Blue Collar

Jessica Chalas

Hoping to buy your own exclusive Case Western Reserve University blue button-down? The Athenian is here to report that you just missed your chance. The last blue-collar shirt was purchased today for three times its original price by Arnold Nigel Sinclair III, president of CWRU’s golf club and the winner of The Athenian’s Most Extravagant Vacationer survey.

But Sinclair is only the latest to snatch a silver dollar from his trust fund in order to purchase an entirely ordinary addition to his primarily Italian wardrobe. These days, many of the wealthiest students, who habitually wear designer clothing to even the messiest of sports practices, are trading Prada and Gucci for the simple cuts and rustic fabrics of Walmart-grade apparel. But, of course, this isn’t to say they’re giving up selfishness and entitlement for the good of mankind. Instead, it appears to be an attempt on the part of the next generation of high class one-percenters to connect with the masses.

Fourth-generation Alpha Theta Eta sorority sister Annabella Marseille explains, “I think many of us are tired of hearing that the upper class is out of touch with the real world. We want to understand the plight of the disappearing middle class and the overwhelming challenges of poverty, so we’re willingly subjecting ourselves to the common man’s off-brand blue-collar experience.The itchy, low-thread-count vestments are our vessels of empathy.”

It may seem a naive notion that clothing could be instrumental in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor, yet countless descendants of the upper echelons studying at CWRU are literally buying into this theory. Dolores Fincklebottom, bookstore manager, reveals that even the next expected shipment is not going to be enough to meet growing demands, as backorders alone account for more than three-fourths of incoming stock.

But where did this theory come from? Who exactly is responsible for skyrocketing both the sales and prices of blue collar shirts?

Confidential sources insinuate that the driver of the blue-collar bandwagon is none other than the illustrious President Barbara R. Snyder. It may explain why, in every photograph taken of her last month, President Snyder can be seen wearing various styles and manners of shirts, all with blue collars sewn onto them.

In response to our inquiries, Snyder freely admitted, “The blue collar is a symbol of the common man’s pitiable diligence, work ethic and dedication to house and home. In an effort to be more attuned to the needs of the Case Western’s student populus, I am proud to don the modest uniform of the 99 percent. And it is doubly exciting to learn that so many students are stepping up and making a similar effort.”

Many students are likewise titillated by the efforts being made on campus to join together under the banner of the ordinary. However, as blue-collar shirt prices continue to rise far beyond the price ranges of wage earners, ordinary students are, ironically, turning to the racks of the eschewed, price-cut surpluses of white-collar shirts. It may just be in our near future that the age-old symbol of the blue-collar will stand for nothing more than rampant consumerism.

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