Wife beater

Being taught British English in school, I sometimes get confused with American expressions. One quite funny situation occurred a few weeks ago when a friend of mine during a dinner said that he had to leave early to go and buy a wife beater. Since I know this person quite well, or at least thought I did, I got shocked and didn't really know what to say. Furthermore, I also found it strange that none of the others around the table said anything.

When I heard the word "wife beater", I thought it was a tool to hit people with. Luckily one of my friends had heard the expression before and asked the American students around the table why they called it a wife beater. It was explained to me that a wife beater is another word for a sleeveless shirt, and that the expression probably came from wife abusers in movies who often wore those kind of shirts. Personally, I think it is a very strange name and I believe that there are more people like me who get confused when hearing it.


Does the dress reveal its price?

This summer, I worked as a reporter for the Swedish TV-program Girlylicious (TV3), covering Stockholm Fashion Week. Almost all the big Swedish designers were represented at the runway, and all the important people from the Swedish fashion world were there. The journalists were running around asking questions about what clothes you MUST have in your closet for spring and summer 2008. My TV-team decided to do something different. Since we found the price tags for the creations shown at the fashion week a little overpriced, we decided to investigate if people could really see a difference between a cheap mass-produced dress and a fashionable designer one. So when Stockholm Fashion Week started I arrived in a flower patterned summer dress I had bought on sale for about $7.

Firstly, I felt a little bit misplaced since all the other fashion reporters were wearing outfits classified as the hottest fashion at that time. However, as soon as I started to conduct the interviews I felt much better. Even before I had asked for a comment about my dress, one of the most famous Swedish designers, Lars Wallin, said that he thought my dress was really cute. The designer who created the Swedish queen’s wedding dress thought my cheap dress was cute! Surprisingly, no one said anything negative about my dress, although I provoked them to do so. Even Miss Jay Alexander, the fashion guru from America's Next Top Model, said it was sweet. Most of the people I interviewed told me that I should keep it in my wardrobe for next summer since it would never go out of fashion.
It is unfair to compare a mass-produced garment with a designer garment. Without the talented designers, there would be no fashion style at all and the cheap brands wouldn’t have anything to copy. However, I find it interesting that it is so difficult to see the difference between a dress for $7 and a dress for $700. As I have written before, being fashionably dressed doesn’t have to be expensive.

Miss Jay Alexander, from America's Next Top Model, and I.

This particular show hasn’t been aired yet but you can see another clip from Stockholm Fashion Week at Girlylicious web-TV. Choose “Girlylicious” and then “Fashion week”.