Sunday, December 28, 2008

Pince-Nez and Reform Dandyism

For those of you who read my other blog, LeDandy (of Northern California), you are well acquainted with the term Reform Dandyism. It is an approach to style that I've finally been able to articulate. In quick summation, Reform Dandyism means dressing to please yourself.* Self empowerment. You are not trying to please others, "dress for success," or impress dates. Reform Dandyism is a simple concept but difficult to achieve as only you know what you really want. There is no formula for your wardrobe as there are with other approaches to style.

So how does this relate to pince-nez? If you want to wear pince-nez, think of Reform Dandyism as an enabling act. It gives you the justification necessary to wear them. No matter how much of a rebel you may be, no one wants to be thought of as a clown or a freak. Lets face reality: you probably haven't seen anyone else wear pince-nez in person as part of their usual wardrobe. This makes you reluctant to wear pince-nez. If you are looking for approval from others to wear pince-nez, you'll never wear them. But if you know they are a part of your intrinsic style, then go ahead and take the plunge. Your desire is all that is necessary. Rest assured that the rimless fingerpiece is perhaps the most modern look of any form of eyewear.

One of the other core principles of Reform Dandyism is responsibility. With self empowerment comes responsibility. You can dress as you like, but you are also responsible for any consequences. What if you work at a place with a Nazi-style dress code and you have mouths to feed at home? You might not want to wear pince-nez at work. Many, many years ago I had a job interview with EDS in Michigan (see LeDandy post, quite funny). I doubt they would approve of pince-nez. Fortunately most places are more relaxed than this repressive employer. Use your own judgment.

I work in San Francisco. Yes, San Francisco is quite a liberal and casual city. I work for a mid-size nonprofit and the dress code is very casual. My boss wears blue jeans and sweatshirts most of the time. It doesn't bother me as I have wide degree of latitude for what I want to wear. Most people wouldn't even notice my pince-nez unless I pointed them out (which I have!). I'm glad to have an environment where I can be myself in terms of appearance.

I've been wearing pince-nez on a full-time basis for the past four months and I love them. I'd never go back to ordinary specs again.
*For a full discussion, please see my Dec. 11, 2008 LeDandy post.


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