Wednesday, March 25, 2009


There's another key concept to all of this. Impunity. Along with the focus on good behaviour, there's a parallel and seemingly contradictory assumption that if we do it, it must be OK. Seen through a kindly lense, the assumption would be that all the scrutiny that precedes any act, by self and community, will prevent anything untoward. However, seen through perhaps a more realistic lense, this is simply another way for people to rationalize failure to live up to their own standards.

When I went shopping the other week, and wound up to my horror purchasing Naturalizer shoes, I also bought a dress at Banana Republic. When I put on said dress, all the usual things happen that happen for felicitous purchases. I felt pretty. No, the need to feel pretty doesn't disappear after 50, nor the capability, if you are careful. Given the dress itself, I also felt snappy, carefree, classic, and just elegant enough. All good High WASP parameters. I even reminded myself of my mother at her best. All good. But when I thought, "Hmm, what will I wear over this?", I realized I would probably wear, in this still chilly spring weather, the down jacket I purchased at a Decathalon sportswear store in Shanghai. In other words...
Silk Dresses in the Office?
Silk Dresses in the Office? - by High WASP on

Yes. I would wear the down jacket even though it doesn't appear to be appropriate. Why? Because it's comfortable. Besides, it's black, so there is the ostensible color match. Deconstruct this outfit and many things become clear. A dress on sale at Banana Republic? Sure, why not? No need for fancy brands. We like Banana Republic, it feels like our aunt's house might feel. And the spring green color has a long and honorable High WASP heritage. Pink not required. Requisite good bag and shoes? Check. The jewelery we picked up in our travels? High WASPs love cultural authenticity, and high carat weight souvenirs. The down jacket? Impunity. Since we have done everything else necessary, if we want to wear a down jacket we will. And it will be OK. Because we say so. Which also can lead occasionally to leaving the house looking like this.

What I am saying is true. Perhaps a little exaggerated. For a down jacket, I know it doesn't matter.

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Blogger elizabeth said...

.... says something about the AIG collapse, eh?

March 25, 2009 at 5:47 PM  
Blogger ashley said...

oh my goodness thanks for the thisisindexed recommend!! i have seen those cards before but had no idea there was a whole blog of them!! this is going to occupy alot of time over the next few days, hehe.

March 25, 2009 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger LPC said...

Ironically at least half of my inheritance was originally AIG. I sold several years ago with the idea that an 80-year old genius handing the reins to his son had all the portents of Shakespearean tragedy.

March 26, 2009 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

Were your dating and marriage choices constrained to fellow High WASPs?

Looking forward to the education post!

March 26, 2009 at 10:53 AM  
Blogger LPC said...

No. No constraints. We are also all Democrats, and my father was a college professor. I think there is a law against academic Democrats evincing any sign of racial, cultural, or ethnic prejudice.

March 26, 2009 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger What Kate Wore said...

Another outstanding explainer (as we sometimes refer to this genre) Miss LPC, especially on the jacket.
Smiles at you,

March 26, 2009 at 6:08 PM  

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