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March 10, 2009 8:52 PM   Subscribe

Meet Arlo Weiner, America's Most Stylish 8-Year-Old.
posted by miss lynnster (125 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
I care.
posted by dawson at 8:54 PM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I sincerely hope Arlo goes to a private school, or one with a uniform. I envision bully hands getting twitchy at the sight of him.
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 8:55 PM on March 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


See, I don't want to be the adult making fun of a kid's clothes, so I will not comment on his outfits. And I too am concerned about his urity in the schoolyard. I'm actually surprised the article doesn't talk about this since it's so obviously a potential issue.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:58 PM on March 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


What does this say about GQ's demographic?
posted by TwelveTwo at 9:00 PM on March 10, 2009


Big deal. Accessories match the pants, old hat, blazer. Puw-shaw.
posted by seagull.apollo at 9:00 PM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


He puts together clothes like most kids do. But with more money.
posted by birdie birdington at 9:02 PM on March 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Kid's name is "WEINER". Do your worst, schoolyard bullies. He's impervious. Also: some great fucking hats. He's a tiny & white Andre 3000.
posted by ColdChef at 9:02 PM on March 10, 2009 [20 favorites]


But does he have a nautical themed pashmina afghan?
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 9:03 PM on March 10, 2009 [10 favorites]


Dear children,

Stop it. Just stop it. I'm already self conscious enough. I don't need your eight year old ass showing me up.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 9:06 PM on March 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


His Valentine's Day outfit kind of screams Pee-Wee Herman.
posted by thisjax at 9:07 PM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


What a coincidence! When I was eight I also dressed like a fire hydrant for Valentine's Day.
posted by stresstwig at 9:08 PM on March 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


this brief article fails to mention how often he gets his ass kicked.

I do appreciate his style, but c'mon. bloodstains on velvet? no wonder that outfit is all red.
posted by killy willy at 9:10 PM on March 10, 2009


He looks like a Wes Anderson character, and like all good Wes Anderson characters could benefit from a smack in the mouth. Or perhaps a couple for his parents.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:14 PM on March 10, 2009 [10 favorites]


The first thing I thought of was an episode of You Look Nice Today starring MeFite MerlinMann where I think lonelysandwich talks about how he was very stylish as a kid and he found out later how his mom's friends thought he was gay and he was going to grow up to be a fashion designer. Then I laughed. :-P
posted by Del Far at 9:14 PM on March 10, 2009


This kid is the most fucking awesome kid in the history of kids. Imagine Barack Obama riding a t-rex and throwing candy to the crowd, and you've got a picture that's roughly one millionth of how fucking awesome this kid is.
posted by hifiparasol at 9:20 PM on March 10, 2009 [27 favorites]


The weird cowboy neckerchief doesn't go with the top hat. No one ever looks good in golf outfits, and that golf cap is too big for his head. And bow ties are fucking stupid looking.

Picture 8, though, is straight up awesome.
posted by Caduceus at 9:22 PM on March 10, 2009


Sartorial Hint O' The Day:
Most of my ties, like this one, are clip-ons.
posted by redsparkler at 9:35 PM on March 10, 2009


Honestly I thought the outfit from the first photo (Valentine's Day) was awful, but how much can you really do with a V-Day theme?

Everything after that was pretty awesome in varying degrees. He also seems to have some version of 'Blue Steel' down quite nicely.

Arlo Weiner, I bow to your fashion superiority.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 9:36 PM on March 10, 2009


I’ve worn this to school about 12 times.

Such courage!
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:38 PM on March 10, 2009


Lemme see. My Dad is a creator of a "period" television series called Mad Men. He has access to costume designers and departments. Great. Maybe he -- and my Mom - can help me to get attention by becoming a youthful, living mannequin.

Next up -- I'm awaiting a New York Times 'Fashion & Style' section profile! Fuck my predecessors: young conservative blow-hards and make-believe foodies!

Hey, hey ... look at me!!!
posted by ericb at 9:39 PM on March 10, 2009 [13 favorites]


... I want to see his Halloween costumes!
posted by aubilenon at 9:40 PM on March 10, 2009


Can't he shop at Hot Topic like a normal youth?
posted by 7segment at 9:42 PM on March 10, 2009


When I was his age, I would have LOVED to have dressed like that. But I was too afraid of being made fun of. By my mom.
posted by katillathehun at 9:46 PM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I’ve worn this to school about 12 times.

" ' ello man. You're not from these parts. Where you from....I 'spect you want grub. You shall hav' it."
"The boy, who addressed this inquiry to the young wayfarer, was about his own age: but one of the queerest looking boys that Oliver had even seen. He was a snub-nosed, flat-browed, common-faced boy enough; and as dirty a juvenile as one would wish to see; but he had about him all the airs and manners of a man. He was short of his age: with rather bow-legs, and little, sharp, ugly eyes. His hat was stuck on the top of his head so lightly, that it threatened to fall off every moment--and would have done so, very often, if the wearer had not had a knack of every now and then giving his head a sudden twitch, which brought it back to its old place again.
He wore a man's coat, which reached nearly to his heels.

