Thursday, November 20, 2008

I Hated it But...

Last night at work (a phrase that I notice is showing up more and more in my vocabulary) a customer made a comment that I’ve been meaning to write about for a while. She had tried on several pairs of boots, booties, shoe-boots, and one pair of pumps. These were one of the pairs, and she did end up leaving with them, but I couldn’t help but be perplexed by one of the things she said while contemplating her purchase.


“I kind of hate them [that kind of shoe] and think they’re ugly but everyone else seems to like them.”


This is the kind of statement I hear quite often (along with my least favorite “My husband/boyfriend/fiancé will kill me if I come home with another pair of shoes”—this annoys me to no end. I think it feeds into typical stereotypes and weird gender roles, not to mention, what kind of person are you—that would spend unnecessary money on shoes to the point it warrants arguments-- and are you dating that would seriously get upset over it if it’s not a huge penny-pinching deal? Annoyance, I has it) both while working and shopping. I suppose it’s something that goes along with trends and those loyal to the Church of the Trendy, but really. If you don’t like something, why spend the money on it? Not to mention why put something on your body that you don’t even like?


It’s a similar feeling I get when people ask me questions about what they can wear things with. Since reading blogs more regularly, my concepts of those archaic ‘Rules of Fashion’ seem ridiculous and strange to me. I’m not entirely sure how this feeds into trends, although I suppose it has something to do with doing your own thing and wearing what you like, how you like, and all of that. I never know how to answer those questions, because as far as I’m concerned the only reason why I wouldn’t wear furry boots in the summer is because it’s too hot, not because it looks out-of-season. I don’t see that wearing brown, grey, navy, and black in any combination is a problem, just like wearing white after Labor day is definitely a rule that is just about the most dated thing ever. Also, suede is for all seasons, and leggings still aren’t pants.


It’s also a bit of the snob in me. I hardly ever say it out loud, because of the kind of person I might seem to be, but I find my little inner narrator (I narrate my days in my head) scoffing at people who scoff at me. Obviously, they don’t get it, with their Ugg boots and Hollister jeans, tanned and buying boob-baring dresses at Bebe, such unoriginal trendsters!


And then I feel mean and guilty all day.


But the thing really is, why buy something, no matter how trendy or in it is, if you don’t like it? It’s one thing if it grows on you—I always hate something, think it’s the fuggiest of the fug kings and then after staring at it for ages and ages, I want it, need it, have to have it (my Minnetonka triple-fringe boots are an example of this, and now I love them and everyone thinks I’m a weirdo who stomps around campus like a Clydesdale)—but if you don’t like it, don’t wear it.

30 comments:

  1. I agree that you shouldn't buy things that you don't like, even if they are in. I think there are only a few people who do this. You have to be happy and feel confident in what you're wearing :)

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  2. "If YOU don't like it, YOU don't wear it." - this is the point. I really respect people who are brave enough to wear whatever they think is right, without consulting girly magazines (don't get me wrong, I find Cosmo pretty amusing).
    And leggings aren't pants! I couldn't agree more.

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  3. So true! It would be so much better if everyone simply stood by their aestetics instead of just adapting general views on it. That's where fashion fades into art, I think.

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  4. I couldn't agree more. Who wants to look back at photos of themselves wearing awful-looking clothes that they hated even when they were in style?

    And thank you, THANK YOU, for reiterating that leggings are not pants. There are far too many women who think otherwise, and dress to their own detriment.

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  5. some good points you make here, but of course, whatever anyone wears is playing into some trend in some way. but it is interesting to see all of the obsessions that are unanimously shared amongst bloggers (ie fascination with Balmain, the Olsens, etc.) it gets a little old :)

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  6. One of the many reasons I love your blog is because you are obviously a stylish, thoughtful, interesting girl who knows about the trends but is not a head-to-toe paragon of them (you know what I mean- the whole Alexander Wang/Balmain/Erin Wasson look). I think you took the moccasin boot trend and turned it into something unique with your styling choices.

    I also work retail and know what you mean about thinking something is hideous and becoming more and more accustomed to the ugly until it starts becoming beautiful. Case in point- a Rachel Comey sweater that looks like something Bill cosby would have proudly donned. But it's made of the softest baby alpaca yarn, cut slim for ladies, tunic-length, in colors that flatter me so well. Sigh. Too bad/good thing it's $500.

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  7. I totally, totally agree with everything you wrote. And I find the "my partner will kill me" thing to be AMAZINGLY annoying. What the hell.

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  8. it annoys me as well when people do not buy things because of pressure from their partner ... as long as you're not being irresponsible, there's not thing wrong with treating yourself occasionally.

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  9. Exactly! I think your gut instinct is a good rule.

    If you feel it's cool, the odds are everyone's gonna be wearing it in six months anyway (and they're not, all the better for you), and if everyone else is wearing it, but you don't like it, why bother?

