Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fashion Choices: Are we unfair towards others?

How do we perceive others around us? We often look at others and knowingly or unknowingly judge them with regards to what they are wearing. Why do we do this? Is it correct? Are we being unfair? While I was sitting at the airport bar waiting for my flight to San Diego, I spied a 60-something woman with what I thought were the most garish earrings. Another man was wearing a shirt which looked like he wrapped himself in the American flag. One other elderly man looked like he woke up that morning and thought, “You know what? Today is a great day to wear denim from head to toe!” Lastly, I looked upon a woman with two daughters who were dressed rather conservatively. She, on the other hand was dressed like someone spray painted spandex clothing on every inch of her frame and then she felt that a pair of Lucite heels would be the best way to top off that outfit! How and why do people choose what they wear?

A great many of us are influenced by fashion. This influence comes from TV, movies, fashion mags, music, and the world of celebrity. But still, there are others who get their influence from the unknown god of bad fashion choices. Who decides what is a fashion do or don’t? Is it fair? That woman in the airport with the garish earrings seemed to love those earrings. You could just tell. No one choose something in my mind so hideous and know that they were hideous. I know that is harsh, but my point is that she truly must have at least like them. They were, to me, just a bit … large, loud, and SHINY. The man with the American flag shirt really liked his shirt too. He wore it, as one would say, “Proudly.” People wake up each day and from their closet, pick out what they are going to wear. They do so hoping, and feeling, that they will look good. No one puts on an outfit thinking that they are going to look like crap. Some days, I admit,  I leave the house in sweats and a ripped t-shirt not caring what I look like. And other days, a certain older man picks out that denim shirt and denim pants and may say to himself, “Now THAT will make a great outfit.” The woman in the Lucite heels, though, DOES NOT get a free pass.

So why then do we feel that we can make these subjective view points and stand by them, sometimes to the point of ridiculing others? It is not fair of course. But we all do it at one point or another. My sister raised a good point, “What if someone walks through the airport in a bathing suit and he or she really loves that bathing suit? Is it fair to judge he or she?” I explained to her that I felt this is different, as then you are crossing those moral and ethical bounds on what is appropriate to wear in a public place. It really has nothing to do with their fashion sense as it has to do with what they are wearing at that particular place and time.

There is a lot of advice which is dictated by women’s fashion magazines. Some people follow it religiously while others pick and choose which trends they like. I admit that I love following fashion, but I also think it can be quite ridiculous that some designer’s whim of having the 70’s make a come back on the catwalk helps to determine that bell bottoms will be in for the following fall! Oh, but who am I to judge? I still like wearing my old ratty t-shirts which should have been tossed out ages ago.

So in the future, I vow not to be so judgmental on other’s fashion choices. An outfit that I may think is not attractive may be the "look" that someone likes and was going for. The woman who wears that hat may just love that hat. It may be her favorite, or maybe it was her mother’s hat and has certain sentimental value. The same thing may be said with Aunt Bunny’s hideous flower pin or your coworker’s ugly tie. One last point which may sound a bit judgemental. I still do NOT give that woman with the Lucite heels a free pass. NO WAY.

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