How things change! It's enough to make one laugh out loud.
When I was 10 years old the local long-haired street toughs in New Canaan, Connecticut persecuted me for wearing "preppy" Lacoste shirts and, I suspect, for being better-looking and more successful with the girls. I quickly got over it, bloodying a few noses along the way.
According to cutting-edge scientific research from Europe, however, sporting Lacoste all these years just might have helped me succeed at work and earn a higher salary--while those same New England ruffians today are probably stuck squeezing out anal glands in a suburban pet grooming salon.
Or so I like to imagine.
Scientists at Tilburg University in the Netherlands have just released findings from a unique sartorial experiment. According to The Economist newspaper:
"Rob Nelissen and Marijn Meijers of Tilburg University in the Netherlands examined people’s reactions to experimental stooges who were wearing clothes made by Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger, two well-known brands that sell what they are pleased to refer to as designer clothing. As the two researchers show in a paper about to be published in Evolution and Human Behavior, such clothes do bring the benefits promised: co-operation from others, job recommendations and even the ability to collect more money when soliciting for charity...
The answer, Dr Nelissen and Dr Meijers suspect, is the same as why the peacock with the best tail gets all the girls. People react to designer labels as signals of underlying quality. Only the best can afford them..."
There are unique implications to this research. Scientists at the The Daily Finance interweb column took these findings and conducted their own comparative analysis. According to their experiments:
"In the midst of college admissions season, there's a useful comparison here: According to research from PayScale Inc., the median starting salary for a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Amherst is $47,000. The median starting salary for a graduate of Brown University--an Ivy League school--is $49,400. That's a difference of about 5.1%."
Compared to a 9% difference between wearing designer versus non-designer wear.
"In other words, wearing a Lacoste shirt to a job interview instead of a no-name shirt would appear to generate a higher starting salary than going to Brown instead of UMass. Another selling point? A Lacoste button-down costs $88 at Macy's, compared with annual tuition and fees of more than $40,000 per year at Brown -- versus about $12,000 at UMass."
"So if your kid suggests that you buy him a bunch of luxury clothing instead of sending him to an elite college, don't dismiss him as shallow and shortsighted. He just might be brilliant."
No doubt pompous trads, bolsheviks, hippies, puritans, and anti-Preppites everywhere are spluttering with indignation at this latest confirmation of human nature.
Don't be afraid. Become who you are.