He had turned the cuffs back, half-way up his arm, to get his hands out of the sleeves: apparently with the ultimated view of thrusting them into the pockets of his corduroy trousers; for there he kept them. He was, altogether, as roystering and swaggering a young gentleman as ever stood four feet six, or something less, in the bluchers. *
posted by ericb at 9:47 PM on March 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


You know what's cool? Doing your own thing, making it work, and not particularly caring what other people think. Roll on, Arlo.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 9:48 PM on March 10, 2009 [18 favorites]


I love this kid, and you haters can suck it. Sorry if he doesn't go for the hoodies, blue jeans, and baseball cap favored by every lazy and timid hipster since 1990. Guess what? They're fucking boring. Maybe he gets beat up for his clothes. So what. 10 years from now, he'll get laid for them, and deserve it.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:52 PM on March 10, 2009 [16 favorites]


What does this say about GQ's demographic?

Fey attention whores with Victorian fetishes and Peter Pan complexes are more common than you might think? (And in any case have trunkloads of disposable income?)

Note: if this is comes off snarky, its target is not Arlo (who's far too young to know any better) but GQ's art director.
posted by gompa at 9:54 PM on March 10, 2009


Arlo Weiner pretty much to L.A. fashion as Jonathan Krohn is to D.C. politics
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:08 PM on March 10, 2009


Peter Pan complexes...

Lest we forget Peter Pan of Pixeyland!

Or, investment banking intern Kevin Colvin of days gone by.
posted by ericb at 10:09 PM on March 10, 2009


Arlo Weiner pretty much to L.A. fashion as Jonathan Krohn is to D.C. politics...

As per my observation above.
posted by ericb at 10:11 PM on March 10, 2009


The clothes don't creep me out nearly as much as his strangely adult way of talking. Stage kids are the weirdest.
posted by Bookhouse at 10:17 PM on March 10, 2009


Sorry if he doesn't go for the hoodies, blue jeans, and baseball cap favored by every lazy and timid hipster since 1990. Guess what? They're fucking boring.

You know what's boring? What's boring is that this kid's fashion allowance is probably bigger than my monthly income. Millions of adults can't find work in this country, entire families go without proper health care, hunger is a problem for one in eight Americans -- that's right, some people can't even afford to fucking EAT -- and meanwhile Little Lord Fauntleroy's parents are buying their precocious little darling top hats to wear to school. That's what's fucking boring.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:18 PM on March 10, 2009 [20 favorites]


Wow, so you just want us all to be as miserable as you, huh?
posted by liquorice at 10:22 PM on March 10, 2009


That bores you?
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:22 PM on March 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


This kid's gonna team up with the kid who wrote a book on how to pick up chicks, right? Right?
posted by not_on_display at 10:24 PM on March 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


... and all will be forgotten in a few minutes (qv).
posted by porpoise at 10:28 PM on March 10, 2009


Sorry ericb. Though your observation appeared after the one in the Slate blog.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:35 PM on March 10, 2009


I applaud him. Dress however the damn hell you want, and the haters be damned/ This is exactly on par with my mother letting me wear princess dresses and plastic sparkly shoes out and about when I was a wee girl. Rock on, dress up kid. Here's hoping puberty spares you the desire to wear loose blanketlike neutral toned garments in an attempt at invisiblity.
posted by Jilder at 10:40 PM on March 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Someday he's going to wish he let his brother vet all his clothing choices.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:05 PM on March 10, 2009


You know what's boring? What's boring is that this kid's fashion allowance is probably bigger than my monthly income. Millions of adults can't find work in this country, entire families go without proper health care, hunger is a problem for one in eight Americans -- that's right, some people can't even afford to fucking EAT -- and meanwhile Little Lord Fauntleroy's parents are buying their precocious little darling top hats to wear to school. That's what's fucking boring.

Yet ironically, someone had to get paid to make that top hat, and all those clothes. The problem we face today is one of demand. People get laid off because no one wants the stuff they're paid to produce. On the other hand, most clothes are probably made overseas.

Some of those clothes look like Halloween costumes, though.
posted by delmoi at 11:42 PM on March 10, 2009


I thought outfits 2 and 9 in the slideshow were pretty great. Rock on, kid.
posted by harriet vane at 11:44 PM on March 10, 2009


The problem is not "that he's doing his own thing" but that some magazine actually gives a fuck. Who cares about the scion of some rich family who wears fancy pants clothes and plays at being grown up? At eighteen we should take away his trust fund, make him work at McDonald's and then see how awesome his wardrobe gets. I'm sorry but this kid is the Paris Hilton of eight year olds.
posted by PostIronyIsNotaMyth at 11:47 PM on March 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's why he doesn't get made fun of: It's Private School Chic, you're basically not allowed to even go to private school if you don't view everything you do as unique and special. And I really doubt all the other Jewish kids are making fun of the surname Weiner.

