Don't Be So Poorgeois!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mary-Kate Olsen and Nate Lowman via Just Jared @ Dream Sequins

A very poorgeois pair: Mary-Kate Olsen and beau Nate Lowman (source: Just Jared)

Call it a cure for Sex and the City style bling bling, or perhaps a case of shoppers going "underground" with their spending, but the article I read on the Guardian website reports that wealthy women are still spending money on luxury goods; it's just their aesthetic that's changing. The fact that these types of consumers are embracing luxury in a new way; the tattered look a la pricey Balmain torn jeans is not exactly breaking news.

But my eyes tripped over the punny neologism used to describe these slum-as-glam types: the "poorgeois."

A few days ago, Eric Felten of the Wall Street Journal explored the attributes of this re-emerging trend
and had this to say about camoflauging one's wealth by becoming poorgeois: "First, it won't work: Unless you're demonstrably destitute, dressing as if you don't have a job suggests that you have the luxury of living comfortably without one. As New York magazine put it three years ago, the grungy yupster look represents a 'convergence of downtown cool and easy, abundant money.' The second reason not to join the poorgeoisie? You have to dress like a bum."

Is anyone else bothered by this rampant recession-driven coining of new phrases? Yes, it's catchy and cute... But don't we already have vocabulary about this type? Bobo, yupster or grups, anyone? What do you think? Would you use this word?

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31 comments:

janettaylor said...

Hi Honey,

I agree with you. Don't be so poorgeois! The min. tear (rip) in jeans and the sweaters (Rodarte fashion) are yeah, but the one with an excessive measure repels quasi for me. Golden section. You receive good things second-hand (thrifted) and doesn't cost a lot. Everything trendy may be today...

XoXO

Swell Vintage - Frankie said...

This post is literally genius! Good work x

Ashe Mischief said...

Excellent post, honey!

I actually hadn't heard the term "poorgeois," but I can see myself quickly developing the same disdain and contempt for it that I have for recessionista. To use your wealth to look like a dumpster kid is just ridiculous and mocking, in many ways, though who do not have better means.

alexkeller said...

you know, i shopped for clothes at the thrift stores when i didn't have money, and i still shop resale. but i like new things, too. but i'll never understand completely ripped up jeans. worn in, frayed - i get it. but send me your new jeans and i'll beat them up for you! ha!

♥Jozee said...

hell no. that sounds absolutely retarded. also, hasn't that aesthetic been in long before the recession? i mean people have made fun of (with good reason) MK's hobo style for some time.

Hanh, Life-in-Travel said...

this is a great post!!
"poorgeois" is great word. I learn a new word today. great!!and it's a perfect word to use it here.

when you pair ripped jeans or tear Rodarte sweater, make them look clean and don't be so poorgeois!!he..

Elizabeth Marie said...

If I can't spell it, I don't say it. hahaha...need coffee...but umm I use these words jokingly and always followed by a laugh. I love this post...just quit your conservative job and write for vogue and then I'll show you some crazy stuff to do with your eyes! :)

Eat Pray Love...you gotta tell me what you think when you're done because I was not a fan-may lightning not strike me down. But maybe it deserves a second chance?!
Longest comment ever DONE! XO mama!

MizzJ said...

haha you're so right, this coining of terms is just as silly as the people they're describing. I've never been into dressing like a bum, and while I do like certain items of her wardrobe, MK is sometimes a bit too "derelict" for me.

la petite fashionista said...

poorgeois.. i love it. i love thrifting but the trick is to make the items look like they didnt come from a thift store!

thefatandskinnyonfashion said...

too many names. sounds like they are trying to be trendy.

Savvy Mode SG said...

during economic downturns rich will still spend but with more caution and less bling.

lisa said...

Oh dear, and I'm still cringing over "recessionista"...

InnyVinny said...

I don't like it.

I'm tired of all these cutesy words that are being invented to describe people, trends, and couples. BLECH!

musie said...

Oof... what an awful word. I can take a neologism here or there, but all this precious coining of the new catchphrase just makes me roll my eyes.

Kristin said...

Disrespectful. We all have the right to live within our means but aiming to look "poor" as a trend is passe in my opinion.

SF Indie Fashion said...

i'm always down for a new silly word to add to my vocab! kinda love it...

The Haute-Shopper said...

Never heard the term before, but then again, I'm sure the French would reel if they knew one of their words had been adapted like that. I'm not a fan of what the word describes either. Everytime I think of the bum look, it automatically reminds me of Zoolander and the 'Derelicte' line. There's a reason that was parodied, but even more ironic that it's almost become a trend. Then again, I'm probably the only person who thinks Balmain (both the torn stuff and the bling) is terribly overrated, not to mentione overpriced. I'd rather give that money to the real homeless.

Jesspgh said...

That punny term makes me want to wage class warfare. haha

But seriously, this is a fantastic post! I do think class issues and divisions are becoming more apparent and more acceptable to discuss as a result of global economic downturn. And I find that to be a positive thing, rather than encouraging everyone to live aspirationally, throwing debt caution to the wind.

The wealthy bohemian trustafarians (a term long used in my social circle but recently included in a ny times article) will always be obvious to those who have actually lacked privileges in their lives.

Diana said...

i can be sloppy sometimes but i'll admit, i dressed like this in HS because i was so embarrased of my family (flaunting and what not) i guess it's a rebellious factor for celebs

jennine said...

heh, i also heard of a similar phenomenon with weddings, the weddings look more home made ie. mini cheeseburgers in a barn rather than lobster in hawaii but they cost the same. wtf?

my ratty clothes actually cost $1 from the flea market.

drollgirl said...

hahaha! ok, i wondered what that word was when you used it in a comment on my blog! now i am enlightened! one more thing i do not want to be is POORGEOIS! :)

fashion herald said...

I think I'm pretty sure I hate it, but I just heard it now so maybe I'll have to let it sink in a bit!

LiLu said...

I freaking LOVE the title of this. Hilarious!!!

WendyB said...

Isn't the look more...DERELICTE?

Clarity said...

Oh that is too funny and sad. It's cutting but true what the WSJ writer said about it demonstrating you have the luxury of unemployment.

I agree, coining terms is a tad dull, it takes away the impetus to actually write anything original.

I like your post title though, witty :)

pigtails and blushing cheeks said...

haha, poorgeouis, i'm liking the word itself more than its aesthetic =P i'm yet to try on anything that's been ripped on purpose...

Thank You so much for dropping by too, and haha, buttercream on vanilla or chocolate is always a treat ^^

-♥Daria

Nina (Femme Rationale) said...

haha i've never heard that term before. it is rather funny...but, yeah, i'm over people dressing like they're homeless. esp. people u know are rich...not fooling anybody!

Midtown Girl said...

I agree. When I dress this way I just look Po'.

LOL's!

ClandestineChic said...

Interesting! I'd never heard of "poorgeois", but I think my vocab is way behind on the trendy fashion words. The whole concept is very interesting, however. Now I guess there is a new word to apply to those living the lifestyle.

Michelle said...

Ugh, I hate super trendy terms. Recessionista used to be the worst. Poorgeois just kicked it's ass!

Hanako66 said...

ha! that's hilarious...I'm totally going to slip that into conversation with my husband...he'll think I'm an idiot!

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