Tuesday, May 8, 2012

No logo: and other fashion tips for protest week

Posted By on 05.08.12 at 01:42 PM

Bank of America employees on their way to the office
  • Kashklick
  • Bank of America employees on their way to the office
Crain’s Chicago Business reports again on NATO summit partisans' efforts to satirize themselves before protesters get the chance next weekend. Yesterday it was an article giving voice to Chicago tourism boosters, who expressed their desire to introduce foreign journalists to 50 "real Americans"—presumably political agnostics—who will provide them with home-cooked meals. What’s on the menu? For security reasons, that information went undisclosed. But speaking of security, today Crain’s reports on tips for downtown dwellers and office workers wishing to pass the protests unnoticed: "Tenants in the office building at 1 E. Wacker Drive received a memo encouraging them to stay away from wearing suits, urging workers to 'look like a protester.' . . . At 1 S. Wacker Drive, tenants are being urged to 'dress down' in order to blend with protesters, and also cautioned against wearing items or carrying bags with corporate logos."

Leave your cuff links at home! (Do people wear cuff links to work? You know what, never mind.) But do remember to bring along a balaclava. One commenter on Crain’s suggested Che T-shirts—why not? It’s also worth noting that, like the real-America angle, the New York Times has got this one covered. Last fall the Taupe Lady published a slide show that should aid the downtown bourgeoisie in its quest to go stealth: "What to Wear to a Protest?" A representative caption, attached to a photo of a bunch of people wearing, well, shirts, pants, and shoes: "One contingent marched down Lafayette Street to Foley Square, many dressed in '90s grunge fashion."

But white-collar workers should take heart—Occupy and its sympathizers are a big tent. Said one woman, expressing her solidarity with the 99 percent:

I’m wearing heels and they’re really comfortable. I kind of didn’t plan to be protesting. I mean what’s a protest outfit? Like in case you get maced or arrested? You have to think about the elements and the forces that come up against you. The pencil skirt is vintage I got at a thrift store. My gauzy shirt I just got the other day and I’ve worn it maybe four times already. The sunglasses are Michael Kors.

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