(What, we were supposed to think he goes to public school?)
posted by birdie birdington at 12:04 AM on March 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Parents abusing children is never amusing.
posted by bardic at 12:41 AM on March 11, 2009


God, I hate kids.
posted by cmoj at 12:46 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


On reading the comments, I rescind my previous message and submit the following:

God, I hate the conceit of fashion.
posted by cmoj at 12:54 AM on March 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sweet baby christ what are you people doing to each other; children; the world.

Fuck.

If i could see that boy for ten seconds digging his hands into dirt; scruffing his little hair; scowling at the fucking camera even - I would feel less weird bringing a child into this world.

But sitting here, waiting for my descendant to be be borne and stumble though what you people call The Important Shit - what are you DOING?!?! What do we think is important any more - you tube hit rates? Page rank? Argh!

Did you not see what happened to Golden Boy Peter Pan? It was on mefi! Do you not worry that...oh god I'm ranting. Enough to drink; time to program some things folks will pay for to keep their internet working. Not the time to question or wonder why; charge of the light brigade; progress etc etc.

But, god damn it, DO NOT FUCK UP it being fun to be a kid and NOT wear the right clothes. What are you people doing. step away from the computer and remember breaking things! being ugly and weird! Being wrong! These were good things for becoming a person before you turned it into social networking scorecard! It was good to be a kid and get teh adult shit wrong!

Dear god, or whatever: please let my oncoming child have fun; be weird; not spend their time trying to act like an adult until that makes sense.

I can't finish this in any way that makes sense: but please, let my child have a chance to create themselves and not fold themselves into some pinched origami ideal or recreated cultural disaster dressing themselves up at age 8 to be famous. Please - let me have one of the bad kids, the wrong kids, let me have one of the outliers. Because this, and you normal people, you. Crap I don't know, I'm sure you have your side too.

Fuck if I know, just stay away from my soon-to-be kid. I'll avoid your parties if yo avoid mine. Deal?
posted by freebird at 1:11 AM on March 11, 2009 [8 favorites]


I don't think his outfits are that bad - some of them I even like, and his accessorizing rocks. If he learns to tone it down as an adult he'll look great, and if not, he'll look like an ass. What I do find bizarre is the way he's being touted as some kind of wee fashion icon. As has been pointed out, he's got the biggest fashion allowance ever for dress-up.
posted by bettafish at 1:16 AM on March 11, 2009


Geordy the 7-year-old fashion wonderboy meets Isaac Mizrahi.
posted by johnny novak at 1:17 AM on March 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


That kid rocks. You're all jealous.
posted by minifigs at 2:01 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Count me in with the "that kid is awesome" camp.
Heck, I've been trying to find a red jacket like that for myself.
posted by vacapinta at 2:32 AM on March 11, 2009


Is it just me or has the blue turned into the internet's predict whether a particular kid is going to get laid in the future headquarters?
posted by clearly at 3:00 AM on March 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


This kid is awesome, and, I suspect, hater-proof as well. He wears that stuff to school, hell yeah.
posted by Nattie at 3:34 AM on March 11, 2009


"America's Most Stylish 8-Year-Old "

For this phrase to make sense, being an 8-year-old would have to be stylish. Last I checked, being 8 has never been stylish.
posted by Eideteker at 3:47 AM on March 11, 2009


The clothes don't creep me out nearly as much as his strangely adult way of talking.

Yeah, I've also found it unsettling that a lot of children that come from upper-class, super-educated homes are clearly more intelligent than a lot of average adults. I don't just mean ability to grasp complex ideas, but are literally more knowledgeable. I've met 10,11,12 year olds that know more about current events, literature, math, history than people with college educations.

The "age of majority/license" should be more stymied by the fact that the minds of adults and the minds of children overlap more than we are comfortable with. Perhaps some 10 year olds should be allowed to vote. Perhaps some 30 year olds shouldn't be.
posted by dgaicun at 4:23 AM on March 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


I don't know about stylish, but that's no 8 year old. 10 at least, maybe a small 12.
posted by DU at 4:34 AM on March 11, 2009


I'd like to see him branch out more into navy blues, charcoals, and browns -- though I know they aren't really L.A. colors -- but they can be redeemed with shots of pink, purple, and green, as well as with interesting textures and cuts. Red and black and white is just a really harsh combination on most complexions -- his included.
posted by jfwlucy at 4:44 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


People laugh at prodigies. Sure, it's funny to see a small kid doing the things that adults do.

I was a prodigy.

When I was four I wrote my first novel. When I was five I won my first international chess championship. At six, my childish little symphony was recorded by a professional orchestra and sold over a hundred thousand copies. By the age of nine I could speak 17 different languages.

