Tuesday, May 12, 2009

People's Republic of Berkeley x High WASP, Redux

I have two sisters. And a brother. I love my siblings. I see my middle sister most often. She lives very close to Berkeley. Also known in these parts as the People’s Republic of Berkeley. The most salient detail would seem to be that my sister has had a lot of education. She graduated from Harvard. She has her law degree from UC Berkeley, and also a Ph. D. in social welfare. She does work that I only vaguely understand in which she uses research to set policy on issues like homelessness, substance abuse, mothers, and children. In the context of a liberal High WASP family with a college professor patriarch, she has pretty much hit the ball out of the park.

But that’s secondary to me. That’s just how I know she met the standards we have all had to meet. My sister is special to me because she is so endearing. When she and I lived together in Manhattan for a while I used to feel quite bereft when she would go out for the evening. My sister also had and still has style. These days it’s a sporty, culturally referential, irreverent kind of style. I saw her recently. She was dressed like this but cooler. Anything one can imagine wearing, she will usually wear it cooler. Imagine that some of what she wore was trimmed in what I have had to represent with a random textile image from the frequently random Internet. Imagine that the blue shirt was maybe a color between blue and purple. Or just take my word for it. She looked great.

High WASP is one thing. Style is another. Dressing in such a way that your innate adorableness shows through is yet another. Adorable is high up on my list of things to appreciate.

My sister insists that many women in her area dress the way she does now. Well then. We all came from somewhere and most of us are now somewhere else. Adaptive coloration is a species-saving trait. Evidently you don’t need to lose your soul in saving your self.

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Blogger Legallyblondemel said...

No one believes me, but some of the most prep people I know come from the East Bay area. This looks exactly like the looks I've seen around there.

May 12, 2009 at 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm happy to know that my style can be considered "cool". :)

May 12, 2009 at 11:52 AM  
Blogger {The Perfect Palette} said...

cute outfit

May 12, 2009 at 12:55 PM  
Blogger SLynnRo said...

"Dressing in such a way that your innate adorableness shows through is yet another."

so true.

May 12, 2009 at 8:27 PM  
Anonymous the Preppy Princess said...

The "innate adorableness" is simply a sublime way to describe a style Miss LPC. And the styleboard is awesome too!

In our home it was the People's Republic of____ and one just filled in the blank per the establishment's geography. Boulder, E. Lansing, P-Town/Providence, etc.

But then when discussing one specific institution it was always "the Athens of the West" or Ann Arbor. Seriously - the Athens of....and some family remembers still refer to it this way.


May 13, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger LPC said...

Indeed. The labeling of nearby towns is rather like the people in Southern France telling me what was wrong with the Northern Italians, while the people in Northern France were all over the Belgians...My sister tells me that in the land of the East Bay Oakland thinks they are "regular". Piedmont may be what Mel is referring to and would be the opposite end of the spectrum from the People's Republic. And, Princess, Slynnro, I think you have just filled in a missing piece of the puzzle for me. If innate adorableness is another word for style, well, all I can say is that has impact on the High WASP meme. Rather a lot.

May 13, 2009 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger tintin said...

A Churchill quote: "The definition of a Greek is a Turk trying to be an Italian."

Having lived all over this wonderful US of A and having lived in London - It was always my experience that Brits were the most prejudice people I've ever come across. Of course, that's hugely prejudiced of me to say.

Great blog. But those women with short nails and French manicures freeeaaakkk me out.

May 13, 2009 at 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Livin' Louisiana! said...

You have such an interesting family! My family is so boring! Our style is, modest, clean, pressed. Told you...boring!


May 13, 2009 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger LPC said...

In my experience there is no such thing as a boring family...

May 15, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

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