I certainly have already upset some people with my posts in the past. And I’m a bit bored right at this moment so…I think I’m going to just go for it. It’s fascinating to me.
I’m going to give my impression of indicators of class. I’ll likely avoid the most offensive things I could say (not in spite but in brutal honesty) to not garner too much hate since while I did close the comments on this blog my Instagram is still vulnerable to ugly messages or comments.
When people talk about social class cues I think they often come up with three things: cars, homes, and clothing (including accessories). But I think that’s because a lot people having that discussion are middle class and those are very middle class ways of indicating your social standing.
I don’t think clothing or cars (and to some degree housing) are clear indicators of anything other than whether or not you’re dirt poor.
There. I’m sure I just pissed someone off by saying that… Ha! Oh well. I’m not trying to. I just really don’t think they are…
See…if you save or buy on credit you can have almost anything in regard to clothes and cars unless you’re truly poor. One Rolex or a Tiffany and Co. engagement ring with a nice sized diamond is doable by the working class if they go into debt or save for long enough. And you can have a decent, somewhat “expensive” and at least fairly new wardrobe and only be lower middle class. Etc. Etc.
Perhaps having many luxurious clothing items, more than one luxury car or a combination of enough of both might mean you’re more likely to be at least middle middle class (and too far in debt for it to be wise most often if you are just middle middle class). Or you’re brilliant at finding good deals or you know how to budget and save and you only splurge on cars and clothes. But bargain hunting and splurging occasionally aren’t indicators of class necessarily either…. Or you’re upper middle class, well off and enjoy either showing others your affluence or using luxury goods. Or you are wealthy but newly wealthy and don’t realize how quickly money goes…. Or you’re wealthy and don’t care how quickly money goes and are at least a tiny bit of a hedonist? …But…truly… it takes a lot of nice clothes and definitely more than one really nice car to mean you’re even rich or well-off…much less wealthy, in my opinion. And frankly buying an excessive amount of expensive things is suspect when it comes to class because while that might mean you have more money it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re well-bred or grounded enough to keep your wealth long enough to be truly upper class. Indeed, general overspending really does indicate a lack of sophistication in my opinion. Or it means you have an addiction… Or it can often mean you’re insecure about your status and trying to seem wealthy or more wealthy. And truly, blowing away all or almost all of your millions in a few decades or less is not particularly upper class regardless of how many millions you had. At all.
Also, I guess…basically…there are so many truly upper middle class or upper class people who are frugal (to the point of absurdity at times) that clothing and cars (often two terrible ways to spend money if you look at it objectively) are not good indicators of class. And, again, there are soo many people trying to seem wealthy who aren’t, (although they often fool their social equals, those who are naturally a bit naive, and those beneath them), who overspend so much on cars and clothes that it further clouds those indicators. Clothing, cars (and housing) are just not useful ways to measure someone’s class…
That being said, the way you wear your clothes matters. The way you wear your hair means something… The style you wear or how stylish you are indicates something, at least. It might just mean that you’re efficient or artistic though, if you dress well…
And, to clarify, when it comes to housing it’s the quality that matters (if it even works all that much as a definite indicator). Quantity matters to some degree but…quality (and I don’t just mean size) is a much better cue. And while many people think home ownership is a good indicator I don’t think it’s all that accurate. However, not being able to buy a home does tend to rule you out of being as socially high as at least the middle middle class depending on where you want to live. For example, let’s say the median home price in the US is $188,000 (that’s fairly accurate as I write this) and let’s say you can afford that but you can’t afford a house that’s $600,000 and homes are almost all around $600,000 where you live. You might be middle middle class in that case, easily, and just live in a well off area (home ownership is not the best indicator given regional differences).
BUT here are two living examples of people who further explain what I mean and where I’m going with this:
I know a woman in her 70’s who has had a long mink coat for decades that’s in impeccable condition (she likely purchased it new). And she uses it to go the opera with her husband and has for a long time. Or she might wear it to the ballet… Both she and her husband have season tickets to the local opera, ballet, and etc. They travel around the world elegantly every year and have for many years. They donate money and time. They own a nice house. They likely have a net worth that’s at least in the millions if not tens of millions of dollars and they invest very wisely. She came from a wealthy, well educated and fairly sophisticated immediate family. Both she and her husband are well educated, highly intelligent, forward-thinking (despite her lovely mink 😂☺️), have lots of life experience and are both politically and socially very well connected. They have one daughter who is well educated, brilliant, financially well off (or wealthy), sophisticated and extremely well traveled. They’re also in various clubs and etc. To put it bluntly, they are upper middle class at least. And actually, they are more than likely, upper class. But…she has never made a “big deal” about her mink. She doesn’t make a “big deal” about anything she wears or owns. Although she does have pride and so does her husband. They are also quite frugal… However, what she does wear she wears neatly, carefully, and her tastes are lovely and unassuming.
I knew another woman who worked very hard and had three kids. She was a pre-school teacher. Her husband didn’t work much or at all. They hadn’t gone to college. They lived in an apartment that was fairly decent. BUT her husband spent money they didn’t have on decorations for their apartment, video games, and other unnecessary things so frequently that they had to often borrow money from friends, co-workers and neighbors to pay for food. Then…one day…she announced that she and her husband had gone out and bought a brand new car (they didn’t need). She was a little bit conceited about it and certainly oblivious to how offensive it was to those she had relied on for money for food. Another day she bought a new handbag she just “had to buy” (although it was a gift for someone). They also took a vacation to Hawaii around this time… You might not have guessed it from looking at her, hearing her chatting about visiting Hawaii, or meeting her casually (based on her clothes, or car, etc. per se) but she was poor… She truly couldn’t even afford toilet paper after her financial expenses. Although, she did lack a certain comfortability or natural, unaffected ease with what she wore and with what she owned.
What does indicate class – what does hint at your actual (honest) assets (physical and non physical), in my opinion, are: 1. Your particular perspective on anything and everything, 2. How insecure you are, or how ashamed or honest you are about certain things and what you’re insecure, ashamed or dishonest about (that’s closely related to perspective – sorry), and 3. How comfortable you are in various situations and how you present yourself… I guess, really, to summarize, one’s perspective and all the variations on that are reliable indicators to me of class. And it’s often very subtle.