But I was always jealous of the fashion prodigies.

Sure, I had a paper published in the Journal of Physics A when I was twelve. At thirteen I had my fourth patent. By fifteen my research on transfinite homological K-theory had won me honors throughout the mathematical community.

But I always felt that my fashion sense was undeveloped. I've had to accept awards while dressed in sneakers and t-shirts. I've discussed Proust and Sartre with learned minds who laughed at my khaki overalls.

There are geniuses and then there are geniuses. We pitiful few must content ourselves with academic accolades. My study of hydrophobic interactions in protein folding has brought me much general amusement, but it has done so while I wore red shorts with a maroon sweater.

I envy the great minds of our time, young as they may be, who can coordinate the vast complexities of fashion; the minds who can balance a sense of color with a sense of texture and taste.

These are the true prodigies. They are our true future.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:58 AM on March 11, 2009 [10 favorites]


Hell I'm jealous, I'm 44 and am lucky that I walk out of the house wearing two matching socks.
posted by octothorpe at 5:27 AM on March 11, 2009


I love it when I see a kid in the grocery store wearing, like, half a Halloween costume and a tiara and mis-matched sneakers. Heck, I'll admit it...I'm jealous.

This kid is awesome. (But I do hope he is studying some sort of martial art.)
posted by JoanArkham at 6:02 AM on March 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


I bet that conservative kid would kick his ass.
posted by sfts2 at 6:11 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


His mother must dress him.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 6:13 AM on March 11, 2009


He was, altogether, as roystering and swaggering a young gentleman as ever stood four feet six, or something less, in the bluchers.

FRIGHTENED WHINNY!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:14 AM on March 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Man, if I were eight years old I could get away with wearing clashing plaids, too.
posted by Nelson at 6:21 AM on March 11, 2009


"i never wear short sleeves, they don't cover the bruises."
posted by kitchenrat at 6:39 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seconding octothorpe, and as someone about to step out the front door to get a coffee at McDonalds in polyester sweatpants with big white stripes down the side, I say, without reservation, "Bravo, young man!"
posted by Turtles all the way down at 6:53 AM on March 11, 2009


I wonder if these uberkids have the same rate of burn-out that child actors do. I grimace to think of this kid in his 30s, he in jail and his mother sticking his fresh underwear under a faucet and hand it to him wet. He'd no longer care about plaids and blending gray with green, he'd just be looking for his next fix. Or that little precocious conservative twat standing on a street corner, ranting that The Liberal Media ruined his life, and they're after you next!
posted by filthy light thief at 6:59 AM on March 11, 2009


Give the kid a break. He's passionate about something. Does it matter what his parents do or what his resources are? If he can take advantage than he should!

Does his fashion sense have to perfect at the age of 8 to avoid the critiques of the hive-mind? Obviously so.

Just let the kid have fun. Instead of wearing his pants at his knees and spending his days playing video games, he goes nuts with funky clothes.

That's good enough for me.
posted by Grimble at 7:08 AM on March 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


This kid's gonna team up with the kid who wrote a book on how to pick up chicks, right? Right?

And two years later, they will both have to do the perp walk out of elementary school, because the Feds have broken their juice boxes-for-nookie operation. Watch out, kids! Pimpin' ain't easy!
posted by jonp72 at 7:09 AM on March 11, 2009


Man, he could be spending all of his dad's money on X-Box games and stupid "designer" sneakers, but instead he spends it on retro clothing. That is awesome! I love this kid. I almost have a crush on him. Not a romantic crush, but a "I wish I had a son like this" longing (I have no children). He is an inspiration. I didn't wear my signature look -- a vintage sequined green chiffon dress with oversized orange sweater -- until 9th grade at the earliest.
posted by chowflap at 7:15 AM on March 11, 2009


I think this kid is pretty cool. What's fucked is putting him all over the goddamned internet like some sort of spectacle. Just let him do his thing already!
posted by orme at 7:20 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's so adorable. But his clothes clash. But he continues to look adorable.
posted by anniecat at 7:26 AM on March 11, 2009


Does his fashion sense have to perfect at the age of 8 to avoid the critiques of the hive-mind? Obviously so.

Uh, most people doing the critiquing are saying the precise opposite.
posted by adamdschneider at 7:28 AM on March 11, 2009


I'm a little creeped out by this kid. Other than about a sixteen-year difference, Arlo is identical to my mental image of Anonymous Fedora Guy.
posted by Metroid Baby at 7:29 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is what I wanted to do when I was a kid, but I didn't quite know how, and I didn't have the nerve. And as I later learned from watching Paris Is Burning, it do take nerve.
posted by hermitosis at 7:32 AM on March 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Barack Obama riding a t-rex and throwing candy to the crowd
posted by ericbop at 7:37 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Good for him. My daughter would dress like this, if she had access to the pieces. As it is, she does her best with whatever she has. There's nothing frightening or threatening about kids doing weird stuff, because they don't have all the rules internalized. It's how they learn, and it's fun to watch.
posted by rusty at 7:53 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


What he really reminded me of is the lengthy discussion David Sedaris likes to do regarding his own youthful fashion. The fringed camel colored velvet vest. Living in an antique filled boarding house dressed like Oscar Wilde's chimney sweep, and so on.

