Wednesday, 28 July 2010

For you or for me

I've been thinking about this question for a while and it has occurred to me that there has been a turning point in my understanding of fashion. I was in Oxford Street yesterday and when first arriving felt the familiar excitement of  being in the vicinity of the biggest collection of clothes shops in London. However, I mistakenly (very mistakenly) chose to go during the rush hour when there were literally thousands of people trying to get in and out of every shop. This is when I noticed people were wearing the same clothes; the H&M top that I had just seen in the shop, or those Primark jeans that have been around for about a year now or the free scarf from the cover of Elle that I got two months ago. Just a few of these coincedences began to make me think. Of course I know that people have to end up with the same clothes, but I had never really let this thought go any further. We end up in the same outfits and the same style of clothes because these are what the world around us tells us are the acceptable things to wear at the moment. This led me to wonder why I then go on to buy what I'm told to buy. Is it because I like to fit in and to feel I have 'got it right'? Is it also because I believe it willl make me more attractive/approachable if I am wearing what everyone else does. I think both these things are partially true. I also think it requires a lot of courage or self assurance to go against the stereotype of fashion. People will always look at someone who is dressed differently to others and see them as the 'outsider'. To most people and in certain ways to myself, it is too much effort to go against the norm. However, I believe that fashion should not just be a way of trying to fit in and make others see you as included. I personally would like to take my interpretations of fashion further and try to look beyond the current and 'fashionable' trends. Instead of dressing for others I want to also try and find a sense of dressing for myself, finding clothes and styles that I like for reasons other than that of social politics. In a way gaining a sense of self that is independent from anyone else and not broken down by anothers criticism is one of the most important steps that anyone can take, not just in fashion but in any area of personal identity.

For example, I have always wondered what wearing a typical Elizabethan dress with a corset and flowing skirt would be like. Or indeed alternatively wearing big Camden boots and lots of piercings.
I havent done either of these things for the interesting reason that they would not fit in with the image of me that I like to project to the world. Fashion is more than just personal decoration, it also gives people a glimpse into who you consider yourself to be. Dress smart and people will treat you far differently to if you dressed as a slob. In every code of dress there is an inbuilt code of behaviour and rules and social standing. I can't neccessarily dress however I like because it would affect my job, my friends and my way of life. Fashion is, in a very subtle way, far more than personal decoration. It is also a representation of our internal world. How we percieve ourselves and our place in the world and therefore how others judge us. Extracting myself from thinking about the social implications of fashion is, after consideration, a far more difficult task than merely learning to have confidence by myself. However, in places away from the more formal worlds of jobs, banks and so on I think that I will begin to experiment with the way I dress. My ultimate goal is to find a style that comes more from me than from the world around me.


Style of a Fashionista said...

I suppose fashion does makes as little clones of each other but it is interesting to see how each person styles the same piece, but I totally get where you are coming from that is why charity shops, vintage and ebay are great for mixing these things up and creating your own style and not necessary following fashion trends. Great post xox

T. said...

Very interesting post! I notice that also on fashion blogs, especially those of teenagers, that most girls try to perfect a certain look that is "in" at the moment. I find outfits that are a little more individual more interesting. (But my own outfits don't stand out either.)
Nice blog!

Cafe Fashionista said...

To be completely truthful; I think that many people forget that fashion isn't about imitation; it is about drawing inspiration from others and making it your own. :)

CMA said...

really fabulous inspiration
your blog is mad perfection, i'll be back for sure!
thanks for sharing, come visit COSMICaroline!


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