That is how, in 1980, Lisa Birnbach introduced much of the world to the phenomenon of the upturned collar in The Offical Preppy Handbook. It's back.
The collar, that is.
WSJ just ran The Return Of The Popped Collar and it caught my attention. The socionomics of it may have some importance for current market psychology.
The article notes that "the upturned collar's roots stem from tennis champion René Lacoste, who in 1927 designed a polo shirt for his own use with flexible collars that could be turned up to prevent the neck from being sunburned."
Could we have two more years of rally before an epic decline? Only time will tell. But I do find the parallel amusing.
WSJ also draws our attention to the years 1983 and 1984.
Hmm, three years from 1987. Wow.
The writer even mentions "don't panic."
Furthermore, he explains "the modern upturned collar is a nonchalant flourish meant to give an outfit a little flair."
Then there's this classic bit of advice:
When popping the collar, it is still preferable for it
to look a little imperfect—not perfectly straight up, a little bent or curled
or even with one collar point sticking up higher than the other.
Kind of reminds me of the market. Over-lapping low-volume up waves punctuated with high-volume, knife-edged declines, and little net progress for the last 13 years. Imperfect.
Maybe it's a popped market. A nonchalant flourish "popped" up by easy money. Defying gravity. But don't panic. Markets are never perfect.
One thing I was pleased about was that the writer straightened things out when it came to the origins of the popped collar. It was not an attitude thing. It was functional. To prevent the neck from being sunburned.
Yeah, I'm from the Northeast. Yeah, I wear Lacoste sometimes. Yeah, I pop the collar. But only when I'm on a boat when it's sunny, preferably with a beer in my hand.
As I wrote in the Aspen post last year:
The Godfather Of Gonzo wore Lacoste and didn't apologize for it. Neither do I.
Hunter S. Thompson loved Lacoste shirts. He also loved to drink Wild Turkey and shoot his typewriter with a 357 magnum.
I'd say that, socionomically, the return of the popped collar says absolutely nothing and absolutely everything about where we're at currently in the markets.
Actually, what matters most today is that it's Triple Witching and that I leave for another road trip this afternoon.
1567 remains a solid Fib target, 1576 remains for the CNBC all-time high crowd, and the 13-year trend line remains at 1600.
I am participating very lightly with SPY 157 calls. 1525.34 is still my stop.
Think I'll throw on an old Lacoste shirt and a pair of bombed-out jeans before I head out on the highway . . .