I don't know/care if the kid turns out gay, straight, nerdo, picked on, whatever - as a rugged tomboy in my youth, I know I would have been thrilled if Bitch magazine had dubbed me the "Most Stylish 8 Year Old Butch", but alas.
posted by palindromic at 8:05 AM on March 11, 2009


I am really creeped out by what this kid wears. It's unnatural. Kids his age are supposed to not care about their clothes because they're too busy doing things that get their clothes dirty. Someone convinced him that he doesn't need a childhood, and that's pretty sad.
posted by Simon Barclay at 8:13 AM on March 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


He could wear a coonskin cap for a playfully iconic 1950's 8 year old edge but he probably thinks fur is immoral.
posted by Hammond Rye at 8:19 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not all kids like to get dirty. Without knowing him personally, all we can do is guess...but I suspect that this is a creative kid being brought up in a creative (and, yes, privileged) household, just being himself.

My childhood was spent reading in a tree instead of playing with dolls. Who can say what "childhood" is supposed to be?
posted by JoanArkham at 8:23 AM on March 11, 2009


I'm thinking that when he's sixteen this kids gonna look like an extra from a '70's biker movie, just to get revenge on his parents for this.
posted by jonmc at 8:23 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do all the Weiner men have a complex sexuality to express to the world? I always assumed that the hyper-stylized, obsessively groomed Mad Men was Matt Weiner's extended, passive aggressive confession to his wife that he was gay.
posted by zoomorphic at 8:24 AM on March 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


When I was eight years old, I wore my grandmother's blue tulle cast-off cocktail dress , which my grandmother had been kind enough to alter for me, all over town. With this I often wore gloves, rhinestones and mary janes of complimentary shades, and spent many hours in the bathroom after school trying to fashion my hair into the French twist style updo Grace Kelly wore to the masquerade ball in "To Catch a Thief" (my favorite movie, at the time--my goldfish was named Cary Grant).

If wearing that outfit to school had been an option, I would have. As it was, I refused to wear a pair of pants until I was almost ten years old, because I was afraid someone might mistake me for a boy, and spent lots of time putting together ensembles involving Madonna-esque tutus and oversized hair ribbons to wear to the fourth grade. My social life in elementary school certainly did not suffer, maybe because most of my friends were, like me, the children of arty, hippie parents of various stripes. My guess is that Arlo Weiner is pretty well isolated against the kind of pre-adolescent asshole that would beat him up on a playground for dressing like the Artful Dodger.

I love this kid. Way to make the monotony and boredom of elementary school a little more bearable.
posted by thivaia at 8:29 AM on March 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


I love this kid.
posted by kookaburra at 8:33 AM on March 11, 2009


This kid is great. He obviously knows what he likes, and he's confident enough to wear it (and to school!). He doesn't seem to care what other people think he should wear, he wears what he wants to. And his parents support that. That's great. When I was a kid I wanted to do all sorts of cool stuff and wear things I thought were pretty, but I was too shy and I cared too damn much what other people thought (I threw out these red pants that I loved because some snotty bitches made fun of them - how dumb is that?). I wish I had half this kid's confidence when I was his age. Or twice his age.

At some point he might have to dress to 'fit in', but until that sad, dull day, go Arlo!
posted by sandraregina at 8:41 AM on March 11, 2009


Gentlemen's Quarterly

More like Eight-Year-Olds' Monthly, amirite?

Anyone who looks even slightly interesting has Histrionic Personality Disorder and requires immediate medical attention, plus public humiliation on a nationally broadcast reality show.

Gap. You want to go to there.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:45 AM on March 11, 2009


In the one with a cane, he looks more like a tiny aging mafia don than anything else.
posted by jonmc at 8:46 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm down with this kid - I think he should take whatever impulses toward fashion he's got and drive them into the stratosphere.

As he ages, he'll get more complex about it hopefully and there'll be more fun shit to wear.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:56 AM on March 11, 2009


"The 'age of majority/license' should be more stymied by the fact that the minds of adults and the minds of children overlap more than we are comfortable with."

Well, considering that your brain doesn't finish wiring itself until puberty, rendering children physically incapable of operating their brains at adult levels because of differences in myelination and thus neural conductivity... I'm going to respectfully disagree with you there. And I'm going to completely disagree with your assertion that wealthier people have smarter kids. Environmental influences make a difference, to be sure, but this borders too close to Victorian ideals of class distinction or ethnic caste discrimination concepts for me to be comfortable with that kind of statement.

