Friday, 12 March 2010

who makes "the rules" or, where's my fucking maxi skirt?!

I'd like to know something.
Who is it who dictates what we can and cant wear?
Who makes The Rules?
Who says fat birds cant have cake AND bodycon (quote Ana...), and who says short girls can't do full length or hareems? (And yes, this is related to the
ode to the maxi post....)

While it would be simple to scapegoat the media, from the gossip mags who demand "what were you thinking??" of celebs, to the high fashion bibles which set the trends, it isn't necessarily they who set these Rules. Quite the contrary; the answer, it seems, is you and me.

We (by which I mean women, primarily. And the gays. The gays always have an opinion on the fashion), are destined to give each other the once over and declare "that dress makes her look fat", or "those jeans are doing nothing for her arse".
While yes, it is likely that such publications as heat, and the tabloids, have influenced the way we think, it is our own mentality, and our modern day society, which forces us to judge others.

Not that that's always a bad thing - style is subjective, everyone has different tastes, if we were all the same it'd be boring, blahblahblah - but often turns into public ridicule, and herein I draw the line. There is, quite simply, no need.

I'm ready and willing to put my hand up and declare myself a little guilty. We all are. It is, to quote Prince, a sign o' the times.
Personally, I think you look ridiculous in your Ugg boots; tatty from walking in the rain/snow/ANY WEATHER IN THE UK*, and with jogging bottoms tucked it. Yeah I'm looking at you, rah community.

But equally, you more than likely think the same of me, in my skirt lengths which aren't necessarily made for my height (care?), tapered trousers which only emphasise my already massive hips, and my heels come rain, shine, or 2 mile walk to uni and back (a mile each way; steady now).

I always bring it back to the height issue, because it's relevant to me, but this goes for any body shape. We are conditioned to believe that we can't wear certain pieces if we're built a certain way. No taking into account styling, or, y'know, whether we care for The Rules.
The Rules are there to dampen creativity. They probably were created by the media, for the style "challenged"; those who now rely on Gok to supply them with dressing ideas; in order to give them a vague guideline. To box them in. They'll look good, sure, but they'll look the same as everyone else. As you will look the same as everyone else if you only shop at Topshop (cue more ridicule.). The Rules are there to make the world a "prettier place", if you will. Where everyone dresses "well".

But I, for one, am not interested in "pretty".
I'd much rather have "interesting".
Why else is it that blogs so popular right now? Because they are full of people breaking the rules, and keeping it interesting.
Queen Michelle @ Kingdom of Style dons lingerie as outerwear on the regular.
Arabelle @ Fashion Pirates has been known to wear a tablecloth as a skirt.
Susie Bubble throws on, like, 25 different florals in one outfit.
Do these people care about the rules? No. Are they criticised for it? Quite the opposite.
They pull it off because the have confidence (having a blog and sharing your style with the internet world = confidence, in my eyes.), and (I hope), they don't have time for the people who tell them they look all wrong.

If there is one thing I've learnt in my time immersed in the fashion world, it is this: there's no such thing as The Rules.
Make up your own rules, goddammit.
Even down to designing. Quote Tim Blanks off of the Vice interview; the most interesting designers are those who aren't afraid to fail. I put it to you, Internet, that also, the most interesting dressers are those who aren't afraid to fail.

In the end, unless you have achieved a level of fame where you could end up on a Worst Dressed list; you are dressing for yourself and yourself only, so who gives a shit what anyone else thinks? And even if you ARE at that level of fame, you are pandering to people who have different tastes. One gossip coloumns' worst dressed is another's best dressed. Any press is good press. Good lord.

But, of course, to throw away these Rules; for everyone to accept that they don't really exist... well, that would create chaos.
See, in Rule-following, there are two camps.
Non-followers (denouncers, perhaps?) deem followers unimaginative; sheep; boring. Label whores. Trend-a-holics.
Followers deem non-followers ridiculous; over the top; crazy for crazies sake. Try-hard. Weird.
What neither camp takes into account is that all of these people; every single one; when dressing on a morning, puts on what they feel comfortable in. Or at least, I hope this is the case.
I think I can say with conviction that there are no Rules. There aren't! There is but one, and it is as follows:

Thou shalt dress in what thou bloody well wants, and thou shalt not judge others for doing the same (at least not out loud.)

And, y'know, I reckon caring what others think isn't a desirable character trait, yeah?

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Hey! Some related posts around the internetz!

teh rulez @ Nice&Tacky
an awesome maxi look on a 5'6"-ish lady @ Fashion Looks North
ana done a post too, @ one fabulous thing after another

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* seriously, what weather are the supposed to be for? Sheepskin boots don't do well in wet conditions, aka winter, and are too hot in summer, surely? I will ne'er understand...


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8 comments:

Kat said...

i find someone who wears what they want, wears clothes they love and clearly have a love for their style and that they don't care what anyone else thinks far more interesting than people copying what they see everyone else their age wearing to make sure they got it 'right'. (though i dont think there's anything wrong with getting ideas and inspiration from people :D) great post (Y)

Kat said...

oh, and apperently maxi skirts are coming back into fashion! ha :P i actually quite like them, i just never know when i'd wear them in the shitty weather we get here :L

L said...

Great post! Well said my dear!
(p.s I HATE Ugg boots with every inch of my being grrr)
L x

Emma Delaney said...

Didn't Trinny and Susannah invent the rules? Where are they now, eh?

Michele said...

Holla! I very much agree with this! And you are a doll for putting my little blog post with this post. I really don't want to seem angry or insecure, but one does have the right to rant every once in a while yeah?

jenn said...

mann; love for you ladies. rants are awesome! and indeed, where ARE T&S nowadays? they inflict their damn rules and then they scurry off....
jenn.x

frances said...

Not going to lie, I once wrote a 800+ word essayrant on anti topshop-ism. Refrained myself from posting in case the whole of Durham arrived at my door and lynched me. x

jenn said...

HA, brilliant. more people should rant. i do love a good rant. espesh when you read one and go "YEAH!" at the end.
jenn.x