Not a fashion-forward town

There’s much to admire about Austin and even more about Austinites. Whether being stylish in the usual sense of the word is admirable or not, though, I think that it’s one trait not all that common in every-day Austin or among its denizens. We’re currently going through a stage in which various retailers of expensive clothing and accessories try to survive here, but it’s a long shot. We’re just more practical than that, and we care less about the expectations of others. Sears, Penney’s, and Academy sell the clothes worn by many State and City workers, schoolteachers, and the general run of UT employees, still a substantial segment of the population. Yes; there are some high-spending students here, but they’re not in the majority. The worn-by-others-first wardrobe is more common than not. Comfort is an extremely important attribute.

So that’s why some of us were laughing this morning at the notion of trend-spotters or cool-hunters seeking the next national fashion trends here. But it’s reported that they were. At least during four days “earlier this month” (SXSW?). “Standing near dozens of bars at the corner of Red River and East 6th streets in Austin, Texas” the trend-spotter was “anxious about denim” in “the hip college town.” “Spotting the Next Hoodie,” in today’s WSJ (byline Vanessa O’Connell; sign-in may be required), reports that the seeker captured photographic evidence of over 400 looks here in Austin. One is pictured: the female subject is sporting a Davy Crockett topper complete with ringtail to the side, described as a “trapper-style raccoon hat.”

Was there any day at all in March when it would have been cold enough to wear something that “cool”? Just wondering. And then we must ask: real or synthetic? It’s unclear from the photograph. Only her pelt-purveyer knows. The gullible among us may look forward to the day when every head in Austin is adorned with one of these, with the entire nation soon to follow Austin’s lead, especially in the summertime. Especially with tortoise-shell sunglasses perched jauntily atop the headgear.

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