By and large kids are reflections of their parents, until they are old enough to start forming their own opinions. If this kid was living in Iowa with middle-class parents who worked in retail, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't be wearing crushed velvet and listening to Sinatra. Maybe he would by the time he hit college, but as an 8 year old? No. If you think this kid is an atrocity, blame his parents and LA celebrity society. Don't blame the kid.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:18 AM on March 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Someone convinced him that he doesn't need a childhood, and that's pretty sad.

Simon Barclay: I don't think it works like that. I spent most of my childhood with my face buried in a book, completely distant from my peers. We just didn't have much if anything in common. No-one convinced me to be this way, its just how I was. I give Arlo mad props for finding something that makes him happy and going for it. He probably wouldn't have "fit in" no matter what pursuit he chose, so why does it make a difference if he likes fashion instead of books or fantasy gaming or anime or....
posted by jester69 at 9:41 AM on March 11, 2009


Maybe he would by the time he hit college, but as an 8 year old? No.

Eight is third grade or so, by this age I was a voracious reader, and got in trouble during class for having my nose in a book instead of listening to the teacher. I was behaving contrary to the teacher, and once they knew about it, my parents wishes. I think mid grade school is when kids really start to get a sense of self, and their own interest. It is somewhat precocious in a third grader, but the children of successful people are brought up in an environment that welcomes such things. Many are blessed with higher than average intelligence. So the parents may have set the ball rolling, but kids, often moreso bright kids, are hard to control.
posted by jester69 at 9:49 AM on March 11, 2009


jester69, I just don't get the impression that this was an independent choice made by him. It's too much of a coincidence that (a) his father is responsible for a TV show being distinctly geared towards fashion, and (b) he chose to wear distinctly fashionable clothing. I don't buy it.

From the article: Arlo on Dad’s show: “That’s where I’ve gotten a lot of my inspiration."

Maybe his dad had an overt role, or maybe he's seeking his dad's approval...

There's absolutely nothing wrong with kids expressing individuality, and that individuality may express itself through clothing. But, I believe that this kid's distinctive fashion is driven by someone else, which -- by definition -- is the opposite of individuality. It reminds me of those women who dress up their baby girls and put them in beauty pageants (but I realize that this isn't close to as bad).
posted by Simon Barclay at 9:55 AM on March 11, 2009


The problem is not "that he's doing his own thing" but that some magazine actually gives a fuck.

As evidenced by some of the comments here, magazines give a fuck because readers give a fuck.

I thought he was cute. Let the kid wear costumes and learn fashion design if he wants. You're not his parents. Relax.

In the one with a cane, he looks more like a tiny aging mafia don than anything else.

Seriously. Let's see, a blazer with pajama-looking gold pants, a crumpled black hat, a goofy wooden cane, and blind-man's glasses. The costume ones aren't so great, imo. V-Day and #8 are pretty bad, as are #10 and the one he wore to school 12 times. The other ones indicate a parent's hand, but whatever.

Arlo, who plans to start designing his own clothes as soon as his mom gets a sewing machine, likes to mix and match bright colors and patterns.

C'mon, mom! Get with the program here.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:58 AM on March 11, 2009


It's interesting the ratio of positive to negative responses in this thread vs the foodiekid one. Most people seemed to be weirded out by that, but ok with this. Sounds like a lot of the positive responses in this one are from females, too, though I don't recall sex having any bearing on the other thread.
posted by adamdschneider at 10:01 AM on March 11, 2009


By and large kids are reflections of their parents, until they are old enough to start forming their own opinions.

Eight years old is plenty old enough for a kid to form their own opinions. The opinions may be completely untethered from reality or norms, but believe me, they will have their own.

I like this kid. I like it anytime I see a kid have a finely-grained obsession about something many of us adults take for granted or ignore or have a cursory understanding of. Could be an exhaustive catalog of knowledge of dinosaurs or insects or volcanos or trains...or the shape, colors and patterns of fashion. I've seen my own son display these obsessions serially starting at age 3 (fans and other spinning objects), 4-5 (solar system), 6-8 (human anatomy, in particular the cardiovascular system), 9 (carnivorous plants), 10 (shipwrecks->naval battles->WWII).

Nothing wrong with that kid. Lay off.
posted by jamaro at 10:02 AM on March 11, 2009


Another son of Matthew Weiner plays the creepy kid Glen on Mad Men, the one with the insanely inappropriate relationship with Betty.

Both kids are pretty awesome in their own way. But let's face it. Both also pale in comparison to the whole other level of awesomeness that Sally Draper possesses. Sally Draper is the most awesome.
posted by lampoil at 10:04 AM on March 11, 2009



Someone convinced him that he doesn't need a childhood, and that's pretty sad.


