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.