Dieselpunks

Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

I am a lifestyler.  Pretty much that means that as a rule, I listen to vintage music or music inspired y the DP era.  I also happen to dress up wherever I go. Not anything spectacular, just slacks, a nice dress shirt, usually with a tie, and my black fedora (not a trilby, darnit, a FEDORA). A couple of years back I was dressed as such when I dropped off an application. No, I wasn't in a three-piece with a pocketwatch or wearing aviator goggles or anything. Just a shirt, tie, hat, nice pants and shiny shoes. I felt rather dressed down, but it is a minimum wage job, so I thought I shouldn't be dressed to the nines.

I was hired a few days later.

I was talking to my boss the other day and she said she didn't hire me, it was her supervisor at the time who had looked at my application and hired me.  She had not seen me the day I filled out the application.  She said that if she had, she would have immediately thrown out the paper and refused to hire me, on looks alone.  I asked her why and she said, because nobody dresses like that. What was with the stupid hat? And why do I listen to that stupid music that's older than her parents? Nobody listens to that. I told her that since there is a uniform in this job, the hat was not an issue, And she listens to the most vapid pop fluff imaginable.  How did that make me someone she would not want to hire?  She said that since I dressed "differently" it meant I was "weird" and a potential problem in the workplace.  I jokingly told her she was prejudiced against the chronologically displaced, and that ended the conversation.

My question is, was I wrong to wear a hat to fill out an application? If so, why? If not, would you consider this anti-dieselpunk prejudice (even though she didn't know of the existence of DP and it was a more subtle feeling from her than that)? Also, have you been a victim of any prejudice against your personal aesthetic style?

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My ceo described me as looking "like a new york jewish jeweller" the other day.

I am currently compiling a dossier to hand to the employment relations council.

Forget the haters. They hardly matter. That self-absorbed woman sounds like the type that'll still be at that minimum wage slave job when classy stylish folks like you move on up. In the end, class gets you the right kind of notice. People that blend tend to end up in dead-end jobs because they DON'T get noticed.

Besides, apply to the right place and that nice sense of style will reward you right off the bat, as it did for me (read all about it!).

"Dress and Act with the same class and swing you carry inside...if they matter, they'll notice".

Keep the faith and keep swinging.

Quite a jest. People who I talk to in person tend to ask me what's with all the look, but they're usually understanding, knowing it's my sort of thing and they simply accept it. Folks passing by who don't know me at all use to stare curiously, but no insults or frowning upon me happens. Morover my apperance granted me a role in a II World War movie, so what can I say, huh.

Surely puny people can't keep their mouth shut over things they do not understand. Ignorance is a bliss ain't it? I concur with Cap'n Tony - forget them and keep on going.

Well, this particular manager is leaving.  Today is her last day.  She is getting promoted to a supervisor in charge of multiple stores in another area.  So, Cap'n Tony, she will not stay where she is forever, and she make pretty good money.  The good news is that as soon as I finish school in about a year, I will be in a position to resume my previous career (Special Education Teacher) and my starting pay will be much greater than hers.

I am going to give her a going away present - a CD full of swinging sounds!  I figure she'll eventually miss me and throw it on someday and find some appreciation for the music. 

There are a few things going on here but today, dressing well indicates strength and power, something the masses are very uncomfortable with.
Now, as for vintage style, your manager clearly doesn't pay attention. All of the major men's lines this year are vintage inspired. The rest of the world is catching up!

Ah, the ol' Peter Principle in action! Now she can harass multitudes of people that don't fit within her narrow world view and drive away anyone with an ounce of self respect, leaving only the broken shells. I've seen it a thousand times. Eventually it catches up. Broken employees make for an under-producing organization, reflecting on the management. Speaks poorly of the upper management that they'd promote someone like that. Definitely get out of there as soon as possible No hope in that company. Special Education, OTOH, is a career of importance and honor and I salute you for it. 

Nice move on the gift. You handled that with class!

Travis James Leland said:

Well, this particular manager is leaving.  Today is her last day.  She is getting promoted to a supervisor in charge of multiple stores in another area.  So, Cap'n Tony, she will not stay where she is forever, and she make pretty good money.  The good news is that as soon as I finish school in about a year, I will be in a position to resume my previous career (Special Education Teacher) and my starting pay will be much greater than hers.

