kind of Pretentiously Disheveled, you can't just throw some cloth around your neck and call it a day!

    twitter.com/kitewithfish/s…

    Kitewithfish 💖💜💙 @kitewithfish
    This sounds like Robert Pattinson in Twilight when they gave him a collared shirt that had wires in it so it could be tweaked to the precise level of pretentious dishevelment.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    and yet, like... I still kind of want to bring aspects of dandyism back, you know??? because at least then it was okay for men to look in the mirror and say "Dang I look good"

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    and today we have "fellas, is it gay to wipe your butt" as if even PERSONAL HYGIENE is offensively masculinity-threatening self-care

    please, boys, love yourselves. PLEASE. Maybe not quite as much as Brummell loved himself, but like... like TWO PERCENT of that!

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    ok i'm gonna stop adding to this thread now (still might add more later) but I LOVE YOU! YOU'RE CUTE!!!

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  4. Okay, but the HELL didn't someone look him over and dismiss his clothing choices with a pointed observation of, "Boring." ???

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    MockRamblings

    Michael Mock

  5. Oh, they absolutely did. But Brummell had so much confidence, and so much self-assurance in his own identity, and so much willingness to OUTRIGHT INSULT PEOPLE, and cultivated an air of "amused, pitying disdain"... He started an ACTUAL CULT.

    twitter.com/MockRamblings/…

    Michael Mock @MockRamblings
    Okay, but the HELL didn't someone look him over and dismiss his clothing choices with a pointed observation of, "Boring." ???

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  6. Does it help any that he ran out of money after snubbing the Prince Regent and died penniless?

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    UrsulaV

    The Wombat Resists

  7. Oh dang this is already getting attention HI EVERYBODY I'm a fantasy author, my book is REALLY DANG GOOD and you should read it: amazon.com/Conspiracy-Tru…

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    And of syphilis! In an asylum!! After he fled the country!!! Yes it does super help twitter.com/UrsulaV/status…

    The Wombat Resists @UrsulaV
    Does it help any that he ran out of money after snubbing the Prince Regent and died penniless?

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  8. Just looking at accounts like @70s_fashion and movies from the time, it seems like the 70's *tried* to make it okay for men to wear bright colors and patterns again, admittedly carried off poorly by many people and involving waaay too much polyester, but asking your thoughts...

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    sashiebgood

    Sasha Boucher

  9. Oh for sure, but it is worth it to recall that the wild 70s fashions you're thinking of were COUNTERCULTURE.
    twitter.com/sashiebgood/st…

    Sasha Boucher @sashiebgood
    Just looking at accounts like @70s_fashion and movies from the time, it seems like the 70's *tried* to make it okay for men to wear bright colors and patterns again, admittedly carried off poorly by many people and involving waaay too much polyester, but asking your thoughts...

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Also, everybody go watch the Russian movie "Stilyagi", it's subtitled on youtube and it is about Americaphile dandies in Soviet Russia and it's GREAT

    Reply Retweet Like

    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  10. This is an awesome thread - thank you! But how did BFB have the money for a valet and fine tailoring of subdued colour clothes but not the money for the previous flamboyant dress?

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    DrFloraPoste

    Sarah Burton

  11. Why was he so influential? That is some serious social capital to make that kind of impact. Right place, right time? Or something else?

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    DocVonAwesome

    Dr. Von Awesome

  12. Yes! What explains fashion flair ups like zoot suits in the '40s, '70s mens fashion with crop tops, platforms, fringe (like Isley Brothers c. 1970s) and bright colors of the '80s prep? They seem to happen and disappear every decade.

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    MZGunter

    Marcus Didius Falco

  13. Literally just sheer force of personality. He was an Instagram influencer without Instagram. twitter.com/DocVonAwesome/…

    Dr. Von Awesome @DocVonAwesome
    Why was he so influential? That is some serious social capital to make that kind of impact. Right place, right time? Or something else?

