Sartorial Dilemma

JK from Brooklyn writes:

“What does one wear to a shanty town?”

Some background: J is departing tomorrow to visit a shanty town in South Africa.  See visual aid below.

That's my house on the right.

And so JK has come to me, queen of odd clothing dilemmas (what do I wear to meet a guru?  To attend an ancient, barbaric Jewish ritual in which you swing live chickens over your head?  To stalk an aging miniature poet and endear yourself to him?) to ask for my advice.  Well, first questions first: weather.  Looks like the next few days in South Africa are going to be high seventies/low eighties with a chance of rain and mildly repressed racism.  In that case, I would recommend the following:

Grubby sneakers or work boots (open-toed shoes = dirty feet)

short sleeved white shirts, linen white button downs

slouchy hippie pants of some sort –– not fancy bougie harem pants but something one might have worn to a Phish show in high school when you were into that (not me!)

maybe a head scarf or bandana (check to make sure certain colors don’t mean allegiances to certain shanty gangs)

little to no jewelry whatsoever

ray-bans, or other aviators, that say, “I’m one of those people who cares about the world but also enough about myself to maintain a stylish appearance.”

a saintly aura with a streak of creativeness


Other than the ray-bans, all clothing should be earth-toned –– beige, brown, ecru, etc.  I would say challenge yourself to pack as few items as possible.  AND IN THE NAME OF GOD, NO PASTELS!

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