Not every kid wants to be a child even if their childhoods are, by all conventional standards, "happy."
Personally, I've enjoyed being an adult far more than I ever enjoyed being a child.
posted by thivaia at 10:06 AM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eight is third grade or so, by this age I was a voracious reader, and got in trouble during class for having my nose in a book instead of listening to the teacher. I was behaving contrary to the teacher, and once they knew about it, my parents wishes. I think mid grade school is when kids really start to get a sense of self, and their own interest.

Heh. I remember getting in trouble in third grade for reading my own books while I was supposed to be doing "real" homework.

I agree with the idea of coming into your own self at 8-9. I think this kid has seen a lot of fashion (men's and women's) in his dad's show and from other exposure via his family and he's trying to emulate it in what he sees as his own style. I wouldn't be surprised to see him lose interest. He's only 8. 8-9 is when kids start to become semi-competent at sports as well, so you never know.

As for the "let him be a kid," argument, it seems like he's doing what he wants within the boundaries his parents have set. That sounds like being a kid.

Childhood in World History
posted by mrgrimm at 10:16 AM on March 11, 2009


That kid is so awesome. I wish I had a tenth of his style.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 10:17 AM on March 11, 2009


adamdschneider: That's interesting, I was thinking about this thread versus the free-range kids thread. An outside observer might conclude that MeFites verbosely love their own childhoods but desperately hate the childhoods of others.
posted by Ian A.T. at 10:21 AM on March 11, 2009


Fop.

Also: coxcomb, fribble, popinjay, and ninny.

And I say that respectfully.
posted by mazola at 10:39 AM on March 11, 2009


Based on the way he mixes his plaids, I'd say nobody is denying him his childhood. When I dressed that way as a boy, my parents made me change. Don't think they would ever have let me dress as a chimney sweet, although I would have loved it.

The kid isn't being denied a childhood. He's having own. Sartorially speaking, an awesome one.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:45 AM on March 11, 2009


Here's a scarf, little boy. It was hand knitted by Mrs. Defarge. See? It has your parents names on it.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:50 AM on March 11, 2009


The kid's awesome.

His dad makes a fantastic show that involves a lot of retro fashion stuff, and his son picks up on some of that, and this somehow becomes the dad forcing the ideals on his son, or his son's desperate plea for parental approval? What?

Would you say the same if dad was a mechanic and the kid liked cars? Or, you know, my mom was an academic and I spent much of my childhood with my nose in a book - must have been because I was pressured into doing so.

But those things are what we have decided is "normal" for kids to like and be interested in. Clothes are not, apparently, among those things. This is odd. Kids can be interested in a lot of things, so why not clothes? Of course kids respond to things that their parents are interested in, and might pick up on them, and of course there are wacky parents out there who live vicariously through their children.

But I didn't get the sense here that this is the case with Weiner fils.
posted by rtha at 11:20 AM on March 11, 2009


He looks like a ventriloquist’s dummy.

“Hell I'm jealous, I'm 44 and am lucky that I walk out of the house wearing two matching socks.”

You go by thickness too?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:40 AM on March 11, 2009


Some kids are just naturally more stylish than the rest of you assholes.
posted by ColdChef at 11:52 AM on March 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


You're telling me?
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:05 PM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Matt Weiner's supposed to come speak to my TV theory class next week. I don't know how I can pretend to give a damn about HIM now... I just wanna find something cool to bring as a gift to Arlo!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:49 PM on March 11, 2009


I just wanna find something cool to bring as a gift to Arlo!

How about boy's size lederhosen? Or, better yet, a pair of ass-less leather chaps and a biker cap?
posted by ericb at 1:26 PM on March 11, 2009


Well, considering that your brain doesn't finish wiring itself until puberty, rendering children physically incapable of operating their brains at adult levels because of differences in myelination and thus neural conductivity... I'm going to respectfully disagree with you there.


There are individual differences in myelination, and these differences do not have a 1:1 correspondence with any identified abilities. That all children are incapable of some vital cognition that all adults are capable of is an empirical matter. Just name one test of information or reasoning where children and adults do not overlap. I am aware of none. There are 10 year olds who get perfect SAT scores.

And I'm going to completely disagree with your assertion that wealthier people have smarter kids. Environmental influences make a difference, to be sure, but this borders too close to Victorian ideals of class distinction or ethnic caste discrimination concepts for me to be comfortable with that kind of statement.

The social science here is unambiguous and universally accepted. The reasons for those associations are more controversial, but my comment said nothing about why children from well educated homes are more likely to excel in certain ways.
posted by dgaicun at 1:50 PM on March 11, 2009


I not sure I'm getting this. You could take a random eight-year-old and let him/her pick from a large enough selection and you would get roughly the same mismatched colors and patterns.