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Again: Those were counter-culture. Look at how senators, lawyers, and CEOs have dressed for the last two hundred years -- barely any change. That's the baseline of men's fashion & it's a tool of the white heteropatriarchy, an in-group signifier twitter.com/MZGunter/statu…

    Marcus Didius Falco @MZGunter
    Yes! What explains fashion flair ups like zoot suits in the '40s, '70s mens fashion with crop tops, platforms, fringe (like Isley Brothers c. 1970s) and bright colors of the '80s prep? They seem to happen and disappear every decade.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Rich daddy, but not that rich twitter.com/DrFloraPoste/s…

    Sarah Burton @DrFloraPoste
    This is an awesome thread - thank you! But how did BFB have the money for a valet and fine tailoring of subdued colour clothes but not the money for the previous flamboyant dress?

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  14. I DON'T EVEN CARE ABOUT FUN AND CUTE. I JUST WANT TO WEAR SKIRTS. BIG GODDAMN TARTAN MONSTROSITIES, PLEATED ALL TO HELL. THEY'RE MORE. FUCKING. COMFORTABLE.

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    TonyHighwind

    Greencoat

  15. Very important follow-up to the counter-culture point: twitter.com/gayblackgeek/s…

    gayblackgeek🇧🇧🏳️‍🌈 @gayblackgeek
    I would also add that those fashion flare ups include influence/appropriation of styles from people of color, who have very different sartorial expectations/experiences. Hence why even at boring times, you see black men stepping out in purple suits with crocodile shoes

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    THEY'RE SO COMFY! WEAR 'EM!!!!!!! twitter.com/TonyHighwind/s…

    Greencoat @TonyHighwind
    I DON'T EVEN CARE ABOUT FUN AND CUTE. I JUST WANT TO WEAR SKIRTS. BIG GODDAMN TARTAN MONSTROSITIES, PLEATED ALL TO HELL. THEY'RE MORE. FUCKING. COMFORTABLE.

    Reply Retweet Like

    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  16. To be fair, you need really good calves to carry off breeches and stockings, and even better legs if you go back to hose. Maybe the Beau's legs were just really, really BAD.

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    MorgynLin

    Lin Sims

  17. i take it back, we're not calling him BFB anymore, we're calling him Weird-Legs Brummel now twitter.com/MorgynLin/stat…

    Lin Sims @MorgynLin
    To be fair, you need really good calves to carry off breeches and stockings, and even better legs if you go back to hose. Maybe the Beau's legs were just really, really BAD.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  18. Please share my new Kickstarter project "BEAU FUCKING BRUMMELL BETTER BE READY TO SQUARE UP," in which I am creating a time machine for the perpose of ENGAGING IN FISTICUFFS

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    az_louise

    A.Z. Louise

  19. Further essential followup to the counterculture point: twitter.com/gayblackgeek/s…

    gayblackgeek🇧🇧🏳️‍🌈 @gayblackgeek
    I'm at work so I can't go in in, but zoot suits? Mexican rockers/street dudes

    Platforms? Disco, which was peak gay latino and black life.

    60's fringe? The hippie movement was purposefully jocking looks reminiscent of how they imagined Native Americans dressed.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    TAKE ME WITH YOUUUUUUUUUUUU twitter.com/az_louise/stat…

    A.Z. Louise @az_louise
    Please share my new Kickstarter project "BEAU FUCKING BRUMMELL BETTER BE READY TO SQUARE UP," in which I am creating a time machine for the perpose of ENGAGING IN FISTICUFFS

    Reply Retweet Like

    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  20. Not sure that folks see what you mean by "counterculture."

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    knkeegan

    Dr. Kristen Noble Keegan

  21. So there's how "The Man" dresses, ie: people in positions of authority & prestige (senators, CEOs, lawyers -- the people who own the world)

    And then there's the "weird fashions" that, frex, teenagers develop because Fuck The Man: That's counterculture.

    twitter.com/knkeegan/statu…

    Dr. Kristen Noble Keegan @knkeegan
    Not sure that folks see what you mean by "counterculture."

    Reply Retweet Like

    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  22. This hit me hard. Really, really hard, because I absorbed the idea that I wasn't *supposed* to *want* to be seen. It was just supposed to magically happen if I was "authentic" enough. As a person who was HUNGRY for external validation, this basically led to extreme misery.

