Have you ever wondered why certain items of clothing become fashion pariahs? In particular, I am quite concerned about the fate of Crocs and Scrunchies. Why are they so loathed? Did you know there is even a Facebook group called Why Would You Wear A Scrunchie? Honestly.?
What’s wrong, examining afresh, with a velvet-covered hair elastic? My favorite one is gray, and well-worn. What, in the context of gardening, is wrong with Crocs? And, beyond gardening, why are Crocs (of the tasteful color variety) any worse than Danskos? Is not a clog, really, a clog?
My theory is that we’re looking at a phenomenon known in grammar studies as metonymy. Metonymy means using a part to represent the whole. For example,
“The Crown decreed that no one should wear Crocs.”
In this case, the Crown means the King or Queen. A part, to mean the whole.
I think when we hate the Scrunchie we are reviling the entire big hair, hot pink off-shoulder-cut-up sweatshirt and purple Lycra leggings look. I also think some people say Scrunchies are the devil as code for “I am stylish and in the know.” I think when we hate the Crocs we are shaking our fingers at cargo-pant and camp-shirt, undone hair, middle-aged women who appear to be wearing garden clogs to the mall because they just give up.
We may wish that teenagers didn’t en masse start to wear odd, ugly clothes combinations. We may wish to nudge, and to help, midlife women who find personal style overwhelming. But we shouldn’t really blame it on the accessories, now, should we? Are poor, innocent, Scrunchies truly at fault?