Monday, 28 March 2016

Monday Miscellany - Fashion, turn to left. Fashion, turn to the right. Oooh Fashion.

I'm still having some trouble getting my head around Mondays. Now I'm running out of things to rant about I just don't know what direction to head into. To be honest, I haven't been in the best mood today because of work dramas so I've been tempted to let off steam about it here. Although, I never wanted this blog to be about that kind of thing and I don't want to waste my time or your time doing. So instead, I decided to turn to a topic that I've often thought about including more of here but decided it's better for all involved that I don't: fashion. Or, in actuality, lifestyle blogs. Despite my love of criticism, I don't read a lot of book/film review blogs. Probably because I'm too afraid that I'll realise how sub-par I am if I'm more aware of what's out there but maybe just because it'd be a bit like a busman's holiday. I am, however, weirdly obsessed with posts about beauty and fashion despite being a complete novice in both of these areas.

To be honest, the whole process strikes me as odd because, really, what does it say about you as a person that you think you have such great style that you feel compelled to give other people advice with no real credibility in the field? I mean, yes, it's a bit rich of me to say that as an amateur critic but I'd be grateful if we could all ignore this glaringly obvious example of hypocritical behaviour for the duration of this post. What kind of ordinary person looks in the mirror and thinks 'the world needs to see what I'm wearing today so they can learn from it'? It's weird. Or maybe it says more about my lack of faith in my own ability to put an ensemble together.

I'm not an incredibly girly person and I've never been too bothered about keeping on trend or spending all my money on make-up and designer handbags. Still, I love clothes and always like to look nice: in this sense it's a relative term and I understand that my standards are much lower that most people. All I'm really looking for is something that makes me look and fell okay about myself for a bit. Mostly that happens to be the same four or five outfits with slight modifications but that's okay. The rest of my wardrobe is very pop culture and nerd heavy because that's me. I've probably bought more Teefury t-shirts in the past few years than I'll need in my lifetime but I can't help myself.

However, a close friend of mine happens to be incredibly judgemental when it comes to matters like this and it always makes me feel a little inadequate/uncomfortable. Recently, she came to see me and I showed her the three pairs of shoes I'd just bought. I've been coveting one for ages and I still believe they are the most beautiful pair of shoes I've ever owned. The other two were more risque for my tastes and I was a bit iffy about them. She hated them but did her best to hide her disgust. Ultimately, it won't change my opinion of her as a person but I do have to wonder why it matters so much. There are some people who never grew out of that school/teenage mentality of only being friends with the right type of people and that the clothes someone wears is an indication of who they are as a person.

I'm luck to have a group of friends who, for the most part, don't really pay attention to what I or they wear. It makes things more relaxed and we can focus on important issues. Rather than sitting and discussing fashion trends we talk about real world issues or argue about insignificant things likes films. We stimulate each other and it's great. Not that I'm suggesting a love of fashion and intellectuality are mutually exclusive, of course. That would be insane. All I'm saying is, my priorities lie elsewhere.

That's not to say that I don't spend much of my time/money on clothes though. My ASOS account is always on the verge of bankrupting me and my saved items list has, at times, reached sublime (in the Edmund Burke sense) levels. However, my instincts for what looks good and what I should be wearing are questionable and I tend to be distracted by shiny/pretty/vintage things that I have no chance of pulling off. Like one of the aforementioned pairs of shoes which were a gorgeous pair of gold leather brogues. Something that many a person could make work but which made me look like an outcast of the Rat Pack. I've since sent them back, which, I feel I should point out, was entirely my own decision and have nothing to do with my friends judgement.

So, I often turn to things like fashion blogs and Pinterest before I make any big clothes purchasing decisions. However, it often makes me laugh because much of the important advice is actually incredibly redundant. The other day I was being overly dramatic about weighing up the pros and cons of buying a backpack. Yes, it's hardly an Earth shattering choice but, having something of a chubby toddler's head, I need to ensure I keep on the right side of adult here. So I googled "how to style backpacks" and came across an insanely helpful page that gave me 3 options.

  1. Wear it on both shoulders
  2. Wear it on one shoulder
  3. Carry it in you hand
I mean talk about fucking revolutionary! I don't know how people were wearing their backpacks before this came along but I bet, when they'd finally read it, they had fucking egg on their faces. I know the internet is a vast entity that isn't exactly going to fill up but there surely isn't enough space to justify this crap, is there? 

This is the problem I see with fashion advice in general. Fashion is and, more importantly, should be a very subjective thing. How can you advise someone on what to wear if you don't know/understand them? You can't. Which is why most fashion blogs are either OOTD or just generic "why not be bold and wear black a white together" kind of shit. Fashion responds to either the incredibly bold or the incredibly neutral. You can get away with being wacky if you go all out otherwise you need to be very plain and safe. That's why so many OOTD posts that you may see on the internet are a plain top with a pair of jeans/very safe skirt. People don't want to risk ridicule by going too far away from that. That's why so many lifestyle blogs are uninspiring. It's why they all kind of seem the same. 

What I want to see is someone embrace who they are. Some of my favourite fashion posts are those that revolved around casual cosplay or outfits inspired by film/television characters. Despite never wanting to be the centre of attention, I don't like the idea of blending in with the crowd. I want to find that elusive fourth way to wear a backpack. I want to write posts about styling your Dr Who/Star Trek mash-up t-shirt. I want to talk about how I buy shitloads of snapbacks but am too afraid of being too prim and proper to pull it off. I want people to know that I don't care if I look like a grandma so I will continue to wear chunky, unflattering cardigans with every outfit. Ultimately, I want people to realise that what you wear shouldn't matter to anybody but yourself. 

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