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Bean Boots and Particular Aesthetic Values

You might hear it said that Bean boots are ugly or unsightly. It is common to hear that they are clunky and unattractive. If you zoom out, you can see how someone might say this. It isn't hard to understand, but in this there is also something that is missed. What is missed is the key component of this style-world.

Bean boots are a quintessential part of this unique social-cultural American style. To evaluate their aesthetic against other boots just doesn't work because the (utilitarian-practical) aesthetic (and purpose) of that boot is itself a part of the cultural aesthetic and ethos of the style. That which appears "ugly" to the out-group is actually preferred and viewed favorably by the in-group of the style.

There are many aspects of this style-world that exemplify this dynamic acutely. It is much deeper than many realize. Old OCBDs, frayed ends, mended jackets and beat up boat shoes. These are all less-than-perfect to outside evaluation but just perfect to in-group evaluation. This is part of why this general style-world is polarizing to people (people often either love it or hate it).

Because there is such a separate and distinct set of aesthetic values that have an entrenched history reenergized generationally, the distinct aesthetic preferences remain. This is part of why this style is more appropriately conceived of as a social-cultural style-world rather than "fashion". It is its own world, with its own language and aesthetic values. It isn't always understood from the outside and it can't really be evaluated against the outside. It is most appropriate to understand and evaluate this style within the style-world.

We have our own unique likes, dislikes and aesthetic preferences in our style. It is a cultural style-world more than a fashion.

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