Fashion signals

By Megan McArdle

I look at this kind of thing, and the only explanation I can come up with is that certain fashion items are intended to send a signal about the wearer. D'uh! you will say, but the signal these items send is a little odd. That signal is: I am so young and pretty that it doesn't matter *what* manner of ugliness I put on my body; you will still think I am hot.

Unfortunately, a number of people are emboldened by fashion magazines to wear these sorts of items even when their bodies are aggressively countersignalling.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2008/01/fashion-signals/2631/