What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? —Buddha
I don’t have a lot of time to type between fashion shows this morning, but I couldn’t just let this pass without comment. There have been far too many instances of late where some people think they have a need or right to tell other people what they can or cannot wear. On one hand, we have France getting all apoplectic over women wearing too much on the beach. At the same time, I’m covering fashion designers like Jason Wu whose most recent collection is 80 percent sheer, which makes it unwearable in most US cities without some level of modification.
The most recent piece of nonsense came this morning when I noticed that Victoria’s Secret was trending on Facebook. Curious, I checked to see why. The reason is one of the most pathetic ever: People were upset that the lingerie company was encouraging people to wear their sexy things where they’re visible. Apparently these people have forgotten that Madonna started wearing her bra as daywear back in the 1980s. That’s 30 years ago, folks. We should have some sense of what is appropriate by now.
So, what is appropriate to wear out in public? The answer is simple: whatever you feel comfortable wearing. Any other answer amounts to oppression. If you want to wear a purple hoodie, as ridiculous as I might think that sounds, then wear a purple hoodie. My opinion doesn’t make one damn bit of difference. Neither does anyone else’s.
One of the interesting things about fashion is that there are a lot of choices. Designers create somewhere between 40 and 60 ensembles for each collection. They then typically divide those collections into sections as they think an ensemble might be appropriate: day wear, casual wear, athletic wear, formal wear, and evening wear. Those separations are made based on how we normally dress during any given day.
However, there are no hard and fast rules. Athletic wear, for example, might look like it is appropriate for the gym, but Chromat showed us that it can work during other parts of your day as well. God Save Queens is a step ahead of Victoria’s Secret designing lingerie specifically so it can be worn in public, and people who purchase their clothes are doing just that. Want to wear an evening gown to breakfast? Go right ahead!
Our perspectives of what is or isn’t appropriate to wear are horribly skewed. For too long, we have let other people tell us what is appropriate and we have blindly followed along. No white after Labor Day. You must wear black to funerals. Who came up with these stupid rules in the first place?
Appropriate Is How You Define It
We don’t have to listen to those “rules” others keep throwing at us. Women, especially, who have been subjugated by men for centuries, don’t have to let anyone else decide what is appropriate for them to wear at the beach, at the store, or even to work in most cases (there are exceptions for safety). You get to decide what is appropriate and if someone tries to force you to wear something differently you get to walk away.
While style and fashion magazines might inform you as to what is available and give you ideas as to what looks good together, even Vogue doesn’t get to dictate what you wear on any given day at any given time. Those choices are yours. Don’t let anyone take them away.
I don’t know how many times I have to say this. Your body belongs only to you. You get to decide what is put on it. Create your own personal style. Go with that works for you and makes you comfortable.
And if someone doesn’t like your choices, tell them to fuck off.
Don’t we have that down now? Good. I have fashion shows to get back to covering. There is another set of choices just a few minutes away.