Friday, May 23, 2014

Quirky versus Chic

fashion is so subjective... but I think we can all agree that this is the ugliest display ever? Joyce at Pacific Place does quirky

So tell me, when you are about to buy some clothes or shoes, do you have this imaginary scene in your head where you are wearing your new dress looking so fab and so right for the occasion? And is it an occasion you rarely ever attend, like a summer party in a field in say, Devon? You probably have guessed from the question I do that all the time. I buy maxi dresses because I think I would wear them while having a G&T before dinner in Bali, I buy coats because I see myself walking into Barney's on a rainy Fall day in New York.

And also, do you think you know how other people perceive your style? I thought I did, but I may have been wrong for a long time! I think I am classic, sporty, preppy by day and conservatively chic at night (don't laugh because I used the word chic in a sentence, I know it's a stupidly pretentious word but there is no better one to describe what it means).

About two years ago, my friend Martine (who is beyond stylish and French) described my style as "bohemian" in a throwaway comment at Thanksgiving. I forgot about it but then the other day another friend described my style as "quirky".  What??????  I am not quirky!! I am not bohemian!! I am conservatively chic!!!!!!!!!  That same day another friend said she never wears shorts because her husband thinks women in shorts look like lesbians.  What?????????????  I wear shorts at the pool all the time!  Has he been thinking I look butch all this time when I have been thinking I was a model of clean cut preppiness in my JCrew shorts?

That brings me to my next question. Who do you dress for? If you only dress for yourself, then who cares how wrong other people are about your style. But do those people exist, I mean people who only dress for themselves? I think we are all trying to say something through our clothes, right? Aside from day-to-day covering-your-naked-body clothes, there are also interview clothes, date clothes, parent-teacher meeting clothes, and fancy restaurant clothes.

Since I have established people view me rather differently than I view myself, how in heaven's name am I going to pick the right outfit for my next interview for instance??? How am I going to appear not bohemian?

Something to think about next time you find yourself in a dressing room planning an occasion for your new outfit...

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