You’re never fully dressed without someone complaining about it

Standard

I was flashing back to a message-board conversation I was involved in a couple years ago regarding a celebrity and her poor fashion choices. That lead me to think of the show “What Not To Wear” which I used to watch regularly. (In case you haven’t seen it, people nominate their friends to be on the show. The nominees often dress oddly or poorly for their body types. The nominees’ friends provide secret video footage of the person in various outfits and the hosts of the show watch and go on and on about how awful the clothing is.)
I know that I, myself, have been guilty, often, of critiquing what people are wearing (mostly in my own head, but it’s there, nonetheless). Then I got to thinking…..why? What business of mine is it what someone wears? So it’s unflattering on them. So what? Isn’t the real question whether s/he feels comfortable and/or attractive in the outfit? Because, if that’s so, then what is it to me? It’s not hurting me in any way, except maybe bruising my sense of aesthetics, but isn’t that subjective, anyhow? Say my friend is wearing something that emphasizes her rear end and makes it look larger than it really is, but she truly adores the outfit. That should be the end of the story. It’s not my rear end, nor is it my responsibility to make it look a certain way or appeal to the opposite sex. If she feels good what right have I, or anyone else, to feel sorry for her? And yet people persist in shaking their heads and clucking pityingly about So-and-so who “just doesn’t dress attractively.”
In picking apart the subject it seems to me to boil down to how much you care what other people think about you. If I don’t care what people think about me then why would I give a fig if someone likes my outfit or not? What’s really almost unforgivable is that I *am* one of those people. I wear what I like. I don’t dress for other people. I know the hosts of “What Not To Wear” would be horrified, for example, at my rainbow-striped knee socks, which I wear with cropped lounge pants around the house (and, okay, when I go out of the house to make a school run). But I think they are cute and I am comfortable in them, so why is it anyone else’s concern? After all, it’s my body. No one else has to claim responsibility for dressing me. I’m not trying to impress anyone. I guess I could see being more concerned with fashion if you’re out on the dating scene. On the other hand, I don’t understand dressing in a way that’s completely out of your comfort zone just to snag a mate. Personally, I’d rather have someone who loves me for all my quirks and uniqueness and not because I conform to the accepted fashions.
But I digress. Back to my original point: What really matters when considering one’s wardrobe? Other people’s opinions, or the opinion of the person in question? And why do we really criticize and give advice and bemoan people’s fashion choices? Is it because we truly have their best interests at heart and are doing it unselfishly? Or are we giving voice to our own prejudices and taste and simply cloaking it in the mantle of concern? Why does it matter to us what someone else is wearing if it makes him or her happy?

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About msmaryb

I'm a native Californian who lives in Oklahoma. I'm a full-time student, pursuing a Bachelors in Anthropology, following which I hope to attain a Masters in Archaeology. I have three kids, one husband, no pets, and a lot of friends - most of whom live inside my computer. I love to read, write, watch tv (shut up, we can't all be brain surgeons), shop, and travel. I'm trying to set foot in all 50 states before I die. I have 38, so far. I love the Beatles and Maroon 5, and if you think those two things are incongruous, well, they are. But that's me. When I love something, I love it 100%. I don't do anything halfway. I want to know everything there is to know, so I'm trying to cram as much into my brain as I can in the short amount of time I'm allotted in this dimension.

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