The complete inability of the lower orders to distinguish “good” from “expensive” has been well marked for generations, and indeed has provided fertile ground for enterprising individuals to part the proverbial fool and his money.
The modern chav, with the cheeky brashness that is his hallmark, has openly embraced the twin pillars of classlessness; conspicuous consumption and lack of taste and done so in a way that furthers his prospects in life.
In days gone by, your lout-in-the-street would attempt to imitate persons of sartorial discernment by buying what he or she perceived to be “names”. Being unable to read, they were able to distinguish “names” from lower quality brands by the price asked for the item when they were caught stealing it.
In a rousing victory for our public education system, it seems that numeracy has sufficiently permeated the chav subculture that ‘cool’ kids now openly boast of their grasp of figures by displaying the price tags of clothing after having bought/stolen and worn them.
One teenager sporting clothes with labels on at the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent (where else?) said: “It is a huge trend. It makes your gear look fresh and it gives you street cred because it looks like you’ve nicked it.”
When contacted, a Department for Education and Skills spokesperson referred me to the departmental website http://findoutmore.dfes.gov.uk/2006/08/making_the_case.html and the Government’s “long-term communications strategy designed to promote maths as a gateway to rewarding lives.”
Presumably claiming the trend as a government victory.