Monthly Archives: April 2015

As Mark Twain said, there’s lies, damn lies, and social science

Okay, he didn’t quite say that, and “lies” is harsh.

I came across this article in the Harvard Business Review, citing a study which proves that wearing high-status brands signals to potential interviewers that you are more qualified and should be paid more money. (Story here.)  Put on a Burberry and, voila!, people will think that are qualified and worth extra money.

The set-up itself was good: videos of the same interview, but some of them were edited to add a conspicuous logo to the interviewee’s attire. The problem is that the people analysing the interview are college students.  Not only are they all barely legal to drink, at best (and therefore entirely unrepresentative of what a fifty-year-old interviewer may think), they have never hired someone for a position before.

The research is intriguing, but the proper conclusion may well be that young people with little experience rely heavily on outward indicators of success and status.  It is entirely possible that older, more seasoned interviewers would dislike status signalling (and, anecdotally, I know a few who prefer hungry and ambitious to spoiled and wealthy).

Thoughts, readers?

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Filed under Economics, Nerdiness

Cat Owners Survival Guide

Cat Owners Survival Guide.

I’ve just given up on my carpet. At this point, I cover my bedspread with a blanket so that Sir Pukes A Lot will throw up on something easily washable.

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Filed under Nerdiness

Lilly Pulitzer for Target: Fun, Pretty, and Upbeat is for Everyone

Sorry for the lack of blogging recently.  I  have thirty or so articles lined up in my email, all ready to type something about… and I haven’t had the chance.  Mea culpa.

Anyway, onto actual blogging.  In January, Lilly Pulitzer announced that it would be pairing with Target to come out with a special line for the store. Mayhem ensued.  Last weekend, the brand hit stores, and even more mayhem ensued.  Target’s server almost crashed; the stores were sold out in hours; and throngs of Lilly-loving bargain hunters cleaned the place out.

This is fodder for the commetariat set, who enjoy the shrieking about how Lilly would be rolling over in her grave, or how this is so gauche. Charlotte Wilder covers it here, but she falls into the “Lilly is for snobs” trap.

Look, kids: Lilly Pulitzer isn’t about being snobbish, exclusive, or elite.  It’s about being fun.  In case you can’t tell from the giant animals in bright pastels, Lilly apparel and accessories are about enjoying life. You can buy secondhand Lilly (there’s even a Facebook group for it!), Lilly on sale, or wear your Lilly for years.  My great aunt tried to steal my Lilly Pulitzer bracelet over Christmas.  She has dementia, so it’s probably not a brand recognition thing; it’s because it’s super-cute and shiny:

Who can resist that, whether it’s sold in Target or on Martha’s Vineyard? So cute.

If you see “fun” and “lighthearted” and immediately think of dour snobbery, it’s not the country club set with the problem.  Get yourself a flamingo dress, a mai tai, and a pedicure, and come back to us.

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Filed under Miscellanea