Blue Bloods Want Their Plaid Back

from NY Times Magazine: In Elizabethan England, there were sumptuary laws to prevent members of the rabble from dressing above their station. This was never really effective, but to understand how truly futile it is these days for the upper classes to try keeping the masses in their sartorial place, you need to know what a chav is. ”Chav” — the champion buzzword of 2004 in Britain, according to one language maven there — refers to something between a subculture and a social class. Experts disagree about the slang term’s origins, but the unofficial definition sounds rather condescending or even cruel: a clueless suburbanite with appalling taste and a tendency toward track suits and loud jewelry.
In any case, there’s one aspect of chavness that almost every description mentions right away: Chavs love Burberry. The most popular element of the chav uniform is the Burberry plaid cap.
burberry_cap.gif
Of course, when a huge and decidedly not upper-crust class embraces such a signifier, its meaning is completely altered. Sounding thoroughly unamused, Stacey Cartwright, a Burberry executive, argues that this chav business is just a trivial tabloid story. Besides, she continues, ”the caps that the so-called chavs wear are actually counterfeit products; they’re not our products.”
Thanks to CMO Magazine for the pointer.

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About David Burn

Native Nebraskan seeking the perfect pale ale in the Pacific Northwest. Copywriter and brand strategist at Bonehook. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Contributor to The Content Strategist. Doer of the things written about herein.

  • http://www.stevenrjerman.com/blog.html Steve Jerman

    The old lady just bought a Burberry Scarf to go with her Burberry Cologne.
    I un-apologetically drink Stella Artois.
    An english yuppy? I’ve been called worse.