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    JosephBrassey

    Joseph Brassey is competing at Longpoint

  23. You!!!!! Deserve to be seen! You deserve to love the person in the mirror! You deserve to feel cute whenever you want to! You deserve to have your physical embodiment appreciated!
    twitter.com/JosephBrassey/…

    Joseph Brassey is competing at Longpoint @JosephBrassey
    This hit me hard. Really, really hard, because I absorbed the idea that I wasn't *supposed* to *want* to be seen. It was just supposed to magically happen if I was "authentic" enough. As a person who was HUNGRY for external validation, this basically led to extreme misery.

    Reply Retweet Like

    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Okay so once you convince men that they don't get to wear pretty clothes, you spend a couple generations slowly eroding all their interest in/awareness of their physical appearance beyond "does it conform". (continued...)

    twitter.com/jetdillo/statu…

    Jet Dillo @jetdillo
    So, tell us about t-shirts and cargo-pants then ?

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    NATURALLY AND UNDERSTANDABLY, they lose interest in clothing. You've beaten out any opportunity for emotional engagement with it, of COURSE they don't care anymore. Why would they? Then you give them something convenient and comfortable that they don't have to think about. (cont)

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Tshirts and cargo pants are hella comfortable. You don't have to think about them when you're wearing them, they're sturdy, they don't get in your way, they don't take any special care when washing... (continued)

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    If you are getting ZERO emotional benefit from wearing the clothes, why would you waste any emotional labor on them? Tshirts and cargo pants do the bare minimum: they cover your body.

    Toxic masculinity says that you shouldn't need emotional nourishment beyond that.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    I've added enough tweets now that I also want to point out that the SEQUEL to the aforementioned Real Good Fantasy Novel comes out in September and you can preorder it :D ttps://www.amazon.com/Choir-Lies-Alexandra-Rowland/dp/1534412832/

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  24. How do I approach this as someone dressing for the utility? I like jeans bc they're comfortable and useful, plain tees are inexpensive protection that doesn't restrict movement. I'm bald and can't wear a wig to my 55hr/ week job, so comfortable ball caps are it for me.

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    Bobo_Du_Hobo

    Danny Olson

  25. Protected tweet: 1100100427725430795
    You might be able to see it if you sign in with Twitter.

  26. Great thread. But I can't tell you the number of women I know who wish they could just throw on a black suit and not think about what they wear.

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    danablankenhorn

    DanaBlankenhorn

  27. More colorful t-shirts? V-neck shirts? idk what your job is, but add a waistcoat? Cool earrings or other jewelry? Play with eyeliner? I don't have a single conclusive answer for this bc the whole point is that there ISN'T a single answer. What feels cute?

    twitter.com/Bobo_Du_Hobo/s…

    Danny Olson @Bobo_Du_Hobo
    How do I approach this as someone dressing for the utility? I like jeans bc they're comfortable and useful, plain tees are inexpensive protection that doesn't restrict movement. I'm bald and can't wear a wig to my 55hr/ week job, so comfortable ball caps are it for me.

    Reply Retweet Like

    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Oh, whoops, thanks to the people who pointed out the link was broken! amazon.com/Choir-Lies-Ale…

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

  28. iirc Brummell also made it fashionable to bathe daily (because he was a germophobe), so, you know, that was probably to the good.

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    bnwlfsnNYT

    doleful moo of a cow

  29. It's less culturally challenging for a woman to wear a suit than it is for a man to wear a dress, is the thing twitter.com/danablankenhor…

    DanaBlankenhorn @danablankenhorn
    Great thread. But I can't tell you the number of women I know who wish they could just throw on a black suit and not think about what they wear.

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    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨

    Common misconception stemming from modern confusion between the words "bathe" and "wash". Almost everyone washed daily (with a washcloth and a bucket of water, at least your face/neck/pits/groin). Almost no one BATHED daily (submerging yourself in water). twitter.com/bnwlfsnNYT/sta…

    doleful moo of a cow @bnwlfsnNYT
    iirc Brummell also made it fashionable to bathe daily (because he was a germophobe), so, you know, that was probably to the good.

    Reply Retweet Like

    _alexrowland

    Alexandra Rowland✨