Dressing on the Left


Constant readers of this space know that we frequently disparage the limited choices facing consumers who crave politically savvy duds but don’t exactly live their lives in T-shirts and trucker hats. Except for underpants with lewd Bush puns, there haven’t been a whole lot of new additions on the leftist fashion landscape this political season.

So imagine our glee when, late last summer—the day before the massive anti-RNC demo—we passed a woman on Fifth Avenue who was all decked out in what looked like a rainbow-hued sarong bearing the legend “We the People Say No to the Bush Agenda.”

We chased her down. It turned out it wasn’t a garment at all, it was a flag—one subsequently seen flying from many East Village fire escapes—that the clever wearer had fashioned into a skirt. She was actually selling these flags for $5; we bought one and managed to wrap it over a white dress for the demo and, if we may say so, the result would have done Rosa Luxembourg proud. (Of course, no one ever said fashion was easy: it was the hottest day of the year, and we nearly expired, swathed as were in a non-breathing synthetic.)

Anyway, now there’s a definite chill in the air, and we have just received an e-mail from our friends at United for Peace and Justice offering these same flags for an astonishing $2.50. If you don’t want to wear it as a skirt, why not throw it over one shoulder in the manner of a Teresa Heinz Kerry pashmina?

On the same subject, a catalog from a West Coast house called Lefty’s recently crossed our desk. Lefty’s offers some nifty slogans—we especially like the one designed to mimic the Starbucks symbol that says “Warbucks Iraq Oil,” and another that apes the band Kiss’s typeface and reads Diss Destroyer with a portrait of W looking suitably KISS-vampire-ish. Alas, they are both available only as T-shirts. (Actually they are also sold printed on posters, if you want to try making a paper dress . . .)

In any case—though you probably don’t need us to remind you—there are less than two weeks left before the big day! Now is the time to don your transgressive sarong skirts, your rebellious paper dresses, your UFPJ trucker hats, and “No War, Greed, Hate and Lies” tees and attempt to win over total strangers. Maybe you could even make an exotic trip to Pennsylvania or Ohio or Florida and use your finely honed rhetorical skills to win people over in those ever-important swing states.

Because think about it: Won’t it be fun to see that rainbow flag on a flea market table, a hopelessly antiquated collectible from the reign of a long ago, one-term president?

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