    Case in point: it's kinda how I feel about ankle booties. They're okay on other people but decidedly not for me.

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  10. Oh my friend, how we share opinions. Frankly, I stopped caring about following trends. I love fashion and I love clothes and I lover new ways to wear them, but I never want to feel trapped by them, ever. If I see something new and pretty I like, can afford, and I think it's flattering to my figure, I'll buy it.

    Of course, this keeps me away from cute ankle boots, but the sad fact is that, slim though I am, I HAVE NO ANKLES. Ankle boots look like boxes at the end of my legs, sigh. It's me and the ballet flats forever.

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  11. ugh- if I ever buy something just because it's trendy -shoot me!

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  12. Agreed completely!

    Nothing makes me laugh harder than those snobs who look down on me with disdain because they think they dress infinitely better than I do.. In their overpriced cookie cutter clothes!

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  13. I like this. And I sympathize with you on the feeling snobby part when others scoff at you and you can't help but scoff at them. Ugh trends depress me as a whole. I guess I just dream of a world where everyone stopped dressing to please other people and started dressing to please themselves.

    [Annnd about the leggings as pants thing, I must admit I'm slightly guilty of that, but I ALWAYS wear them with shirts that go PAST my butt. I hate them with normal length shirts...that's just as bad as painting pants on.]

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  14. I sometimes don't keep the narration in my head. I almost want people to know that I am judging their Crocs or Ugg boots. Man, you can really go wrong with shoes, can't you?
    And as far as I am concerned, comfortable is a four letter word. "I like Crocs because they are comfortable" or "I don't feel comfortable in [insert clothing item here]." Do I and fellow fashionistas look particularly uncomfortable, or something?
    It is all a state of mind. I used to live in t-shirts and jeans. Then I decided I didn't want to anymore. That I didn't want that to be me. And viola! Now I loath to be seen in super casual. I proudly do not own a single sweatpant.

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  15. You're so right! I sure couldn't agree more

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  16. I'm definitely with you. One of the things I also hate is people who are the trying so hard to be the opposite of trendy... they won't wear a certain brand of clothing or designer no matter how much they love it, and it's usually not because they have moral issues with the brand or designer, it's because they're trying to fit into a box they've set for themselves. It's like what you said, but opposite... If you don't like it, don't wear it! If you like it, go crazy and wear it. :)

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  17. Lovely blog! I noticed in your profile that you're in Albany. I'm in the area as well. "Leggings still aren't pants" made me laugh out loud! How true! Also, the Minnetonka triple-fringe boots are fabulous! I have the fringe booties & a pair of moccasins - love them!

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  18. very good point here, who would date a guy who would get mad about shopping? i feel like sometimes women feel obligated to say things like that

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  19. Sometimes in a marriage, money is more complicated than it seems. I promise. It isn't as cut and dry as it sounds. But what ever is?? :)

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  20. What is the point of spending money on something you don't like? There are tons of trends out there at any given time--you can pick and choose the ones you like!
    I know what you mean about things growing on you, though; it's called the mere exposure effect, and it quite nearly made me think footless tights weren't as bad as all that. Fortunately, I regained my sanity.

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  21. weird. very weird.

    I have never bought something I did not like. I did buy (mostly vintage) things that fascinated me with their weird- or let´s even say uglyness though. but that is because I know that the fascination those things convey to me in their strange way might show their potential of giving an outfit that special touch of je ne sais quoi.
    like tim burton movies or helena bonham carter.

    buying things though because other people think they´re cool..
    what world are we living in?

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  22. I know exactly what you mean. I am the same at my workplace, people ask for my opinion and I try and give them a generic answer because I've tried giving my own opinion but it's never worked. For example a girl was wearing a purple dress with purple tights but kept saying she must look pretty stupid in all purple. I said I thought it looked pretty good and she gave me the strangest look. Oh well!

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  23. excellent blog - used one of your flickr photos on my blog!

    http://mondmelodie.blogspot.com/

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  24. This is so terrible, but so true. Haha, I take a strange pleasure in breaking fashion "rules." BTW, I tagged you with an award on my blog.

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  25. i agree. and i cant believe that someone... no, ok, im wrong... i can believe that someone would buy something he/she doesnt need/like. but people are sheep, so dont be surprised... and leggings ares till not pants! so true... but people kinda forget that..

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  26. Your post makes me realize how cool my friends are and how lucky I am to not have to deal with people on a regular basis that are so vapid, vain, and unoriginal that they would actually consider buying something just because everyone else is buying or wearing it...fashion is supposed to be fun and expressive, and these folks have clearly missed to that boat.

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  27. I agree with you completely. Oh, I also narrate my days in my head too...sshh.

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  28. i couldn't help but smile after reading this blog and the "bunny" blog :) i always have difficulty identifying w/ other girls around my age...(because of the mere fact that they are narrow minded,and most dress and look just as you had described)..and eek! bunnies! one of my many <3s :)

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