The "It" in question is Fashion, and the article tries to understand why it is that fashion is often considered the bastard child of "culture"; why fashion is often regarded by intellectuals as a wanton display of vanity and consumerism—and can therefore be dismissed or even scorned.
We have certainly experienced—and even fallen victim to—this disregard for fashion, especially in academia. Serious instructors and students aren't expected to pay attention to what they wear, just what they think.
But, as the article argues, what we wear most certainly reflects our ideas—clothes are both a personal expression of our identities as well as a tool for analyzing everything from politics and history, to arts and - yes - culture, throughout the ages.
If you disagree about fashion's far-reaching importance and value, well then, we're awfully surprised you're still reading this blog (here's a link to take you back to The Huffington Post.)
As we see it, smart people can and most definitely do enjoy fashion. In fact, we think there are many designers out there today who recognize the intelligence of their customer, and seek to outfit her in the smart, stylish dubs she so desires. Just check out the latest lookbook at Anthropologie.com called "Smart Looks for Smart People." With outfit names like "Trigonometry," "Biology," and "Writing," it's brilliant marketing, sure, but aimed at one educated group of gals.