I am going to give her a going away present - a CD full of swinging sounds!  I figure she'll eventually miss me and throw it on someday and find some appreciation for the music. 

First off:  Anti-diseselpunk is indistinguishable from anti-individualism and anti-quality. 

I encounter dress prejudice almost every day here in Appalachia because "have-nots" hate the "haves", and they see style as a badge of the aristocracy (even if you don't have a pot to pee in, they think you do).  Because society is rapidly being divided into the rich and the poor with no in between, the idiots I see daily believe that a vintage necktie and hat mark me as an oppressor, not someone who buys his clothes at antique shops. 

It's like the little telephone icon in advertisements:  Notice how it's always a dial phone, even though no one's phone still looks like this?  It's still recognized as a phone, even by those who didn't grow up with it.  The image of a man in a suit is, for many, a picture of someone who is profiting from someone's miserable hard work in a coal mine while doing nothing himself.  Since mainstream dress has become more and more casual, it has become easier to associate someone well dressed with objectionable qualities, or as a member of a snobbish and oppressive class.

Just another analysis of the phenomenon.  Follow-the-herd people will always attack those with individual ideas or style, but there are sociopolitical issues besides this, which I feel all too acutely in Hillbilly-land.     

I don't currently dress up any differently than most people, though I have been thinking of dressing up a bit more. Not quite vintage style, but just adding some shirts and dress shoes, and maybe ocassionally a tie. I've also been thinking of getting a hat, but I'm undecided as to what kind of hat I should get.

That being said, that was pretty dickish of her to have wanted to reject you just because you were overdressed for an interview. I still come to interviews in a shirt and tie even if there is no dress code in the office. It's really sad that suits have become such a symbol of power when there was a time when men, even working class men, wore them on a daily basis because that's just how people dressed.

I live in the California equivalent of Appalachia.  The Antelope Valley is in the Mojave Desert about an hour north of Los Angeles, and it is a lower income area were the hicks and hillbillies of the West Coast migrate.  I wonder how so many people born and raised in California can have Texas drawls (apologies to Larry Amyett, the accent is cool, but many people adopt it and use it the wrong way).

It's got great history, as many aerospace breakthroughs happened here. Chuck Yeager made his supersonic flight here. The Space Shuttles were built here and usually landed here.  But the lifestyle of the Antelope Valley is pretty much the polar opposite of that of the dieselpunks and our steamy bretheren.  It's all cowboy hats and gigantic belt buckles here. And those are the ones that are dressed up.  The rest look like the People of Walmart website.

Yet when my social group and I go out in our normal clothes, we are often openly jeered at, threatened with violence or even refused service. However, what we wear is just considered business casual pretty much anywhere else.

There may be something to what Docneg said about the class warfare culture here.  Yet, this post is coming dangerously close to being prejudiced against the non-dieselpunks, which was not the intent of the original posting.  It's more of a "has this ever happened to you" kind of thing.

I work in the Macy's Men's Dept.  Not only are my get-ups admired, I recruited one of my bosses to join this site : )

Seriously, Trav? That's mindblowing. We get the looks and the comments when we're dressed up in pubs... but I've never experienced anything like it in a business environment.

It was before we met, Jonny. I was accosted by a thugged out guy who shoved me around because I "thought I was better than him." I had no idea who he was and had not said one word to him, but he said I dressed like I was better than him and who did I think I was walking around like that? I was wearing a black shirt, white tie, grey slacks, black fedora and shined shoes. His friends had to pull him off me.

Another time a friend of mine, who was very casual to the point of slovenliness, said there were times he wanted to punch me in the face because he felt I was elitist. Yet, we always hung around together, watched wrestling, played video games, etc.  I asked him what about me made him feel that way, and he said it was the way I dressed.  I'll admit, I would rather have a martini than a beer and I make references to pop culture that is older than I am, but I wouldn't call myself elitist.

Not to mention the people asking me if I'm a pimp when I wear my fedora in public, but that's just jokes, not prejudice.

That's why I stopped hanging around a lot of people I used to know and started meeting people with similar interests, like you, Jonny.

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