while lazing about on my couch in a moody, pregnant haze several weeks back, i happened to spot a show in the comcast line-up called glamour’s 50 biggest fashion do’s and don’ts. though such programs aren’t my favored fare (i usually end of watching odd science or medical shows actually!), i gave into my morbid curiosity (and laziness, yes!) and tuned in to see what the “experts” therein would choose to bash or bolster.
it all seemed pretty ridiculous…it was mostly a show made for the express purpose of slaying the sartorial choices of celebs, or trashing the clothing choices of us commoners…fashion was the target du jour for a litany of comedy and quips, really.
OF COURSE, many of the ‘don’ts’ they offered up had me disagreeing, and defiantly and audibly talking back to the TV (which of course just wasn’t listening or responding! hah!). i couldn’t help myself!
what really got me going was that i noticed 90% of the segments on the show were ‘don’ts’. it was as if barely anything was proper and right style-wise to the folks participating and making the show…about the only “allowable” fashion do’s included things like owning and wearing a prissy set of pearls and a ‘smart suit’. boring, staid stuff was about the only thing that seemed to be tolerable enough to score a coveted ‘do’. anything experimental was a comedic target, a joke…thinking outside the box with your self-expression = not allowed, says glamour. unless you wanna be laughed at.
see, i don’t think much can be written-off wholesale, fashion-wise…because inevitably, there will be that one person (or many people!) to whom that piece or look will be completely natural, perfect, and just work. a person or many might wear that piece in a new, experimental, innovative way…and that’s the kind of thing that i love about fashion. i adore those people who persevere, pushing-forward with fashion fearlessly…they are the ones who help to define new paradigms that will change the minds and eventually effect the wallets of thousands if not millions. otherwise, how would anything change??
mistakes are inevitably going to be made along the way with such experimentation. and…so what? it’s part of the game of style! it’s supposed to be FUN, not so freaking regimented and serious. “messing up” or going out on a limb can be delicious. such experimentation rarely hurts anyone.
of course people have opinions. they love certain things. and conversely, they have things that they find aesthetically distasteful. it’s totally okay to not be into something, and to be really into other things. that’s great! it’s part of finding one’s personal style, tapping into one’s design sense. it’s what makes us all different, makes the world an interesting, varied place…that inherent diversity of perspective and taste. if everyone or every person was the same, in their style, or otherwise, the world would be a really boring place.
so yeah, the show was mostly garbage. but the whole premise of the program got me thinking…and going off on a critical little fashion tangent. and i started brewing a bunch of questions in my brain.
(some sensical, some not, i admit! such is the nature of my brain lately!)
-why is there so much fear involved with fashion/style? why is there so much fear surrounding the possibility of being seen as a don’t? what’s going to REALLY happen to you if someone dislikes what you choose to wear? why is it a big deal to “screw up” with fashion or style? does it really matter in the BIG scheme of things?
-if everything even remotely edgy is a ‘don’t’, then what exactly is a ‘do’ anymore? are there actual, factual rules one should follow with fashion? is it better or easier somehow if we all look exactly the same?
-who makes these do and don’t lists?
where does the authority of these individuals REALLY come from?
what kind of background does one require to be an expert in this arena?
and also, can there really be any ‘experts’ when fashion and style are such subjective subjects?
AND, why should we take these alleged arbiters of style seriously if their ‘don’t’ list this season completely contradicts their ‘do’ list from last season?
what is the agenda of these list-makers?
-better yet, who HEEDS these do and don’t lists?
do people appreciate the ability to not have to think for themselves?
is it easier to just sit back and do what one is told to do?
do people realize these lists are as subjective as the style of the person creating them?
-is there anything in fashion or style that is unequivocally a ‘don’t’, that absolutely no one should attempt? is anything absolutely a ‘do’ that applies to every single person? (this one is similar to one of the above questions, i know…)
– what is all this ‘don’t-ing’ and ‘do-ing’ really all about? is it just about getting us to buy new stuff? is it merely cultural? do we just eventually tire of things aesthetically, collectively? is that fatigue to be expected, perhaps? does the fatigue of some alleged arbiters really make it ‘wrong’ for the rest of us?
if you feel like it, pipe up! i’d love to hear your thoughts (as usual).