And to set one thing straight: Kids having a sense for fashion is not charming. My daughter refused to wear a blouse to her skirt because it's the wrong pink. Like in this kind of pink doesn't go with this kind of yellow. When she was four. Let me tell you, this was not charming -- it was scary. I had visions of having to take out another loan to indulge her preteen fashion antics.
posted by sour cream at 1:55 PM on March 11, 2009


Hell, I loved playing dress-up at that age too... leave the kid alone
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:35 PM on March 11, 2009


You could take a random eight-year-old and let him/her pick from a large enough selection and you would get roughly the same mismatched colors and patterns.

Ha, one time in the fifth grade I too decided to share my precocious sense with the world by wearing my Freddy Kruger mask and glove to school in February. But my fashion hating parents put the kibosh on it.
posted by dgaicun at 3:35 PM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


If he showed up at my place, I'd assume I was in the black lodge and try to kill him with fire.

To be fair, I hate pretension, rich people, cravats, and precocious children.
posted by klangklangston at 5:00 PM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Listen, when I was 8 amongst my literary exploits I completed a satirical detective film noir short story. As an adult, I found it so mindboggling that an 8 year old wrote it that I now use it as an example to remind myself to never underestimate what children can comprehend or are capable of.

Case in point. At eight years of age I wrote the following two lines in a part of said story. I was describing the protagonist (a gumshoe detective, of course) happening upon one of those crazy wild Christmas parties people had in Thin Man movies (which were my favorites as a kid and clearly where I got the inspiration for the story)... and here are the two lines, short but to the point:

"Everyone was feeling merry.

Merry got mad and left."


Eight year olds are NOT supposed to be capable of constructing ribald double entendres, people. Especially ones that actually still make me laugh over three decades later.

In other words... I have no problem believing this kid probably does pick out his own clothes. I've gotta give him the benefit of the doubt. It's probably just his "thing," whereas mine was writing.
posted by miss lynnster at 5:03 PM on March 11, 2009


"Everyone was feeling merry. Merry got mad and left."

Damn, that's good.
posted by dgaicun at 5:16 PM on March 11, 2009


miss lynnster: When I was around 8, I asked my sister why she was so lethargic.

So, yeah. Right there with ya.
posted by rusty at 5:48 PM on March 11, 2009


Heh. I remember getting in trouble in third grade for reading my own books while I was supposed to be doing "real" homework.

I did this as well. Books on werewolves, spies and Crazy Horse, mostly. I think I waited until fourth grade to move on to Stephen King. Also, i wouldn't do my homework and therefore wouldn't be allowed to go out to recess, but instead could spend the half hour reading.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:04 PM on March 11, 2009


LA sapeur does la griffe.
posted by tellurian at 7:21 PM on March 11, 2009


Everyone here on Key West dresses like Arlo. Whatever you want whenever you want.

It's because bullies are rendered powerless here by our indigenous population of drag queens.
posted by humannaire at 9:46 PM on March 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Interestingly enough, miss lynnster, I remember hearing the "everyone was feeling merry" line in a detective-at-a-party-story when I was about eight. There was also a line that went "Everyone was jumping for joy. Joy was naked and hanging from the chandelier." Did we go to the same elementary school or something?
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:52 AM on March 12, 2009


When I was 8, I got detention for a week for writing sexually graphic madlibs at recess. I went back and reread those recently, and I too was really surprised, shocked, really, that an 8 year old wrote them. That's how good they were. I had to get some alone time, before I even got through #8, A Day at the Aquarium.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:07 AM on March 12, 2009


I once wore a lilac cotton dress to school on non-uniform day, as I liked the dress and trainers look in Just 17. Everyone else in the class wore checked shirts and trackie bottoms. I've never had the piss taken out of me more before or since. If I walked round the corner in DMs, I'd get called a 'lesbian moose'. This kid wouldn't last five minutes. He so obviously goes to a private school, where it's pretty normal for kids to have junior ranges of mom and dad's designer duds - where I grew up, everyone aged 0-60 is in sportswear, and a wool coat looks weird enough.

I do think that that first outfit is a horrid clash of shades and textures, though.
posted by mippy at 7:53 AM on March 12, 2009


Interestingly enough, miss lynnster, I remember hearing the "everyone was feeling merry" line in a detective-at-a-party-story when I was about eight...

I don't know WHERE I got it. But the whole damn story was filled with that kind of stuff perfectly intertwined into this sweeping noir narrative that actually had a beginning, middle, and end. I may have picked that line up somewhere else, but there were other things. And I clearly was growing familiar with my mom's thesaurus because I actually found a place for words like "profligate."

I remember in 7th grade I was called into the Principal's office and sent home because my english teacher said I had plagiarized a poem. But I had spent all night on the poem. I used a common theme (can't remember what it was) and just wrote what sounded nice to me. So I was DEVASTATED. She never produced the poem that she said I plagiarized, when my mom asked if she could prove I stole it from somewhere, the teacher just responded, "There is no way a child wrote that" and I remained in trouble.

Man, I hated school.
posted by miss lynnster at 9:32 AM on March 12, 2009


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